Ok, I have resumed journalling, rigorously, of course, because I either do things with rigor or not at all. sooo—With this man, who is widowed, from the love of his life, I am able to behave a little differently, then I would, say, with a regular single person. Because certain assumptions cannot be made about his behaviors or agendas. Even though with regular people, I should also not assume to know what is behind their words and actions, I do. But I 100% am lacking in personal experience with people who have known his kind of love and loss. So, rather than immediately reacting (to or at him) I am now able to pause.
I head straight to my journal where I(feverishly-as I do all things) record my perception of what he has or has not said or done which is affecting me. And there, on the paper, with my pencil, I write down the story I am telling myself about that behavior. Then, I write out what I would say to him, if the story were true. I zero in on what specifically I am having a reaction to and how I am feeling –which illuminates for me, what I need and fear and why exactly I feel the thing—-and I am seeing over and over that ptsd can pose as intuition and vice versa… Like— Am I reacting to a thing that actually transpired OR a thing which reminds(triggers/flashbacks) me of past trauma(betrayal/abandonment)?
I shall refer to him as Stu. So, not only does Stu differ in remarkable ways previously mentioned- which precludes me from automatically applying my assumptions, but his standard response to feeling challenged or confused is wildly different and gorgeous- like stunning.
I have known and chosen few if any genuinely humble and courageous ( -seems as if these two qualities go together) self reflective people. Things which no person with whom I have been in family or optional relations has ever recognized or admitted about themselves, but he HAS:
“I don’t know what I am doing. I can be a difficult and confusing person.” Stu reports these things with unknowingly brilliant awareness. I am hopeful that, for as long as our paths may be crossed, we will contribute meaningfully to the other’s healing.
Nothing like a new relationship to remind us of our wounds and all the work needed to repair and grow. Stu is for sure a good journeyman, not afraid and not too proud and more than willing. It is agreed, that whatever we are doing- is a one day at a time thing.
Honest(Emotionally honest not just saying words reflecting a level of factual accuracy). Open. Willing. –We each show up in these ways. I am crying much of the time(not unusual for me). I cry because feelings in general get too big for me and are released through my tears, not only for sadness, but also delight, appreciation, frustration, excitement, fear…. I am quickly and easily overwhelmed by most emotions and sensations. This results from both my wiring(nature) and my trauma(nurture). My wiring meaning my nervous system and brain chemistry leave me especially porous and everything gets in(in high def)…my trauma referring to how I have been previously regarded in times of overwhelm (handled like a poopy diaper filled with venomous snakes) for being a constant feeler of big, deep, dificult to process feelings….or as it has been labelled–dramatic, pain in the ass, thin-skinned, crazy, delusional.
In my family of origin, it seems insensitivity is of the highest value and is also confused for strength. And sensitivity recognized as weakness, if not selfishness, managed (by the powers that be) with alienation, mockery, shaming and smearing. I literally am thanking god for a growing, more wholesome understanding of and respect for sensitivity, courage, compassion, selfcare…and an even greater awareness of what it means to be near those who judge and mask sensitivity and wear THAT like a badge of honor and superiority. The ranking of members in my FOO is glaring- plain for any one to see– with levels of observable sensitivity having designated the value and place each person holds.Much Love,
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