Forgiveness and Rejection

I got stuck mid-week. I was at a point where I had processed my feelings about my mom but I didn’t know where to go from there. Is forgiveness the next step on the road to healing? I’m not sure it’s necessary as I don’t harbor ill will towards her. I don’t really know how to forgive. Maybe I already have without a conscious effort. Forgiveness is a problem for me regardless of whether it’s necessary in this instance. There are a lot of other things in my life that I need to forgive because I’m holding on tightly to the hurt.

I had a therapy appointment yesterday afternoon. We talked about the progress I’ve made with this issue and how it relates to so much of my life. Many people have hurt me in much the same way, it’s kind of a theme. And I don’t trust because of it. I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop. My therapist classifies it as a fear of abandonment. I’m not sure I feel that abandonment is the right word, maybe rejection is more accurate, but our time was up. She asked me to think about how I deal with this fear and how I should deal with it.

I know that I deal with it by typically leaving people before they can leave me. In more recent years, I simply don’t let people get close to begin with. I have a constant fear that my expectations will never be met, that people will always let me down. And so often, that’s exactly what happens.

It’s finally becoming clear that most of the problems in my marriage are mine. I fought to leave my husband for the first three years but I didn’t really have anywhere to go and he held on tight. I’m so grateful that he did. I still have my problems, and I still start a lot of fights, but it’s the only relationship in my life with any security. And yet, I fear if I was 100% honest with him, that he would leave. And I would deserve it.

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Alone or Lonely

I was making wonderful progress exploring the issues and coming to new realizations. Then, suddenly, another issue in my life reared it’s ugly head. While I recovered in the short-term, it seems I’m not getting back to the progress I was making. I’m hoping working through the other issue some will help me get back to that.

So what happened? Basically I spent most of Sunday afternoon/evening fighting with my husband. Not physically, just verbally. It often starts with some type of miscommunication which doesn’t always lead to an argument. But it’s like we can be face-to-face and we’re speaking two completely different languages. He came inside and asked me a question. One that didn’t make any sense. I asked him to clarify a couple of times and still it didn’t make any sense. It sounded like a really stupid question to me (I know, I know). I became a smart-a$$. It evolved into yelling. And then I became what I would consider to be verbally abusive. I cussed him. I put him down. I said the kinds of things that I would never allow anyone to say to me. And yet, he shuts down. He acts like he does not care other than to tell me I’m wrong. And as usual, in the end, I am explaining all of my bottled up anger and resentment towards him. Explaining that it’s not about this conversation, it’s about the last 6 years. Trying to tell him what I so desperately need from him to try to continue our marriage. And when he continues to act like he does not care, I am the one who suggests a resolution and has to ask over and over if he’s okay with trying to meet me halfway to fix our marriage. And he still wonders why I think he is married to me simply to avoid being alone. Meanwhile, I’m just lonely.

Tearing Down Walls

I’ve realized lately that most of my obsessions and anxieties are based in fear. To be honest, I can’t think of one that isn’t at the moment.

I obsess about money for fear there won’t be enough. I obsess about food for fear of being hungry, for fear of not losing weight, for fear of gaining more weight.

I am anxious about doing many things for fear of getting hurt or being embarrassed. I am anxious about going to the gym in the morning for fear of being assaulted in a rough neighborhood before it’s light outside. I am anxious about trying a fitness class for fear I won’t be able to keep up or complete the class. I am anxious about not taking enough food for the day with me for fear I will get too hungry and give in to the convenience of fast food. I am anxious about going for a walk with my coworker for fear she will think I am too slow or that my back will hurt too much to go very far.

This is just a sample. Some of these, like not having enough money, are rooted in things I have been through in the past. And some of them, like fear of being assaulted, are rooted in my parent’s fears. Some seem so small but become larger than life when I am faced with them day after day after day.

My work now has to be to find all of the barriers I have put between myself and good health and tear them down one at a time.

Following Up

It seems I was in an emotional tornado yesterday. I left and had a long phone conversation with my husband. We’re trying to work on things and we just don’t communicate very well. It really hurts us that we only have quality time together on the weekends. I went to my psychiatrist appointment nearly convinced we needed to add a medication but she saw things through a much clearer light. I’ve been dealing with a lot the last month and I still will for a few weeks. However, medication can’t change my current circumstances. If I focus on decreasing my stress and anxiety, I will get through this, and likely before a new medication would even have time to take full effect.

It also seems like I have a lot of break-throughs lately. They’re not necessarily earth-shattering by any means, more like “a-ha” moments that happen to have a big impact on my life. Yesterday I began to realize that I am so tightly wound and easily angered because I am anxious about money, food, etc. But I am obsessed with these things to the point of having multiple large spreadsheets for each. The part I have not figured out is this: am I obsessed because of my anxiety or anxious because of my obsession? It’s actually an important distinction if I’m going to try to make it stop.

There is one other thing I’ve been mulling lately but I thing it requires it’s own post. Let me do some more thinking on it over the weekend.