“Going Through Something”
There’s this growing trend, when people are more agitated than usual, of just telling our friends, family, and acquaintances that we’re “going through something”, and leaving it at that. I don’t know if we don’t want to burden our loved ones, or if we don’t think what ever it is we’re “going through” is valid, or if social media and the Internet really are killing personal relationships so completely that we no longer feel we can talk to the people we call “friend”.
Well, I’ve been “going through something” for the past six months or more. And since I have a tendency to decide, on my own, that my problems are too much of a burden for anyone else to try to help me through, this trend is perfect for me. You know, if you ignore the fact that I really need to work through this shit so it stops coming back later and slamming my face to the mat.
And that’s what I’ve been going through. Old events and emotions forcing their way out of the recesses of my mind where I’ve hidden them away to protect myself, and kicking my fucking ass. This happens to me about once a year, and every year, I find something to busy myself with so that I’m “too busy” to deal with the skeletons in my closet. Work has become my cocaine.
But these days, I’m freelancing, which means the work comes and goes, and I’m nowhere near as busy as I was when I was working for that store. (We’re a little strapped for cash because of this. I’m looking for a “real job”, but it’s slow going. If you want, you can help us out by clicking one of the banners in the sidebar, and picking up something sexy for you and your partner. LoveHoney has free shipping! Thanks in advance!) So in my free time, my mind has free rein, and boy, does it ever take advantage of that.
So what do I do? I take it out on M.
Yeah, I suck.
I’m a bit of a stuffer. That is to say that instead of asking for help when I need it, I resign myself to the fact that I’m the only one who can help me, and I shut everyone else out until I either solve my own problem, or stuff it down so far that it can’t hurt me anymore. This is a product of growing up with busy parents who didn’t know how to handle an overly emotional child who was far too smart for the number of times she’d circled the sun. (No offense meant to my parents. Anyone would have had trouble raising me. Especially in the 80s, when we didn’t have names for things like Borderline Personality Disorder, and people thought that children were immune to mental illness.)
Thing is, like most women, I’ve spent a lot of my life being told I have no right to my feelings. That just because something bothers me doesn’t mean I have the right to make someone else deal with it, even if they’re the cause, but especially if they aren’t. So instead of trying to talk through the shit I’m going through with the one person who has been there for me since the day I met him no matter what was going on, I dive headlong inside myself and act as if I’m still completely alone. And then when he tries to pull me out of myself, knowing full well there’s something going on inside my head, I try to convince him there’s nothing wrong so I don’t have to wrench the shit out of my chest and serve it up to him on a platter to judge.
But it’s worse than that.
Because he can’t divine what’s going on and magically cure it, M’s left wondering if there’s something wrong with us. I mean, it’s him I’m snapping at. It’s him I’m pulling away from. It’s him I’m treating as though he’s somehow stopped holding me up when I need him to, when in reality, I’m the one who’s stopped letting him.
This, too, is a product of my past. Everything I’ve ever been through is my fault, dontcha know. It all makes me a shitty person, and until I somehow fix it myself, I’m not worth being around. At least, that’s what I’ve always been told.
Yesterday, M said to me, “Listen, I know you’re working through something, but you really need to stop letting it affect us. I feel like what you’re working through has something to do with us, and you’re not letting me in on it.”
And I felt like an asshole.
I didn’t mean for him to feel that way. What I’m working through has absolutely nothing to do with us. It has everything to do with the shit I’ve pretended for 20 years to have already gotten over, when in fact, I’ve only shoved it to the side and busied my mind with other things so I didn’t have to think about it anymore. Which makes the fact that I’m taking it out on him so much worse both in reality and in my mind.
We took a bike ride, and when we stopped where we planned to turn around, I told him that I realize I need to stop trying to handle things on my own. He said that if I’m going to try to work things out on my own, I just need to stop letting it affect our relationship…but that he’s more than happy to let me lean on him if I’ll let him.
I felt like a bigger asshole.
I went on to explain that I don’t want my drama to get on him, and that I see how my past affects him when I talk about it (he gets really angry), and that it’s bad enough that *I* feel that way. He shouldn’t have to feel that way, too.
You know what he told me?
He said that’s not my choice. I don’t get to decide that he doesn’t need to be involved in any specific part of me without talking to him about it first. And even if I wasn’t his slave, it would be that way because I’m his wife. I signed up for letting him be there for me, whether I want him to be or not.