I need you. I am ashamed.
Those words are maybe the most difficult I’ve ever spoken. I’m not perfect, and I never was. I never will be, although I spent way too many years of my life hoping I could be, wishing I could live up to other’s expectations, and hoping I’d be enough.
And for most of my life, I tried really hard not to need anyone, even though I poured my heart into every relationship I ever had. I let others need me, but I couldn’t need in return. I mean, I could, I just couldn’t let the other know just how much.
I also jumped in with two feet into anything I did – relationships, school, jobs, everything. I found strength within myself to get through anything, regardless of the cost to me. It was never a question of whether I could, I just did.
I did what I thought I should. I put others first. I came through. You could count on me. Always.
But that had a high cost. So high.
It has taken me a long time, but I’ve come to a place where I can tell others when I need them, although it’s not always easy. I still feel shame, but I’m trying.
With M, I’m so open about my needs, but it feels all tangled at times, because I have this intense need to please him first and to seek his permission to put my needs on the priority list. And when I fail at making myself clear in what I need or expressing it fully, because I’m ashamed, I end up feeling even worse, as if even he isn’t making my needs a priority. I’ve made that mistake more than I care to admit.
Over the last few years, I’ve shared with M how much I need him, but my job is an issue that has only gotten worse. I’ve tried to express just how much worse, and what I need because of it, but I’ve not always succeeded. Now, I’m at a place where, despite the amazing things going on in our relationship and with my girls, I feel like I’m drowning. My job is sucking the life out of me. It has slowly, over the course of 13 years, completely depleted me, and it has far reaching affects in all areas of my life. I’m running on fumes at this point, and the thing is….I know I have the strength to get through. I do. It’s a part of me which will never ever go away. I can dig deep and do whatever I have to.
But I don’t want to be strong in this case, not anymore. The cost is far too high. Putting that face on and stuffing those feelings away so I can get through turns me into someone I’m not, someone I don’t like. Someone who isn’t ME.
And I NEVER want to feel like a foreigner in my own skin again.
In order to get through it, I need M more than I ever have. I need him to be the life raft. I need him to help me to not lose me. Ever again. I need my needs to matter as much to him as they do to me….and in order for him to be able to fully do that….I need to lay them in his lap and let go of the shame I feel for needing him as much as I do.
Slowly, and layer by layer, I have shared my deep need for him as well as my needs. I have laid them all out, open and honest, absolutely and completely.
I can’t say my shame is gone, but it’s one step closer to letting it all go. And it’s allowing us to go even deeper together. We are building the structure we need to get through it, the structure I need. It’s going to be a process, one we’ll have to tackle together.
And my strength? It’s still here. He’s my raft right now. I’m hanging on with all my might.
But I’m still kicking my feet like a mofo, while I hang on.