I was thinking today about the adage "Time heals all wounds" and I was actually arguing in my head that I don't believe it. First of all, on April 4, 2010, I told myself, "I can't wait for April 4, 2011. Surely things will be so much better by then. We will have gone through our first of every single thing in the new light of our story." See, when my sister was killed, I found out that the first time you experience every milestone without that person, it's the hardest. You have the first birthday without them, the first holiday, the first first day of school, etc. etc. But once you've been through that pain, it doesn't go away, it's just that it's not as sharp anymore. So, I thought experiencing the first of everything in my new reality would surely make things so much better and after the year had passed, I'd be well on my way to accepting the new normal of my life.
Then April 4, 2011 rolled around. Honolulu, HI. Dinner out. I was so naive. Ridiculous really, when I think back on it. But very indicative of how I handled the entire situation. I thought if I could somehow commemorate the event, acknowledge it, try not to avoid it but just straight up admit that it was the day the earth shook and the sky went black for me, then I could somehow get control of it, take it in my hands and make it bend to my will. DUMB DUMB DUMB!!!!! The night was a total disaster. I walked halfway home, threw my favorite pair of heels at a homeless encampment (someone in Hono, HI is walking around in a really nice pair of Madden's now) and in general lost my mind. That day is a really bad day in my life history, that April 4.... I don't like that April 4. From that moment forward, I had this frantic urge to get the heck off the island. I felt like I was in jail, I felt trapped there. I felt so completely caged. I remember feeling like a tiger at the zoo, pacing back and forth in the cage, this primal urge to DO something and nothing to DO but pace. So, I did what I ALWAYS do, I ran. I ran and ran and ran. All over Honolulu and Waikiki, I just ran. I ran and BEGGED God to change things. I begged Him to make things better. I begged Him to change my story and not ask my kids to live the life of divorced parents. I begged and begged. I screamed on the black rocks under Diamond Head. I cried my eyes out, drowned out by the crashing waves, only God and the bright purple eel that lived there could possibly hear me, but my groans were spiritual, they were deep, they were primal, and they were painful. I have journal entry after journal entry, typed on the phone while sitting on those rocks. And the cries are not that different from the cries I have today.
Here's the difference though, in what I know today that I didn't know that day, or any of the days leading up to this week, but I know now. I have an enormous heart for the hurting and wounded of the world. Anytime I see someone behaving badly, being mean, or being sad, I only see an individual who is in deep pain. That's why when my friend got so mad at me last week, others were angry with her for her reaction to me, but all I could do was apologize over and over to her because I knew that there was alot of pain coming out in the wrong way. It's the same thing that happened in my marriage. I never told anyone what was going on because I felt sure I could handle the crushing blows on my own. Heap it on me, I can take it. I can handle your pain because I see that it's not personal to me, it's your pain and you aren't meaning to hurt me, you're hurting inside and I'm an accidental victim. My therapist pointed out this week that I am willing to take just about any amount of "abuse" (don't read that wrong, I was not an abused spouse) as long as it doesn't affect people I love. I rarely draw a line for myself that says, "I won't take more than x." I only stand up and put my foot down when people's pain starts to hurt innocent bystanders that I love and care about. While that might sound noble on the front end, I encourage you not to congratulate me on my huge heart or caring ways. Contrary, I've created a mess of a person, a weary soul, and a situation I've got to dig my way out of because I didn't feel WORTHY of having a standard for myself. I don't know why. It's not because I wasn't loved as a child, etc. etc. I was. I don't blame it on my raising, I don't know where the hell I learned this. But somewhere along the way, I started to believe that as long as someone would love me, I could or should take whatever else came along with that too. I just want to be loved so badly that I am willing to be treated in ways that I shouldn't.
So, therein lies the REAL difficulty for me in this whole marriage situation. First of all, I want my children to learn that there are limits to what they should accept from others in order to be loved. Yes, love can be unconditional, love can be tolerant, but the key is, if you are being asked to tolerate things that are not loving, then it's not love you're receiving. I want them to know that they are SO WORTHY of being loved unconditionally, not for what they do, not for how they look, how they perform, whether they get it right or wrong, but just by the mere fact that they ARE... they are children of God, they are precious, wanted individuals who deserve to be cherished, protected, and valued by me, their daddy, and everyone else in their life, regardless of any other thing in the world. Without doing a thing, they deserve that. How do I demonstrate that to them though, if I can't expect it for myself?
But then also, I wonder, will they ever understand what drove me to drastic measures? Will they ever forgive me for drawing a line for myself? Will they ever not blame me that I couldn't figure out how to put this thing back together? I know that this is painful for them, I know that there will be times for the rest of their lives when it will be painful, and then eventually just plain inconvenient. And I'm damned if I can figure out a way to avoid that for them. Which makes me feel selfish for not just sucking it up and figuring it out. But then I think of all the things that have occurred in the past year and a half and oh the ache for my own inner child... the ache for why I wouldn't/couldn't protect HER from some of these things... I should have shielded her the way I shielded everyone else. I'm trying. I'm learning what that looks like. I'm trying to keep my eyes forward focused when others question me and plant shameful thoughts. I'm trying to remember that I have to heal myself first if I am ever ever going to experience what it is I was wanting so desperately. And I'm SO hopeful that when I DO heal, and when I DO experience that, then my children will naturally flourish in the light of that. They are truly my only concern in this. Because if I come out of this alive, I've survived it. If I come out of this as happy personally as I've ever been, but my children wither, I will be a shell forever. If I come out of this alone and lonely, but my children thrive, then I will have lived well and I won't count the cost.
"And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."