There seems to be a force field around me, like I’ve been visited by Violet in The Incredibles. Nothing can penetrate me. Nothing can get close enough for me to feel it. It’s good and bad.
“Christmas is in two weeks. I feel nothing.”
“Well, I’d say that’s an improvement.”
Three Christmases later, I am not on the floor, crying. I don’t feel sad. Because I feel nothing. I can function. I’m not paralyzed into a catatonic state because of Christmas carols playing throughout Target. But I can’t feel joy, either. All the music, lights, happiness – I lean into it, and I feel nothing.
Christmas seems to be happening around me.
But I’m not running from it. So I’d say this is an improvement.
December, I miss loving you.
* * *
“December, the diamond-frosted clasp
linking twelve jeweled months to yet another year.”
~ Phyllis Nicholson
I am thankful for the ways in which you faithfully walk. God knows your heart.
In my weariest days of wrestling far more attachment disorder than I was getting to parent children, I wondered if I’d ever ever enjoy a holiday again. I wondered if joy would ever be found in celebrating anything. I feared that I would always just wish to get through. Today, I see a little more of the progression. I still don’t find ecstasy. I don’t grin uncontrollably from ear to ear. I don’t get giddy over most of what comes with this season. But I can feel the warmth of this time of year again. I can experience the peace and joy. I can even look forward to some of it- especially the new traditions we’ve added. The new things don’t carry the loss with them.
I love you. Thank you for your honesty and vulnerability. You take the time to look inside and grab hold of what’s troubling you, you turn it over and over in your heart and mind, you name it and work to make peace with the truth of it. And then, you share it with us and help us do the same.
Oh Tricia! I understand how numbness can be good. Anesthesia, even if it doesn’t feel normal, beats the heck out of pain.
You know, sometimes “medium” is a huge step forward from where it used to be. Neither happy nor sad. It shows the precipice of what came before yet also the mountain yet to climb to find the positive again. Back in 1990 I had a severely dramatic thing happen concerning three people I loved very dearly, and I so very clearly remember the day that I sang out loud again in my car. I can move back to that day like it was yesterday, because it was the first outward sign of some sort of normalcy again. It meant I could nearly see the top of happiness again. It struck me that day, and strikes me again, how I had hoped for joy and normal again for so long and then had sorta given up the day-to-day hope of it arriving soon. Then one day it was suddenly there, BAM! Smacking me in the face with joy and happiness. It was like the first buds on a tree or crocuses coming up from the snow.
I share this not to give advice, for I have none, but to relate. I’ve been there, as so many have been and are yet to be at some point in their lives. God carried me through… from devastating sadness that wouldn’t leave for even a moment to let me breathe, to what you say is like “nothingness”, to happiness, and eventually to joy again. That time of year (early February) sometimes brings a surprising sadness, or sometimes feels like a wet blanket I can’t get from under. Other years I suddenly realize it’s Easter and the time passed without a blink. I’m honestly not sure which of those three I appreciate the most.
But on top of it all… or underneath it all, for surely he is my foundation… is God, steady as the summer day is long, and sturdy as a redwood. <3