a heart lesson: the contradiction of trying to keep quiet about feeling blow away

December 3, 2012

I felt viscerally blown away in my heart one day last week and I came home from work early. I hunkered down in my bedroom. I closed my blinds. I cried. I put on sweatpants. I worked while laying in bed. I took a long nap. When I turned off the my bedside light, I imagined it was snowing outside. Which seemed easy to do, given the quality of the late afternoon light and that whiteness was the only thing I could see around the edge of my blinds. I wanted to feel like there was no reason to leave the house or even get out of bed. Maybe, also I wanted a little to feel like I was back in Indiana. Not that its snowing there right now, but I definitely associate snow with home way more than I do with Portland. While I slept, I had funny dreams; I had strange dreams. I woke up and it was dark. I didn’t feel any less blown away. I wanted to cry some more. I closed my bedroom door because I couldn’t figure out what to say to Remy, who in her kindness and concern would have asked me if I was alright, and in my head it sounded so ridiculous to try and say out loud “I’m literally blown away in my heart and I’m staying in bed until I can figure out how to make that blown away feeling less terrifying.” I read, even though the book I’m reading is heart breaking. I heard Remy come home. I heard her stop for a second and stand outside my door. I imagined she stood there and waited to see if I would say something and went back and forth in her mind about whether or not she should say something. We both stayed quiet. I kept reading. I cried some more. Over the book. Over feeling scared. I texted some with MTB. I didn’t say anything about my day or how I was feeling or that I was hunkered down, riding out a wave of visceral blown awayness. I figured it would pass. I would see her the next day and I would be my normal self. Open. Smiling my ass off. Ecstatic to see her. Laughing about how sometimes when I walk in her house I have to remember to breathe. And sometimes she does too. I didn’t see the big ass contradiction in my approach, i.e. in feeling so very fucking open with MTB, but then deciding to not be open with her about how feeling so very fucking open was making me feel.

Ultimately, I couldn’t make that contradiction work, which was weird for everyone, at least at first, because I had thought I could, but then it just spilled out, all unrehearsed and maybe messy. (Also, I think I am somewhat embarrassed that I am not more skilled at being open hearted and close and trusting.) In reflecting back, it was all a good thing. For me to manage contradictions like that and the dissonance that inevitably results from them, I have to get a little shut down. I have to check out. I have to do some small version of numb me. This can be a valuable set of skills when I have to detach from a messed up situation or not take on someone else’s shit or deal with inherent inequalities and crap we all have to deal with to live in this culture, but its the exact opposite of valuable when I’m wanting to be connected and nurturing and close with someone.


2 responses to “a heart lesson: the contradiction of trying to keep quiet about feeling blow away”

  1. Kathryn says:

    Enjoying your posts!

  2. proteanme says:


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