Emotional Bankruptcy: I Can’t Spend the Same Energy Twice

I wasn’t born with an “I don’t give a hoot” gene.

When I commit to a person, a project or a problem, I’m all in-no holding back.

That’s why this side of Dominic’s leaving I’ve been very cautious about making commitments. But in the past year I’ve begun branching out and joining in again.

In many ways it has been a positive experience.

In other ways, not so much.

Last evening was one of those times.

Some critical tasks are undone for a large project where deadlines are fast approaching. They are not my assigned tasks although I could perform them if I had the time and/or energy.

But I just don’t have either one.

So there is friction and panic and rush in the group that didn’t need to be there.  I won’t withdraw-I’m committed to fulfill my responsibilities but now I am burdened with all this negative emotional energy.

It followed me home and try as I might I was unable to regather my peace of mind.

I had spent all the emotional reserve I had for yesterday on keeping my responses controlled and relatively kind when people were trying to foist extra responsibilities on me as we walked out the door.

By the time I went to bed I was emotionally bankrupt.

The little bit of extra I depend on each night to keep my mind and heart focused on positive things as I drift off to sleep was spent.

I had nothing left.

I got to the edge of sleep over and over and the thought, “Dominic is dead.” flashed like lightning through my mind.  The thought brought horrible feelings with it.  I couldn’t escape no matter how hard I tried.

Eventually, exhausted, I fell asleep.  It was an awful sleep.  I woke up many times to the same thought all night long.  I will suffer for it today-sluggish and unable to concentrate.

THIS is why I can’t afford to get involved like I used to before Dominic ran ahead to heaven-not because I don’t care or I don’t want to-but because I CAN’T.

I cannot spend the same emotional energy twice.

I’ve only got so much to give.

daring to set boundaries brene brown



Author: Melanie

I am a shepherd, wife and mother of four amazing children, three that walk the earth with me and one who lives with Jesus. This is a record of my grief journey and a look into the life I didn't choose. If you are interested in joining a community of bereaved parents leaning on the promises of God in Christ, please like the public Facebook page, "Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child" and join the conversation.

18 thoughts on “Emotional Bankruptcy: I Can’t Spend the Same Energy Twice”

  1. I feel this emotional bankruptcy so much and it scares me. I just lost my younger sister Debra Ann, in March 2019. Today after I arrived home from church I just could not stop the flow of tears and I felt so helpless and empty. Why does it just rush into your heart and then it just burst open. I read your postings on the life I didn’t choose and they help me collect my thoughts and sometimes even help with all these tears. I don’t know if and when they will ever stop from flowing but I do know you help me to know I am never alone on this journey of loss. Both of my parents have gone onto Heaven many years ago when I was just a young mother and so I was really close to my younger sister Debra Ann. We talked several times a week and shared a special sister bond that i just do not have with my other two sisters still living. I try to pray for my sister everytime I think of her since her passing. Her death was sudden and I never got to see her before God took her from us. I know she would tell me not to cry and that she is no longer in her wheelchair and reunited with Dad & Mom. it just dosen’t matter because I still need to cry and I am going to cry when I feel like letting those tears out from my broken heart. Love always, your friend Janice Kay.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Exactly. When my mom was needing to go to an assisted living, my brother and sister went (from Oklahoma to Iowa) to get her house ready to sell. My sister put a lot of pressure on me to come and help, making me feel as if it was my duty to do my share. I had no energy, no resources, nothing. I had nothing to give. I was completely depleted. She didn’t understand at all; I’m not sure she ever has.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Melanie I can so relate to the part where you get to the edge of sleep and then the brain goes down the “Kari-Lee is dead 😥😢 track”. You describe it so well.
    As time passes, I’m able to keep myself from this track much of the time, but as you say, it only takes some extra pressure or stress and it’s so hard to avoid.
    Sending love….❤️💔❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I had this happen several days ago.
    I let my guard down after being a recluse for almost 3 years. Clinging to my husband and kids I have not gone anywhere or done anything unless it was with them. So I joined a friend in her new adventure. I can handle the push, it helps keep me busy but I can’t handle being pushed aside when I’ve worked really hard to be risky and step outside of my circle. It hurt. A lot.
    I wanted to throw in the towel and walk away.
    Part of me still does. They don’t have a clue what they did.
    I’m so glad I’m not crazy or alone in this….Journey.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I relate so closely to your every word. When I am tired and drained, I can’t get past the fact that my Scott is dead. It is always there. But I can function; I can interact; I can live. But when I am worn down, the surface scab on my heart breaks apart and all the pain erupts in uncontrollable sobs.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think that if we held the thought our child is dead in front of our eyes all day, every day we would just give up. So we (often) put it in a box and don’t lift the lid to let the feelings out. It takes a lot of energy to keep that lid on. Sometimes I just don’t have it. Praying for you dear one. ❤

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Been there, done that…too many times to count.
    Matthew 11:

    28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

    29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Jude. That is my go-to verse when I’m worn out. Because I work with horses it has special meaning for me since I know a well-fitted saddle, bridle or halter makes all the difference in carrying a load and being comfortable doing it. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

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