I compartmentalize. It is one of my coping mechanisms.
When life gets overwhelming or there are feelings or situations I cannot deal with right now, I seal them in a container in my mind. I go about my day, my conversation, my life with so little fanfare that the world may not even know I moved something off to the side. I decide I will come back to the container when I have the space and it is the right time.
Or I don't. Because honestly, once it's locked away who wants to open up a container full of junk which is there because I didn't want to deal with it before. The container can sit in my mind and I rarely notice it. I have some containers sitting on the high shelf of a compartment I keep just for avoiding things.
My parents divorce was finalized a week or two ago. My parents would have celebrated their 44th anniversary this summer. Instead, I received a text at 6:24 am from my father letting me know the divorce was finalized. This news barely registered in my day beyond the early wake up beep.
I ran into someone I had a conflict with last year. We no longer have to engage with one another except in passing. I have moved on. Except seeing them caused my mind to race and my body to fill with anger.
And these are just the examples I will actually write down. Because some of my compartments are too dark and too scary for even me to open. Nothing traumatic. Nothing even exciting or noteworthy. Just dark for me.
Sometimes these containers leak. Sometimes the feelings seep out. Often after dark, after the house is quiet, after the day is done. My heart hurts and my once tired body can't sleep. Tears rise up unexpectedly. Without cause. But eventually sleep comes and the compartments are all locked away again. Morning comes with all its noise and distractions and things that have to get done. And who wants to go back to the pain anyway.
But I am finding that some of the darkness is seeping out into my days as well. I think it has been all summer though I didn't recognize it for what it was.
And this sucks because I like my compartments. I like being able to control my emotions and move about my life.
I like moving on and letting things go. Except they don't always go. Sometimes they just get locked up in my mind, pushed to the top shelf, which is fine until the shelves start to fall and the lids crack just enough.
As I write this, an email arrives, a thought distracts, and now I can't remember what feeling prompted me to start writing. Except for the tired eyes and desire for a nap that reminds me that last night was hard and late because of seepage.