I think I’ve mentioned recently the fact that my heart has softened a lot over the last year. Although I’ve had friends praying for this exact thing to happen, I’m not liking it so much.
I started hardening my heart in high school, to avoid the pain of certain things that were going on. I was quickly good at it. Circumstances over the last ten or so years made me harden it more and more to the point where I didn’t let myself feel pain anymore. It was great (ish). I was a pro and not letting myself get hurt. I didn’t let anyone get close, and by doing that, I prevented myself from feeling the pain when things didn’t work out. I didn’t let myself become vulnerable. It was a hellish existence, but it’s how I survived certain circumstances that may otherwise have killed me.
Now, my heart is jelly. Everything hurts. Pregnancy dreams are cruel, and they like to bring up past events in very vivid detail, both things that have happened recently and things that happened years ago. It’s torture. I wake up shakey and weepy.
A couple times I’ve logged on to Facebook in the morning after having one of those nightmares and somehow I run into the profile photo of one of the people involved in my dreams – even though I’m not “friends” with them on FB – on a comment on a mutual friend’s status or when I click to write on a mutual friend’s wall and that person shows up on the top of the list of their “friends” on the sidebar. Sometimes it’s in the “people you may know” part of the main FB window (have I mentioned how much I HATE the “people you may know” app?) Sometimes I haven’t seen that person’s profile photo ever, sometimes not in a while, but somehow on THAT morning, it magically appears, when I least want to see it. It’s not that I’m angry at that certain person, it’s that seeing them reminds me of a certain event and then my heart starts to race and I start to shake and I can’t breathe and my head starts to pound and I feel light-headed/dizzy and I get hot flashes and I swear I’m going to pass out.
And then I take a little break from Facebook. Facebook is the debbil.
I feel like there was a thick layer of ice around my heart, protecting it. Over the years, daggers have tried to pierce it, and each of them got stuck as an additional layer of ice formed. Now, as each layer of ice melts, the daggers are getting through and I have no way to stop them.
I had one of those nightmares two nights ago. I was a mess in the morning. If I didn’t have to be at work that morning, I probably would have hidden in my bed for a couple more hours. Work is a great distraction. This morning, I was scrolling through my Facebook homepage and saw a character from the nightmare in a profile photo in a comment on a friend’s status. I hadn’t seen a photo of that person in longer than I can remember, and right away I started panicking, with all the above-mentioned super-fun panicky symptoms. One new symptom that’s popped up in the last couple months that was never there before is Braxton Hicks contractions. I didn’t have them with the girls, and they do NOT help, especially with the whole needing-to-breathe thing.
Noah’s changed a lot in his attitude and approach to my depression and anxiety, especially in the last couple weeks. Whereas talking to him used to make me feel worse and push me closer to the edge, I’m now finding myself comforted. If I told this fact to the psychologist I was seeing last spring, he’d probably fall over from shock. This morning when I was having my little panicky episode that I would usually keep to myself, I texted him about it. He was able to calm me down. Believe it or not, I think he’s actually exhibiting symptoms of something that I never thought I’d see in him – empathy. Miracles happen, people.
I’m not really sure what my point was in telling you all of this. I guess I want to write about the good stuff in the midst of the sucky stuff. I have high hopes of 2011 being my most-favorite year, but I’m not expecting it to be pain-free. That would just be completely unrealistic of me. I have high hopes because I know I have someone to walk this dark valley with me; someone to pick me up when I’ve fallen hard; someone to stay up late watching super-girly chick flicks with me. (No? We’re not there yet?)