Sometimes, you have to protect yourself first.
My friend shouted to me over the phone. I knew this was happy news for her and her family; she had been trying to get pregnant or a while.
A normal reaction to a great friend’s good news is to have your heart swell with happiness for them. I should have exclaimed my excitement for her – shouting back in the same happy tone she shared with me, but I had a much different reaction.
I felt my stomach drop.
My face got hot.
My heart started pumping faster and harder.
I was devastated.
I calmly congratulated her and apologised for needing to get off the phone so quickly. I knew I should walk the line between protecting my heart and not hurting her feelings, but I know in this situation, I crossed the line and put myself first. I was abrupt, cold, and I am sure I hurt her feelings.
I hung up the phone and immediately started crying. I was a puddle on the floor, a strange reaction to what should be a good news. My hand moved down to my stomach, shaking, and my husband held me with no words needing to be said.
A few days before this, I had received another phone call with a very different tone, but ended with the same heart pounding, puddle-on-the-floor reaction.