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Never Forget

It's been 17 years, and it's the one day I will never forget, the one day that stopped my world in its tracks, the one day represented by three numbers - 9/11 - the numbers I hate seeing on a digital clock as I still have memories I can't forget.  I was living in New Jersey at the time.  I remember where I was working, the outfit I was wearing, and the people who came in the office that day saying there is no way those people lived.  Little did they know I knew people in one of those towers, my whole life revolved around friendships my boyfriend at the time had with them.  His friends had become my friends, and we spent nearly every weekend with our friends.


I tried my hardest to hold back tears, waiting for the day to end, hoping that the worst wasn't true.  The rest of the week was a whirlwind I could never explain, my boyfriend went into the city, checking the make-shift hospital tents hoping to find our friends to no avail.   I think we all knew they weren't going to be found, but somehow searching was cathartic.

 

The next weeks were followed by attending funerals, surreal going to a funeral, seeing a casket and knowing there is nobody inside because the fires in the towers incinerated them.  Amazing Grace on bagpipes still brings the tears flooding uncontrollably.  It was one of the lowest points of my life, not just because of the loss of life; it was also the loss of part of me - my spirit continuing to be shattered in the mentally abusive relationship I was in.  

 

You see months before this event happened I was in the process of searching for a new place to live, needing to start a new life, I was in the middle of an emotionally abusive relationship {I'll share that story another time}.  I was researching places to live and timing the best time to leave.  Besides the overwhelming grief, I felt for everyone I knew; I also felt there was no way I could leave him now.  He was an only child, and he had just lost his "brother" he grew up with.  They were both only children, six months apart, moms were best friends.  I had sincerely hoped that this would be the event that would change him, be the catalyst for him to get help and not be emotionally abusive anymore. 

 

I knew in my heart there was no way I could leave him.  We spent the next year and a half stumbling through life, our relationship on auto-pilot, both of us coping with the losses in different ways {none of them good}.  I felt lost and lonely, everyone always asking how he was but not how I was.  I rebounded quicker than he did, I patiently waited for him to get it together.  I came to the realization there probably wasn't going to be a future for us, and I did finally leave him with the help of a good friend on a weekend he wasn't home.

 

Those three numbers that come around once a year show up twice a day on a digital clock, and I sometimes glimpse images from that day on TV.  They not only remind me of the loss of friends, the loss of a happy life we had when things were good, they also remind me of the feeling that someone didn't love me enough to change.  What would take me years to understand, furthered my sense of abandonment and being unwanted, how could such a significant event not be a wake-up call to change, realizing life was too short, and our relationship was worth saving.

 

It has been 17 years, so very hard to believe, I know there are a lot of people whose lives were affected that day.  I continue to deal with all the feelings 9/11 brings to the surface for me.  I tried this year to "pretend" like it was another date on the calendar, quickly reminded by the moments of tears for no reason on the 10th that it wasn't going to happen.  I was kind to me and decided to take a me day {like normal} found someone to cover an event for me I was scheduled to run.  I know I am improving every year and becoming less emotional.  I know the feelings probably won't ever be completely gone.  

 

If you have experienced a loss, please make sure you obtain the help you need to move through it but also be kind to yourself, take the day{s} you need, and process the feelings you have.  Join a support group if needed, for me Celebrate Recovery has helped me a ton with my feelings of abandonment. I thank God for covering me, even when I wasn't looking to him, I could have gone far off the deep end during that time.

 

 

Covered by His Grace,

 

Nicole

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