Friday, August 8, 2008

A Truth About Me Part V

I can't believe I haven't written since Monday. Where has my week gone? I have no idea. I thought instead of commenting on Meyer Monday, I would continue with A Truth About Me. It's about time I started to wrap this one up anyway.

When I left you last, I told the story about my dad's death and how it really affected me while I was pretending/believing that it didn't. That was the second wall to go up around my heart, keeping me "safe". With the second wall firmly in place, there was only one person left to keep out.

That was my husband.

Maybe it's taken me so long to write this particular post because this is the most difficult. Who wants to admit that they slowly and methodically walled the love of their life out of their heart? I honestly thought I could do this and maintain a marriage that was "just fine". I got news for you - when one person is not well in the relationship, the relationship is not well.

I can't tell you when I first started working on this third wall. I believe it was not long after my dad's death. You see, at that time I would do anything to not focus on my grief. Crying - any crying for any reason - reminded me of my dad's death. So I focused pretty darn fiercely on NOT crying AT ALL.

Like a lot of wives out there, I would often cry whenever my husband and I had a fight. Or when he'd do that thing that men sometimes do - you know, say something insensitive and stupid and not even realize it. I'll give you an example: my husband once declared that women cry just to manipulate.

Now, I'll go on record to say that, yes, some women do cry in order to get their way but by this time in our relationship we had been together seven years and, in all honesty, he should have known me better than that. I simply don't cry to get my way!

The fact that he said that made it all the more easy for me to shut off that part of my emotional self. He reduces my emotions down to a manipulative school-girl ploy and expects me to just take it? Oh no you don't, Buster! I'll show you! I just won't cry at all!



No way!

Zip! Zilch! Done! Whenever I felt that tightening of the throat and prickle in my eyes, I would literally, drill sergeant-style start forbidding myself to cry. I would do all sorts of deep breathing, counting to ten, picturing kittens playing in my head, etc., to make it stop. And, you know what? It worked! I was tear-free in just a matter of a few short weeks!

Now here's a little secret I want to share with you all: You can't shut down one aspect of your emotions without holding the rest hostage. You want to suppress sadness, anger, hurt, grief, pain? Fine. But you are also going to give up joy, happiness, laughter, awe, hope and love. The pendulum can and will swing both ways but you can't just make it stick to one side. Doesn't work that way.

Refusing to let my husband in on all the bad stuff going on inside of me meant I couldn't let him in on all the good stuff, too. No more sharing ideas, thoughts, dreams, amusements, hopes. Nope, it's an all or nothing kind of thing and for my own "safety" I chose nothing.

This does not make for a happy marriage. That's not to say things got ugly around here, they didn't. But growth did not take place. An erosion of sorts occurred instead. Thank the Lord, He got to me before it all crumbled into nothingness.

Fast forward to today: I no longer bury my emotions and cry freely whenever the mood strikes - this is a good thing. My husband and I are in a good place. I'm completely open with him now as I am pretty much with everyone. It wasn't an easy road to hike, these last 12 months or so, but it wasn't all that difficult either. The Lord carried me most of the way, anyway.

I don't know where this story will lead to after this post. There is more to tell you about - how I got from point A to point B and where I'm at with my food addiction now - and I will tell you about it soon. It's just that, really, it's an ongoing process. It never really ends, I suppose. I can tell you this much though - honest self-examination isn't all that pretty and there were some pretty hard pills to swallow. Some of those pills I still have to go!

I hope you continue to join me on this journey!


Mrs. Querido said...

Joy and pain are a double-edged sword.

I am glad that you found out about your wall before it was too late :)

I hope you continue in your journey of self discovery and healing!


rene uribe said...

Thank you for sharing that...your words are encouraging and filled with a husband and follower of Christ it's important for me to remember in order to heal, we need to feel...everything. And your right, when we go numb to "protect" ourselves, joy and love are soon to follow...not good! Thanks for sharing!