Expectation (on multiple levels), preparation, anticipation, expectation (joyful this time) once more.
Loss, pain (lots of pain, the physical far outweighed by the emotional), feelings of failure and self-loathing.
Gradually, slowly, with lots of loving support, if not resolution as least an acceptance.
And there are compensations both in relationships and through other opportunities to find enrichment, fulfilment, value. For this I am grateful.
Yet, there remains a sense of difference, compounded at times by exclusion.
Still feeling other and sometimes being othered.
Being also, at least at some level, an expert in my own experience, and through much study and research the experience of similar others, does not always protect me from distress.
So what of the latest exclusion, that which forces me to relive my loss (yet again), and its' social, emotional and material aftermath, more than thirty years on from the life-changing night when all this started?
This time a denial not only of our contribution and our value but also a rejection of my knowledge and expertise.
I appreciate then that my pride is hurt on top of all the rest.
I will recover, I always do.
But for the moment I’m left reflecting on the fragility of it all.
Contentment, self-worth, security in one’s achievements and meaningfulness, perhaps even some small legacy.
In a heartbeat all threatened.
Walking on ice.
Careful steps now …