I feel like it is appropriate to name this time of my life as the Crusades. This is a dark time for me. Maybe this is my midlife crisis. I feel like it’s been going on a decade.
The past several months, I have been doing personal development that has been encouraged by my younique sisters. The journey, to say the least, has definitely made me more aware of the areas that I need to work on as a person, as a human, and as an individual. The personal development has spilled over into my professional life, but most of it has been intensely focused on my relationship with my husband and with myself.
I don’t know where I’m headed. There is little security in my mind that I’m headed to the same place that my husband is. I should made a disclaimer here that this is my head, not reflection necessarily of actual stated comments. Maybe in a couple of weeks, when we are in the future retirement location that we both want to be in, I will have more security. Everytime we go to Cedar Key, my heart breaks when we leave because I feel like we are leaving home for an unknown amount of time. It’s the only time in my life that I feel that way. It is amazing how insecure I feel right now. I constantly worry about people dying around me so much so that I have been dreaming about people dying and doing stupid things. I know I have graphical images of all of that in my head from living in this world and culture, but there’s no reason for me to feel that way all the time. Yet I do.
I guess the biggest reason that I am putting this all on paper is because I am becoming aware of my behaviors and thought patterns. This is part of my growth and I know it is part of my journey to live a wholehearted life. That is what Renee Browns research has named my new goal. Of course when I say it like a goal, then I create a place for disappointment potentially. It is hard to put into words how that works, but I will try. Wholehearted people do not make a goal of trying to be wholehearted. That’s like striving for Perfection and Perfection constantly changing. Which actually is the truth. Even perfect people are not perfect depending on who is watching them and in their own interpretation.
Based on what I am learning from Brené Brown, better goals are to try to be present and recognize when vulnerability and shame creep in and know how to react to them when they do. I think that is probably the hardest part for me, the latter part. In most of my arguments in my life, I don’t realize that shame is happening and then I start defending myself because of it. Yesterday’s argument with my husband reflects exactly that pattern. Shame crept in, blame came out, and I could not take accountability. And my husband acts like he’s not guilty of all this at the time, so that creates even more feelings of shame for me. But after reflection, I know he does the exact same thing. In fact, that’s something that drives me crazy when we are talking because I feel like I have learned all this and he has not learned it with me. Neither one of us have the tools to be able to stop ourselves from feeling the shame and reacting when we do. And to go back to Perfection, it drives me crazy. I don’t see it and cannot communicate well enough about it.
After learning all of this, I feel like I should be able to communicate this perfectly and so that everyone can understand. And I can’t. I can’t figure out how to communicate most of the jumbled thoughts in my head anymore. And I feel shame for that too. As I write this, I know that I am being ridiculous with my expectations of myself. But how do I stop this? Why can’t I stop it?
Because I am a perfectionist and a co-dependent and have felt shame for 36 – 39 years. I realize I can’t fix this overnight and do I really need to fix it? Or do I just need to recognize that I do it and have patience for myself? Perhaps that’s the easiest answer, but that’s the hardest one.
One of my newer friends attends Al-Anon and suggested that I might find help with that environment. I am definitely going to talk to our marriage therapist about this. I feel like therapy is ineffective for me anymore because they just listen and don’t have candid conversations with me. That is really what I feel I need and empathy. I need so much empathy and patience from other people. I feel like I don’t have that.
So I guess this Crusade battle related to my emotions is a lengthy one. Trying to summarize emotions is not the easiest job. My husband last night said that emotions are so simple and I could not even comprehend what he said. No they’re not! Emotions are incredibly complex and the way I feel encompasses so many different names all at the same time. Him saying that it’s simple and using one word to describe his current state of mind is infuriating to me. How can he say that? At the moment he said that, I was feeling about 8 different things. Is this just the difference between a man and a woman’s brain? I realize we are biologically different and our brains due process differently comma but is that really what this is or am I also over-complicating my entire life? We all know the answer to that. But I see a lot of women that are in my shoes and feel the pressure to be so much more than they are. For no apparent reason. And recently I learned about comparison and the people that we pick on or make comments about are usually the ones that remind us of the shame we feel somewhere in our lives. It quickly made me realize that one specific friend I have is a bodybuilder and I feel like she is taking her to body to places that might harm her in the future period I know these are lessons she must learn and honestly she looks more masculine than most men. So that’s another thing that I noticed. And in my head and in a few conversations I’ve had with people I’ve commented about her. I’m not meaning it hurtful to her. I’m observing her and knowing that I don’t want to go that same route in my life, but mentally I am shaming her a little for the choice that she is making that I know she will regret later. And as a friend, I want to tell her that but I feel like I can’t. But on the flip side, I’m also self-conscious about my body. I say I focus on health and I do for the most part comma but I care every day when I see fat on my belly for puff your cheeks or whatever today’s problem is. Therefore I pick on her in my head. And then I beat myself up for feeling that way and mostly for being a bad friend. I want to be everybody’s friend and he’ll that closeness to them like what I see other people having with their friends. I don’t feel that way with hardly anyone. I don’t feel like I can me my hundred percent self to anyone in my life at all except for maybe one person. When we are made to connect azpeople, as a species, I want desperately to feel connected with others. I don’t feel like anyone else display that to me either. Does everyone put up a wall or are there people that tear down those walls this Mitch? I can’t help but think about the bullseye reference that a therapist made to me where people move in and out of the Rings on the bullseye. Who are the Marvel jar friends that are in the middle of that bullseye? If I named them right now, it would be my friend Holly, sometimes a few other friends like Lisa or Tammy. Josh on some days. But I’m not sure I have any others that are in that middle ring and I know that’s ok but I feel like I should know more about them. I don’t feel like a good friend to them and that is the part that bugs me. Josh complained about it for years that I didn’t know him and that my gift-giving was poor. He joked about it and said it was funny to him, but I don’t think it’s funny. I feel like a bad person because I don’t know how to do it better and I know that wasn’t his intent, but it’s how I feel. I mean if I’m not a good wife, who am I? If I’m not a good friend, who am I?
Do you see the team always coming back to perfectionism? How do you stop trying to be perfect? I seriously feel like the only person out there that has these problems and I know I’m not the only one. Doesn’t someone else feel this way and talk out loud about it? I share my wisdom two other people that ask, but I don’t think that I’m the only one out here that should be talking about it by myself. Right? Or is this also perfectionism? Ugh! Be everything to everyone and when you slip, be the best at recognizing that you did and fix it. These all are shame and perfectionism related items. Oh Brené brown, will you please be my therapist?