Numbness

Recently I’ve had such a feeling of numbness take hold of me. It’s not really something new, I’ve felt it before. I’m not really sure why it happens; is it something I choose so I don’t feel pain, is it a result of not obeying when HE says to get out of my comfort zone, is it just stress and tiredness….?
I realized I was acting numb when my parents where getting ready to visit. People would ask, “so are you SO excited?” I would say, “yep, so excited.” But, maybe because it didin’t feel a reality, plans weren’t finalized ’til the last minute, and I didn’t do a countdown chart or anything…”so excited” was about all I felt.

We all really, really enjoyed having them here. But, too soon it was time for them to leave. I got my usual amount of poor sleep for days before they left. So, when they walked into the airport waiting room, like usual, I didn’t cry or even get teary. In fact, crazy life went on as usual. On the way home from the airport my sweet husband leaned over and grabbed my hand. “Are you okay?” He asked. The strange thing was, I felt fine. I had just moved down the HUGE list of things to do that day. Numbness.

So the not feeling thing started to worry me a bit. Finally, I started praying about it.

Then I fell down a steep hill. I was walking down a set of rock steps with J-dude in the carrier. The steps are steep, slippery, and uneven. If I remember right I was worried about slipping so I went to grab the old railing, but instead off-balanced and rolled head over heels. As we gathered speed I hit some rocks and got some nasty cuts and bruises. J-dude was totally fine with just a little dirt in his hair and on his shoulder.

On my part, though, there was a lot of blood. We started looking into evacuation scenarios (carried out, helicopter…), but becauseof the rain the village nurse was still in the clinic 15 minutes away. My sweet friend Elly went and got the nurse, and they ran all the way here with IV bags and suture stuff in hand. After cleaning me all up, the nurse checked me over thoroughly and then assured me I wouldn’t need to evacuate, or even be stitched, but would need to be on bed rest for a few days.

So what does rolling down a hill have to do with my mental numbness? When my sweet, sweet friends heard, came to my bedside, and literally cried over me it woke me up from my no-feelingness. They almost all cried over me, and then prayed over me, then chided me for not telling them right away, then informed me that if I had needed carried out their husband/cousin/nephew/son/uncle would have helped out (it would have taken all them…I’m a lot bigger than husbands/cousins/nephews/sons/uncles around here).

It dawned on me that I would rarely (or never) cry over someone here. And there have been some situations worth crying over…a young mama of three stair step kids died of what looked to me like kwashikor malnutrition (we tried to do what we could, but it wasn’t that, or we were too late).

I guess I’ve been escaping from involving myself in people’s lives and pain. I’ve been holding everyone (even family) at arms length so it doesn’t hurt. I’ve made my heart stony in a mistaken attempt to be brave and strong.

So, how am I going to continue to allow myself to wake up and feel? Step one: listen to the still, small Voice that says “go love on that person, even give them a hug.” Step two: admit that I am scared of things, and then give them over to Him. Another step: get out of the house and get involved. Another step: watch sad movies and try to cry (just kidding)…I think the first three are pretty big.

Wake up sluggard from your sleep.

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One thought on “Numbness

  1. This must be a family way of coping. I find that I do the same thing (numbness). I’ve never been sure what to do about it. I figured if I fell in love, I would stop feeling so numb. But here I am, totally in love with the man I married, but still having bouts of numbness, I figured that maybe when I had kids I wouldn’t feel numb (no plans for that yet). You have just pegged it though – it hurts to feel. It’s so much easier to just take things in stride and not feel so much. I never realized that it was something that I was doing intentionally, I thought it was just the way things were. In the past I have prayed and asked God to help me really care about people, but I’m not sure if I really meant it because I would have brief moments of pain and “feeling” but then I would go back to being numb because it’s so much more comfortable.

    Right now, I’m working in hospice. I work crisis care, and am often hours or days from a person dying. I feel like I’m compassionate, but I don’t cry when someone dies. When people tell me, “that must be so hard, and they don’t know how I do it,” I tell them it must be because I never really knew that person. But, that’s not really acceptable. I’m nearing the end of all the paperwork to volunteer at the Children’s Hospital, and I’ll have to be praying about the numbness, because kids know when you really, really, really care.

    On a side note, Conor played me an episode of a show, because he knew it would make me cry. What a weirdo, but it made me think … if I cry over someone in a tv show that isn’t even real, but not over the people at work that just lost a loved one, or with friends who just has something terrible happen, then that’s not ok.

    P.S. Glad to hear you’re doing well. I thought for sure you would need stitches, but I’m glad there were people there to look after you and love on you.

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