I’m not sure if my heart has gotten heavier through the years or I have just gotten more weary of carrying it the older I have gotten. At my age, I pretty well know that there really aren’t going to be any circumstances that lighten my heart, giving me hope and delight, so the odds are high that any attempt I make will just make it feel heavier.
Practically, this means I have to budget extra time into dragging my heart around before I do anything that takes emotional presence. That includes time to get it moving, working to break the heavy forces that tend to keep my heart at rest and time afterwards to recover from what feels like the massive output of energy it has taken to drag my heart around.
This doesn’t feel like depression, because my mind is sharp and clear, regularly offering gratitude for my life, rather it feels like the effects of a lifetime of having to keep my heart hidden and isolated.
My heart has always been big, usually too big for others to countenance. Raw, visceral, intense, deep, potent, my open heart is usually seen as overwhelming and scary.
A big, heavy heart, full of big, heavy emotions, well, it’s usually not seen as a welcome visitor. “Oooh, that’s heavy,” people say as they turn away from me and look for something easier to engage.
Carrying around a lifetime of feelings makes my heart heavy. I was taught early, though, that expressing my feelings was a bad thing, so instead I learned to catalogue and store them, keeping them as a record of the experiences of my life. Using feelings to illuminate my choices was the basis of enlightenment, allowing me to be able to share my trans experience and create a connected model of shared trans experience that is both powerful and off-putting.
Releasing those feelings before someone hears, acknowledges and mirrors them feels like letting go of very hard graft to collect and discover them, like throwing out my life’s work. Ah, the burdens of a wounded healer with a sack of tools that help unclog the emotions of others.
A burden shared is a burden halved, or something like that. Sharing what I keep in my heavy heart, though, feels like a challenge too far. I have learned that most people are just keeping up with the weight of their own heart, so engaging the mass of my heart is not something I can ever expect them to do. It’s just not on their priority list, so if I try and share, I will get shut down and that will add to my own sadness.
My heavy heart, stuffed with all the maps and diaries of where I have travelled, the emotional lessons I have learned, and the hopes and dreams I have nurtured, needs reciprocal love, to love and be loved, as much as any feminine heart ever did. That didn’t come, though, which, I want to tell you, can weigh down your heart.
My heart is heavy, after way too long using it and not getting back what I need. Sharing is caring, but while I share with others hearts, no one seems to be able to share with mine, lightening my load.
A life with a heavy heart, aware of loss and limited in transcendence, well, it wears you down.
I’m not at all sure, though, with the situation I was handed, I would have had it any other way.