I’ve wanted to write this article for a while because the topic has been on my mind, but to be honest; I’m also a little embarrassed to admit it.
I’ve become calloused as a result of losing my kids and writing my book. There, I said it. I’ve become emotionally calloused.
How did this happen? I believe it’s a defense mechanism I developed to protect myself from additional emotional impact. It’s not that I don’t care, I do. I just think it happened because I lived in such a state of emotional distress for years after losing my children and it’s going to take A LOT to trigger my emotions. Not to mention, I have heard some of the most horrific stories from thousands of bereaved dads. After a while, nothing surprises you.
I have friends that have asked me, “How do you sit and listen to all of these heartbreaking stories?” My response to that question is generally “I don’t know. I don’t take their emotional pain home with me. I listen and care about what they have to say but it doesn’t put me into a tailspin.” I think a lot has to do with the fact I cried so hard and for so long during my pain.
I’ve lost two grandparents and a co-worker over the last couple of years and I didn’t feel the level of grief that I think I would have experienced under “normal” conditions. I started to question if there was something wrong with me, has the anti-depressant caused me to become numb? Have I become cold hearted? Is this what doctors/nurses experience as a result of their line of work?
I have sympathy towards what others deal with, but I seem to have lost the ability to have empathy. Some would say I’ve become cold-hearted, but I would disagree only because I do care about others and their struggles.