This has been a very long couple of weeks. I won’t go into all the details but life has been sobering since January began. Several things have happened that led me to question myself, my purpose and many things I held in high regard. Needless to say, I’m mentally tired.
I’ve been to 2 unexpected funerals this month and had another family member pass away a few days ago. And whereas the first 2 deaths broke my heart, the 3rd did not hurt me the way it should have. I glossed over it. I know that sounds ridiculous and cold but I did. I’m not proud to say that, but it’s true. For 2 days, I just didn’t feel a thing.
I have this ‘magical’ ability to turn my emotions off. I think it stems from when I was young and didn't have the freedom to express emotions. I learned to pretend things didn’t happen so I wouldn’t feel anything. And as I grew up, I didn’t have to pretend anymore. I simply didn’t feel. Your brain is amazing how it protects you. Fight or flight. My brain decides on flight every time.
I remember being in high school and unpleasant things would happen or shocking news would come. I would look at other peoples reactions to the news and mimic it. I pretended things affected me the way it did others in hopes it would eventually take root. It wasn’t until my 20’s that I finally realized that this just wasn’t normal. Normal people feel things. They react to things. And my emotions were limited to loneliness and anger. That’s about it.
I hopped from boyfriend to boyfriend and from friend to friend……never making attachments but not knowing why. I always found a fault I just couldn’t bear to live with…….and I moved on. That’s a terrible way to live life. It’s very solitary.
Kevin is the first person who pointed this out to me. One of the million reasons I know God put us together. He said I could turn cold in a heartbeat. He could see it in my eyes. Everything would just suddenly shut off. And, he’s right. I can feel when things shut off…..but there’s no control. I couldn’t keep it from happening and I couldn’t turn it back on. It would just go away. Poof.
I’m 40 years old and I don’t want to be numb. I’m ready to feel. What I’ve been careful to take notice of lately is how I react when things start getting tough. What do I do to not feel? I work. I paint. I drink wine. I surf the internet. I nap. I watch TV. None of those are bad but I noticed that as soon as something starts to make me uncomfortable, I reach for one of the aforementioned and get lost in it. And just like magic……all feeling is gone.
I’m resolving to change this. Emotions are good. Feelings are cleansing. And while you can’t always trust your emotions, you can’t ignore them either.
Tonight I was numb. Couldn’t figure out why and I started to pour a glass of wine and turn the TV on.
Then a little voice in my head reminded me of the last 2 weeks. 2 funerals and news of an impending 3rd. Seriously, people. That should be enough to throw anyone over the edge. But…….I pushed it away for all these days.
Time to deal with it.
Time to deal with it.
So tonight……to make sure I wouldn’t back down or conveniently forget……..I’m writing this all down. And after I write it all down, I’m going to mourn. I’m going to feel the pain I’ve pushed away to protect myself. I’m going to reflect and pray and remember and pray and pray some more. I’m going to pray that all the hurt I neglect and ignore comes flooding in. There will be no distractions. No noise. Just me and God and perhaps a good, hearty cry. I cannot remain cold all my life. Or numb. In the long run, it will just tear things down. I’ve already watched it for years affect all my relationships and my thoughts and my choices and everything. And no one can ever truly heal or move on until you deal with things. Until you mourn. Until you feel.