Tuesday, April 17, 2007

"Love is all you need" - Part one

I believe it was John Lennon who sang, "Love is all you need."

So true.

In a previous post, I mentioned that when my marriage was at the roughest spot and someone asked me, "Why don't you just leave?"

My reply was, "I love him."

I always realized on some level how strong my love for him was, but so many other things were clouded my heart. I had a lot of anger inside - anger at so many people in my life (past and present,) so much frustration at why no one was understanding me. Years and years of frustration - of feeling like I was speaking ancient Greek with no one "getting" me.

It wasn't until I moved 400 miles away, separating myself from not only my extended family, but also my husband (while the house was being sold) that I began to dig through the anger, work through the frustrations. I kept saying to my husband, "I want you with me," but I didn't understand why that was - it had to be more than just seeing my son's eyes fill with sadness after we talked with Daddy on the phone.

And it was. It was much more, but at the time, my feelings overwhelmed me to the point where I was paralyzed. So, I found a therapist here - an awesome man named John who helped me to understand that I it was more than okay for me to allow myself to feel the anger, the frustration, the sadness, the happiness, the joy. He taught me that I always have choices to make, and that I usually make good ones.

That was all well and good, but my marriage still wasn't fulfilling me and I needed to know why. I didn't want to accept that this was as good as it gets.

So, I journalled. A lot. And came to the realization that our communication lines had broken down, well, actually, in my case, the lines were never built in the first place. John agreed - I never thought that I had the right to a voice, having never really been encouraged to have one in my life.

The other realization I had was that I didn't completely trust my husband - he had hidden many expenses from me (probably because he didn't want me to say no) and that always bothered me. In the past, I had mentioned almost every purchase I ever made - it was our money, after all, wasn't it? The fact that Todd didn't share his purchases with our money rankled with me. A lot. Mainly because we couldn't afford to spend frivolously when we were so far in debt - from my point of view, I was scrimping and saving and squeezing every penny from the budget just to put food on the table for all of us, and he was buying heaven only knows what for himself.

So here we were, in a new state, essentially starting a new life. We agreed to split our finances - we split the debt in half, we opened separate accounts, we shared the household bills.

But after a month or so of our new life, John helped me to realize that I still didn't trust my husband. John suggested that I talk to Todd about some of the things that I wondered about - specifically about a night he spent in Niagara Falls (one which he never told me about; I found out through a bank statement.) I countered John's suggestion - I felt guilty that I expected my husband to be completely open with me, and yet I wasn't with him.

John asked me what I haven't told Todd.

I replied, "That I was molested."

That surprised John - that I had never mentioned it to Todd. "Most people tell their spouses those types of things."

"But I don't trust him. I don't trust what he'd do with that information. When we lived in Batavia, I wouldn't have put it above him to drive to my brother's house and beat him up."

"Have you ever confronted your brother?"

"No."

I shrugged. [I was completely uncomfortable talking about all this. And I didn't remember that I ever told him about the incident, although I must have because he remembered my age. Maybe it was at my first appointment...]

He said, "but you've come to the realization that you didn't cause that to happen."

I shrugged.

"You do realize that?"

"I could have said no."

I told him that I hadn't remembered anything up until two years ago, and that even then, it was in blips. I remember some details, but I don't remember how far it went.

"You were in shock. You wouldn't have said no. It's normal."

"But I remember that I was curious."

"And that's natural too in children. It doesn't mean that it's your fault. It doesn't mean you did anything to ask for it."

At that point, we moved off the subject. Maybe because he saw in my eyes that I wasn't believing him.

Anyway, we went back to the fact that I'm still suspicious about what happened that night. That I need to choose (and I don't have to do it tonight, he reminded me) - I either need to truly decide that whether there was a one night stand or not, it doesn't change anything and start trusting Todd. Or I need to ask him about it, once and for all.It boils down to whether I want to live complacently with him, having "pity sex" every now and then. Or do I want to risk for something more. To risk exposing my emotions, my inner soul to Todd - it may fail and he'll crush me, or it may succeed and I'll soar into happiness.

One way puts the burden all on me - I need to work on letting this event go and moving on; where the other way involves involving Todd - laying my heart out to him, risking that he may smash it to bits.

John asked if I thought that the people who put it all on the line for something were happier than the people who were more controlled/calculated. I said it depends on the person.

"What do you want?"

I said that I've been living the controlled and calculated way.

"But do you want something more?"

We ran out of time. John reminded me that I didn't have to decide that night, but whatever I decided I deserve to live and be truly happy.

It was a disturbing session. I knew that I wanted something more - I wouldn't have struggled for so long if I didn't, but I wasn't sure that I could bring it up to Todd. I was scared. Completely terrified that I'd lose him.

Well, that one session with John triggered a week's worth of hell.

Everytime I closed my eyes, I was right back on the den rug with my brother on top of me. I starved myself that week to get rid of the memories, the feelings, the flashbacks. Starvation is an effective numbing agent, but only temporarily.

I went to my next session with John - and we talked about the flashbacks...