Friday, May 10, 2013


Sometimes I worry about how my emotions work. I don't think I have standard reactions to things. I don't know if this is caused by some kind of deadening of my feelings from an overload of grief when I was young (you can read about that here if you want) or if it is simply my minds way of protecting itself from the endless horrors that happen in the world. So for instance reading the recent news stories about children who have been kidnapped, I think (not feel) how horrific they are, but I don't exactly empathise - it makes me more paranoid with the boys, I do that thing more where I see the worst case scenario in my head and panic if they are out of my line of sight for more than thirty seconds - a daily occurrence due to their love of bike riding and an inconvenient tree that obscures part of the path - but I just don't feel it when I read this stuff. When I watch the news, shouldn't I be shedding tears at the bombs in Syria? the famine in Somalia? I really don't want these things to be happening, but I'm not in anyway fired up with righteous anger / deep compassion / any other more appropriate emotion.

I was chatting with a friend the other day about that period of time after you have your first child. That bit where all the baby books (and plenty of people too) say you fall deeply, madly desperately in love with your child. Neither of us got it. What we got instead was a 110% percent knowledge of how if anything happened to these tiny perfect beings our lives would be over. It wasn't quite what either of us was expecting. It was certainly an extremely strong feeling, but not the euphoric sea of happiness we'd both been counting on.

I read this blog post about depression yesterday. It is pure genius. If you or anyone you know has severe depression read it read it read it. I do not have depression. I did suffer from it for a while, but I was one of those "lucky" depressed people whose depression is caused by an actual problem. One that hasn't been talked about for way too long. It took me a couple of years and counselling three times a week to talk through everything I needed to, but now, ten years on I can honestly say it is a memory. However I remain an occasionally "depressive" person. I have a much stronger sense of mortality than just about anyone I know. I struggle to see an end if I am sad. There are times when I just have to shut down and disappear into a trashy novel so the world doesn't overwhelm me. Sometimes I just hate to be touched - I have to give a lot of myself to the family in daily life, and sometimes my personal space can really feel like one demand to far. It's part of the reason we live by the sea. It calm me. I mean really alters me - just driving down there ı get a buzz of excitement in my tummy, if I am feeling especially down then I sit by the sea for an hour or two I can remember myself again.

The thing I have noticed recently is that stuff does make me feel, but it's not bad stuff that does so, it's happy stuff.  Below are some videos I have watched over the last few months that helped me remember I am connected to the world, I do care, I am glad these people exist - they gave me happiness in a crying with emotion way.

A wedding proposal: the love, the community, the care, just wow. My husband watched it and had the same reaction as me. The guy who made it - Isaac Lamb - did another pretty awesome one called "say yes to love".

The woman who put someone else's trash in the bin.

Some people who benefited from 'pay it forward' - you have to click on this link because I can't work out how to in-bed them if they aren't from you tube
The "life together" sequence from Disney-Pixar's UP
The reaction in the New Zealand Parliament after gay marriage was legalised.

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