There’s got to be a better way to shed the layers of dead matter that accumulate through growth and change. You realize that something is amiss, you work and work at changing that something, and in the process, the old unnecessary junk slowly dies and flakes off. OR, you have a major life epiphany which changes everything all at once and that old junk gets dumped off behind you as you drive off in your shiny new Alpha Romeo. Either way, there is excess left, and somebody is bound to be around to clean it up.
My Mom is a hoarder. We had an unfinished basement growing up that has always been full of . . . what we will refer to as “treasures.” There are stacks of papers and wrappers and pictures and what have you all over the house. Because of this, which I find abhorrent, I don’t keep much of anything. If it can’t be filed, used, or stored neatly, it is gifted to either the recycle bin, freecycle, goodwill, or lastly, the landfill. But I do hoard some things: hurt, anger, resentment, etc. . .
Husband, as many gay married (to women) men do, is shedding. Shedding old habits, old thought processes, old assumptions. This is all really good for him, and in the long run, me. But the initial shock of what is being dug out of the wound in his psyche is, well, shocking. Our relationship is built on openness. We talk. And talk. And talk some more until there really isn’t much left to talk about. So, naturally, we discuss pretty much every thought, every emotion, every idea that pops into our brains. But last night, as he was sharing a strain of thoughts he had been working through, I had a moment of, “what if there are some things we shouldn’t talk about?” But if we don’t talk to each other about it, we will talk to others about it, which will build other relationships that mimic our own, and I’m not okay with that.
Husband is a ball of love and empathy. He loves very deeply and has no restraint on who or how much he gives. This has led us into some rocky places. It scares the bejeebers out of me. Especially since our relationship has morphed into Monk-hood, I am concerned that I could be replaced. (not that I am replaceable- but sometimes he might forget about my sheer awesomeness.) This leads me to another whole ball of wax called “sharing the love” which I may delve into later on. Right now, all the love needs to stay right here. Maybe there are some things that don’t need to be shared, but I’m willing to put up with the pain of knowledge until we figure that out. Healthy? Probably not.
So, back to detritus: He sheds. I pick it up. He feels great. I feel un-great. This past year has been a series of his losing emotional (and physical) weight while I gain it. I wonder on a daily basis if I will ever know again what it’s like to feel light.
Last night something pretty miraculous happened though. Like I said, I hoard. However, I’m getting more convinced that it really is okay to throw out some of this emotion, so I kind of tested the waters. After the initial shock of Husband’s shedding, I walked outside and sat on the porch swing and cried, while I laid out my options. a) I can throw a fit and pout til I get what I want- (ha! there’s no amount of pouting that will give me that- but I still try.) b) I can be mean and rude, or worse, cold and cruel to Husband and make him hurt like I hurt- (which is so lame because he is very much aware of my hurt, and hurting him back will only damage the US.) c) I can suck it up (are you kidding me? NOT pout??) and let it go and have a shot at some peace and goodness- (yeah, but what happens when the pain comes back? if I let it go, then I’m not in control!) I actually chose c and immediately felt the Light enter, permeate, and guide me back into the house, packed the kids away in bed, and have a (moderately) rational conversation with Husband. The pain wasn’t gone, and I still tried to punish him a bit, but for the most part, I was okay.
This morning I realized that I am constantly making everything about ME. I apologized, loved, empathized and we are back in business.
Detritus doesn’t have to undo me. With a little humility and willingness to allow others to rise even though I hurt, things can feel just a tiny bit lighter.