Tuesday, September 09, 2008

A Minefield on a Thread

Today I did something healthy… and then I did something really not healthy.

I dealt with what felt like a rejection almost immediately. I started to walk around that rabbit hole of narcissistic injury, making it all about me me me me me, and I stopped. I felt the surge of abandonment and said to a friend, damn, I’m having that surge of abandonment.

I stopped. I looked at that deep stagnant well and remembered stepping in it sucks. I rarely find my way out without a lot of misery and to be honest, it’s been miserable enough lately.

I did. I addressed the rejection to find it wasn’t that at all. It wasn’t about me. Okay, a small part, but not a big one. In the long run, it was a productive conversation. I got clear, the party in question got clear, and all is well with the world.


Nope. Step into my world where triggers dot the landscape, with barely covered trip wires.

I went and did something really unhealthy. I can’t get into the specifics for fear of retribution. It doesn’t matter. I heard myself take care of someone who has been … well… I’ll leave that part for the book. Let’s just say I stepped into my dead mother’s skin.

It took a while to slowly work through my veins. The first piece was not about me- surprise- I heard myself asking someone who came from a far more abusive past than my own to face an open trench with my own rotting bones in it.

How could I do that to her?

Like poison, it finally clenched my heart. Why was I doing it to me?

It’s an issue my wife has slowly circled, like a cat. She never takes her eyes off it, waiting. Does she rush in and take over? I’ve shouted out lines of furious defense- I will do it my way. I need to take back the power stripped from me. I need to be in control.

I saw today, I am not in control. I think cautiously, and play a game of make believe. I look for permission. I make deals that crush my spirit. And I asked for it all.

All at once I am humiliated again. I am small and powerless. I smell the carpet of my youth pressed hard against my face. The weight on my back. I’m scared and I don’t see doors, only four walls. I feel every muscle grip for impact.

The kids are in the backroom, doing homework. An argument breaks out over who gets to use the pencil sharpener next while they share a snack of peanut butter and crackers. One of my old cats lies at my feet- the dog has abandoned me for hope of a dropped crumb. The carpet is hand woven silk with a beautiful tribal pattern, not olive green shag.

I’m trying to pull myself back through a minefield. Meditate on to the minutia of daily life, searching for the thread to pull me back. In my dreams, I feel the ground, I know I have to find it but I can’t see through the dust. It’s a tiny thread and no matter how hard I try, I can’t open my eyes.

No one can take anything away from me. No one can break me.

Dinner to cook. Baths, practicing instruments and reading time. I keep telling myself I can’t cry. I can’t break down in front of the kids. I can’t let them see this pain.

How many more times can I make it back?

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Blogger Amelia said...

I have been there. I continue to go there on occasion. And I can promise you that you can and will make it back as many times as you need to. You will get through today and tomorrow, just like you got through yesterday. Don't forget to breath, reach out to people who understand, and, cliched as it may sound, take things one moment at a time.

11:05 PM  
Anonymous Polly said...

Heavy, heavy sigh.

11:29 PM  
Blogger Seda said...

Every time you go there, you can make it back. But sometimes it gets harder before it gets easier.

I've been there, too, when the black maw sucks you in and you don't want to go there and you don't know how not to...

If you can find an empathy group - a good one where you can fully trust - it's better than a herd of shrinks. (http://www.cnvc.org/en/find-group) And it heals.

Be well. Be blessed. You're not alone.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Repeat everything Seda said, plus this:

Walking through minefields alone sucks ass. The minefield itself is never a place we would intentionally choose to be, although sometimes completely inevitable. Find someone, a group, a friend, a wife, and let them help you through. Two sets of eyes can watch more closely, and two sets of ears can listen to the hurt when things don't go so well. You are brave for facing these things, even when you want to run. Thank you for sharing yourself with us...

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