Saturday, March 14, 2015

Finally Coming Out

Edmond and I have talked about how "funny" it is that 2 years after he confessed and began his healing process, I finally feel "safe" enough to bring out all my baggage and really begin to process-- not that I have been doing nothing for the past couple years... it is just coming to a head and I am seeing what has been going on inside.  The infection is finally coming to the surface and is ready to come out.  It has been ugly and uncomfortable to say the least; but so instructive at the same time.

So back up with me, as I give you a little bit of my history. (This is so much longer than usual) I am the adult child of adult children of addicts.  YUP.  Both of my grandpas abused/used alcohol/sex/adrenaline to escape problems.  Their behavior was controlling and probably abusive at times.  My parents learned first hand to
  • comply and do it quickly
  • be/act/fake "ok" when things weren't
  • do whatever it took to make things ok

My parents did their best to raise me to have a brain, to think, to act, to be my own person.  But I knew some issues were burried deep.  Women look a certain way and are only ok if they are thin-- very thin.  I knew that I must always look and behave perfectly.

As a child I learned that a good person anticipated another's want and fulfilled it.  Play their game and we keep the status quo (safety).  Be cheerful, perky and happy (because that is what a girl should be).  Be intelligent and get perfect grades (you must rely on your self to get anywhere).  Be always aware and ready to jump into action and help at the slightest hint of a request, spoken or unspoken, (because that is the hallmark of human decency even if you have no time, no resources, and no capacity).  And be happy with whatever you get.  Never make a fuss; you must endure until you can no longer stand up. Then you may softly complain, only to get back up and keep going on. Because that is your reality.  That is what life is really.  Play the game, pretend to be happy; do whatever it takes to make the authority happy and you are safe.

I was amazed when I went to university how slow everyone was at picking up clues about what the professor wants.  Play the game. Give the professor what he wants (the answer he is looking for.) Get the A and walk away.  Getting my degree was an exercise in a skill I was highly proficient at.  I could play the grade game all day long!  Besides, I was finally free to be what I wanted with no "controller" present to remind me that I needed to be different.  Life was a joy.

And this is the baggage I took into my marriage.  Buried deep inside me were lies that I told myself.  If I am [fill in the blank] then there won't be a problem.  If I can just figure out what he wants and needs I can do that and there won't be a problem.  If I could anticipate his unspoken wishes and provide for them there won't be a problem.  If I keep my complaint in long enough it won't really exist.. or maybe I'll whisper it to a friend, then get back up and keep going.  That's what all women, competent, happy women really do.

All during Edmonds' addiction cycles, I played the contortionist; desperately trying to make myself into whatever he wanted me to be.  No matter how I bent, how I twisted, how I tried.  It never was enough. It couldn't be.  I was living a lie, with a man who was living a lie.  And that cycle of comply quickly with whatever is requested, be/act ok even when things aren't, and do whatever it takes to make things ok continued.

I could never make things ok.  I could never be enough.  I couldn't even pretend all the time that I was ok.  I shoved it deeper and deeper.  It must not come out-- I feared the days my real feelings would erupt out and spew over whomever was closest.

Today my feelings are not erupting with violence.  I have worn down the surface, creating an avenue the ick can come out without destroying me in the process.  As the lava that flows over me it is beginning to reshape my surface.  It burns, it scars-- but the scars I carried keeping it in are being resurfaced, renewed, I am being reclaimed-- I hope.  What will my new shape be without all the lies telling me who I must be and what I must be.  That may be scariest of all-- there is a void where I can make a new me.  What will I fill it with?  This has been my life- who I am for 30+ years.  Who will I be tomorrow?

3 comments:

  1. I've feared the same things. I'm beginning to find that the real me is peaceful, content, self aware, asks for her needs and is slowly building relationships that will help those needs be filled. More than anything, the real me is compassionate to me.
    I love your analogy of the lava and being resurfaced. It is amazing how painful and rewarding the process can be.
    If your interested, here a couple of links to things I wrote from a similar moment.

    http://ofinfiniteworth.com/2014/12/04/my-new-normal/
    http://ofinfiniteworth.com/2015/01/10/the-value-of-knowledge/

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