Monday, August 20, 2007

Whirlpool

I had a dream last night that I was sucked in again by someone who I seem to desperately need to have approval from. In some ways, it was a mask and could have been so many people in my life- especially my mother and my wife.

I feel like I’m always at the edge of a whirlpool, swimming as hard as I can to keep from going under. the pull to be a good girl, to make everyone happy is so strong. If I simply let go, I’ll no longer have to do any work for myself. I can dedicate my life to other people, making them happy.

I went back to an old job in my dream, promising to work through my vacation. I was so happy that I was no longer held in contempt that nothing else mattered. I didn’t think twice about my own work, my kids, my family- all that mattered was the golden light of approval, acceptance.

Nothing else.

Awake, I wonder... am I just trying to please? to be good enough? to stop others from being disappointed in me? If I said, listen, my marriage isn’t going to work, not because anyone is a horrible person but because we’ve dug trenches too deep to recover from, would people be angry with me? Let down?

Yes, I believe they would.

Is that reason to stay?

Will I always make decisions based on other people’s perceptions? I don’t think I even have a place, deep inside, that is untouched by fear.

I’m amazed that a year later, I can still dream vividly about trying to undo someone’s rejection of me. The pain is still there. What do I get from carrying that around for so long? Tools to beat myself up with in case I run out of something fresh to use? I wasn’t good enough then, I’ll never be good enough- what do I need to do to make peace with that?

I keep thrashing away, trying to stay away from the whirlpool. I wonder if my efforts are creating the centrifuge I am trying to escape.

Deep down, I know the dream was about my marriage. The place I find myself right now. Looking in all directions, terrified of the choices, driven by the need to be accepted.

To have the approval dangling slightly out of reach but always in sight.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Laura said...

have you guys tried couples counseling?

3:53 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

hello? laura? we are lesbians, therapy and counseling is a way of life...

4:36 PM  

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