Waking up…

I was out running errands this morning and the John Mayer song “Dreaming with a Broken Heart” came on. Now I have heard this song 100s of times but today the words hit me different. “When you’re dreaming with a broken heart the waking up is the hardest part.” Never have truer words been spoken. When Micheal was killed my heart broke. It’s not the kind of broken heart you recover from either. And mentally and emotionally we all sort of shut down and went into a numb dreamlike state in a self defense survival mode. Over time the numbness wears off and you begin to wake up. It’s hard to explain but you know that twilight place between asleep and awake.. where you are aware of everything going on but you don’t really comprehend it fully and you can’t react to any of it??? That is almost what it was like emotionally for me when I heard Micheal had been killed. I understood what had happened. I knew what it meant but I couldn’t deal with all the emotions involved with it. When you’re in the emotional sleep you don’t want to wake up because even though you are aware of what is happening, you know waking up means fully comprehending and having to deal with it. You fight waking up because it’s safer and easier to roll back over and sleep.
I am finally waking up and the full impact of all of this is hitting me. My broken heart is now shattering and all the emotions I was aware of but could not fully comprehend are now flooding through me. I managed to stay in the twilight by working on one project after another. I now know that no matter how many projects I work on, no matter how many words I type… I can’t sleep any longer. This is not a sudden thing.. it’s been happening for a couple of months now. And for people in my life it was quite confusing because my responses to things changed. I was lashing out in stupid ways because I didn’t want to wake up. I am just not myself. Even though a part of me realized what was/is going on and tried to explain it I couldn’t because although I knew I was not being myself, I really didn’t know why until my husband pointed out I was waking up. I will get back to some kind of ok and normal again I’m sure. But for now I’m learning all over again how to do this while emotionally awake.
Waking up with a broken heart truly is one of the hardest parts of this path.

7 Responses to Waking up…

  1. JstMe2691 July 17, 2009 at 5:28 pm #

    Thank you for sharing your heart with us. Part of taking care of YOU is saying "I'm not ok!" It's not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength. You truly are a strong and amazing lady.

  2. kris July 17, 2009 at 11:33 pm #

    very moving. Like JstMe2691, thanks for sharing your heart.

  3. HellcatBetty July 17, 2009 at 11:40 pm #

    Take your time, do whatever you need to do. Everyone is there to support you. Hugs

  4. Fozzy July 18, 2009 at 10:56 am #

    The thing that is hardest for me to do and I think its true for many is to have the strength to accept the reality that we must move on. Waking up is part of the realization that to move on means that we have to lessen our grasp on Micheal and let him go. Clinging to the lives of these men through their deaths and the whirlwind of emotions keeps us closer to when he was alive. Waking up and admitting to ourselves that he is gone is and is not alive means feeling the pain and the guilt of letting him go a little more. Feeling the people around me, It is the perceived feeling that people may judge me poorly if I DO let go of Micheal even a little is something that gnaws and my being. The gold star can be a self imposed "scarlet letter" The fact is that we live in a society where there are a small group of Americans who care at all about what happens to the soldiers. They are just out living their lives. I try to move on a little more every day and feel the pain and guilt of doing so.

  5. David M July 20, 2009 at 8:49 am #

    The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 07/20/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

  6. A Soldier's Mother July 28, 2009 at 6:50 am #

    There's an amazing book (I think you can get it off Amazon) and I recommend it highly. It's called "The Blessings of a Broken Heart" and it was written by Sherry Mandell, whose son Koby was killed by Palestinian terrorists a short distance from their home. Koby, who was 14 years old, and a friend (another boy of 14 or so) decided to cut school and go hiking down the side of the mountain near their home. They came across a Palestinian shepherd…I can't write what that … person…see, I'm being nice…that person did to Koby and the other boy. It was a terrible, terrible thing.

    Sherry writes beautifully about the blessings she has found in a broken heart – how she has come to learn to live with the traumatic loss of her son. Your post reminds me of what she wrote.

    She started groups for mothers of murdered children so that they could get together and laugh because they felt like they couldn't laugh in public or people would think they weren't deeply mourning their children; she started a camp for siblings of those who lost family in either terrorist attacks or war – for the same reason. So they could come and share and talk and sometimes not talk.

    She wrote about how one of her children came over and asked if it was ok for him to play with friends. It's a difficult book to read…but she's on the same road as you…a few years ahead…still and forever deeply in pain with a broken heart. If you can get a copy…you should.


  7. Ian D. Spozed September 29, 2009 at 9:51 am #

    The way you articulated that space between understanding and fully dealing with the pain, is exactly where I've been since Richard was killed. Next month it will be three years, and I still struggle with my emotions. Still hard to watch news of the war and even to receive the empathy of others. Your strength is helping me with my weakness. Thank you!

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