It’s still dizzying.

I don’t even know where to start, so I guess I’ll start somewhere.

Integration has somehow accelerated this week. Anniversaries of various kinds brought an onslaught of memories and I expect more to come. Nata’s birthday is next week. There is going to be a flood of birthday memories too.

There is an emotional piece to this process—just keeping the emotions to a bearable level and to an organized enough place that it’s not total chaos. Internal chaos doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it is. It shuts everything down. The process stalls. And not because I am afraid of it and want to turn it off, but it’s like if you start writing all over the page, you are no longer doing maths. It becomes just a series of numbers with no purpose any longer. If the emotions are just running around loose, you are no longer integrating them. You’re just having a mental tantrum.

And there is a cognitive piece. There is, first of all, the literal piece of what is this? Easter made me think of gifts, only I didn’t automatically know all of them are gifts. There is, for example, a bit of gray fleece in my mind. The image expands out. Oh, it’s a stuffed elephant. Okay, so what’s the elephant about? What’s the story behind the element? What do I feel about the elephant?

That’s just one tiny piece of things.

Then there is that eternal question, “Who am I, given it turns out I felt these things, I feel these things now, these things happened to me?”

Exhausting and time consuming. I am not sleeping well at all. Partly, my routine got disturbed because of Saturday’s ritual, but mostly it’s the frantic sense at the end of the day that I need to work through a bit more of this or the next day is going to be a disaster. This isn’t me catastrophizing. I know how it works from experience. But fatigue is not helping things, and there is a point where an exhausted mind is a bigger liability than a hopelessly disorganized mind.

Anyway, it means I am going to change into dirty clothes today because I haven’t done the laundry for most of the week and yesterday morning when I was getting ready to leave, I realized my other National Dress top was dirty and there was no chance of washing it anymore before I needed to change into it. (Thursday is change-clothes-day. Yes, life is different here.)

But this morning I have two main sets of thoughts.

One of them is that the pretzel of myself can start to untwist now. It’s possible for myself to be accepted at least within myself. And that sounds nice, but it also unleashes an immense amount of pain, because that is how myself has mostly felt and feels. Just pain. My emotions are part of the package.

The other part is that it need not have to hurt forever. But I have to get through this. I have to keep it together just a little while longer.