This letter is for those of us who have experienced “wounded attachment.”
I sit across the room from you filled with many types of emotions and thoughts. I can see that you are hurting. The grief is etched upon your face. There are lines from growing older in the last six months. I can sense that you feel you have aged fifty years. Your eyes are almost swollen shut, and I am aware your eyes have trouble seeing me. I notice that your hand is trembling, your body locked in fear. You want to run or hide but there is no place to hide from the devastation. Your eyes are hard to look into. They are filled with so much hurt and unbearable pain. I know your pain has been the grief of those wailing for the dead, a grief so profound and unbearable that there are no words to describe it. Your eyes tell me you are unable to keep the sound of wailing out of your mind and when you are alone, only the sound of a wounded animal is heard coming from the center of your body.
I ask:”Why have you come today? Why now and not before?” Your eyes swivel in your head and you look towards me. It is like looking into the eyes of the dead. I can tell, you do not see me. You are somewhere else, locked up in a room full of memories of loss. Your lips shake as you try to speak. ” My heart has been carved out of my chest with a knife, by someone I trusted, someone I cared for.” Your eyes fill with tears. I ask:”What bothers you the most, right now?” Your whispered words are filled with confusion and child like fear: “I can’t find my heart. I feel my soul is dying. I can’t stop the pain.” What do you fear the most?” I asked. You said, ” I fear losing my faith, my ability to trust again. I fear being alone with pain that will not end.”
I came and sat down beside you. There was fear in your eyes and a certain kind of sadness. We sat in silence. I said, as softly as a bird twitters at night before sleep: ” I am here with you. It must feel scary to lose a heart and not be able to find it. In the weeks to come, I will help you look for it.”
“I am here with you, as you feel your pain. We will find a way to stop the hurt. Don’t worry. Your pain will not destroy me. Your sadness will not overwhelm me. Your grief will not consume me. You are safe here. If you need to pray, I will pray with you. If you need to scream, I will hear you scream. If you need to cry, I will hold your tears. We will find a way to build a bridge, a bridge back to hope. Let’s sit here and breathe. ‘Breathe hope into your nose. Breathe fear, out of your mouth.’ You are not alone. Always remember, you are not alone.”