Today was a pretty rough day.
And it was rough for a few reasons. One, being that I was physically and mentally exhausted. Two, because the weekends before my kids disappear into the unknown land of Daddy stress me out. Three because the one person who I just want the luxury of 60 minutes is out-of-reach, seemingly living on another planet. Four: The divorce cycle kicked into gear full-force and died out before the motor could catch.
It was stressful.
I was emotional.
When person representing Reason #3 called and I crumbled into a puddle of tears, he started to talk.
And I said, “You aren’t even listening. You care more about your stupid car than about anything I’m saying”
And the response, “I am listening. And it hurts me to hear you like this. It makes me sad that I can’t fix it for you. I also know you well enough to know if I don’t sit here like this is a business meeting, you will cry harder and get angrier. I want us to fix this. I don’t want to make it worse. I want you to smile. I want you to relax. I want you to know that it it will be OK. You know how sometimes we just need something to prop us up, something to lean against when we are too tired to stand up straight. That’s kinda what I’m here for today.”
Has ANYONE out there EVER had a conversation like that?
And it silenced me.
And it make me think.
And it made me think of the power of people and the relationships we keep.
I am used to complaining, crying, venting, or whatever and my girlfriends jumping on the emotional train to goodness knows where.
We sit in our corner and go through all the emotions.
And, in the end, eventually, I find peace because the whole emotional burden has been shared between shoulders and no longer rests solely on mine.
On the other hand, most of the time, solutions don’t magically pop out.
The same issues continually cause the same frustrations.
Today was different.
Someone virtually said, “Be emotional. I care enough to want to fix this together with you. Know I’m on your side. I’m just listening critically to get all the pieces out on the table so we can organize them”
And it was honestly uncomfortable.
In a past life, when I showed a sign of weakness, or asked for help, it turned into a fight. It was finger pointing that escalated into full blown fights of name-calling, defensive side-remarks, finger-pointing and lots of fear and LOTS of tears.
I learned to either figure it out myself or let it shatter.
I learned not to ask for help.
I built my box.
I lived in it.
I cut myself off.
I only knew a partner who kicked me when I was down, pointed fingers at my weaknesses and judged my inadequacies as a human being.
It was the epitome of feeling alone and helpless.
And it was the beginning of a cover up.
The creating of a world that had no cracks.
A place of peace.
Peace grounded in lies.
A false sense of happy.
It is odd as we grow up and out of relationships how we can look back and see how much we changed who we were and how we acted to appease the power source of the relationships. It is uncomfortable to look back and assess life when it is no longer our own. I guess it gives us a sense of objectivity.
I think that my marriage ended as a sham, with two highly unhappy people because in the course of a 10 year relationship, I stopped existing.
Of course he stopped loving me.
Of course he stopped liking me.
I was no longer the person he knew.
And oddly, that ‘new’ unloved person was someone that was created out of my attempt to make him happy. To not rock the boat. To not appear weak. To be strong and independent in only the ‘right’ ways, while I continued to be the submissive wife that was expected.
So – I learned to do and be Alone.
Enter another phase of life.
A phase where I am learning that it is OK to be weak.
It is OK to cry.
It is OK to ask for help.
I’m learning it is OK to become overwhelmed with reality – even if it is silly or seemingly unimportant.
And I’m learning that is not only OK, but it necessary to share your fears, stresses and emotions with the person who you are sharing your life with.
That person won’t judge you.
Make you feel inadequate or unworthy.
They won’t get angry at you.
They won’t invalidate you.
They accept you are an emotional being with thoughts and feelings that are relevant.
They sit and listen.
They ask questions.
And they don’t get mad when you don’t have a good answer.
They make you feel important.
And they let you know that everything will be OK.
Because they aren’t going to leave you alone to figure it out by yourself.
Maybe I am learning what it means to be a part of a Team.
Maybe I am learning what it feels like to be a relevant person in a relationship.
Maybe I am just understanding what it means to be relevant and valuable; even in a state of tears and emotional winds.
In all honesty, it is still an idea that I am playing with.
It is a big idea.
It is an idea of trust.
I don’t do “trust” well.
I don’t ‘trust’ people.
But this new, evolving, and not really developed, mere thought of a relationship is an introduction to creating a meaningful ‘something’ based on trusting the other person to stay with you, respect you, and not abandon you in a time of weakness.
And it makes me sad thinking that I have such a horrid distrust of people.
I like to think of myself of someone who has faith in people.
But, faith and people all scare the shit out of me.
My experiences tell me that people are fluid. People come and go. People aren’t meant to be around for long.
My experiences tell me that when I’m not 100% on top of my game, people push you down and out of their way so they can run to greener pastures.
I’m finding people who aren’t running.
I’m finding someone who doesn’t seem like they will run.
I’m testing the waters.
One tiny toe at a time.
And really who knows what will happen.
But, it is another life lesson – perhaps learned the hard way.
A new understanding of what it means to have someone promise you the world.
They aren’t promising you riches; fancy cars, luxury vacations and extravagant diamonds.
They are promising that you will always exist in their World.
They are promising you a place in the World.
You will always be Important. Relevant. Celebrated. Respected.
They are promising validation.
And being validated as an important person in someone’s life is pretty powerful.
I’ve never been validated.
Nobody has ever promised me the world before now either.