Don’t Follow My Footsteps, I Run Into Walls
Posted on July 18th, 2008 in Emotional Angst, Mating And Relating, Polyamory
It’s never easy for me to come to this blog and discuss the moments in my life of which I am least proud. Someone told me recently that they envy my ease with words, which while flattering, is perhaps not entirely accurate. I am loath to say that I just ‘make it look easy’ because I don’t think that is what I do at all. So perhaps it’s best to just say that I write when I can write well, and when I can’t write well, then I don’t write at all.
At any rate, even when I CAN write well, the words are not always simple to put down, particularly when I am sharing something of a sensitive or emotional nature.
Jack and I have run a long and deep gauntlet of emotional upheaval during our weeks apart. Wounds don’t tend to heal over right when your lover is not present to sooth them away with words and touch. Over the past couple of days we have discovered that neither of us has truly let go of the hurt and bitterness that passed between us earlier in the month. We fought fiercely, and since we were not able to physically reconnect, nor even discuss the matter face to face, it was smoothed over with words, but not really resolved in the fashion to which we are accustomed (no, I don’t mean make-up sex, perverts).
We both feel as though we have been at each others throats off and on since before I departed for Alberta. The distance and the stresses of his work and my family have resulted in explosive arguments more than once over the course of this trip. Neither of us can reach out and pull the other into a hug to stop it before it starts, and so we end up angry again, all of the discomfort of past arguments dredged up and refreshed. We both know it’s happening, but when we miss each other and are upset about the miserable conditions of this separation, it’s just too easy to end up taking it out on each other.
It’s not all for nothing. Tonight we had a tift that spilled over into airing of a lot of buried emotions (mostly on my part, since I like to hang out in Denial Land sometimes). It’s still sometimes difficult for me to open up to Jack, generally just about feelings which I feel are stupid or unreasonable, or which I am embarrassed about. It would appear that a lot of those types of emotions have been building up this month, and finally they found release, and Jack finally understands what has been eating me since before I left.
Since it’s hard for me to open up to Jack, you can imagine how much harder it is to open up to hundreds of strangers on the internet, but I’ll give it a go anyway.
I was being selfish, and I knew that I was being selfish, and I hated myself for feeling it. That made me feel worse, because I think that I should know better, and that since I talk all the time about poly and jealousy and blah, blah, blah, I should never ever feel that way.
Well, unfortunately my innards must have missed the memo, because they have been battling it out with my brain all month.
See, Jack had plans with Mz. F which I said were fine beforehand when he talked to me. Then plans changed and I wasn’t notified (like seriously, does he have to update me every freakin minute???) and I felt like my toes were being stepped on and I acted like a nutcase.
Seriously, I am shaking my head at myself just thinking about it.
However, I was hurting and lashing out at Jack because I was having a crappy time in Alberta and I felt like he didn’t miss me or care about me at all. Which was dumb. So, so dumb.
I totally projected all of my negative thoughts onto him, because he didn’t respond the way that I wanted him to at the time. He said it best though, when he told me that no matter what he might have said that day, nothing would have mace me happy, and he was right.
I threw myself right into that bad downward spiral, and I just didn’t have the sense to see it at the time because I was so overwhelmed with my emotions, which had gotten completely out of hand.
This all could have been made simple had I just said to Jack “Look, I know it’s not fair, nor rational, but right now I am feeling jealous because you did X, Y, and Z with Mz. F and those were things I wanted to do with you FIRST because I have an unhealthy obsession with doing things with you before anyone else does them. I do not want you to feel responsible for these feelings because I own them, I simply wanted to explain why I am acting like I lost my mind”
Of course, I didn’t say that.
I didn’t want to admit that I was jealous, because I think that I should be above jealousy. Since I’ve read ALL the books, and know ALL the stuff, I should no longer be susceptible to that awful emotion, and that if I just pretended hard enough, it wouldn’t be true.
You can see how well that worked.
I knew I was being a total fool, but I kept on, because I was too proud/stupid/irrational to just tell the truth.
Perhaps the rest could have been avoided.
Jack was not immune either. He was bitter after our fight on Canada Day. He blamed me for the rest of the week when things didn’t go at all like he had planned. He made a few choice scathing remarks, which of course I took so personally.
Neither of us really understood what the other was going through until yesterday and today. We exchanged a lot of harsh words in the process, but I know that when I see him tonight, it will all have been forgotten. All of that residual pain will be wiped away, and we will figure out the rest of it once we put aside the anger.
I need to work at accepting that I can’t hold myself to ridiculous standards all of the time. I get so angry and disappointed in myself, and I know that it worries Jack, and I know that it’s unhealthy, particularly when it begins to veer into thoughts of a self-destructive nature. Even if I feel as though I ’should know better’ I need to be a little more gentle with myself, and a little less eager to bury those feelings or attempt to deny that they exist.
This has been an important growth experience for me, as uncomfortable as it was, and I think it’s given Jack and I a new appreciation for each other and for our relationship. He truly is my rock, and my soft place to fall, and my lover, and my soul mate, and all sorts of other wonderful things, too numerous to list. I don’t think I really understood how important physical presence is to our relationship and how it impacts how we relate to each other.
I can find the value in all things, even the most unpleasant. Growth is not always comfortable (hence the term ‘growing pains’ I suppose) but it’s necessary for personal discovery and betterment. I don’t think that either of us will soon forget the things that we have learned this month, nor will we finish discussing and examining them for weeks to come.