~ Emmanuel Teney
The password for today is... visceral.
The English Major has a definition of 'visceral' for y'all, in case you were wondering:
*characterized by or proceeding from instinct rather than intellect
*characterized by or dealing with coarse or base emotions
The word "visceral" has its roots, so to speak, with the word "viscera" which refers literally, in a non-scientific way, to the intestines and/or bowels.
It's where I've been living these days -- that visceral zone.
Running on gut instinct. Having unvarnished reactions that pop out of nowhere and startle me.
For a girl who has serious real estate and time logged living in her head, this modus operandi's a little unusual. And it's thrown me for a bit of a loop.
Talk about meta: having visceral reactions to having visceral reactions. Don't stop too long to ponder that one -- it's headache-giving.
Don't get me wrong -- I'm a chica with pretty strong emotions who's not afraid to show them. But they are usually tempered and balanced with whatever's going on in my head. Not so much right now.
Exhibit A: While on the phone with a friend, a comment was made on the other end of the line that zoom-hit me like a lightning bolt, unleashing tears that flowed not from anger or sadness but from a blast of unexpected power and a rush of overwhelming joy. Caught me totally by surprise.
Didn't quite know I felt that way. Shook me up a bit to have my subconscious feelings come barge in, steal the scene and pull focus from my emotional status quo. They chewed up a whole lot of scenery in the process to boot. Go big or go home, even subconsciously.
Exhibit B: Was out on one of my independent walk/run interval sessions and was walking by a park in my neighborhood. A moms' play group was there, with kids running everywhere, being alternately chased by women holding on to Starbucks cups and left to their own devises as one mama eye was on them and their antics.
And I started to cry. Unexpectedly. Again. Not at the beauty or wonderfulness of the scene. But because I was pissed. Jealous. Angry.
Will never had a play-group experience when he was in that age bracket. Not once. Ever.
My baby didn't walk in earnest until he was nearly five years old. Didn't run. Didn't climb. His mobility was a long time coming. Hours spent with therapists and exercises and you name it. Every step he takes now and forever is hard-earned and precious.
And while we know people who are forging through life in a similar fashion with special needs and weird health issues and the like, there's not a collective group forging forward together. More like flotsam and jetsam bobbing along and occasionally bumping in to one another.
To be frank, most people -- at least the ones I know in real life -- don't know what to do with something like that. With us. The special needs family to whom it's hard, other than in the context of prayer during times of crisis, to relate. Our normal is drastically and painfully different than that of most folks. I get that.
But damn if it isn't hard to live our lives sometimes in the face of regular, stereotypical moments that we, for whatever reason, haven't had. To experience something as seemingly mundane as a morning with friends and at a park. To be something other than a family whom people simply ask after.
Yeah -- I'm taking a moment to mourn for just a minute Will not having had the opportunity to have regular, standard-issue kid experiences. Don't do this often -- so cut me some slack and save your judgment for another time, dammit. It's not easy to reach out when you're the oddball in the bunch. Believe me, I've tried.
And I think I'm entitled to live here for a moment and get pissed, albeit briefly, on behalf of my beautiful boy.
Not sure where this hot bed of base emotion is getting its energy. I suspect my success in my "taking care of me" program is a big part of it. I'm making great progress with my health and wellness efforts and am feeling really good and confident about myself. And ready to discover and handle some of my more base instinct. Just like Shrek and onions, I've got layers. I'm thinking I'm just in a position at the moment where they're peeling themselves away.
And while I'm still processing my new-found and sorta startling reactions, I'm also curious to see what's under the next layer.
And that's about as visceral as I get.
Never ignore a gut feeling, but never believe that it's enough.
~ Robert Heller