Monday, 6 August 2007

Up the coast...and deep, deep down!

So, at long last I've restarted this god foresaken journey. It was nice to be on the road, despite it only being a four hour journey to Plaskett Creek. I had a nice bit of windy road from Ojai for about an hour and then a couple of hours thrash up the freeway. Once off the freeway the ride was a wee bit manic, the sun was low and blinded me every time I got halfway round each bend. I so wanted to wind up the throttle and crank it round the bends. I made up for it on a ride further north, to the Big Sur, on Saturday, They don't have double white lines out here, I've assumed the use of yellow ones are to provide me with a guide line for overtaking with oncoming traffic. Do Harley riders go so slow to ensure everyone sees their bikes, or are the bikes really that sluggish? Shame coz I love the sound of them!

For the first time I had to pack all my stuff up and get under way. Of course I had to reload my luggage a couple of times to get it all fitting in a balanced and logical way. I found out how chilly the brilliant desert gear is as soon as the temperature drops off. It may be fine for a quick blast along the roads at home, but not on a misty ride along the Californian coast for a few hours. I thought it was meant to be bloody hot here, all the time! I definately need more suitable clothing to keep me warm in colder climes. I did express this opinion to Cai, but he just thought I was being over cautious; bless him.
It was also a weekend camping with my Californian friends; so not really setting out as the bold explorer, conquering the unknown single handed. Not really the intention now though, more to provide the space to clear away all the crap and get on with a life I never imagined I'd have to face. Sharing this weekend was excellent, and the kids were such a joy to be around. Somehow it makes it feel good that life is still precious and I can have positive emotions, not just the painful ones. Layla and Iain seem to have taken a bit of a shine to me, which means demands for my attention leave me with less time to dwell on grief. As you can see Layla and me have become a bit close.

Despite a seemingly ever present sea Har the weekend was really nice. I got to watch some fairly impressive surfing.

And saw a small colony of elephant seals, be jay-zus aren't they big. The males are down right ugly too, with large manky flaps of flesh/fur hanging off them.

I've had to face one of the hardest moments in my life so far today. A time when I severely doubted whether I could maintain contact with my rational mind. What a change from yesterday, then I felt detached and insular. It made me feel guilty that I hadn't ended up in tears for a whole day. Well I certainly made up for it today. Hearing from those at home has tended to be a hard time emotionally, reading comments from folk today really tipped the balance. And yet once it was over I was so glad to have experienced such overpowering emotions. I have no idea how long my outbreak lasted, I believe for some time. It started as a few tears and just snowballed, there was nothing I could do to stop it and it just got worse and worse. I was in the house alone, couldn't walk straight, couldn't think clearly and fear overtook. My belly was vibrating uncomfortably, which moved up to my chest as well and scared the shit out of me. I didn't know what to do, wobbling around the house, confused and hardly able to catch my breath. Eventually some corner of my mind got me to stop moving around and get my breath under control. Once breathing more normal the uncomfortable vibrating stopped in the torso and settled into my dead as a dull pain, but still felt like it was vibrating. It was horrible, but at least I stopped it! At first I wanted to block all commments, but then I felt how good it had been. To lose it emotionally to that extent and still have enough mental faculty to get it together again waqs reasuring. Part of my anxiety of doing the trip still was if I could handle getting really upset and scared with no-one around. Now I know I can! I also know I feel stronger for that experience, and give not a shit how it sounds to anyone else. We do, after all, create our own versions of hell!

For many years I've struggled to have as good an opinion of myself as others seem to hold. I've put my vlaue in terms of my son, or other relationships; not myself. To hear people praise me and compliment me has made me feel uncomfortable. This is what started today's episode; reading people expressing their admiration for how I'm handling Cai's accident, death etc... So I realise now is the time to change that, time to focus on me and what life I have. So don't stop the supportive comments, I need to listen and take it on board; maybe then I can begin to realise my real potential, as an individual. Maybe I can be someone I'm proud of being, to see the reasons I should be proud of myself. Truly a frightening day, yet such a valuable experience.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Les, how are you doing? The elephant seals look amazing. I'm glad you had a good camp and are reassured by the fact that you can cope. You can!
The comments you were saying about compliments and never really taking them about yourself, well now is the time to take them and I can onestly say hand on heart I would and have for the past few years regarded you as one of my best friends, as wierd as some may interprate're actually a mate which makes sense and gives no crap. Decent. Someone who would always help out, and you really showed that. How could I of got to my English exam without you?Ha!
Im missing you and I really hope your getting enough from your journey that it will make things easier for you. Imagining your pain hurts so much. I know it doesn't count for much but we are all here for you and always will be.
Keep in touch and let me know how your getting on, keep on taking photos of things/views etc so many of us will never see :) Enjoy it.
So much love, thoughts and happiness
Elin x x x x