Tuesday June 4, 2013
Confessions of the Heart
Conflict is a bitch. I am torn and conflicted. Thoughts spinning around in my head, not knowing how to process them all. Not long ago I wrote a poem entitled “Longing”. This was a very honest and emotionally raw piece of writing straight from my heart. Written without censoring or fear of judgment. I have went back and reread it several times to see if it still hits me the same way emotionally, and it does. You know how sometimes after you write something out, you look back at it later on and realize that maybe you did over react and that the writing was just a product of reactive emotions taking over? Well that is not the case with this writing.
Since then, I have been trying very hard to change my thinking, to see things in a more positive light, to laugh and smile when I feel like crying. As a very dear friend put it one night during wine and conversation… “fake it till you make it.” Well, that is not working for me. I have been trying so hard to just go with the flow and let things happen as they will. To not be so controlling and uptight about certain situations and issues. But the problem is… is that the more I do that, the more I feel like I am not being true to myself and my true feelings. I still feel all of the things I wrote about in that poem. I have just been trying very hard to change my thinking. To cherish and appreciate what I DO have, currently… rather than longing for something that I used to have. But what I used to have is what I still want, it is my ideal, my dream. Something that I never thought I would find or have, and once I did I continue to fight with every bit of strength I have to keep it .. to get it back. Is it gone for good? How do I say that without sounding selfish? It feels fake to me, to keep trying to pretend it is alright. To try to change my thinking to make it more positive, when some of those things that I am trying to change and compromise towards are things that … in all honesty with myself… don’t have much room for compromise.
In relationships, over time, two people either grow together and evolve to create a stronger bond and relationship… or they grow apart. They may realize that they have different ideas, different wants and needs, different thoughts about too many things. When I felt that… growing apart… I fought it. I fought it with everything I have. I talked and cried, expressed my feelings, asked for what I needed and wanted, said how I felt about the changes and what I wanted and when that didn’t work I complained and nagged until I could hardly stand my own behaviors. I even attempted to change myself and the ideals I had for what I wanted out of a partner, relationship and life, in order to keep fighting and make it work. But with both sides trying so very hard… how do you know if and when it just won’t work? If you grow apart, what does it take to get back together?
I have been feeling really guilty about some of my emotions and behaviors. Guilty that I have felt and acted so controlling. Guilty that I have demanded so much. Yet on the other hand I am glad that I stood up for what I needed and wanted. But what happens when there is no compromise to be made? And why… why do sometimes I feel okay with it, then other times I am about ready to crawl out of my skin worrying and obsessing over the same thing I was okay with just the day before? I think it is because I am trying so hard to change my thinking, my actions and my behaviors that it almost works. Then for whatever reason, something happens and it all comes rushing back to me and I let out my true feelings, my true thoughts and emotions. And they tend to be overwhelming since I have tried so hard to cover them up or talk myself out of feeling what I truly feel. No matter what, I have to be true to myself. I may be able to put on a smile and fool other people, but I can’t fool myself. I can’t deny what I am truly feeling.
So here lies my conflict. What if we are growing apart? As I am getting ready to write the next chapter of our book, I see that year one and two were absolutely amazing. Not without their problems of course, but just so amazing. Year three was a huge struggle, but a struggle that helped to bring us more together and strengthen our bond. Then looking back at this past year, to me it feels like a continued struggle but rather than bring us closer, I feel more distant and less bonded. For all of the reasons I wrote of in “Longing” .. all of those things that made me feel so close and connected. Without them I feel lonely. We are both trying. He is trying so hard and making a lot of progress and showing a lot of changes, yet I have this feeling that they are forced changes and not genuine. Changes that aren’t sticking. Changes that are good for a while, then go back downhill again. Like he is fighting just as hard to hold on to us and trying to do what he can, but in an attempt to keep the balance. Because the alternative is just too painful to bear.
Tuesday June 10, 2013
Out of Time
What do you do when you are struggling and fighting with your own mental sanity on a daily basis. When you break down and no one attempts comfort you, to hold you and calm you, to reassure you… instead, they just go to sleep, or walk away and go to bed. Having a wonderful, unexpected evening together than all of the sudden, a topic of conflict comes up and my body instantly reacts with so much anxiety… my heart racing, hands shaking, that lump in your throat feeling with such a heaviness and tightness in my heart. Is that one substance really that important to him? So important that it is allowed to cause continued stress, anxiety and turmoil in our relationship? How is that possible, and how does he not see that as a big of a problem as I do? Is it denial? Is it resistance? Is it stubbornness?
Presently, I am a part time girlfriend. A position I did not want or strive for. Relationships need time, nurturing, attention… or they drift apart. We are drifting apart. Yes, work and school are definite priorities. Things that are a must, not flexible to change. But then there are those other activities that are not mandatory, important yes, but not mandatory. Yet still activities that this part time girlfriend takes a backseat to. I want to be as supportive and understanding as I can, about every aspect… but it does not mean I have to take a back seat, to feel less important, to not be a priority.
When I was married, I spent most of my time alone. Doing activities on my own and creating my own experiences and memories. Mostly because he and I had different interests and likes. One of the many reasons our relationship didn’t work. I hated it. I hated being in a relationship and feeling so alone and lonely, trying to fill that hole with other activities or things. Then I met Eric. I was amazed by all of the similarities we had and all the things we had in common. All of the activities we liked to do together. We spent as much time together as possible. I was so happy to have someone to share all these experiences with. To have a partner to share my life and interests with. To have what I had been missing so bad in my marriage. But now… I am falling back in that hole I used to be in. Eric is busy with his life, with his priorities, which no longer seem to include me. Which means I am forced to create my own solo world again. Something I do NOT want to do! I do not want to be in a relationship and feel lonely and alone. Yet, it is happening again. The worst part.. it is out of my control. Nothing I do or say seems to help him see how utterly important this is to me. Nothing that will convince him to cut back on some things that are .. important.. but not mandatory.. in order to rescue our relationship… even if just temporarily. Is that a red flag? Is that a sign that should make me open my eyes to see that I truly am not as important to him, in his life, as I thought or hoped I was?
A relationship that once felt so freeing. Where I was able to be me fully. Where I thought we both were… now feels oppressive and stagnant. He feels like I am taking away from part of who he is due to some of my expectations. I feel like I am losing a part of myself because I am settling for something I know that I do not want.
He says that all of my negativity is clouding my mind and my thoughts. He may be right. However, I do still see the positive changes he has made, and make attempts to acknowledge and thank him, to show my appreciation. Yet I have still been through enough to know what I want out of a partner, of a relationship and out of my life… to know that I want to feel important, like I am the utmost priority in his eyes.. everyone deserves to feel that way. Why should I have to negate those things, that I feel are necessities in a relationship to me… I shouldn’t. And I can’t continue to, especially if he won’t even budge or compromise.
When you know that time is running out… that decisions have to be made… oh my gosh, what do you do. So much fear, so much sadness. I did what I told myself I would never do. I asked him to choose. To choose me, us, our relationship, our lives, our love, our family and our future together,… over this substance that seems to be so important to him.. and one day a week of this important, but not mandatory piece of his life. Not asking him to give it up completely, never asking that… just to cut back. I felt like, with time running out… it was my last ditch effort. The last thing I knew to do to pull at whatever strings are still there binding us together, before they are severed completely.
I feel, like at this point, I have done all that I can do, all that I am able. I have expressed… MANY times what I need and what I want and I feel I have made so many efforts to try and make it all work… short of continuing to deny myself of my own needs and necessities. Things are now out of my control. Hardest for me to want and hope to change a situation that is so far out of my control. I just hope he is able ot realize the one of a kind love that we have and how rare and special it is… and will do what it takes to not lose it.
Maybe I have created this idealized view of him and of our relationship. Maybe the reality is not as accurate as this idea in my head. Maybe I need to open my eyes to the reality and see the signs, the red flags. Maybe he needs to open his eyes to the severity of the situation. To see that what we have is a once in a lifetime love and it is about to slip through his fingers. I don’t want it to end. But yet, I do not want it to continue this way. The conflict never seems to end.