For years now whenever I feel truly loved, it makes me cry. Not just a subtle cry, but I grieve with a heart wrenching cry of my soul. Even if someone affectionately embraces me. Not a casual embrace, but the lingering kind that makes you feel accepted, as though you belong. I don’t know if unconsciously this has played a part in isolating myself.
In her book, Daring Greatly, Brene’ Brown refers to this as foreboding joy. She explains how we all experience this in some form or another in our lives. For many of us, when we experience joy we often find ourselves immediately shifting into a fear of losing it. To some degree this is a mutual experience we all share. Whenever you risk loving, you risk losing. She states that some of us rehearse tragedy in our thoughts and live in perpetual disappointment.
Isolation is different than being lonely. It is an aloneness that cuts deep into our sense of belonging. It has been one of the most painful things I have experienced.
While listening to this part of the audio book, my husband asked me to pause it and then he looked at me and said, “This must be what it feels like to you whenever you feel love. When you feel love, you also feel at the same exact time immediate and tragic loss.” He put into words what I have been experiencing for years.
Having a name for what I have been experiencing is very powerful. Without a name it is confusing. These deep emotions have kept me from many experiences. I even stopped listening to music for years because I had no explanation for the deep emotions many songs evoke in me.
Whenever I feel deep love, I cry a deep grieving cry that has been confusing for me. When I feel love, I feel loss. Deep love equals deep loss. The deeper the love and connection, the greater loss I feel.
I turned to my husband and said, “I spent the first fifteen years of our marriage preparing, no bracing myself, to lose it instead of enjoying what I have or being present.” My husband looked at me very affectionately and said, “I have been waiting for you!” It has only been within the last year, since starting my blog, that I have been able to find joy in his love for me.
Let me state, that I am blessed beyond measure to have my husband!
When people tell me this, however, it feels like they are putting a silver lining around a very painful life. I say this because as awful as being alone is, nothing prepares you for the battle of letting love into your life after a life of abuse and loss. No one knows, but my husband, what it has been like getting to where I am. It has been a long and torturous road just trying to experience love in my life.
This has not been the easy way out!
We have struggled immensely in our marriage. After being married for only one year, I left for a year. I was so scared and filled with fear. My husband never stopped loving me or being there for me. We lived far apart for that year and he called me every day and we talked on the phone for hours each day. Maybe this was safer for me.
At some point I did, however, realize that I was going to suffer either way. And I decided I would rather suffer for love even though I didn’t know if I was risking more than I had to lose, or how I would make it if I lost once again. He just kept telling me he was never going to leave me, that he would always be here for me no matter what. And only time could confirm this.
I realized that being apart from him did not take away my struggles. And so we spent the next thirteen years going through the struggle together side by side.
From the time I was a small child, almost every person I loved, I lost. None of them were in a natural way. I was side swiped in life. They were final, complete, and without any closure or grieving. They just kept mounting and mounting all the way through my adult life. It wasn’t until yesterday when my husband and I heard Brene’ talk about foreboding joy in her audio book that my husband actually put into words what I experience when I feel love.
It is an excruciating existence when love equals immediate and tragic loss!