I have always struggled with this battle in my head and heart. The one that I loved the most in my childhood hurt me very badly. I have fond memories of sitting in his lap as a small child. I could always count on him to play with me and give me lots of attention. For some reason my Mom held back affection for me…but that’s another story all together. I believe he started when I was very little with grooming me as most perpetrators do. The difference was that he was my father. When these unspeakable things started happening to me it blew my whole world apart. Suddenly it was not safe anymore to play the same way. It was not safe to sit in my Dads lap anymore. I became scared very easily. It was like having the floor pulled out from under me. My life had suddenly changed when my father changed. I have had so many questions over the years as to why someone who made me feel so special and cared about could do those things to me. I think that I learned to hold different places in my heart and mind when it came to my dad. He became the good and evil dad. I was so little, how was I supposed to know when to trust and when not to.
Well that’s enough of that for now. I hate that I have to wait so long in between therapy appointments but it can’t be helped. We have a very high deductible with two daughters still on our insurance. I have made the decision to go every other week for now at least. I want to make things easier for my husband who often worries about how to pay everything and on time. I always worry about my husband. Stress is not his friend. He would give me the “world” if he could and it’s just knowing that, that makes me love him more. He is very generous like his Mom was.
Well getting back to the therapy for I have gotten of track. My mind seems to be trying to process so much at once. When I have to wait for therapy I struggle with the feelings that were opened up in our last session. I am a very impatient person. I want this nightmare over with once and for all. It’s the strange dreams that have been getting to me. They are more vivid than normal. I hate waking up from a night terror and shaking and sweating. I am trying very hard to learn patients. I know things are a lot better lately despite the EMDR. . I know that its real progress because in the past when I was struggling my whole world had to stop and wait until I could pick myself up again. Well now I have been living my life in between sessions and doing all right for the most part. I mean there is the dreams. If it wasn’t for the dreams than I would be able to wait for therapy to process things that are coming up for me. Its progress! I have to keep my mind on the goal and that is to release the past and all its pain and damaging thought patterns. The goal is to free to live my life the way I was meant to live it!
My last therapy session seemed to have triggered a lot of very vivid dreams. I wish that I could say that they were all good ones but sadly they were disturbing. In therapy this past week we talked about one of the most traumatic memories of my childhood. EMDR causes the mind to release trapped trauma. It is very intense. I feel the emotions of that memory and I have body memories. I am not sure which is worse. I think they are equally bad to face. But without effort and bravery I would be left with these memories. The horrors of that time would forever be entombed in my mind only to be triggered at random times and events throughout my life, leaving devastation in their wake. I don’t want to live my life with that kind of fear and pain. So I will bravely press on and allow the release of feelings knowing that although it will be uncomfortable, its temporary. I will share these memories with this blog but not until I am fully finished processing it.
The dreams that it triggered seemed so real. I had felt like I time-traveled back to my childhood. I know that dreams are not ever completely literal. But honestly it did feel the same at times. It seemed like I dreamt all night. I would often wake up in fear, shaking and then go back to sleep only to find myself in the same sort-of experience. This seemed to go on forever, though I know that it did not. Nevertheless, they are still just dreams and they can not harm me. I will not let some scary and painful dreams stop me from my goal to move on in my life. The freedom and joy that I will feel from not giving up will be worth all these restless dreams.
To change the subject a bit, we’ve had a lot of snow here in the north-east. My poor husband said that he feels as if he is constantly out there snow-blowing or shoveling. We really have not had that much snow this season. I think it just took too long to get here and needed to make up for lost time. When we reach February, I think we start to see spring as just around the corner. So when we continue to get snow back to back it can be discouraging. I know that I am already for spring.
Winter can be beautiful so don’t get me wrong, but even winter can ware out its welcome!
No worries, soon it will be spring!
I woke up in a good mood and I hope that it stays this way. I have therapy today. I always have a bit of anxiety in thinking how its going be. The last visit we started to open up a new memory. Its one of the most painful and frightening experience of my childhood. I wont talk about it right now. Perhaps after it is processed, I will. In this way I wont trigger myself by writing about it. There always seems to be this apprehension in opening up. Its like when people have a fear, like a fear of spiders. The reality of facing that fear is so incredibly difficult even to just think about. I have a fear of caterpillars, drowning, and being in a small space where I can barely move. My therapist said she can even help me with these fears using EMDR also.
I have no memory of the caterpillar event that caused the fear. I only have what my parents tell me. They used to joke about it all the time. Its seemed that it would often come up in conversations with my parents and other adults. Even as an adult I had to hear them talk about it for a laugh. I don’t think that its funny to laugh at a screaming baby covered in crawling caterpillars. Everyone was off a ways playing basketball. I would think that if my mom checked on me more often than I would not have been literally, as they say, covered. I guess it was one of the years when there were nests everywhere. Well although I have no memory of that event I am terrified by caterpillars. If one gets on me, you better believe I would undoubtedly scream. It’s weird how this little larva is so small and I am so big in comparison and could crush it in an instant. Once I am past the fear of caterpillars than I can truly appreciate the results of such a creepy crawling thing because it turns into something so beautiful, a butterfly. Perhaps my past abuse was the larva of my life. The cocoon is the work that I am doing right now in therapy and soon the presence of a spectacular beauty, the butterfly. I hope that this butterfly, me, will be able to fly anywhere and glisten with strength that can open up doors to new beginnings.
Perhaps we can forge a new path together.
My husband and I argued over something so stupid this evening. But I’ve learned through time and experience that when we are fighting about something so stupid that there are more important issues that are not being said. As its often pointed out by marriage councilors, “it’s the elephant in the room”, that we seem to walk around but never acknowledge. I know the elephant won’t go away unless we deal with it. For some reason tonight was the night. Life sometimes has a way of putting things right there in front us whether we are ready or not. I was encouraged to address these issues by my therapist but I have learned that I have to be very careful how I put things to my husband because he is very sensitive and takes everything to heart just like I do. Oh what pair we are. There are all these little annoyances that can erupt into an emotional explosion if not properly dealt with. Its the explosion that brings the real issues to light. Well that is what sort of happened tonight.
I don’t want to talk about the content of the argument because that doesn’t even matter. but I think that the fact that it triggered something bigger, all though painful, needed to be said.
Its been so easy to take for granted what we have as a couple. It is possible to lose sight of what each of us needs so we stop providing it whether it is hugs or compliments and sometimes even manners. I think that it’s because we have lived more than three decades with each other and it has become so easy to get comfortable in our regular routine that we miss the importance of what brought us together in the first place. Our love for each other. We created a bond that grew in our hearts over the years. That bond has always been there right along but somehow got pushed aside by the fast pace of life. The girls are all grown and have their own lives. They don’t need us so much. So this should be the perfect time to come together and maybe do something that we never had a chance to when the girls where home. It could be a time of discovery. It could be exciting. Instead of looking at life through older eyes thinking that we are over the hill and we should just throw in the towel and let life happen to us, we could re-discover each other.
I want my husband to know that we don’t have to give into a set way of advancing in age. He looks at himself as old when he is only in his 50s. Really……I’m not old. Does he think that I am old? I may be a grandparent but that does not mean that I have to live like the typical old granny that sits there in her favorite chair knitting while sounded by cats. No…..that is just not me. I want him to see that too.
Tonight could be a turning point in our relationship. We got through all that stuff that we were holding onto for so long. Perhaps we held on because we thought that it would be a good thing for our marriage not to bring up things that could anger each other and take away the peace from the house. It didn’t work. As a result of holding back we have put a wedge between each other. We were not being fair by hiding how we really felt. If we are doing that than we are also holding back what each other needs. What we need is the biggest issue. Tonight we took a leap of faith and revealed what each other really needs. It’s a start in the right direction. I don’t know where this new-found knowledge will lead us but I know for sure that I do not want to go backwards and live like we were in some sort of marriage limbo where we seemed to be living more like roommates than husband and wife. I know for sure that I’m not throwing in the towel on getting older or on our marriage. I have a lot of life left to live and a spark in my heart that just wont keep quiet.
If we choose to, we can live in a world of comforting illusion.
We can allow ourselves to be deceived by false realities.
Or we can use them to hide in silence our longings.
But its time for our marriage to come out of hiding
We don’t live in illusions that should be.
But we live in the possibilities of what could be and strive to make that our reality.
“Always and Forever” was there from the start
and from that moment on it has lived in our hearts.