Last week at group I mentioned that I needed to work on finding a way to feel. Maybe this sounds odd, because I know I feel. I feel pain when I burn myself cooking. I feel delight when I see little children or animals do cute things. I laugh at funny things. I can get mad when I feel mistreated.
So what's the big deal?
The big deal is when H says something to me, something that I should be able to respond to in kind -- I can't.
When H calls during the day and says, "I love you" at the end of the call. I hurry and hang up. When H tells me how important I am to him, I squirm and want to run and hide in some safe place. Yesterday H came up behind me and whispered something into my ear, something most women would love to hear. I hated it. I told him not to say that to me again.
What the heck, right?
Finally, after years of pain and frustration with H I can see he is trying. I can see him behave in ways that I wished he would all those years ago. I hear him saying things I knew he said to other people and know now he is only saying to me.
And I am just...'so what' about the whole thing.
I can't figure out why.
I want it to stop.
I said in my share last week that I needed to work on this. I needed to find a way to be open and to trust that it is ok to feel. I just don't know how.
So this past weekend I was in a lot of pain. I have a pinched nerve in my back that is bringing me to tears. I don't usually have back trouble. I have an old injury from being badly rear-ended many years ago, but typically I have a good strong back. I needed H to help and all I got was a frozen, stuck, hands-in-his-pocket response. I was mad, hurt, frustrated. I wanted to boot him to the curb but he doesn't have that other home to go to now that I have my married kids living there. That made me feel more stuck. (See I do feel here....at some level..just not what I think I should be feeling.)
This all got me thinking, as I was sitting on the couch this weekend alternating ice and heat to relieve the pain that I've have this go-to response with H. I've developed this plan over the years to help cope with the life I've been given. I could never really leave, physically. So I left emotionally. I planned in my mind this leaving point in the future, after the kids were grown. After they were old enough to "see" what was going on in their lives and know the truth.
I know I haven't always been this closed off. I also haven't always lived in my mental planning stage either. There was a time, right after the acting out started again, right after my parents died and all I had was H, that I opened up fully to him. I tried to live like I really loved him. I tried to start over with him like it was in the beginning. Mistakenly believing this would some how fix what was wrong.
It worked for a bit.
Until I found more acting out.
Until I felt more betrayal (and realized what I was really dealing with in my marriage).
And now...here I am, living this pretend life. Telling myself that I should love him. I should tell him more often. I should show him more often. I should. I should. I should.
I hate this. I want to find answers. I want to not be stuck. I want to know if the reason I can't is because this whole thing -- this marriage -- this relationship is wrong.
For years I believed I stayed because I didn't have a choice. I home schooled. I wanted the right to be the mom to the only two children I was ever allowed to have. I refused to walk away from my things. I refused to be the one to lose everything.
So I stayed.
I tried even -- sometimes. Most of the time.
But now, now when I want to be real and authentic. When I want to know after all I've been through if I'm doing the right thing. I can't feel what I need to feel to validate what I see.
I feel stuck.