I cried in therapy today. That is very rare for me.
If you’re not in therapy I suspect you actually think there’s a lot of crying that happens. And maybe for some people that’s true. For some people that are total pussies! (Am I right, guys?! High five!!) For me, what I’ve noticed is that it’s a place to tell the truth – the hard truths. I’ve cried maybe four times total.
My tendency is to run from certain types of pain. I have a wound that tells me there’s something wrong with me because I’m capable of much more than I’m achieving. Therefore, since I can do better, but I’m not, I must not care about myself enough to change. This only time I feel good is if I bust my ass to a near-perfect intensity. Since this pain and shame is so ingrained in my whole being, I have to run from it as much as possible. I call it the “avert your eyes from the mirror as you exit the shower” trick. But in my mind, I’m always naked, all day long.
A perfect example – I bike to/from work, about 45 minutes each way. When I arrive, I’m completely soaked. It’s tough. But still, every day, I’m just not going quite fast enough. Meanwhile I’m carting a suit in a pack and a dog on my back (that was a line in a Merle Haggard country song in the 50s called – Bike Commuter Blues). I never noticed it until recently, but I’m not even proud of the way I pedal. It’s just not fast enough.
After three years of therapy I can finally notice these unfair judgments. And since I can’t face the shame myself, I certainly can’t let you see the real me. Why, you’ll be just as disappointed and leave me!
So, I cried today as I thought about how mean I am to myself and how cruel that is. Then, my mind raced to the last moment I saw my now ex-wife, as she drove away forever. That experience solidified every fear I had against myself. That I simply was a huge failure and she knew it. And she left.
Now, that was nearly two years ago, but that pain is still present. I wish it wasn’t around anymore as I did spend a solid year by myself working on those feelings in groups and with friends. And I hardly think about her. The truth is, too, that she left for her own reasons, many of which (probably most of which) had nothing to do with me.
But sometimes those memories that validate my worst fears pop up from time to time unexpectedly. And when they do I’m not quick enough to discount them with logic and reason. They feel real, so they are.
I cried the other day in bed with my girlfriend, as she was up for the weekend visiting. I was laying in my ex-wife’s side of the bed, which I never do. Then, an overwhelming feeling of sadness crept over me and I cried while in bed, for seemingly no good reason. Can you imagine, you’re in your boyfriend’s bed and he starts crying out of nowhere? Then when you ask him what’s wrong he tells you that he’s crying because he’s thinking about his ex-wife driving away?
That’s a tough thing for your partner to handle. But it doesn’t mean that you’re not “over her.” It just means that’s what came up.
The old me would have judged the shit out of that, telling me I’m a bad person for crying about my ex in bed with my girlfriend. But I’m not a bad person. And I’m not hung up on my ex-wife. But the pain of someone leaving me is my deepest fear and causes pain.
So, I’m going to try to practice acceptance. Except that’s too big a leap right now. Currently it’s just identifying where I’m cruel to myself. And then trying to direct myself back to the feeling, and away from the judgment.
And I’m not going to beat myself up that this blog had no good jokes in it. I’ll be funny tomorrow. Three fart humor is lined up already.