Monday, July 29, 2013

Emotions. Ugh.

Yesterday was rough. Sunday mass is always hard. I don't think I've been to a Sunday mass in over a year in which I've not wanted to cry, both from baring my heart to Jesus and from being around all the little kiddoes in Church (I need to write about that more sometime). I knew yesterday's mass would present a particular challenge because after mass we'd meet the newborn son of our friends, who was born this past Monday. I love our friends and of course I love their children, but I was also nervous about how I'd react and just feeling plain old jealous and depressed about still being childless when several of our friends are on to number two already.

Plus, I had rspv'ed yes to a baptism being held directly after mass - a choirmate who had her 3rd baby in June. I was starting to have second thoughts about going, but I try to be a woman of my word. So I was nervous about that too.

During mass, and especially during communion, I prayed, "Jesus, help me to put myself second. Help me to focus on others. Help me to rejoice with others."

After the final blessing but before the recessional, the priest who said mass likes to say a joke. Usually I really enjoy them - they're kind of goofy, "grandpa" humor =) But today he starts by saying, "It was so nice to see all the little tiny babies in mass today..." oh man. I start praying Hail Mary's because I'm really trying to keep it together to say hi to the new baby and get through the baptism without losing it. His joke had something to do with pregnant women and childbirth...I tuned it out. (Sorry, Father.)

After mass, I literally had to tell myself, "okay, now just walk to the back of the church" in order to go meet the new baby. There was that much of a tug inside saying "run away! run away!"

There's a swarm of people around our friends, everyone smiling and laughing and admiring the new baby. The back of the church is like baby-land anyway, every Sunday. Not a place I feel comfortable.

But I smile, and say hi to the new parents. I look at the new baby, cradled so carefully in his dad's arms, with a huge shock of dark hair. So tiny. So perfect. I feel my heart bursting with longing and sorrow. Stop it, please! No tears, please! Too late. I almost start crying talking with the new mom, and then with her mom, who's in town to help out with the baby. I don't know if they could hear it from my voice, but I had to purposefully not look at the baby and talk about something - quick - so I didn't actually start to cry.

I had to escape to the restroom before the baptism to take a few deep breaths and dry my eyes.

How embarrassing! It's like my emotions have a mind of their own. It's like the tears were welling up from a place so, so deep inside...because I was doing my very best to put on a happy face, act like everyone else, as if meeting new babies was the most joyful thing ever for me, but I'm sure my face and voice betrayed how I really felt.

Same thing during the baptism. Objectively, I know that a baptism is an occasion for great joy! A new little Christian is being born, welcomed into the family of God. But it was all I could do to not cry. And I high-tailed it out of there as soon as it was over and cried in the car and again at home. The whole experience really crushed my spirits.

Conclusion: I don't think I'll attend the baby shower. I just don't trust my emotions. Who wants someone at their baby shower who is crying? Or looks like they're about to cry? That's not the right emotion for the occasion. I'd like to say that I'll be fine, that I can handle it, but I'm not so sure. I thought I could handle yesterday, and I couldn't. I mean, I got through it, but it took the whole afternoon to recover. I guess the ache in my heart is a bit too tender right now, a bit too easily bruised and provoked.



  1. Sending up some prayers for you.

    I think you made the right decision about the baby shower. And I think you were so strong for everything you did yesterday, even if you didn't feel strong. This stuff is just so dang hard.


  2. Yes, the ache can be overwhelming at times! I would have been gone from that church so fast, you are brave to have stayed. I am praying for you!

  3. So sorry! I know this is so hard... we are in the same boat! Harder yet we are the children's director at our church... 300 kids in our care... hard to avoid the pain...

    Hang in there... sending a billion hugs!


  4. Hugs! I know the pain and I am proud you stayed yesterday. You are in my prayers

  5. I'm praying for you, dear. It really is ok to step back from things that trigger such deep pain for you--the Lord knows your heart.

    1. I know what you mean, and I agree that it's okay to step back, but what that would mean right now is attending a different mass than the one we love, maybe even a different church? but we love our parish...not singing in the choir once it starts up in the fall (we sing at that mass), stepping back from very dear friendships, including some of our closest friends (best man in our wedding and his wife, etc.), in other words people very dear to us. It feels like being stuck between a rock and a hard place - it's hard to stay present, be reminded of our childlessness, but I love these people and want to be in their lives... =(

      And thank you for your prayers.

    2. Sorry - hopefully that didn't come across brusque. I guess what I'm saying is that if I avoided everything that caused me pain at this point, I'd probably stay at home every day! And my friends would dwindle drastically. I'm trying to know my limits (when to actually say "no" to something) while also trying (and failing) to cope in the moment with the myriad "triggers" that I encounter on a daily basis. And it's hard, and I feel like I'm still stumbling along, 2 years in.

      (Or God could take away my desire to be a mother - that would "fix" it too. But I don't see that happening, and in my heart of hearts I don't want that. I just want to be a mother.)

  6. This is so hard. My emotions are the same way, so I totally understand. Its like they come from a place and I have no direct route from my head to my heart to tell them to just WAIT A MINUTE, I'm in PUBLIC! Knowing your limits is I think so wise. Take it each one at a time. There really is nothing that makes it better but time, and even that is cyclical.

  7. I applaud you trememdously for sticking it out and attending both the baptism and meeting the baby ... two things that make my stomach do flip flops and my eyes start to water and my throat closes.
    I'm sending prayers your way. (((hugs)))

  8. It is a beautiful thing to have so many babies in church, but the fact that it is so beautiful just makes it 10x more painful, too, when you can't be a part of it. I hear you and I hate it, too, when you want to be joyful for others, but you're just hurting so bad. Praying for you!

  9. You were so strong even though I'm sure you felt very weak in the moment. I'm praying for you! This pain we all feel (us IFers) will not go unnoticed by God. He's listening to us. He's making us strong for something oh so special. We just don't know what it is yet.