Friday, August 21, 2009

Should I write this?

catharsis--noun, plural.
1. the purging of the emotions or relieving of emotional tensions, esp. through certain kinds of art, as tragedy or music.

1. lacking in freshness or effectiveness because of constant use or excessive repetition; hackneyed; stale: beginning an essay or blog post with a definition is ridiculously trite.

I am so going against my own writing rules when I begin this post with a definition. Apologies, young scholars who were verbally beaten into submission and the omission of their beloved hackneyed openers like the definition-starter and the "have you ever?" hook. This is blog land, and I reign queen. I break rules like a four year old breaks crayons.

Tonight I am sad, and no it doesn't have a thing to do with the fact that I'm fully in the middle of a visit from AF (look it up if you're a girl, avoid it if you're a boy) and my hormones are what some might delicately deem "raging." (Another euphemism I enjoy: I've checked into the Red Roof Inn... is that gross?) I prefer to think of it as a heightened emotional state. My circumstances warrant the catharsis anyway, no matter what time of the month, so here we are.

E is out with his friends tonight, and I am sad, lonely, and upset about it. I'm not as upset about the fact that he's out as I am that I can't make him understand exactly why I am upset. I can't tell him what I need and in turn he can't fix it which is all he wants to do in his I'm-a-guy-and-I-love-you-so-tell-me-what-to-fix way. I'm sure you thought that since I hadn't posted something scandalous and gut-wrenching in a few weeks, E and I had decided to stop bickering and view the world through rosy glasses with hands held and hearts united. Yeah, that describes us perfectly. We're all about rainbows and lollipops and blissful union here.

It's hard to write about the specifics without writing about the specifics, but there are still some very raw hurts in our marriage. As I've said before, a separation--a true one--is exactly that, and you get what you wish for when you ask another person to go away. There's this hole in our history where E lived a separate life, and I was no part of it. Similarly, one could say that the reverse was true, but since I spent most of that six months either crying on the floor somewhere in my house, marching foggy and machine-like through kid duty I now can't remember, or laying in my bed staring out the window at the pine tree in the yard, there wasn't exactly anything he missed out on. I'm not telling it right, because I don't want to--I didn't want to--be a part of the life he lived apart from me, but it hurts me that he lived it apart.

E was out LIVING. While I was home puffy and sobbing and worrying and thinking that nobody was going to love me, ever, he was doing what guys do which is go out into the world. This means going out. To me, everything that is about him not wanting to be with me or about our separation and pain is linked to the idea of being "out." The friends who were so good to him during that time were also the ones who encouraged him to move on, to forget me and our life together. Now we've rebuilt that life and I don't know where to put that information. It's like a knife through whatever sense of confidence I've worked at regaining. It's confusing. It's still hurtful. It's just... yucky. I blame no one, I accept our history for what it was, and I love him so much, yet my emotion about this one thing is so overwhelming, I can barely talk to E about it. I don't want to talk to him about it because I know that I can't even center my thoughts to ask him for or describe anything concrete.

I can't communicate this emotion properly. He does not understand, correctly, why I am upset. This is the worst of failures for me.

So now when E wants to go out and be "out" as married and single guys alike are wont to do, I have a gut-level reaction of pain, fear, and hurt. I see him buttoning his shirt, I hear him say he's going downtown, and I want to cry and hide. I don't want to be a harpy shrew of a wife. I want him to have fun with his friends. I trust him. I know he's back. I know he just misses his buddies. I know he loves me. I have a hard time separating the single friends and shirts and places and the past spans of time from now, though, even when I have my wits about me. Pain transcends thought. Past hurt is still so powerful in the present. What I know in my head hasn't reached my heart, and I wonder if it ever will. He asks me what reassurance I need to make things okay, and I can't tell him. I wish I could. I don't want to go with him. I don't want to be about that world. I don't want to stop him from going or from seeing his friends. I just don't want it to hurt me. I don't want it to be familiar in the same awful way. I don't want "out" to be about that time that he was gone, and in my mind it's linked.

What will fix it? Time? Yes. But some time has passed and can I say it's better? It's not something I can judge in degrees, probably. Hurt is hurt, and while mine doesn't drown me like it did for a while, it blooms in my veins from time to time with the same burn. I don't know how to turn it off. One of the tenets of Retrouvaille is that feelings aren't good or bad and that they're uncontrollable. We don't will ourselves to feel something, nor can we will ourselves not to.

This isn't a trust issue, it's a hurt issue. We love each other, so this is what we talk about. I want to keep at it so I can try to communicate it better to E. It's a hard thing to be in the situation where apologies and forgivenesses were exchanged but the reality of the past still hangs in the air. These things take time, and tonight I'm just feeling down about how slowly my heart seems to mend and how my confidence seems to crawl along at a snail's pace.

Real marriage is work. Real marriage is worth that work. I'm going to go think about this whole shebang some more.

1 comment:

  1. You're doing alright, P.Dawg. We all have that one thing that triggers a deep-seeded resentment. Sometimes it's warranted, sometimes it's not. Like Hunter S. Thompson, I call it "the fear." Whenever it strikes me, I watch a silly romantic comedy. Anything to bring my thoughts back down to earth. You're not alone in this feeling. Almost every female friend I know has experienced, or continually experiences "the fear." The triggers are different, but the anxiety, anger and insecurity that takes over is still the same.

    You're def. not alone.