Yesterday, I was ready to give up – on everything. I was convinced that my husband’s distraction meant he didn’t love me and that our marriage was coming to an end. I panicked to think that we are planning to leave home and I will be cut off from family. I convinced myself that I am doomed to a loveless, sterile existence, and wondered what was the point of it all.
Typically verbose and sunny, I barely uttered two words – my mind was clouded with too many dark thoughts.
What triggered it?
Hard to tell for sure, but yesterday’s blog post, courtesy of Dr. Nicholas Jenner served as an anchor that stopped me from blurting out things I would surely have regretted later. His timely words reminded me of how deeply my relationship with my father still affects me. Everything I was feeling could be linked back to childhood.
Thank goodness I had the common sense to wait for my inner churning to settle before speaking.
Initiating a confrontation when emotions and anxieties are at a climax is never a good idea.
Today, exhausted, and calmer, I am able to recognize that the problems that made me want to jump ship yesterday, are likely easily resolved with open and honest dialogue.
I recognize now that I had projected my father’s emotional absence into my husband’s distraction. While it’s true that we pick partners with whom we can replay the wounded areas of our original child/parent relationship, it is important to separate out the realities. My father was emotionally unavailable because he was a) a workaholic, and b) an alcoholic, and c) unable to live authentically (he identified as female although his outer body was male). Is my husband emotionally unavailable? At times, yes. But neither to the extent, nor for the same reasons as my dad. I can talk to him about it, without the backlash that might have resulted with Dad.
As a child, my need for love and reassurance was constantly squashed. “You have no problems; you don’t need anything” were the messages I received; so much so that I would rock my sobbing self to sleep with the mantra: “I don’t need anyone; I don’t need anything.”
As an adult, I recognize the fallacy in this type of thinking, and have worked hard at articulating and addressing my personal needs. Relationships, I have come to understand, are about meeting each others needs. This morning, I am able to recognize that this subject is up for discussion without the panic and childlike terror of yesterday.
Yesterday, I was read to give up – for whatever reason. It was an emotional crisis triggered by unknown fear.
Thank goodness I had the wherewithal to wait before reacting.