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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Sweep Away the Debris


Driving along back when I was young, still a teenager, but nearing the end of those years, I remember a friend saying how she didn't know how she would ever go on if she didn't have her boyfriend (now husband) and how dependent I thought she was and how I never wanted to be that way, so dependent on someone and so reliant on them for my happiness that to be without them would ruin my world. The thought of letting myself that close to someone was terrifying to me although I did not realize it was the problem at the time. Years were spent deflecting any attention that would come my way, placing up the thickest and tallest of walls and pushing back hard if anyone dared to push in my direction, never letting anyone close enough to hurt me themselves because I had enough of that from those who were meant to love me and was also doing enough of that hurting to myself so as to not let anyone else get to me first.

Deep romantic relationships were blocked at every pass in favor of close friendships all around and though that sometimes hurt in its own way it felt safe, safer than anyone else's arms ever did at the time. True intimacy was passed up and replaced with other distractions and obsessions to take my mind far away from the affection and closeness I was so desperately missing but so afraid of that to live without it forever felt more realistic than ever getting to a place that it felt safe. So, I carried on and focused on myself and over the years did a lot of work to get to a place where it didn't feel so scary, where my walls thinned and shortened just enough that a few could manage to peek over or walk through, but not too close, for as soon as I felt any push or any wish for something more I would retreat to the safety of my dysfunction. But, time continued to pass, work continued to progress and I stumbled upon someone who didn't push at all, someone who allowed me to pull.

So, pull I did. Rather than accept an advance, I had the comfort of doing the advancing, feeling more the predator than the prey and more in control in the way I needed to move forward rather than scuttling back to safety. Frustration sometimes came at feeling as though I was more committed but looking back I realize that anything more would have caused me to retreat, something I nearly did a handful of times regardless of the dynamic. For someone who found any kind of closeness or emotional dependency to be terrifying, the fact that I let him in at all is remarkable. The fact that we are now married with two children and stable and happy and whole is unbelievable. The fact that I now still have trouble admitting I would be lost without him, but that being without him would leave me lost is progress even if it once seemed weak. The knowledge that I am capable enough and strong enough to face life alone is a comfort, but the fact that I don't have to and don't want to is even more comfortable. So, my strong silent type of a husband, thank you for allowing me to pull. Thank you for being patient while my walls slowly degrade and we work together to sweep away the debris. Thank you for helping me to find the tools to help disassemble the more stubborn portions. Thank you for being so damn calm and normal that I am forced to look inward to my own gunk and clean it up rather than having an easy target to place the blame on for my faults and sorry for the times I make you the target anyway. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for loving me.

Photo shot by our wonderful wedding photographer Virginia Harold