Swings and Roundabouts

This process of reconnecting with self while at the same time, trying to find the connection with husband, oftentimes feels like two steps forward, a hundred steps back. The connections to husband are like rusty prongs which no longer fit the holes they once did, and no matter how I try to needle them in, they just won’t go.

Often, I’ll wonder if I will love him the same way.  In those moments, I really need to pay attention to the voice that says, “No, you won’t.  How can you?”  The old way was mothering; a trap I fell into, a trap many women fall into, though this was no fault of my own.

So, I guess I’m learning how to be a wife to my husband, and it feels a bit like the USS Enterprise saucer separation, which is an odd analogy, but consider this:  two months ago, I felt an absolute separation, as if all parts of me fled.  But perhaps they didn’t, perhaps they simply ran for cover when the reality of what I was saying sunk in.

He and I have had some frank conversations lately about sex, usually when we are drunk and/or stoned, which has led to things I truly was unsure about doing.  I know now that I am definitely not ready for that; it’s like running before you can walk.

So, how do we move forward?  Slowly.  Patiently.  Cognizant of the others’ triggers.  Not as mother and husband, but as husband and wife, as friends, as partners.

Of course, there’s the child in me that is quite petulant.  Her arms her arms crossed, and she is pouty faced.  She is stubborn and still thinks that she’s better off alone.  That no matter the changes in him, no matter the work they are doing, she cannot see the point.

She is the one who hears his I Love You but clamps the mouth shut in response.  She is the one that gets irritated when he walks on eggshells, or looks at her in that way that I can’t describe in words.  She is the one who balks, indignant at the thought of discovering him sexually.  Why should she have to find out about him?  She’s the one that’s done the work for all these years; she’s not willing to put in the effort.

It’s a constant conflict between the child and the adult. I am somewhere in between, muddling through.  Trying to reconcile, trying to connect with him sometimes and other times, not.  Working on not being niggly, trying to be aware of what I’m feeling or thinking and expressing them, if need be.  I’m not very good at the awareness thing because the child is still very much a wounded creature.  This will take extra focus.

Finding my way back to a cohesive, loving partnership seems like a nice goal.  With fifteen years of backlog, we both have to remember to be patient with each other.

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Dedication

During the Autumn of 2001, I was working for a company that included in its health plan, visits to a psychologist should we ever feel the need. Guided by a voice I didn’t really hear, I squeezed in an appointment after a good kickboxing workout, but before I went home to get thoroughly stoned, drink lots of water, eat a pack of cookies, then go to bed.

She was a wee woman with long dark hair, the top half of which was tied back. She wore a dress and the exact same shoes I had at home:  White Mountain clogs, my favorite at the time. Her name was Kerry and as I sat there perched on the edge of the couch, I wanted to flee but knew I had to stay. I confessed to not knowing why I was there except that I seemed to keep sabotaging any relationship I had (hindsight now – they just weren’t the Right One). Kerry asked what I assumed were the usual therapist sort of questions:  What was your childhood like? What about your parents?  What were you like in school?  And bingo, like a woven tapestry of ones life, the threads we weave to make up our history become frayed, loosened. Sometimes, as a protective measure we have strung and restrung so many times over and around particular things that we don’t even see the pattern anymore. But there is always a string, always a fragment; pull it, and it’s quite possible that everything you had worked on, simply comes undone. And that’s what she made me do, with one simple tug on a historical thread.

Kerry was meant for me. I have always believed that. We spent eighteen months digging shit out of a nasty hole and filling it back up with good.  Some sessions were angry, some heartbreaking at the knowledge of fresh, uncovered details, some lighthearted, sometimes I’d sit there for fifteen/twenty minutes just staring out the window but she never, ever made me feel as if I were wasting her time. I mean, I know she was getting paid but the relationship never had the ‘clock watching’ feel.  She was intuitive, compassionate, ethical, and next to my husband, the most important person I’ve had the joy of dancing with in my life.  Her influence followed me around all the time, unseen but always there. A physical reminder, a gift from her hangs in my car, and has hung in every car I’ve owned since the day she gave it to me.

On Monday, I learned that Kerry had committed suicide.  It seemed, and not unlike the wonderful Robin Williams, that she had dedicated her life to helping others but couldn’t do anything about her own shadowy companion. She was loved by so many, as evidenced by the outpouring of emotion on her page, and it breaks all of our hearts to think that she believed this to be her only choice.

Kerry was a light-filled, beautiful spirit; spry and twinkly, quick to laugh, but also deeply committed to healing.

Goodnight, sweet lady.

 

 

Sometimes I believe I hate you.

At this time of physical low, when I feel torn between leaving my work early to go to bed, and call off rehearsals in favor of tea, blankets, my family and couch, I am prompted by an inner voice to remember the reasons for feeling so great and light in recent weeks. It’s a natural part of living this life that you experience the tos and fros but it’s the manner in which you allow it to happen that makes it a good or bad experience. For instance, you could wail like a banshee and feel tense or you could close your eyes and let your soul waft around, dipping into the highs, the lows, and all the places in between. Of course, some midway point between banshee and ragdoll seems to be the norm.

Recently I took a step forward in healing, and in forgiving myself. In so doing, there became an opening of the heart toward certain circumstances. This situation is far from being healed or on solid ground and it doesn’t take but a hiccup for it to cause distress. There is a connecting thread that binds me to this; barely seen but its presence colludes with the mind to seek out any news. This causes thoughts and emotions to furl up the beach like an incoming tide to wash away whatever work I had done to smooth things over.

In my Warrior training, I have become more aware of thought so instead of pushing away these needling contemplations, I imagine opening a door. And, like Buddha to Mara, I invite them in and make them welcome. This is not to say that I engage in their frivolous, flighty ways; I just allow them space and perhaps a cup of tea. In my imagination, they are gobsmacked and don’t know what to do; with no mental wall to push against, they have no will to fight, and fade away.

I must remember always, and moreso when I’m feeling under the weather (because that’s such a vulnerable state) that whatever I read or see or hear or imagine is not truth. And that I really don’t hate you.

Because the only truth that matters is my own.

“There is a huge amount of freedom that comes to you when you take nothing personally.” Ruiz

All The Good Things

I am in the present moment very much lately. I love that. I can look behind me and feel an ache in my heart. I can look ahead and feel the tug of worry in my heart. Mostly I’m right here, right now. Flying, sailing, whatever feeling that comes from going along comfortably, smoothly. I have begun to allow the dark things some room to breathe and exist.  I can have thoughts of anger, resentment, jealousy, wishing a person ill-will and I am more at ease with these things. I know they can’t be true, they are my own issues from *waves hand* events past. They are not truly who I am. I thought I had changed, become a new me but it’s not that; I am growing into the real me. I smile. I am smiling so much lately for no other reason than that.

The questions that live inside still poke for answers, like children not content with the explanation. But I can do nothing for those questions. I am answerless. They niggle a little and if I have occasion to become wrapped up in them, I can still shed tears for them. But I am ‘cleaning up’ as the chakra lady said. It’s just a bit of a big mess that takes a little extra time, is all.

Yoga has a gym-mat-fad feel in the world. However, at home in the privacy of my bedroom, looking out into the fallen-leaved wood with families of deer frolicking around at breakfast, it is a sensual, albeit sometimes strenuous act. I love the feel of going (and pardon my unyogi-like verbiage) from plank, to yoga push up to cobra to downward dog.  It’s effort and gliding, strength and stretching all at once; so satisfying.

mermaid-yoga-kelly-zumberge

The feel of the first sip of hot Earl Grey tea from the ceramic tea thermos that a dear friend recently sent me.  Instant blanket for my insides for cold mornings on busy, inconsiderate roads.

My husband is home for family dinners.  I adore that we all eat together now when for many years, with him as chef for whatever restaurant, it was never possible.  It’s a fun routine accompanied by music, telling of our Highs & Lows, belching, chatter, giggles, and of course some stern words to keep knees down, all four chair legs on the floor, and to stop mouths being stuffed with too big a bite.

Life is truly good. Just a tinge of things past to nudge my heart at some point every day. It’s ok though; without it, I wouldn’t appreciate what I have so I think I can live with the sting.