Thursday, September 20, 2007

Why a broken heart feels broken...

Thanks to Eric for letting me know about this interesting study done a few years ago on rejection. According to this study, the pain we feel after being rejected, by a love, friend or through shunning (like the jw's do), is processed in the same part of the brain as physical pain. So a "broken heart" indeed feels like it's actually physically broken.

I find this interesting because it's been proposed that Fibromyalgia, a neuromuscular condition I was diagnosed with at age 17, may be caused in part by a sensitivity in the brain area that detects and regulates our response to physical pain. I know I've always been acutely aware of my own and other's pain, both emotional and physical. I've been known to "vibe" the pain off others and spend hours in agony after being with someone who is experiencing physical or emotional distress. It affords me deeper experiences of love and empathy but rejection hurts like hell. I feel some days like carving out my heart, just to make it stop aching. Sigh.

tall penguin


Wilde Republic said...

I'm right there with ya sister. Perfect discription. I just think of myself as being extremely passionate. But your emotions make you a great writer and lover and everything else, right? So I wouldn't trade it ever.

Even though my chest hurts like hell at times.

tall penguin said...

Thank you fellow journeyer. Yes, I am coming to a deep appreciation of this passion and sensitivity. It allows me to experience life on such a rich level.

And yes, it means feeling the pain as deeply as the love and the joy. But you're right, I wouldn't trade it away. I love it. I love me.

Love to you and your chest pain.
May your brokenheartedness open you further to life, love and all that is.