Unfortunately not that kind of runner, ( there are a few good reasons why I couldn't wear shorts like that out in public too! Ttwd wives know one, and another, because they wouldn't cover as much...oh I guess that could be the SAME reason)
Right, focus Wilma. Back to running. Before we started
attempting ttwd, I'm not sure I realized that I really was a runner. I explained ( a million posts ago) in my second post, that I had an emotional switch track- like a train.
As time went on, with this ttwd, I began to let the walls crumble a bit...(most of know this to a certain degree). This became the metaphor of choice. Yes, it was decided that I was a mason and built walls. Ttwd became some what of a wrecking ball allowing the walls to be destroyed. Some talk about peeling back the layers of an onion. Throughout this adventure, they are discovering more and more about themselves. I whole heartily agree. I thought within this process, I was done discovering for a while.
Honestly, our adventure with ttwd, has been primarily about self discovery. For both myself AND Barney. We have discovered why we are the way were are. A great deal of it, (shocking!) has to do with how we were raised and how we dealt or didn't deal with things when we were younger. Piling those bricks up, to build those walls. Neither one of us 'blames' our upbringing, but knowing the whys, helps each other understand the 'how to' in able to reach each other to a certain degree.
There lies in the problem. If we both have discovered things about ourselves, and have shared them with each other, WHY do we fail to do our part to help each other flourish in this relationship? Well because it isn't easy!
It has been well over a month since I have written a personal post. Prior to that I wrote a couple of posts that weren't so positive as far as our relationship and ttwd was concerned. The weeks proceeding these posts did not show much improvement. I think I mentioned that there was an accident where I ended up becoming hurt. It wasn't entirely Barney's fault, and again I will state, after a discussion, I had held no ill will towards him. He on the other hand had a much more difficult time coming to grips with things. He is, for the most part over the accident, yet I know it is still in the back of his mind. Anyway, this has played a crucial part in our dynamic disconnect.
This summer I have become an expert in the silent sucker punch. Instead of poking the bear when needing attention, I have closed myself off. Or as I refer to it, a silent temper tantrum. Before this would be obvious to Barney because I would give obvious ( to another woman anyway) signs. More recently I had started to master suppression- so well that unfortunately, when I did blow he had no idea that the pressure had been building. He was totally thrown off guard by my reactions. ( GOLD NUGGET ALERT....
I was spanked for this. He didn't call it a punishment, but informed me in the midst of one such event, that we would 'reconnect' after the kids went to bed. But as with most 'silent' spankings, there was no release- no connection re-established ).
These past couple of months have been somewhat unbearable. To the outside world we still look fine. We walk hand in hand. We cook together. We are respectful of one another. But for those of us who have experienced the wonder and beauty of the connections that ttwd can create, something that we once found beauty in, seems lack luster
compared to what we know it can be
It has been me who has been struggling. Struggling with surrendering? Not so much. I can go through the 'motions' to a certain extent. Yes, I have been sassy. But no longer in a testing, sassy way. It has been playful, yet there has been very little fun involved. Something, somewhere along the line had shut off inside. I had become like an empty vessel.
I used to think that I wasn't a passionate individual-that although I am generally extremely playful, most of the other emotions I had expressed did not fall on the spectrum of passion in my opinion. I was wrong. Sometimes you don't know what you have, until it is gone. Cliché? Yes, but for good reason. Somewhere, somehow in the past couple of months, I became devoid of most emotions. Damn it if joy wasn't the first one to go! Others then followed suit.
We have struggled greatly this summer, I think more at the hands of me. I take a great deal of responsibility for this. I know Barney has certainly played his part with inconsistency, again, but if I have said it once, I have said it a hundred times -I can only control myself and my actions. I need to do my part so he can do his. He has been trying. However, the connection between us seems broken. Moreover MY feeling of connection has been severed. Barney has discovered and admitted that he isn't or rather wasn't an overly affectionate man. His household growing up, while loving and patient, didn't include a great deal of hugging and kissing. When I retreat or as I discovered run, when things go 'wrong' in my heart, this makes him even less comfortable to reach out for me. My running, makes him uncertain of himself.
I have a tendency to run an entire marathon in silence in my mind, and he doesn't even know that the starting pistol went off. During some period this summer, I had even removed my wedding ring. I didn't do it as a tantrum. I didn't do it to try and gain his attention, or to test him. We or I was in such a dark place. I had begun to map out our next few years, and figure out how things would be, when I could 'give' him his freedom from all of this. A wife who needed something that perhaps he didn't want or couldn't bring himself to understand and provide. I wrote a couple of posts, that I didn't post,( but may still) discussing how ttwd has changed me. I shared them with Barney, but nothing seemed to click. My issue was NOT with the physical. My issue was, as in the past, with lack of communication-or what if anything he did with the information I provided him.
He had said something to me in a state of frustration, that I misinterpreted, ( in my defense, it really was a statement that could have meant so many things, but none of them good). This lead to the running. This eventually lead to the removal of the ring. This lead to more disconnect, distance.
While the misunderstanding was eventually resolved, the wound remained for a while. Sometimes it really is a matter of time. What further complicated the issue, was our connection hadn't been there before the misunderstanding. I was still running.
Internally I had run a full gamut of emotions over June and July. I was indifferent. I was numb. I was frozen. Hardened. No longer allowing myself to feel hurt. A friend told me she once told her husband, " The day I stop crying, is the day you need to worry about"...that day had come. I didn't know if there was a way to come back to us. I felt like I was a million pieces, shattered within me, and I had no idea how, or desire to start putting me back together.
We talked. And talked. Most talks were finally initiated by me in the beginning. I had no choice. We couldn't continue the way we were. The way * I * was. As time progressed, I was bitter. Bitter at nothing in particular, just bitter.
Later, another stage came. A stage where tears would burn my eyes over random situations. My emotions were short circuiting. It appeared that I had no control internally, but externally things remained the new status quo. I feared I was returning to pre- ttwd Wilma. Any little thing would set off an emotion, and I didn't know which one it was going to be. This tid bit of information I didn't share with Barney. I felt I no longer could 'trust' him with information which required me to bare my soul. I felt I had done this too many times in the past, and it was like I had said nothing at all. However, these thoughts weren't as coherent at the time. I just couldn't share. I couldn't share because I had no clue what was really happening. .... I realize I sound completely unstable. Honestly, I was functioning, albeit in an extremely distracted and unfocused state.
I was running. I withdrew from people. I wasn't laying in bed crying, as I had done in the past. I felt wrung out. Wilted. Shattered and scattered. A ghost of myself, I suppose. I couldn't read about others, for I couldn't offer anything. I became so frustrated with myself, because I missed myself.
How can one function in a relationship that requires giving, when you feel you have nothing to give?
One day, after something had set me off on another silent temper tantrum, Barney and I were driving. He asked me what was wrong. I said , " nothing"
" Well we both know that is not true. Tonight when I get home, we will be reconnecting"
Yes, yes...Gold Nugget Alert.
The spanking before he had said, " You have been going quiet on me lately. I don't like it when you are quiet"
( I think my family would have had a bird if they knew he was upset for me not talking! LOL. Why look a gift horse in the mouth after all ?)
That night after work, he did spank me, but there was no questions asked. No answers demanded. No mention of the fact that I was being spanked for being quiet. After the spanking was over, I was hurt by something again. ( It didn't take much during this time), but this was a road we had travelled down before.
The next day once again he asked me what was wrong. I told him how he had hurt my feelings the night before. He explained why he had said/done what he had. I gave him a weak smile, of understanding and we moved on. This interaction wouldn't have even happened the week prior. I wouldn't have even been willing to let myself be upset.
Barney is aware that I have great difficulty trusting after I have been hurt. I trust easily and quickly until such time. He knows that although I don't express it often, I feel very deeply when it comes to those I allow in. We have talked at great length about this. He is aware of it, but he doesn't completely understand it, for he doesn't let many in. He isn't cold, quite the opposite. He just operates differently. He has friends that he cares very much for, but he basically reserves the 'deep' feelings for the four of us, and that is all.
I think finally I am starting to get to a point where I can allow myself to stop running. To start to slowly trust my husband again. Really though it will still be a great leap of faith- internally, for me. I am not sure even if faith will be involved, perhaps hope. I don't doubt he can lead. I have seen it.
My fear lies within me that I can give myself freely again. That I can stop running, and unpack my bags. Perhaps it is time for baby steps again. Allowing him to carry my bags away from the front door, with the hopes that some day soon I will be able to pop them open. Hope that I will let him see inside. See what I am carrying once again- like I did a few months ago so willingly that it was second nature.
My first step is to not take a step at all... but to stop running.
(Sorry if this rambling didn't make much sense. I am away from home, and have somehow managed to injure my back. I am having back spasms that are brutally painful, and am hyped up on pain meds. But I wanted to let those of you who have checked up on me know where I was, and why I haven't really been around.)