Saturday, July 31, 2010

Emotional Phantom Pains

Something strange happens to a woman when they become pregnant. They start growing another individual in their body but somehow their body doesn't recognise this individual as a unique entity. It doesn't try to reject the foetus. It sees it as a part of itself. At birth the one entity becomes two but, although the umbilical cord has been cut, there is always going to be a bond.

This week I felt this bond really strongly to my second-born. A few months ago I blogged about how he'd broken up with his girlfriend of over 3 years and how he was struggling. The struggle has continued with up and down days but this week the downs were devastatingly low. It came to a head on Thursday and I ended up taking him to the doctor. He's now on anti-depressants and will be seeing a counsellor.

My body's reaction to this was instantaneous. It was like his pain was my pain and it made me think of the phantom pains that amputees get. It was an emotional phantom pain.

Seeing the doctor was wonderful. She was really supportive and made both Josh and I optimistic that she could make a plan to help. For me it was knowing that I was sharing the burden with someone else that really made a difference.

My week hasn't been all hard, though. Work has gone really well and I've taken the plunge and registered for the Melbourne Marathon plus I had a really good 16k run yesterday. I'm just having to focus on the positives at the moment and we'll all get through in the end.


  1. Really sorry to hear about your son. Hopefully this will set him on the path to recovery.

    Your description of bonding with a child is very well-written - as a mother I know exactly what you mean. Their pain is your pain.

    All the best to him.

  2. Good luck to you and your son. I totally get what you are saying. We certainly do hurt when our children do.

  3. Mom is mom, I see how my wife "protects" our children even if they are grown. Good luck to you and your son. Very good job on the 16 km. despite the thoughts.

  4. I know exactly the kinda of pain us mother's feel when our children suffer - I live it daily. I'm glad your son is feeling better and a new plan in underway! Keep up the great running!!!

  5. I'm glad to hear that your son has gotten help and now has a plan. That's going to make a big difference you'll see! I totally understand about his pain being your pain...that never goes away.

    Hugs ((()))

  6. BIG hugs to you...I know just how you feel. Our heart connections to our "children" just never weaken, do they? Sometimes it's like carrying their burden. The wonderful thing is that when he's stronger, you'll be stronger and he needs all of this wonderful support of yours right now. Hang in there...and keep running, as it sounds like you are!
    I've been hearing so much about young adults going through difficult times lately, it truly is an interesting time of life for them.

  7. It's great to hear that you registered for the Melbourne Marathon :) I've read about your last good 16 km long run. Have a nice training again!

  8. Good luck to all of you, thinking positives are the key. I’ve got lots of friends in Melbourne and should actually consider the marathon one day. Good luck with your training for it!

  9. {hugs} to you and your son - I'm so glad things are looking up. And congrats on registering for the marathon!


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