Warning: Today’s post is not going to be funny or upbeat. I’m about to be serious (for once).
Mauerbauertraurigkeit – n. the inexplicable urge to push people away, even close friends who you really like.
I saw this word on my Twitter feed today.
My husband and I were sitting at the table this morning talking about this problem I have. He went downstairs, I checked Twitter, and there it was.
I had no idea that this word existed…. But I should have. (I also wasn’t sure it was a real word when I read it, so I looked it up here.)
When I was in the 8th grade, a close friend died. Almost every year thereafter, until I was in my late 20’s, I lost another friend. At one point, I attended a funeral every month for 5 months… none of which were for anyone over the age of 24.
I like to think that I’ve adapted well. I want to believe that none of this “damaged” me.
But of course, that would be a lie.
Somewhere around my 28th or 29th birthday, I started distancing myself from people. At this point, I had already pretty much dropped off the face of the planet for the friends that I had cared about the most during my childhood/teenage years. I would call or text on birthdays or special occasions, but for the most part… I stayed away.
I had made new friends. I had gotten close to other people. And by then… I hardly saw them either.
I knew why I did this… it’s the same reason that I can’t even take a shower without hugging my kids and telling them I love them beforehand. I live with a constant fear that I’ll never see them again.
You would think that this fear would make me more inclined to spend as much time with my friends as possible. But it doesn’t… In reality, it makes it that much harder.
The only exceptions to this are my husband and my children. With them, its the exact opposite. My daughter will be going away to college in a few years, and I’m already having anxiety over not being able to hug her every day.
I went through a time where I really and truly believed that I was cursed. That anyone I cared about was doomed to die. It put such a fear in me that I was scared to death to be close to anyone… and then I got pregnant. I was 18 years old. I lost the baby. My fears were confirmed.
A couple months later, I found out I was pregnant again. I went to a dark, dark place. I didn’t want to love the child growing inside of me, I didn’t want to feel anything… but I did. And I don’t even know how to put into words the depression that came over me.
Some women have postpartum depression. I don’t think there’s even a word for what I went through.
I loved her so incredibly much…. I didn’t want to put my daughter down. I didn’t want to let her out of my sight. I had anxiety attacks when she started daycare. My kids still can’t leave the house without me experiencing a momentary panicky feeling.
I know that this is irrational… but I no longer know how to be any other way.
I did seek therapy on more than one occasion. I was diagnosed with everything from PTSD to bi-polar disorder. Every time I saw a new therapist they gave me a new diagnosis. Some gave me drugs… Nothing worked. They gave me different drugs and increased my therapy sessions… still didn’t work.
Now I am in no way saying that psychiatric therapy is not important. I am the LAST person that is going to say that. What I am going to say is that for me, it couldn’t “cure” me and it couldn’t take away the fear. (Actually, it often made it worse.)
And I am not “fixed.”
But I now only have a single moment of panic when I tell my kids good bye. I don’t go through the rest of my day in fear. I can text and call and see my friends without sinking into depression afterwards. I don’t see them everyday now because I’m busy with kids or writing or the million other things that come up… it’s not because I’m purposefully pushing them away.
What has gotten me to this point? What is making me better every single day?
I pray about it… And at times I even cry about it.
Crying does me no good.
Prayer is the only reason I still talk to anyone outside of my home.
You may not believe in the power of prayer, but I can tell you that it is the only thing that has given me the ability to enjoy (or even have a real) life. There is no way that I would have been able to let my husband in… he wouldn’t be my husband without it. I would probably have smothered my kids to the point of them hating me, instead of being able to have the wonderful relationship that I do with both of them.
And I say this with all sincerity and humility because I do NOT have the power to overcome everything I have been through on my own.
If you knew my whole story… Well, one… you’d probably call me a liar because sometimes – even I think back and have no idea how I made it through. And two… you’d definitely think twice about not believing.
Maybe one day, I will share my story here. But for today…
I’m just going to celebrate having the opportunity to share this tiny part of it with you.
And I also want to thank Ericka Clay of TipsyLit and #toohumanpodcast for giving me the courage to write this post. Because a surprising number of my followers are pretty anti-Christian and I’ve been afraid to post anything even semi related to my faith.
To be honest, I had read so many of your hate posts on people’s faiths that I took a week away from the blogging world because of it. And not just your attacks on the Christian faith, but others as well.
Yes, I’m a Christian — but contrary to what (sadly) so many of you believe — I love and respect people of all religious backgrounds and beliefs… that’s what Christ calls us to do. And I even love those who almost turned me away from blogging altogether. (I pray for you every day and I’ll continue to pray for you.)
And on a less “heavy” note…
Thanks for reading guys.
Happy Friday and I Hope You Have a Wonderful Weekend!