RE – A Mighty Prefix, Another Chance

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.

But why?

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.

Ashtanga Yoga ki Jai! with David Garrigues “Yoga is 99 percent practice, one percent theory.”

Source: Ashtanga Yoga ki Jai! with David Garrigues | Sri K Pattabhi Jois said, “Yoga is 99 percent practice, one percent theory.” This blog is a resource to explore the one percent theory and to inspire you on the mat.

An interesting read – pain as an indicator of enjoyment, or lack thereof. And I question then, how “real” is my pain in the physical realm? Does it exist at all, or only in my mind? Is it really all just in my head? Oh boy!!!!!!!

I am in physical pain every day of my life…am I reaching too far, too fast? Perhaps it (the pain) is forcing a slow-down so that I learn what I need to before I move on.

I’m the only one standing in the way of my progression.

Humbling.

Breaking the Pain Barrier

My husband is angry that I left him.

I told him that I understand his anger and that’s he’s probably thinking, “Fuck her! She left me, it’s her fault. Why should I have to do anything (quit drinking, get help, etc.)?”

A sly yet agreeing smile turned up the corners of his mouth. I suggested that he should say it out loud, that it might feel good for him. He wouldn’t do it though. His reason being that he has too much respect for me.

Really?

I wanted to scream and get nasty. Respect? Does the word respect come into play at all when ignoring your wife’s tears and pleas for 20 years? I bit my tongue though because I know that anger begets anger and that it serves no purpose for me to win a position. I’m not trying to be right, there is no personal right. I mean, to him, he’s just as right as I might think I am. So really, who is right?

All I know is that I was living in a situation that I couldn’t stand to live in, or with, any longer so I removed myself from it. He, too, is also in a situation that he can do something about and just because he’s not doing what I hoped he would do doesn’t make him wrong. We’re at an impasse.

However, when I think about the amount of time that we’ve been apart now, I start to wonder what the hell I’m doing. Perhaps I should go back so we can work on things. I mean, after all, I do love him. But I can’t.

Do I really want to return to the comfortable and familiar pain of old? Just because I’m feeling discomfort right now doesn’t mean I should go back. I need to hold right now, endure.

What I have learned over the past several months is that pain is not always an indication that something is wrong. I think we fear pain too easily and so retreat, and in doing so we often miss the potential for the transmutation of old into new. I think when pain is at its highest is when the potential for change is at it’s greatest.

So, I’m not going back. I will sit amidst this new discomfort, thank you very much, and welcome the pain and wait patiently for the barrier to break and the metamorphosis to occur.

Lost and Found

Again and again and again. I keep losing myself and finding myself. Over and over and over.

To understand the power of presence and how I relate to life – my being ONE with it – it’s not easy for my fully egoic and human mind.

But I continue to practice.

I’ve had several emotional breakdowns over the last few weeks. They’ve been piercing, seething pains that sink me to my knees. And when they’ve happened I’ve felt alone beyond expression. I’ve wanted to yell and curse and blame – blame anyone who is in the way of my hurt. I’ve wanted to reach out to people and say some pretty harsh and irrational things. But I haven’t. I start to and then I realize that the only honest response is that my pain is a story generated by my thoughts and emotions.

Why do I instinctively want to hurt and blame others when it is me who is hurting? Because I’m detached – I’m lost in the world of form and thought. It’s cold and lonely there.

In these moments of disorientation I have allowed the pain to come. It hurts like hell and I don’t, at the time, think it will ever go away. But, lo and behold, the next day I walk out of the abyss with a greater understanding.

Slowly, slowly, slowly the layers are being peeled away and the oneness that I AM is being exposed.

With practice I will be found more often than I am lost.

Why?

Because of your drinking.

But, in saying that, it’s not really because of your drinking. If you took out the booze and stopped drinking, the problems don’t go away. Alcoholism is only one term to describe a way of being; it’s an all-encompassing way to merge a plethora of problems into a single word.

Alcoholism is a word that can be understood. It’s a way to explain the pain without detailing the ways in which it hurts.

I don’t blame the drinking. The drinking is a disguise. The drinking is used as an avoidance tool and has sucked you right out of your life. It’s almost impossible for you to feel pleasure without it because you won’t let yourself endure the pain first.

I longed for a partnership in every sense of the word but I’m still waiting for it.

I know we signed a contract. We talk about that often. But we also made promises to each other – to love, comfort and honour each other, in sickness and in health, for as long as we both shall live.

Our marriage was intended to join us for life in an intimate and loving relationship. But, such a relationship requires sharing, talking together, listening to each other and encouraging the growth of our strengths as individuals as well as the strength of our partnership. Real love is about looking outward in the same direction together.

I admit there is a mutual love and respect between us. You are a phenomenal provider for your family and a fiercely loyal husband. You take care of your responsibilities, your chores, your obligations. But so much is still missing.

You had an outward direction for your life. It was important for you to be a provider and to ensure the financial stability of your family. You’ve stayed the course and met your goals. You’ve done an excellent job and I’m very proud of you.

But you never wanted to look in my direction. I had dreams and goals too. I wanted to get a degree. I wanted to have a family. I wanted to be a mom.

You wouldn’t engage in conversations with me about trying to make any of my dreams a reality. You wouldn’t engage at all; instead you pulled away.

We’ve been married almost 10 years. I’ve tried to touch you and become intimate but you don’t want to kiss me, you don’t want to touch me. Instead, you walk away. This is your way of ensuring I will never be a mom. I’ve given up on that dream. It’s a silent punishment I endure every day.

How can you tell someone you love them and deny them physical intimacy? How can you tell someone you love them and deny them conversation? How can you tell someone you love them and deny them company and companionship? How can you tell someone you love them and not ask them about their life? How can you tell someone you love them and not encourage them to follow their dreams? How can you tell someone you love them and crack the next beer? How can you tell someone you love them if you don’t want to be with them? Is it love to just want someone around but not want to be present in their life and their experiences?

“I love you” are just three meaningless words. But to give love is to give yourself wholeheartedly.

But you’re gone. I don’t feel your presence. I don’t feel your enthusiasm. I don’t feel your love. I only feel your duty and your obligation.

I want to feel passion. I want to experience joy. I want to share the glory of life with others. Life is beautiful and, as we both know, very, very short.

I stand on the edge of the unknown, willing to jump holding someone else’s hand – so long as we do it together.

But you’ve retreated and now I stand alone.

Why are you just hearing about this now? You’re not. It’s all been said before.

I don’t know where to go from here. I think a lot will be dependent on you and how far you’re willing to go, how high you want to climb.

What I do know though, is that this isn’t something that is going to “pass.” It needs to be addressed, not ignored, and it’s going to take a lot of work. And, in all honesty, I don’t think this is work that we can do in the presence of each other, living under the same roof.

We need to start over. I feel neglected and ignored. I feel disrespected and undervalued. I am angry. I am hurt.

I’m not even really sure who you are anymore. And I don’t think you know either. There’s a lot of pain and hurt and fear in you and while I’m willing to support you every step of the way if outward and upward are the directions you want to go, I cannot stand idle and exist, suspended in time, in a place that isn’t fulfilling, that isn’t uplifting. I don’t want to feel suffocated anymore.

It’s time to decide if we’re going to travel in the same direction.