When love hurts

As a parent or simply as a woman, I’ve been labeled an empath, or a person who feels others emotions, someone who feels maybe even too much. I’ve always known that being this type of person can get me into emotional trouble but I never realized just how much it can actually hurt, when feeling what someone else is going through. The physical effects of love are well known; when you love deeply you physically feel different. Your stomach might hurt, you can’t sleep, your mind is racing but these same feelings are felt when you hurt BECAUSE of love. To hurt for someone you love has been the most painful experience in my life so far. I have begged, pleaded and cried out to God to help me not feel so much. Unfortunately, that prayer continually goes unanswered, yet I still choose to trust him.

Where do you draw the line between loving someone, and wanting the best for them, trying to do whatever you can to make their life as happy and fulfilled as it can be, opposed to just loving them and letting life happen, let it be what it was meant to be? I don’t know how to do the later but I wake up trying every day.

I’m not quite sure what my role is supposed to be other than mother in my children’s lives, but I do know I ask God every day what he wants me to do. I know it may not be natural to be your child’s best friend, or go to person that they spend almost all the time with but when you have a special needs child, the line is not drawn quite as clear as it is with a typically developing child. I do know that I will do whatever it takes to make sure they are never alone (yes, I know its ok to be alone sometimes and they should be) and always have someone to do their favorite things with.

I find myself holding my breath every time Ella walks in Target, hoping she doesn’t trip. I love her so much and would give anything to go back to the carefree days of her running through the stores and me having to yell at her to slow down. Life has turned into me watching every move, Hut telling her “back to front, back to front” in hopes that she can not trip. I love her so much and it hurts that much more because of my love for her.

I’m envious of the ease of friendships that girls Ella’s age seem to have have, choosing which friend they will text or hang out with. Yes, I’m angry, jealous and envious. Somedays it feels so unnatural to feel these things especially when I continually give my life and questions to God every day, but I am human and I’m not perfect. Ella turned 13 on vacation and I think she has two friends phone numbers in her phone. Why?!! Because she doesn’t have more than one or two friends or a group of friends and It hurts so much, yet it’s probably more painful for me than her, at least I hope that’s the case.

It’s August 2nd and school is starting soon. I dread it! The boys who were once Eli’s friends have moved on to other things and people. He’s well known in school and loved but the minute he steps through the front door, I become his best friend again. I have many roles in Eli’s life and as much as I enjoy every one, it’s just not natural. It’s not the way things should be! I fear I’m headed down the same path with Ella. This summer has been spent with me being her “person” every day. I pray when she goes back to school, she finds some friends that can relate to her, some girls that want to text and call her. I want nothing more than my Ella to find someone who enjoys her as much as she enjoys them. I want to hear her phone go off with a text, I want her to be invited somewhere. It hurts even typing these words and if you have never felt this type of hurt for your child then consider yourself blessed.

I dread school because she is changing, her walking is noticeably different now. I watched her walk as I took her into school for PT and OT at the end of the year. I saw the kids as they got off the bus looking at her walking. I hope she doesn’t notice. I will take this pain over and over if God keeps her heart and mind shielded from any differences that people may see in her. I ask Hut how he does it… “how does it not affect you like it does me?” He tells me he wouldn’t look, he tells me he wouldn’t think about it. I guess it’s a blessing that he can do that… maybe someday I will get there.

Sept is coming, Eli will be 16! He talks about getting his drivers license all the time. I/we just smile or say “I know”, what else can you say? Girlfriends would be in his future, friendships, sports if he wanted, driving, independence and more. We might not have any of this but we will have Eli and that is the most important thing. I know that is the most important thing and I do know how lucky we are (I hear it often) but that does not take the pain away. That does not make this any easier. Love hurts.

Loving someone and watching them go through things that you have no control over is one of the hardest things you can do. Although there is pain in not being able to change things, there is also beauty to be found. Learning to trust God and his plan is a choice that needs to be made every single day. It is a continuous choice of believing that he will take this pain and use it for something greater.

“A lot of things broke my heart, but fixed my vision”


~ by Rebecca on August 2, 2021.

One Response to “When love hurts”

  1. Thank you for this. I also hurt deeply for my children. My adult child called last night and you could hear in his voice his emotional pain. I couldn’t eat last night and today I am holding back tears for him. Holding on to God’s promise to walk with us through trials, even if it is for a lifetime.

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