I am not sure, really. I mean I have tried, and tried and tried. Myself, others, my children and my family. But it has always felt that with loving comes bonds, tethers, ligaments that bind me, tightly to something that makes me feel trapped and isolated.
I have been vexed for decades about how to live within the confines of a loving union while not feeling trapped and restrained.
What I realized recently is that I was the one doing all the restraining. It wasn’t the vows I took, the promises I made and kept, or the fidelity issue. It was me. I was the one who had a hard time with it all. And while I had an inkling that perhaps I was the reason I felt the way I did, it was so much easier to blame others.
And the reason I felt restrained, restricted, confined is because I placed maintenance of the relationship over honesty. I have been pretty honest with myself most of my life. However, when that honesty doesn’t fit with my reality or clashes with the loving relationship I have at the moment, I change myself to fit the circumstance instead of uttering the truth which might end it all.
I have twisted myself (and I guess others who are tightly bound to me) into all sorts of contortions. I would say unwittingly, but that would not be true. I knew what I was doing on some level but holding this truth just for myself was more important than sharing it with you.
It has taken me a very long time to see that this is manipulative. Controlling. And has resulted in me having to leave every relationship in the end.
It starts off rather benignly. It is small things that I think about I do not share. Feelings that are wounded I pretend are not. Things the other person does or says that make me upset or injured but I dare not speak that because it might ruin it all.
And like some trickle of water on a downward slope, my private thoughts erode away whatever loves existed. The hillside of my apathy begins to slide and it is happening before it is perceptible to the human eye, or heart.
Several months in I have so much of a private thought life that has not been uttered or shared that it feels like I am holding back an emotional avalanche that will bury us all alive. And while I never seek to harm anyone, I continue to do my best to cheat certain death by holding those private thoughts, those secretive invections to myself.
And thus the divide continues...
Until such time as I am not strong enough to hold back the debris that has built up behind us. And it all comes crashing down. Raining all those things unshared all over everything.
Why do I do this?
Because I decided in the beginning that this relationship was “right” or I wanted it. And then I had to parcel out, remove all that didn’t fit with that image. I just sanitized it all. Removing, all that erosive feeling as if I could stop the flow.
So far in this life, I haven’t been able to.
And I see now, perhaps better than I ever have, that my job is not to control or manage or direct. It is just to be honest and to allow that honesty to end those things that it should and deepen others that are more fitting...
I have lacked faith. I see that now.
Managing, controlling, directly, diverting, covering, stop-gap measures are all efforts to avoid the ending that is going to come anyhow...maybe.
And it is the maybe that I have not been able to really believe in.
If I am honest from the start, I can allow those relationships not right for me to just end, even though that is sad or disconcerting or painful.
I can see now that I will go to amazing lengths to avoid being sad. I seriously do not know how to do it. I do not want to ever feel the sad despondency...and that is something I have been running from since I was a little girl.
I think I always felt like if I allowed any sad to permeate it would overtake me, swallow me whole and I would cease to exist. That is how pervasive and complete the sadness has felt.
So I have become the shadow in my own life. Haunting myself with ghosts and demons from the past, and doing my best to eradicate any sad that might come.
Heads up...it doesn’t work.
I see that now.
Faith seems the only good answer. Speak the truth and know that I am worthy of whatever happens next. An ending or a deepening. It will all occur as it should. And I will be ok. I will be fine. Sad doesn’t really have all the power I have given it. And truth be told, I have been way sadder by making the choices I have made that have perpetuated that which should have ended. So hard to keep up the appearances while the Grand Canyon is being formed between us.
I see this cavernous divide I allow to form makes it easier to leave in the end also because we are each standing on the rim, looking out towards each other too far away to touch or be touched. It is all just lost in the chasm that separates us.
And it matters not how much space exists, it is just space I have needed to feel safe. All of this living and loving while trying to provide myself safety in keeping things to myself has only led to an erosive couloir. A widening crevasse where love, like lemmings, leaps into the abyss and perishes.
I see that now.
I am not sure how to change it or if I even have the power.
And I am pretty sure I don’t so I believe this is where a deepening of faith must occur.