Two Things

Annah ElizabethLeave a Comment

Dear Journeyer,

Though this message was originally written with a single individual in mind, it applies for each and every one of us…

I can’t seem to get enough of your writing.

And, honestly, I just can’t shake you, or you and Hubby, or you and your beautiful little family from my mind.

Last week I was moved to write you a note, which turned out to be a bit rambling because it was freehand and raw.

I should have made a rough draft and then rewritten and rewritten…alas, it came to you unscripted, unedited, and as you might say, a bit oily

I sucked in a DEEP breath as I dropped the letter into the big, blue mail container and headed off to work.

And an hour later I wanted desperately to dive into that bin and rescue the envelope from that dark abyss into which I’d dropped it.

But what I really wanted to do was to save myself from potential humiliation.

And rejection.

The other day, I read your post about having forty followers, so I know you understand how scary it is putting our hearts and souls out there and to feel that possibly what we have to offer doesn’t have merit or meaning to others.
 
Even though we write for ourselves, we long for our words to reach out and touch someone…

And I’m pretty sure you identify with the struggle to keep in perspective the fact that we aren’t the only people on the planet vying for attention.

One of your first posts I read was one where you talked about Hubby disclosing something to you.

And then I read a more recent essay where you spoke about one of the seasons of your marriage.

A few days ago I read one of your earlier pieces where you talk about Hubby’s first disclosure, an event that happened more than once, that shouldn’t happen, but that happens more often than we’d like to admit.

God help me, Journeyer, I hope this isn’t the wrong thing for the right reason…

But I’d like to share with you two of the things that have kept me going as I’ve dealt with my own Marital Disclosures…

We Have Choices

Many, many moons ago, the first time Hubby and I were in counseling, when we acted and argued and sometimes felt as if we hated each other’s guts, our counselor asked us. “Did someone hold a gun to your head and force you to marry?” Now, I can surmise that an unplanned pregnancy might feel that way sometimes, but then, there’s this…

When I thought everything about our marriage was a sham, that it had all been one giant lie, my therapist said this to me during one of my private sessions: “Your marriage hasn’t been a lie. He loves you, Annah. He chose you.”

You are the one he comes home to every single night. Because he chooses to.

That reality was a little hard to deny, despite all the chatter that went on in my head.

That Internal Conflict that tried to convince me there was some other reason he showed up at our doorstep after every work day and crawled into our bed, next to me, every single night.

And trust me, it’s certainly not my cooking or cleaning or sexual prowess that kept him coming back for more…

It is this knowing that we both have so many options available to us, to leave, to stay, to continue to hate and fight and argue or to believe, by choice, that we want to make our decisions based from a place of truth.

It is knowing that we both are trying to figure out this thing called Marriage.

And it is Our Desire to move forward, independently and together, treating each other with dignity, with love, with kindness, and with compassion.

It is The Understanding that we will always be Mother and Father to our wonderful children.

It is Our Desire that if the day comes when we choose to no longer be Married Us, we at least want to remain Friendly Us, to remember all of those things that God set forth when he gave us Free Will and Choice and The Golden Rule.

We want an eternal love, a bond that holds us together, even if it turns out we are no longer united by vow.

We need this for our kids’ sakes…but more importantly, we need it as a form of sanctity for our own souls…

We put too much emphasis on The Affair (The Thing)

The second piece of professional discussion that stands out is this: “People put too much emphasis on The Affair.”

This behavior of focus doesn’t have to be tied to adultery, though. Its face could be that of The Abuse*, The Addiction, The Detachment, The Sex, THE TOILET SEAT, The Work…

We lament about and fight over The Thing rather than focusing on The Attachment Injury that causes our hearts to hurt so badly.

But the turmoil isn’t about the drugs or the withdrawal or the pee splatters. It’s about what they represent to us inside, how they make us feel: Unimportant, Unworthy, Unloved, Unheard…

It’s so much easier to look at all the surface stuff, Journeyer, ‘cause the stuff that’s underneath can be twisted and gnarly and thorny and stinky and anything and everything you don’t want it to be.

Regardless of The Thing that has happened to create conflict in our relationship, when we put It at the center of our turmoil we ignore the root of our pain.

For it is in the deepest, darkest levels that we unmask some of our greatest fears:

Failure, rejection, anger, resentment…
The emotional angst that comes when we don’t feel validated…
The awful feeling that comes with not being able to trust another…
And the frightening awareness that we may have somehow contributed something to The Awful Thing that has caused us so much pain and suffering.

Shining the light into that tunnel is so, so freaking scary.

But here’s the thing, once those demons and fears are lit, they are out in the open, Baby.

And just like those childhood monsters that lived in our closets and under our beds, they don’t seem to have nearly as much power over us once we’ve put them into the center of our ring.

It works, Journeyer. I don’t know how or why, but it does.

Those are the two things that I come back to, again and again…

Those are two of the things I’ll keep coming back to because my answers are there, in My Choices and within Me.

I’ve decided not to send this correspondence to any of your addresses, Journeyer, because I am scared shitless, suffice it to say for many reasons.

But you’ll know who you are when you’re here.

Hugs and healing, Journeyer…

*If any one of you is dealing with physical or mental abuse, please, please, please ask someone for help.

Please, please, pleasedo not sit alone with that kind of torture. There are some Things we can sit with for a while as we try to figure them out, try to find our way out of with reason and logic and just plain thinking. Abuse is not one of them.

Find help. For yourself. For your children. For your families and friends who love you so much and are so afraid for you.

Don’t wait. Reach out now. You not only have that Choice, you have that right.

Go ahead. Pick up the phone or walk next door.

And if you are a friend of someone dealing with Abuse, ask for help and guidance for yourself. So you can figure out how best to help your loved one.

You can do this, Journeyer. I believe it with all my heart. You can do this.

These two things…

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