Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Who am I? : Emotional

“There can be no knowledge without emotion. We may be aware of a truth, yet until we have felt its force, it is not ours. To the cognition of the brain must be added the experience of the soul.”
 Arnold Bennet

In an effort to wade through my quarter-life crisis and be more transparent, I am trying to document what I really know about myself...  who I really am. 

One thing I have definitely learned about myself over the past few years is how unemotional I am. I am not a "crier."  I don't know how to show emotion in front of people...  and when other people show emotion, whether it is from anger, embarrassment, or sadness, it makes me uncomfortable.

I didn't cry in the hospital room when we had Evie... and I didn't cry the entire day of her memorial... I didn't cry at all the "right moments" and I felt like a total freak. As everyone around me was showing so much emotion, I showed none. Why did I not allow myself to cry? I often thought something was wrong with me. I thought, why am I not freaking out everyday? Why am I not spending days in bed screaming and crying and losing it every 5 minutes? 

The entire experience felt like I was watching some sad movie on T.V. I felt totally disconnected to what was happening at the time... and after everything was over... when I went through the acceptance that yes, it did happen... I did bury my daughter... I still didn't cry often.

But, that doesn't mean I didn't feel it or think about it.

Many days it still consumes my mind... and the emotions eventually come out ...and when they do it's like a waterfall,  I am usually extremely stressed out and there are a million things going on and I finally just burst into tears and all these emotions come rushing out all at once... for 5 minutes... then I'm good for another 3 months.

Like Saturday night, I was driving to my nephew's birthday party. I was in the Explorer which does not have our GPS in it- which equates to me, of course, getting lost like 3 times and extremely frustrated because I have no sense of direction. 

As I was turned around (again) I started crying... I was hungry and lost.  I was physically and mentally exhausted. My friend Kell just had her baby girl a few hours before... and I was throwing a shower for Rita the next day to welcome a new baby girl to our family...   and earlier that day my aunt told me about a woman who had just found out her child would probably not survive her pregnancy and asked if she could give her a link to my blog. My heart broke for her. when I finally had a second alone in my car.... I began to think about Evie.

I began thinking how old she would be right now, how she would have been the perfect age to play with these new additions and her girl cousins that are so close in age....  I was angry... because Nolan and Ty and Reese didn't know their baby sister... because Bebe and Grandma don't have another granddaughter to spoil... because I don't get to watch a little chubby-faced, blonde-haired toddler running around melting her daddy's heart...  and because I don't get to hug her and squeeze her and tell her how much I love her.

...but also, because there is still nothing I can do about it.

In most difficult situations in life, there is a solution... you go through money issues, family problems, internal struggles... you can do something about it. You can plan, change, work through it and make the situation better... you know that there are seasons in life and one day things will be different. With death there is no "solution" to bring the people we love back to us.

Although we accept it as a part of life and one day we will be in a place of no more tears, sometimes looking ahead to Heaven doesn't bring a lot of comfort as we are here, missing the ones we've lost.

So sometimes I am angry, sometimes I am sad, and sometimes I have pity parties and don't feel like talking about it.... and that is okay. 

Because that makes me know it was real. It is the raw emotions and life-changing moments we experience that makes life worth living. Whether is is from anger, sadness, joy, love,... It proves that we are not mindless, unattached animals that live to eat and sleep.

Humans are capable of such strong love that a man and woman can remain faithfully married for over 50 years... that an entire family will give up everything to serve strangers... that a son will care for his ailing mother for years without reward... 

and that 14 months later, 

a mother can sit in her car and weep for the loss of a child she only held for minutes... 

We are capable of this type of love because our Father first loved us... this is what makes us human, what sets us apart.

...and having a little freak-out moment in the car every few months actually helps me feel better because it makes me feel awake and alive. It helps me realize that every experience is worth something. 

Every day is another page in our story, and He is using each chapter to shape our character for things we might not even realize until we are past this life.

So I guess what I have learned about myself is that I still don't like dealing with emotions, but I am getting better at accepting the moments that come as necessary and important... and hopefully that will transition into me being more open to other people's hurt.

I don't think I'll be crying on anyone's shoulders anytime soon. but at least I am moving in the right direction.   

 8 For you, LORD, have delivered me from death,
   my eyes from tears,
   my feet from stumbling,
9 that I may walk before the LORD
   in the land of the living. 

Psalm 116:8-9 (NIV)