Friday, August 16, 2013

Grasping at Straws

Detaching from my husband is proving to be nearly impossible.

You guys.  SERIOUSLY.

I keep finding myself feeling comfortable, feeling love, feeling at ease.
FEELING is a dangerous thing, this I know.  Feeling equates hurting.  It's written somewhere in my Math: Addiction Edition textbook.

I teach a woman piano lessons every Thursday afternoon.  She's old enough to be my mother, and she gives sound and gentle advice in a voice so quiet I have to lean in toward her to absorb her words.
"What are you doing for your birthday tomorrow?" she asked me.
"Oh, I don't know.  Nothing... well, I don't want to even do NOTHING.  I just don't want it to happen at all.  I'm just too tired, I guess.  Last year I worked so hard to make sure I enjoyed my own day.  I gave myself a pedicure, I made my own fancy cake, I made my own dinner... It just seems like a lot to bother with.  My husband wasn't able to be around, so I took matters into my own hands.  Just thinking about it makes me tired."
She nodded.  She paused.  
"If you're feeling any degree of hurt because of your birthday, it won't be fun to face it.  But you should.  Because just pretending it's not happening is denial and denial is a very bad place, Alicia."

This woman is from Insightful City, USA.  I ain't kiddin.  Or maybe Perception City?

Yes!  Yes, I am in denial that today is my special day.  Last year, I MADE it special for myself because I wanted to prove to ME that I could make ME happy on my own!  And I did!  I was so proud and exhausted.  This year, I don't want to think about it.  I don't want to celebrate it.  I want to pretend that it's just August 16th, 2013... the day after the 15th and the day before the 17th.  Just a notch on the calendar of time.
"If you could go somewhere off by yourself and leave all means of contact behind and honor yourself without worrying about anything else except YOU, do you think that would be beneficial?" she asked.

Yes, yes, yes!  I could let go of expectations from others.  I could honor myself with some self-care.  What a good idea!

Letting go of expectations is a wonderful, safe thing.  It shields me from so much hurt.  It helps keep me from some degree of FEELING.

As I sat in the car with my husband a few days ago, we were laughing and joking and I FELT safe and happy and love.
I immediately balked at FEELING and I edited his name in my phone.  He was no longer known by the sweety-sweet nickname I gave him when we were dating.  He was now simply just known by his first name.

When he found out, he was hurt.  Not so hurt he moped or cried or resented me.
But he was hurt.
He kept his hurt to himself for a few days, but my husband wears his emotions on his sleeve.  He always has.  It didn't take long for him to confess he was feeling hurt and why.
It wasn't just the name-changing in the phone.  It was a few other small things I'd said and done that were along the same lines.

"I get that you're feeling the need for independence, and I get that.  I respect that.  I understand.  But when things happen like this, it feels like you're just grasping at straws to find your independence."

He wasn't being snide or mean.
But he was being right.

I am grasping at straws.

I am feeling fear and freaking out when I feel close to him, so I batten down the hatch and do something wild and crazy like... edit his contact info in my phone.

And it's okay for me to freak out and panic.  I might even go so far as to say that it's NATURAL.

I don't understand why I'm so pulled in by him.  He has caused me so much pain and hurt and and and... AND AND AND!!!

So I do something to wall me off a bit more.
Right now, it's okay.  Right now, I'm in a limbo of watching, observing, waiting.  And I am doing hurtful things not TO HURT HIM but to protect ME from FEELING.

I'm grasping at straws.
It's okay.
In so doing, I am hurting my husband.
That's also okay... because I'm not setting out with intention to hurt.

And hurt equates opportunity for proper healing... that's written in my Math: Atonement Edition textbook.

So I'll take some time to honor myself and allow myself to grasp at straws if I feel the need.
Which I very well might.
Because my husband did the dishes and had the kids make me birthday cards while I had a girl night last night AND delivered me a professional bouquet of my favorite flowers.  It was spritzed with the wonderful glitter from the Flower Shop I love so much.
and scheduled me an appointment at a fancy salon for tomorrow.
None of this is actually out of character for him... in our early years, he used to go ALL out for my birthdays, something I'm not accustomed to at all.  Birthdays were never a big deal at my house.  EVER.

Guys.  I want to slobber all over him AND tear his eyes out.
Happy #28 to me?


  1. I feel ya. I'm sorry :( just embrace it. Embrace it all. That's what I'm doing. I'm embracing all the confusing stuff happening. Good, bad, stressful. It doesn't matter because I'm embracing life. Which is awesome and irritating all at the same time.

    I don't know if that is really helpful to you. It is to me, though, so maybe it will spark something for you :)

  2. Life can be so confusing with an addict.
    BUT, Happy Birthday to you!!! I love birthdays! I hope you find a way to enjoy your day! I wish I could be there to make your cake for you--I'd let you pick what kind and what shape. My kids LOVE doing that. :)

  3. Happy #28 to you! I'm hitting #29 in a few months and that sounds cra-zy ;)It's all just messy. That's what I've decided. T really is great as a husband and dad as long as you don't encroach on his addictions. It seems easy sometimes to be in denial, or detachment, out of a sense of self preservation. I go back and forth between loving and wanting to support and help him through, to silently screaming that I have to get out of this MESS!The love and the goodness makes it so hard, because it reminds us that IF he could just get past the addiction... But that's a BIG if, and it's completely out of our control. Trust in God to lead us, I suppose, is the only thing to do to make sense of the mess. Feel what you feel and trust God.

  4. Happy Birthday! I totally understand wanting to cut off all feelings! I hope you gave yourself permission to enjoy the VIP treatment, you deserve it:)

  5. Dang this complicated mess. Thanks for talking me through something I've had on my mind lately.

  6. Happy Birthday!! I am so grateful that someone else is going through the same thing I am! Whenever I talk about it another WoPA, they say something like "oh, he's being too nice to you? You poor thing"... and I'm like YES! He is! It really is a messy business we have unraveling our pain from our joy, isn't it? Praying for ya!

  7. Happy birthday you brave woman! Being in recovery is so scary at times. To do things so out of character, fearful of the repercussions. That is awesome that you are doing exactly what you need to do. I am hoping you have a lovely day filled with loads of self care!