Why do I sometimes need M to save me from myself? It’s a tough question, one I’ve asked myself dozens upon dozens of times. Many times I feel so silly after I think it through.
I don’t always know the why. And sometimes, I know what I’m doing isn’t good for me, but I can’t stop. It’s as if all my logic has been stomped down deep. I avoid using it, and this mess of thoughts I’m left with has left the train station, the momentum only gaining in strength. My thoughts continuously justify themselves until I’m exhausted and can’t do anything but avoid eye contact, because I KNOW what I am doing or what I did makes no freaking sense. But I also don’t know the why. I don’t know why I continue, not in the moment, at least.
Here’s a recent example:
M had a surgery a few weeks ago. He’s healing beautifully, and that makes my heart so happy. He is so very thankful for the care I’ve been providing for he and the girls while he’s healing, on crutches, and cannot drive. Last Sunday, he had spoken with the girls and they were going to show their appreciation by doing the Sunday chores for me, giving me some free time. It was so sweet and kind.
Except, I didn’t use the time to relax. I didn’t read or write or take a bath. I mowed the lawn. I did laundry, cleaned other stuff, and did other chores that just seemed to be looming over my head, making it difficult for me to relax. They didn’t need to be done on Sunday. They could have been done any day of the week, in fact. But, I could not relax while they worked, even though I was completely exhausted. I even completed a task he specifically told me NOT to do, but in my head, I was convinced he’d be proud of me. Usually now I can accept when he helps with the cooking or does a load of dishes or folds some clothes, but this I struggled with. By the end of the day, I was an exhausted mess.
Here’s the most twisted part of it all for me: We truly see what we each do for one another and the family. Our appreciation overflows. The fact that he does such things for me touches me so deeply; it’s the most affirming feeling in the world. Here he is, truly understanding, saying and doing things I always daydreamed of, and yet…..I cannot accept it. I want it, I’ve always wanted this sort of eye opening transparency that allows us to so deeply see and appreciate one another. And here he is trying to communicate it to me…..and sometimes I can’t receive it.
By the end of the day, after I was sufficiently reset (with the cane) and pliable, it was staring me in the face. I mean, I was staring ME in the face, and I was brought to tears. It’s me. It’s me who ends up using negative self talk to tell myself all the things that will still be looming and unfinished, and not putting myself on that list anywhere. I do it all the time. I even know I’m doing it. Ultimately, I end up directing my frustration with myself at him, even if only in my head. In this case, it was because I needed him to say, in no uncertain terms, that I needed to go relax. That I was ALLOWED to turn off my radar and allow my brain and body to relax, that it was okay that they did the work and that I did something else that wasn’t work. In fact, that’s what I always need, for him to say so. I often have trouble even asking for time for me, even though I know I desperately need it.
And that’s ultimately what feels silly to me, that I cannot do that for myself, that I need him to do it for me. That maybe I don’t feel like I deserve it, I don’t know, but I know that when I explain it to him, it feels shameful. I feel like I’m asking him for something I should be able to do for myself, and I can’t decide if I feel that way because ‘that’s the way it should be’, meaning I have this notion in my head that I’m not living up to some standard a strong woman should be able to live up to, or because it’s so raw and small and vulnerable admitting to him I need that from him sometimes. I don’t know. Likely, it’s some of both.
And the biggest question of all is….should the goal be to help me learn to do that for myself? Is that what I’m asking for?
Next time, he said he’s going to make me leave the house. I wonder how that will go?