Carrie Cotton

Just a Girl In The World Sharing The Ups and Downs of a Messy Life

IMG_0573Let me share something with you. I have real trouble getting close to people. Letting them inside the walls I built.  Once you’ve lost someone very important to you -unexpectedly, tragically – you are always afraid it will happen again. And you live scared of it happening again because you know it can.

In the summer of 1990, my mom, brother and sister were killed in a car accident. My mom and brother instantly. My sister two days later.

An ordinary day became the worst day of my life.

Your mother isn’t supposed to leave you at 18 when you’re still trying to figure out who you are.  Your mother isn’t supposed you leave you when you have no idea how to live without her. Your mother is supposed to be there for you when life gets hard.

But that’s not all.  My marriage crumbled in 2011. It was devastating.  Separation papers. Hurtful words. Anger. So much hurt. Trust broken.

But prayer works and God heals. Today our marriage is stronger than it ever was. We have healed. We got through the hard. But that trust will never be what it was. Part of me will always be left wondering if it could happen again.

When people you trust to never leave you actually do, it makes it really hard to trust anybody ever again. It’s been something I have been working on for years. It’s the hardest thing for me.

There’s a song we sing in church and one of the lines is “You’re never going to let me down” and I have not yet been able to sing that out loud because I’m not 100% sure I believe it yet. I want to. Oh I really want to. I’m just not there yet. I’m not even convinced God won’t let me down.

Recently, I got a chance to dance for a charity event. It forced me out of my comfort zone. It forced me to deal with a lot of emotion and things I had buried for a long time. Unexpectedly.

It was a dream come true. The opportunity of a lifetime. A true Cinderella moment. Or as I like to refer to it “an 80’s movie come to life.”

Learning to dance was hard. So hard. It was awkward and uncomfortable. It was frustrating. I hated seeing myself in the big wall mirrors. I focused on all my flaws and imperfections. I got so down on myself.

I also got really close to the person that took me through it and taught me to dance. I opened up about my life.  We shared our stories that gave us the most hurt. I don’t easily open up to people I don’t know unless it’s through writing. Face to face conversations are risky. Because when you open up to someone, you risk them hurting you.

One of the most exciting times in my life for sure. At 47, doing something I never imagined I would do. Practices a few days a week, for over three months with the same person – it’s easy to see how you could get close. Let your guard down. Let them inside your protective walls.  Being vulnerable and allowing someone inside your personal space is a risk when you’re afraid to lose someone.  Because you know the emptiness it will leave behind when they are gone.

It’s been a few weeks since our event. Practices are long over. The let down is real.  Months of buildup to this huge event – feeling like a princess in pretty dresses, hair and make up done, feeling so special.  And now it’s over. The excitement has faded.  The flowers I received have died. I feel a loss. It’s so strange but until you’ve lost someone close to you it’s hard to understand or make sense of it.  The big let down from months of buildup, combined with the loss of the practicing is so unexpected.

No. Not the same as a death but the sense of loss is real.

I miss the connection. I miss having something to look forward to. I miss the daily chats and conversations. I miss having someone pay attention to me in such a simple way. Sometimes people are placed in your life at just the right time for just the right reason.

I loved every minute of the experience but I miss it.

Yes.  When you lose someone in your life that you never imagined you would, someone you never thought you could live without – it changes every relationship from that day forward. It complicates.  It doesn’t make sense but it doesn’t have to. And it catches you off guard in so many ways.

keep in mind


3 thoughts on “My Heart Can’t Take It

  1. Rae-Lynn says:

    LOVE THIS! I really love this. I am glad we met


  2. Carrie Cotton says:

    me too ❤


  3. Tracey says:

    Good job Carrie, I think people need to see this shit… especially young girls who are lost and lonely, and searching for meaning. To know that not all things work out, but that’s ok. Because it’s all part of the journey…and it makes life interesting. We need BAD days to know that GOOD days exist. I believe that life is 80% ordinary, and 20% gets to be GREAT!! If more people knew that the ordinary is ok. And especially after tragedy, we long for just an normal, ordinary day. And as for trusting God… gosh…how will we ever know that answer?? In Heaven one day, we will understand, and until then, we will always wonder…


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