One-Tool Toolbox

Marriage is tough. Every couple I know has had their own obstacles to overcome. There also seems to be a 5 year crisis, And a 10 year one...

I’m guilty of being an outsider to a marriage, and saying “I could never accept that”, but I had no right. Marriage is so many things. It’s co complexe; you’re spouses, friends (sometimes ennemies), your family and friends are intertwined, finances, experiences, memories, triumphs, sorrows. There are so many gray zones that only the people involved can decide what outweighs the good or the bad.


I think honesty would be my “make it or break it”. I would need the ability to be completely honest, without fear of an explosive reaction, and without haven been conditioned to be afraid of rejection. 

My husband is an alcoholic. My Mom is too. I took responsibility for my Mom growing up, because the responsibility was put on me. I never figured out how not to take responsibility for her, so naturally I married an alcoholic and took responsibility for him too; justifying his actions, never asking him to stop drinking, because I knew he would choose alcohol over me, just like my Mom has. It’s a deep wound that I haven’t healed, so I attracted and accepted the same dysfunction.

Can I really be mad at my husband for it? He caused our family a lot of pain with his drinking, but I also caused my family pain by acting in the same dysfunctional way codependents act, that perpetuates the problem. I was fearful, but I’ve always been fearful. I hate conflict, I hate when there is tension, and so I avoid and try to control everything to not have to deal with any of it. I’m bad at setting boundaries and worse at enforcing them. I feel just as toxic as an alcoholic.

I believe people come in and out of our lives for a reason. Was my marriage only to make me aware of my toxic traits that I need to address? What about the connection we experienced? The love? Our family together? The intimacy only a couple experiences? Was my marriage a crash course in what is still wounded in me? An eye opening experience to everything that is wrong with me?

I don’t believe that that’s all it was. It did open my eyes to work I have to do. It allowed me to experience a different level of intimacy I had never felt before, and in the beginning it was beautiful. It showed me what I want, and what I don’t want, my life to look like. It also put me face to face with another soul-crushing rejection; first my Mom, and now my husband, choosing alcohol over me. It stings. Slaps. Makes me feel empty. How? Why? Why again? 

I’m not taking on their work as a personal hit, but asking myself “how do I heal this so I don’t have to go through this again?”. And I’m heart broken at the same time. I’m trying to grow and evolve, and nursing deep pain at the same time. I’m trying to stay busy, I’m buying too much stuff online, throwing myself into house hunting when I don’t even have a big enough budget, I’m writing a blog with no clear vision, I take my dog out 250 times a day, I go to bed at 6:30 pm...I’m avoiding, hurting, not wanting to feel the real sting of the pain. What if it crushes me. What if I really let my heart break, how will I pull myself back together? Will I be able to pull myself back together? Yes. Yes, I will. It’s scares me though, to find out how deep the pain runs.

I’m terrified to found out how much this hurts. Terrified of the possibility of caving under the pressure of it. And what if I can’t “evolve enough” to break this pattern? What if this is just how my life will go; one relationship after another that ends with the person choosing something else over us/me? That’s an awful thought. My go-to solution, up until this point, is to be so afraid of repeating something I just don’t do anything, which really isn’t any better. None of my go-to’s, aside from therapy, have helped me. So, therapy is the only tool in my toolbox right now. One tool. That’s all I’ve got. I’ll choose to look at the upside, and be thankful for at least one tool, but wow it is overwhelming. 

What Do I Need?

I need patience, with myself.

I need to feel safe. Secure.

I need to live within my means.

I need to stop giving away my power. I need to own how strong I am as a strength, and not only use it when I’m forced to. I need to not look at my power as being negative.

I need to be ok with my power not appealing to everyone. It will keep some people from me (probably the people who desserve my presence the least). I need to be ok with that.

I need to set boundaries; to respect myself, for other people to respect me, and to be able to give love more freely without resenting.

I need to stop anticipating other people’s feelings; be considerate, but not own their feelings. Be respectful, but not sacrifice my values for their feelings.

I need to be comfortable with saying no. I need to say no before I’ve been pushed beyond my limits and it’s a reactive no. Learn how to say no, with love.

I need to spend more time being settled; in my thoughts, my choices, my life.

I need to learn.

I need to step into who I am, as a strong woman, a good mother, a good human. I need to learn that those are all good things for myself, and the right people in my life. The wrong people won’t like some of me, and that’s actually a good thing. It protects my energy from being drained, and my boundaries from being disrespected.

I need love. Acceptance. Loving honesty (from myself and others). I need trust. I need to build a life around my passions and what I love (my kids). I need to stop thinking that I have to become less in order to be loved. I do not need to be taken care of; I need to respect myself, my feelings, my heart - especially when it doesn’t look the same as other people’s respect. It’s ok for mine to look differently.

Boundaryless

I’m doing my best.

 

I’m a Mom. I think I give the important stuff; acceptance, love, understanding, a listening ear. With everything going on and giving to everyone all the time, I drained myself.

I’m trying to heal, and that means I’ve got my nose in a couple of books - because that’s how I know how to feel better (eventually), learn; Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl, and Boundaries. I started Boundaries yesterday and had to put in down before the end of the first chapter, because it’s me. No boundaries. Nowhere.

Read more: Boundaryless

Stress = Not Good

My body can’t handle stress

I’ve been anxious lately. And then decided it was a good idea to add to that and look at buying a house (not a bad thing, but...) Not just any house. A house that needs TONS of work, cause that’s a good idea.

I read somewhere recently that having lived through trauma, your body confuses butterflies (excitement) with red flags (stress/anxiety). I thought I was excited at the thought of this fixer upper.

My body has a physical reaction to emotions, mostly heavy ones. At the end of the day yesterday I could barely take it; my shoulders were aching, my neck was stiff, my hips were throbbing. I could not get comfortable in bed. I got up every 45 minutes because it was too intense.

Read more: Stress = Not Good

Not Less

I'm frustrated and anxious today.

Separating isn't easy.

New realities to face, as you're ready to face them; it's like as soon as you face and overcome one, not long after the next one is there waiting. I couldn't imagine facing all of them at once though.

Today I'm trying to finish separating our joint bank account. I'm feeling limited financially (cue anxiety). I'm thinking about how naive I was. How much I trusted, without any hint of doubt that things wouldn't work out. That I never considered that this, separating bank accounts, would ever happen.

Read more: Not Less