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Re: Spoke to therapist seldomseen

Posted by Dinah on September 4, 2008, at 10:53:13

In reply to Re: Spoke to therapist Dinah, posted by seldomseen on September 4, 2008, at 6:01:25

> I may be way off base, but it sounds as though you are yearning for simplicity. Perhaps the hurricane brought into clear view what is really important - your family, your dogs, your safety, your therapist perhaps.
> The rest of the stuff - the add ons - maybe now just seem tiring. There is a lot to be said for living as simply as one can. Maybe that's what you want.

I really do think that's it. Like I said, my house isn't full of stacks of things. But it's a rare wall that doesn't have shelves full of dolls, or memorabilia, or frames of important things in my life. I don't regret the library really, because that's a separate room, and we do love books. The idea of coming back to that, to things I know aren't that important to me because I didn't fret about them when I left, is unpleasant. Even more unpleasant is the knowledge that once I come home they will be important to me again. I'll fall back into their seductive web. And I do yearn for simplicity.
> Alternatively, after having such a clear and emergent goal of getting up and out, I think it is natural to experience some kind of let down afterwards. It's also a very simple and natural thing - fundamental to our survival - to be able mobilize resources and get out of danger. Maybe you are very attuned to that evolutionary programming.

Definitely that's true for everyone, I think.

> Finally, how safe does your home feel to you now? Frankly, if I lived in a place that had been destroyed once, then threatened and damaged again, I don't know how safe I would feel there. You can write once off as a fluke, but twice?
> Maybe it is a combination of all of these (or none). Nonetheless, I'm so grateful that, despite the power outages, NO seemed to have come through Gustav okay.


It's hard to say. Part of living in New Orleans is regular evacuations. When I was little, we were rarely gone overnight. My parents would watch the storm, and sometime in the middle of the night, we'd throw a few clothes in a bag and head off, then when it didn't hit, we'd circle around and go home. My parents were actually in the minority. My husband says that until he met me, he'd never heard of evacuating for a hurricane. My parents never brought my dogs with us, and every car I've purchased myself has been purchased with the idea of evacuating my dogs with me. I must be one of the few people whose first car was a station wagon.

Georges was the first hurricane where there was a widespread evacuation. That was in 1998. Then Ivan in 2004. And Katrina of course in 2005. Now Gustav in 2008. In general, I don't think evacuations bother me, because we expect that every few years we need to pack up and evacuate.

However, Katrine taught us that we just might pack up and evacuate and come back to no home at all. We very well may lose whatever we don't take with us. It isn't just a pro forma exercise. It's a real decision. I learned from Katrina, and this time I just brought those things that I obsessed about while we were gone and didn't know if our house was ok. This time taught me that I need to bring *all* my dead dogs.


That doesn't mean that I'm still as matter of fact about it as I used to be. Katrina made everything different. Under the surface, this might be causing me a lot of stress that I'm not allowing myself to notice.

Even before this I have been a bit sorry we didn't go through with moving elsewhere. But there's no point in worrying about it now. We made a commitment to our son not to move before he graduates high school, unless there is absolutely no choice.

I'm still trying to work this all out in my mind. Posting about it does help with that, since my therapist is only partially available.




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