It has been nice focusing on positive things to write about in my recent posts. I have been thinking, “Yeah, I’m taking a new direction with Yoga Mom–I don’t have to dwell on all of the gory details of my mood, and I can provide inspiration. Yeah, I’m so happy now, and I can focus on being happy!”
And then real life came and basically bitch-slapped me a few times, and I remembered that I’m not here to convince anyone that I’m happier than I really am to save them from being depressed if they read about my heavier stuff. I am here for myself. I am here to make sense of my experiences using the medium of the written word. I am here to explore my life. If someone is inspired, that is certainly a bonus, but handing out generous portions of inspiration is not my mission. I’d be lying to myself and to you if I said that it was. My mission is to write something every day, and just like the thunderclouds that sometimes roll over head, there might be some pounding and thumping and flashing and crashing and banging and clanging every once in a while–until it all clears and the sun shines again.
So tonight, I keep it real. I keep it real by sharing that there have been daily disagreements arising between me and my husband, and I’m feeling lonely, believing the old thought that there is no one I can talk to who can just listen and offer me empathy. That is a painful thing to believe. I’m hurting right now.
Today’s gripe with my husband unfolded in the following manner:
We were originally planning on spending a good part of tomorrow with one of his old friends, his wife, and his three year old son. My husband’s friend texted him this afternoon and let him know that his son was sick, so the little guy was going to stay home with his wife. But, the friend wrote to my husband, I am planning on a round of golf early tomorrow morning, and do you golf? Does he ever! My husband loves to golf. I grew very excited at the prospect of joining them, because although I hadn’t attempted golf since high school, I have been enjoying thinking about it and have been wanting to give it a go for some time now. Normally I stay home with the kids when my husband plays a round, because it’s expensive to pay a babysitter for the several hour window needed to play all the holes. But we are in Utah now, at our in-laws’ place, which makes everything different. I knew that our kids could be watched by their grandparents, and that I’d be free to get out of the house for some fun with the guys. When I mentioned how excited I was to finally accompany my husband on a round of golf, he replied, “Well, I actually wanted to spend some time with my buddy.”
Okay, granted, perhaps 99% of the population would go, “Of course he does! And you should just let him spend time with his buddy!” But in that moment, I felt devastated, so I shut down. He sensed my shutting down as I rapidly raced inside my head to check off all the items on my list that confirmed my husband doesn’t care about me. He tried to engage me in a conversation and I asked him to give me a moment. He said, “Come on honey, I’ve never played golf with him.”
“And you’ve played golf so many times with me, so it’s okay,” I said sarcastically. Then I asked him again to just give me a moment. When he brought it up again five minutes later, and mind you there were eight of us in the vehicle we were driving down a canyon after a long hike, he seemed to be saying that I should be okay with him going by himself, I shouldn’t feel at all annoyed, in fact, I should be happy to see him spending time alone with an old friend. My two kids, my nephew, my mother in law, and one of my brothers in law were in the car with us, presumable hearing everything we were saying, and I didn’t want to make a scene, so I asked him to lay it to rest for a moment.
It might not seem like that big of a deal, but damn. All of the most negative thoughts were coursing around my head, and I felt overwhelmed by them. Later on, I was running errands with my mother in law and another one of my brothers in law, and my mother in law said to me cheerfully, “Well, what fun thing are we going to do tomorrow?”
“Well, obviously I won’t be golfing, because Cliff wants to spend time with his friend.”
“Who is he going with?” my brother in law asked. I told him who it was.
“Well, that’s just healthy, isn’t it?” my mother in law said, “It’s healthy to have time with friends. And we’ll be able to do something fun.”
“Well, it’s not like I can ask you to be impartial or anything as I tell you this, because he’s your son, but I’m annoyed with the way he handled it,” I said.
“Well, he will probably do something extra nice for you, because he’ll be feeling guilty,” she said.
“I don’t want him to feel guilty,” I said, “it just could’ve been handled better.” And it was left at that.
What I was wanting was someone to listen and say, “I hear you. You must be feeling left out, disappointed, hurt.” That’s all. Someone to understand. It seems like my husband has been missing the mark the last few days, making absolutely no attempt to mask his annoyance with my wanting to take time to write instead of watching a movie or playing cards in the evening; scolding me for asking for help when I was capable of doing a simple thing on my own, blah blah blah…I have a nice list of gripes because I have written about them in my journal the last few nights.
Why are relationships so complicated? The second I think we’ve hit our stride, then come along some bumps in the road and I’m back to believing that someone else would be so much more understanding, someone else would be so much easier to get along with…
So there you go, keeping it real. There’s a lot of crap up in my head, and hopefully a good night of sleep will help me to work it out. I can’t wait to see my therapist again! Someone who can listen with compassion in their eyes would be the greatest of gifts right now.
I’d apologize about the unedited nature of this post, but to whom would I be apologizing? To myself for not being perfect? Screw that. I’m imperfect, and sometimes my writing can suck, and it really doesn’t matter.
The anger, the frustration, leap up in my mind
And then they take over my body,
taking residence deep in the pit of my stomach.
And behind the anger, disappointment reveals itself,
and behind the disappointment, deep sadness.
This being human can be so complicated.
All of these feelings with no handles
to grip and steer my way out of them.
I have to sit with them until they tell me what they mean,
and it’s fine when I feel happy and light,
but absolutely miserable when they are dark and heavy
and I feel lonely and misunderstood.
So I ask for strength.
Strength to show more understanding than he has shown me,
strength to pick up the hurting one inside me
and cradle her and soothe her
and tell her that she is loved.
And maybe she will feel sufficiently reassured
that she won’t suffer quite as much
as she waits and waits
until the light of clarity dawns,
and all of this makes sense.