I was pregnant with another little girl. I was glowing with expectation because I already knew the joy of having a daughter. Boys are special, but little girls are filled with secrets and such wonders that I could hardly contain my excitement at learning this child’s heart. I had a beehive of children buzzing about the house, swarming at my feet and to add one more to the brood filled me with purpose.
Suddenly, a voice told me she was gone. Died at birth, but they were wrong. I had not given birth! You were sitting in a chair with a swaddling blanket in your lap and a newborn’s onesie on top, but it was empty. Where was my baby? She couldn’t be dead! I looked down at my stomach and the stretched out skin was all that remained, like a deflated balloon. It was obvious I was no longer pregnant. I remember my screams like screeches from a dying animal, “where is my baby?!”
And then I woke up.
The meaning of the dream hit me instantaneously. I had been praying for clarity for four months; my whole life actually. My own little secret to forgiveness or at least a way to overcome anger and hate. God finally gave my heart the eyes to see what it had been refusing to see since the beginning. My fault lies in my mule-headed stubbornness. Not out of some great and admirable character trait but because someone told me it was impossible. Since I was a child if anyone were to tell me I could not do something I made sure I did it ten times better or I would die trying. In the context of our marriage, this was a death sentence.
What does an egg, a narcissist and a codependent have in common?
The codependent sees life in the egg. Carries that life next to their heart; nourishes it and worships its essence to fill a void within themselves. The life inside that egg takes hold and turns something so pure and beautiful into something neurotic and compulsive. They are unwilling to see the chick inside has died or they try to play God and breath life back into the egg.
The narcissist only sees the shell of the egg. It is impossible for them to comprehend the life inside, to understand its essence. I awoke from my dream understanding it is not the fault of the narcissist that such emotions elude them, it is how their brain is wired. empathy is something you are born with or life steels those connections in your brain early on. It is physiologically impossible to understand basic human emotion if it is not nurtured in you as an infant.
I’m desperate for something poetic to type. Something to turn such an ugly truth into a beautiful, inspirational story with a happy ending. But, the words to paint such a beautiful picture are still miles down the road and my feet are blistered. We are still transitioning; stuck in the limbo of two different lives traveling down two different paths.
Despite the blisters, I continue to walk. My heart is hurting and my mind is on a roller coaster. I am standing at a buffet of emotions and none of it is appealing. The mule-headed stubbornness did not serve my marriage but it serves my will to survive just fine. I am not capable of giving up even though I am desperate to do just that. To sit on a rock alongside the path and rest. To fall into a deep sleep until I can see the end and only then waking long enough to cross the finish line. I can’t sleep away this life even when I try; I have four beautiful souls following behind me for direction and my love for those four children is greater than my sorrow and pain. That love is what will see us through, and that is poetic enough for me.