A recent interaction with my husband has me sitting in a spot that is painful and uncomfortable, and also unknown.
I’m in uncharted territory. I’m not clamoring to get out. There’s something happening here and I just need to sit and watch.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not in a peaceful, pensive, in-control spot.
I’m panicked on the inside; in a state of complete confusion and bewilderment. I think this has been the catalyst of a very steep spiraling down of my mood.
I’ve landed right back at square one in terms of mood, eating disorder and overall emotional well-being.
But, I’m still here. And while the circumstances of the past may all be playing out again, I am not the same person going through them. I think I’m getting another chance.
The things I’m still holding, still resisting, will keep touching the nerves until the thorn has been eradicated.
Round two, here we go!
Even though I still feel like I’m in a very vulnerable place, my view point has definitely changed. The reactions still come, aggressively and shockingly angrily at times, but the time from spike back to plateau is not lasting as long. That’s how I know there has been change.
I saw my husband last week. I had given him an April 30th deadline for letting me know if he was going to go into treatment.
He responded on May 1st, via text, telling me that he would see the counselor one more time but that it had been almost a year since I left him and though a bit upset he felt encouraged that he’d made it a year on his own. He likes who he is, he just needs some fine-tuning.
I didn’t respond. I cried. It just sounded to me like he was okay with things and was moving on.
I felt rejected and dismissed.
I felt sad that his takeaway from the past year has been that, in some way, I just don’t like who he is. That there’s something ‘wrong’ with him. Not true.
I pondered this. There doesn’t seem to be any objective truth in either of our ‘sides’, only our own personal interpretation which drives our behaviors and actions.
I went over to the house later that day. I’m not sure it was a good idea or not but I was sad and wanted to see my dog.
I arrived and my husband was standing at the back door. He just looked at me, threw up his hands, said that he’d been drinking, and walked away.
I replied that it didn’t matter, I’d just come to see my dog.
Several minutes later we were in a heated discussion and he dropped a bombshell.
He told me that I am the reason he drinks.
I became irate. I screamed. I yelled. I threw things. I stomped. I slammed. I wanted to hit him. I didn’t.
I ran downstairs, ready to make a swift exit. My mind was rolling and I could see it – I wanted to run, drive, call all my friends and family, tell them all how he has betrayed me, tell them what he said to me. I wanted to tell everyone what a horrible monster he was.
I wanted to be right. But, I looked further down the road and knew that no consolation would make the pain more bearable. It would still be inside me, stirring the cauldron of self-pity, rejection, guilt, shame, betrayal, unworthiness.
I stood in the basement, alone and shaking, knowing that other than being right in the pain, any other action would only be a mask.
The pain was indescribable but I was still alive. It wasn’t killing me.
I took deep breaths. I could hear my husband upstairs, sobbing.
I know I am not the reason for his drinking. I may be a thorn in his side that hits his nerves, but I am only one of many.
I went upstairs. He thought I had left and, still sobbing, asked what I was still doing there. I shrugged. He hugged me.
I lightly returned the hug, feeling completely empty. I wasn’t filled with love but I didn’t have hate in my heart either. I just felt like we were two people who were hurt, doing the best we could, trying to protect ourselves from further pain.
After that episode, we lay in bed talking. I asked probing questions to which he was responding openly.
He dropped another bombshell which, for me, was worse than the first.
He told me that shortly before we were married he thought about leaving me. He wasn’t sure if this was really the life he wanted.
I was non-reactive and accepted his words as his truth. The tears were unstoppable though and they rolled, in streams, down my cheeks. He didn’t seem to be concerned about my tears.
I left shortly thereafter. My life, to this point, now felt like a complete untruth, a total charade. It was never real.
I don’t even know if he meant any of what he said that day or if it was his way of protecting himself from further pain and rejection. I think the latter is the case but I will never know.
My whole identity, though I question ever having one to begin with, has been shattered.
I know not what I was. I know not who I am. I know nothing beyond this breath.
A me I thought I was was never really real.
I think I have spent the past week in mourning.
And I don’t even feel a need to rebuild.
I am feeling overwhelmed by all the things sitting in my apartment right now. I don’t want anything. I want to throw it all away.
I’ve started packing.
My lease is up soon.
I don’t know where I will move. I may even move back home.
You see, the marriage isn’t even a thing to me right now. It was a game.
Nothing was real.
We’re just two people. We went looking for happiness in each other and blamed and pointed fingers when the other fell short.
It still hurts. I’m still letting go.
This dying to self thing, no wonder the gate is narrow.