Late last week, I had something of an epiphany. Epiphanies for me are quite small. They are things like, “the supermarket is just like an indoors version of the outside, but with biscuits, which you love” and “you are probably not going to fly off the world and into space unless something drastic happens with poles and space-time”.
My recent epiphany was just that I could probably drive to my kids’ other house without freaking out. I haven’t been there for months, due to craziness and unwillingness. And look, mostly unwillingness. But my ex-husband has broken his collarbone and can’t drive, so my options are to go and get the children from his house, or listen to him complaining ad infinitum and not see the children at all, which is a nice idea because it’s like a holiday, but also surprisingly lonely after a time.
It sounds silly, when written in sentences. He lives about four kilometres from my house. I have to drive up one road, turn right into another road, then do a short veer to the left. But in 2013, when I had a nervous breakdown and my eyes fell out of my face and into a large pond, the place where he lives became a big problem for me. I could go all around it, past it, under it, over it, but not through it. I know ‘trigger’ is a bit of a fun HBO anxiety buzzword, but the reality is that his entire suburb became a trigger for me. A heart-stopping, throat-crushing, confidence-smashing trigger.