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?