Monday, April 29, 2013

Please Share Your Umbrella




The weather was wonderful.  Sure there were a few clouds that peppered the blue sky, and they threatened to unite, but all in all it was sunny and warm.  We were walking together which was nice.  It was better than nice.  It felt right.  Finally one was not pulling the other forward or hold the other back.  We were walking hand in hand.  One patiently waiting while the other stopped to look more closely at something.

I had brought a back pack with me.  In it I still had a few things I needed in case of an emergency.  For the most part, Barney had convinced me to lay it down beside the water, as I didn't require those 'things' anymore.  If an emergency came up, he would handle it.  I still retained my light jacket.  I wasn't wearing it, but I did have it tied around my waist.  After all clouds did pepper the sky. 

The sun kept my bare arms and legs warm.  His body sheltered me from the cool breeze coming off of the water.  I was loving every step of our adventure.  The clouds started to become more organized.  The sun was still shining, but I could feel a drop in the temperature ever so slightly.  I reached for my light 'shell'.  Barney told me there was no need to do it up.  Unfortunately once I 'catch' a chill it is difficult for me to get warm again.

Then it happened.  The clouds united and the sky opened up.  I stood frozen in my place.  A step behind was my back pack and 'emergency' supplies.  I waited.  I searched Barney's face for answers.  I had an umbrella of my own, but it was not as nice as the one he carried.  Barney's umbrella is big enough for two.  Mine only for me, and often my back still gets wet in a bad storm.

I waited.  I looked at his umbrella hoping he would pull me under it.  There was no time for communication, as the storm was fierce and loud.  The river bank had swelled and my feet were stuck.  It was too difficult to run to him.  I needed him to protect me from the pelting rain.  The offer of the umbrella never came.   I zipped up my shell, and reached behind me to retrieve my own umbrella from my back pack, I was told I didn't need.  I was not sure what unsettled me more, the fact that I waited until I was drenched to the skin before reaching for my own umbrella, or the fact that it was instinctively retrieved so quickly.

After the storm past, the sun did not return.  I was not only drenched to the bone, I was cold-shivering from the dampness that seemed to creep in.  Barney attempted a few times to get me to remove my shell because the it was holding in the cold.  I refused.  After all there was no sunshine in the sky to help dry me off.  What difference did it make?  I was very resentful that he didn't offer his umbrella.  If he had given me the protection I needed, I would not have been as wet.  My shell would have had a few drops, but my skin below would have still been warm from the earlier sunshine.

Others passing by on their own adventure suggested I take off my shell.  They said that even though the sun was not out at the moment the air was still warm.  I had no desire.  It was my jacket and I would take it off if/when I was ready.  Every once and a while I would let the zipper down a bit, but I was too afraid to expose my arms again.  What if the air really isn't that warm?  I also can't see the sun, what if it starts to pour rain again?  I have to protect myself from the elements.  I can't take off my jacket, just to have to reach for it again in a few minutes. It is not worth it.  The rain WILL come again, and I need protection.  If it has to be in the form of my pathetic jacket and small umbrella,so be it.  But it has to come from somewhere.  I need my back pack of things.  It would appear not just for emergencies.

I was shivering.  All I could hear was my chattering teeth.  I couldn't see because of the water running down my face.  I became resentful.  Not only because he didn't offer his umbrella, but after the fact he didn't move me away from the swollen river bed.  He left me there waiting for me to join him on dry land.  He didn't lead me away.  He left and waited to see if I would follow.  I didn't.  I couldn't.  For he wasn't leading he was he strolling.

A long time I stood there.  He was no longer in sight.  Resentment grew.  I knew someone had to lead.  Strolling isn't always an option in a family.  I could take the time to 'follow' someone who was zigzagging, trying to find a path but the rest of my family didn't have the luxury of time on their hands.  They need to be lead or they could get lost.

The problem is I hate leading.  I did alright but Barney was always a better map reader.  I can instinctively find my way but it doesn't mean that the people with me enjoy the trip.  I know I certainly didn't.  Resentment grew.  I seemed fixated on this fact, yet it didn't seem like quite the right 'fix' for the resentment.  I knew that Barney was going to take a while to chart the way.  He had already started. 

No the resentment grew from that lack of protection from the elements.  The resentment  grew from the lack of protecting myself from me-from walking hand and hand again.  To a lessor degree the resentment was that he didn't use the tools handed to him to help us start walking again.  Still there was more to it than that.

Finally after standing alone, with the occasional 'check back' from my husband, my shell ,while still on, began to dry.  The shivering subsided.  The teeth stopped chattering.  It was then that I realized  I so wanted the protection of Barney's umbrella.  I have always wanted it.  Perhaps it hasn't always seemed that way.  During our 'adventure' he assured me I didn't need my own anymore,not if he was around.  In the past he had let many small showers, ( I shall call them Gazoo storm fronts) drench me.  So much so that I wore a jacket all the time.  A few years ago he allowed me to be pelted by rain off and on for over a year with another storm front,literally telling me I needed to find my own way out of the eye of the storm.   This storm  we just weathered was merely a minute shower, in the grand scheme of things, but one that threatens to keep circling back.  My heart aches that he didn't offer his umbrella until after the storm had blown through.  My mind has rationalized that if he can't or won't step over to cover me in a small storm, can I truly leave my back pack and my emergency supplies behind me?

I am aware of the saying April showers bring May flowers, and I have to trust that some day this will ring true for us.  I know that there will be many more storm fronts that come into our lives.  My hope is that the next time it will not only be this umbrella I see


 
 
 
 
But this one I feel
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

51 comments:

  1. Glad that you and Barney have come to a moment of mutual understanding in your relationship.

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  2. Beautiful imagery Willie. It left me feeling bittersweet, but hopeful too. Leaving the backpack behind can be daunting...so can trusting oneself to know when to open the umbrella and how high to hold it. Come rain, or shine, you're on your way and you're outside, exploring, together.

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  3. Again, nicely said!

    I really don't have a lot to say to this because I have been fighting my own storms and in a lot of ways, I even refused the umbrella. However, it is reading posts like this that reminds me I am not alone and in saying so, you're not alone either.

    If you need a chat, send me a line.
    Jane :)

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    1. Hey Jane.

      I am sorry you have had to weather your own storms lately too. We are certainly not alone. Even if we are experiencing a different weather system, knowing that friends are there to support you makes the day just a wee bit brighter.

      Thank you,
      willie

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  4. I love the last picture - but if you are both naked, why do you need an umbrella anyway?!

    And I'm afraid these little storms blow up on all of us Willie. We think we're doing great then a sudden squall overtakes us in the blink of an eye.

    I have to tell you that Starman and I have never been 'hand holders'. Instead I 'loop arms'. It keeps me closer and I feel more secure. Sometimes he holds his elbow out for me to 'loop', and sometimes he just forgets, so I stick my lower lip out and have a good pout.

    The trouble is that when we are walking 'arms linked' he gets this tendency to walk too fast for me. I laughingly tell him that I feel like an 'Arab wife', you know, always a couple of steps behind? It's only just lately that I've noticed he's started to slow down so I don't have to keep breaking into run!

    We still get in a mess sharing his umbrella though - what can I say - the drips, more often than not, fall down the back of my neck. These are classed under 'minor irritations' and I just wrote a post about such things.

    Life, and husbands, can remain a mystery to us. But we love them nonetheless.

    Just keep hanging in there girl!

    Many hugs

    Ami

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    1. Well if we are naked, why do we need the umbrella? Paparazzi in helicopters, OBVIOUSLY!

      Well I must say, this storm was more than a minor irritation of dripping rain drops, but we'll muddle through :)

      Soggy hugs back!
      willie

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  5. Wonderful post! I have no doubt your flowers will come. Like you said, keep trusting in that. :)

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    1. Thank you Sarah.

      I hope you are right, with all the rain, and not too mention the fertilizer those flowers should be spectacular!

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  6. I like that - the imagery of the man and woman under the umbrella and the one with the family too as they both are special and the hand holding which always I love doing with my husband. Flowers will be here soon...without rain there can be no flowers or growth. Ok, that was corny - sorry - but true? :-) It is still raining here (well on the inside) outside it is gorgeous so maybe I just have to step outside a while... :-) Hugs

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    1. It's okay Terps, this post lends itself nicely to corny comments :)

      I'm sorry you have your own little storm cloud hovering about. I'm hoping for a big gust of wind in your direction. Until that point, maybe the exterior sun will provide a little of what your need.

      willie

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  7. Excellent post I loved the way you wrote it, him far away yet close enough to watch over you

    Bob

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  8. I love your metaphors my friend...have you told Barney how much you like his umbrella?
    Love,
    Bea

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    1. Aw, thank you Bea.
      We have discussed it over the years. Guess it is time to beat him over the head with mine! ( oops, guess that spanking didn't 'take' today )

      love ya too my friend!
      willie

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  9. When you are strong it takes more bravery to let down your shell and communicate a need for their 'umbrella'
    Just keep working at it. It will continue to get better and better.

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    1. Thank you Minelle for your encouraging words.

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  10. Willie, what a beautiful post. It's so hard to want and need that protection and feel like it's not there. I think for me it's finding a way to let him know how much I need him because the need makes me feel weak. Some days it feels like he wants to be the guide and some days I just can't find the strength to keep asking. I always know that's when I need him the most. But it's also the time when I find it's the hardest to ask. Pulling away and going it alone is always the default mode here. But I find it impossible to keep running. Hopefully, one of these days we'll both be in sync and we'll understand each other better.

    I'm glad you found your way under Barney's umbrella. Hoping you stay there out of the storm.

    Wishing the best for both of you! C

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    1. You summed it up beautiful C...
      " I just can't find the strength to keep asking. I always know that's when I need him the most. But it's also the time when I find it's the hardest to ask. Pulling away and going it alone is always the default mode"

      Yup that is me in a nutshell. Haven't actually found my way under his umbrella, but hopefully soon.

      My wish is the same for you my friend,
      willie

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  11. This was a great post! I can't wait to read about the May flowers. I have a good feeling they will be there. ;)

    Love ya,
    Betsy;)

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    1. Thanks for the compliment Betsy. I can't wait to write about the May flowers either! Here's hoping. Goodness knows there has been a lot of rain and manure for them to grow in :)

      love ya too!
      willie

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  12. I love the imagery. I've used this one myself; it was after a time of great trial for us. I didn't even realize we were in a storm, that the clouds oppressed our family so much; until the storm ended, the clouds began to clear, I saw and felt the warmth of the sun and fresh air filled my lungs. In a way, it felt like I was breathing for the first time. It felt good, more than good; I felt like dancing in the brightness of the sun and blue skies, I wanted to stomp in the puddles, splashing and kicking up water. I felt new, the skies were open and it was all shining on me, on us, and we'd made it through and because of what we'd endured of the dark clouds and stifling air and pouring rain, the sun and fresh air and the sweet scent of the flowers were magnified, and sweeter and warmer.
    (((HUGS))) Willie

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    1. Thank you Jacquie

      I look forward to more days like you described! The only way to get there I know is to wait out the storm, hopefully next time together.

      Thank you for the big hug
      willie

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  13. Willie, first off what a beautiful post! Your use of metaphor reveals volumes about your feelings. Forgive me if I am not reading you correctly, but I sense you concluded with a hope for the future, but also with uncertainty about said future.

    Barney did not share his umbrella due to a lack of caring for you, he just failed to see that you needed it in a timely manner. Barney wants to be the guy in both pictures as much as you want him to be, but he is just not yet as in tune with your emotional needs as he will be.

    However, he is a man and sometimes he may leave you standing in the rain. Realize though it is not because he doesn't care, but because he just didn't see the clouds in time.

    So when that happens, and it will, cut him some slack and maybe just keep a small fanny pack available until the proverbial "Nightingale in Berkeley Square" once again sings it's sweet song!

    Have a blessed day my friend,

    George

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    1. You sir, have a way with words. ( How's that blog coming along?)

      Yes, I am aware that he is a 'guy', but I am a 'girl'. Do I get to use that as an excuse? *wink*

      He has read my post, and well...I guess time will tell whether the guy will pull out the umbrella, and whether the girl will wait for him to do it next time or chicken out and reach for hers at the first sign of inclement weather.

      Thank you George, I hope all your days are blessed
      willie

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  14. I do think it sometimes it takes a little while for them to get the hang of taking the lead and protecting all the time. Hopefully your showers are over and your May flowers will be beautiful.

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    1. Thank you Zoe.

      From your lips to God's ears, at least the last sentence!

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  15. This is not an easy adventure. We spend a LOT of time on these blogs encouraging and processing and figuring things out, but there are difficult, painful, heart-wrenching episodes that leave us exhausted. I can sometimes tell right away when I've missed a cue or done the opposite of what I'd said I'd do... but sometimes I can be blissfully ignorant for wayyy too long before Susie starts crying and I have no idea why. Guys, in general, are relationally challenged, even with their wives. It's not an excuse, but it is a fact. Next time he "checks back", reach out to take his hand and see where that might lead.

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    1. Welcome MM

      Barney related to and regurgitated your comment :)
      As for me,

      I will *try*

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  16. Okay, did not realize at first that you were using metaphors, and so I was pretty upset with Barney asking you to leave your backpack behind, saying he'd take care of any unforeseen events, and then left you out in the rain! Okay, now that I know, calming down a bit! :) Rain does bring flowers, and I hope that they come for you. I know there are many times I wish the Duke realized I needed him to "let me under his umbrella", and the more I spell things out for him, the better it's getting, but it can be a slow process. I do feel the comments here are correct and that he loves you, but I do also realize how hard and heart breaking it can be to think you can finally let go, only to realize you once again have to lead. Really hoping and praying for those flowers for you! :)

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    1. Thank you for your kind words and understanding Es May, ( well once you understood *wink* ). They mean so much!

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  17. Hey Willie...Patience 'grasshopper'...he is making progress. Just remember, you can always reach out, grab his hand and say "hey, I'm here, please share that darn umbrella!"

    I gotta tell ya, ever since I read the title of this post, 'Bus Stop' by The Hollies has been running through my head so go ahead, copy/paste the link and let it run through yours also! :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=It75wQ0JypA I triple dawg dare ya!

    Blessings,
    Cat

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    1. :) I think I'll pass on the you tube offer Cat

      hugs,
      willie

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  18. This is a lovely post, Willie and beautifully written.
    I wanted to talk to Ian before I commented because I thought his perspective would be interesting - and it was.
    He reminded me how difficult it is to begin to learn a new way of doing things. If you having been efficiently using your own umbrella for years, how it would not occur to him that you were getting wet under there.
    He reminded me that although submission and dominance are the goal, being the TiH partner is not necessarily a passive role. That as MM says above, sometimes as hard as it is, reaching out figuratively or literally can give a HoH the nudge he needs to act....
    These difficult moments are, as the optimistic tone of your post implies, wonderful opportunities for growth in a marriage.
    Bring on those beautiful flowers!
    hugs and much love,
    lillie (and Ian)

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    1. Gasp! Ian is taking Barney's 'side' ? LOL. Yes, yes, I can hear him now, not a 'side'... he is on the side of a successful TiH relationship *wink*

      Thanks Lillie, and Ian I know Ian is right, (feel free to keep that tidbit to youself Lillie). Sometimes it is just difficult to be the one who thinks that they are always reaching.

      Much love to you both
      willie

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  19. This was a beautiful post Willie and expresses so well how you have been feeling this past while. I want him to read it right now! I want him to grab you and force some of these walls down (his walls too, not just yours) and see the two of you really talk it out without anyone feeling blamed, put down or less that what they feel they should be.

    When we come to ttwd, I don't think most of us women realize how much we long for the protective hand of our husbands. We have been independent so long that we can barely even picture what it would be like to stay under the umbrella together. Honestly, sometimes I feel a little claustrophobic under there and I run out into the rain. I'm fine, I don't need that blasted shelter. I keep coming back though and we have slowly learned over time that he has to offer the umbrella and I have to stay there. Getting that in sync is tough--just when I think "I've go this" I fall down in the mud.

    Flowers grow out of mud though, don't they?

    I loved this post Willie!

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    1. Sheeesh pipe down there bossy boots! I did have him read this. I'd love to say that the conversation was fruitful after, but sadly this time it was not. So down into the mud I went again, but we continue to try, so I suppose that it is something right?

      I understand what you are saying, that we act as if we don't need their umbrella, and they in turn think we are fine. Oh sorry that is part your statement, part your husbands statement...lol

      I hope flowers grow out of mud, and in my case I hope they grow out of manure too!

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  20. Hey Willie,

    This is beautifully written, I love the metaphor. The storm fronts hit us all from time to time and when you're used to having your own umbrella, it is so hard to reach out and ask for him to shelter you with his.

    I like the positivity at the end of this post. Hang in there, you are moving forward and I have no doubt you will enjoy the May flowers!

    love and hugs
    Roz

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    1. Thanks Roz, I wish I shared your enthusiasm about how quickly things will bloom again. Perhaps June :)

      love. willie

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  21. Hi Willie! :)

    I also loved your post. You really write so beautifully about all of this! You got some really good advice- especially from some HoHs! Sometimes it does seem like they aren't paying attention to us, and we expect them to get every little thing and be our superheroes! In reality, they are just guys who love us to pieces and they can only do their best. The trick is to remember this when we start to feel sad and neglected, and to reach for their hand as MM pointed out. I have to say that I adore hand holding- we have always always done it- in the best of times, and through the worst of times. There is certainly something to be said about taking that hand- and you can scoot under that umbrella of Barney's while you do it! I see flowers everywhere in your future! Hugs to you Willie!

    <3 Katie

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  22. I have to say, I completely agree with what some of the men are saying here. MM and George hit the nail on the head. They are relationally challenged and like George said, sometimes they don't see the clouds in time - or heck, not at all. But it's not because they don't love you, it's because they just are what they are.

    It's not all men (Lord knows there are these mushy ones like my "H" who I'd have to tell to leave me be because he'd swarm over me too much), but it seems like many women feel this same thing, time and time again.
    Funny thing -My sisters husband is so uhm.. lacking in that area that once he had swung the car door open, hit her in the side of the head by her eye, and she grabbed her face in pain. He looks up and says "Did you get something in your eye?" and she just stared at him with her other eye (Not the part of her face that she ws holding of course) bewildered that he didn't even know he hit her, and even more shocking was that he grabbed the bag he was going for and turned to walk away.. still thinking she had something in her eye because she couldn't even speak yet.. just jaw dropped at his complete unawareness! Helloooo?

    Anyhow - emotional or physical -some husbands just need help seeing what the wife needs and some men just need to be told over and over again. It's back into that old "asking for what you need" and hoping that one day... they will grab you and say "here, come under my umbrella" at the first sign of a cloudy sky.

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    1. OMG Emi your story made me laugh! and then sigh, because I could so see it happening here. I tease Barney that I could light myself on fire and run around the house and he would probably say, " Does anyone smell smoke? ".. He of course made some comment about the smoke detectors going off...grrrr.

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  23. You are so much better than me. I would have cut off my nose to spite my face.
    I would have refused to touch my own umbrella and stayed soaked in the rain, gotten sick and all the time refused to look at him. It would have either made him angry or he would have laughed at me and called me cute. Blah!
    We still have some issues of this sort. One happened the other day, but so many other things have been going on lately there has been no time to bring it up.
    But that is all you can do, discuss what happened and hope for a different response next time. Sigh....
    Love Blue Bird

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    1. You are absolutely right Blue Bird, but bringing it up was much easier when we first started ttwd. Now because it has been discussed several times before, it makes me less 'quick' to open the subject back up again. Still I know it needs to be done, but it sure isn't easy!

      love, willie

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  24. Really lovely description! I think it puts both roles in perspective. I have to agree with Susie's MM - reach out and grab Barney's hand. Hold on and look for butter cups. Lucy

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    1. Yes MM's point does have merit. Just easier said than done.

      Thanks Lucy for the compliment :)
      willie

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  25. Oh Willie, it was very nicely written.
    I keep my fingers crossed that he will learn how a man should offer a umberell to his woman .. have patience.

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    1. Umbrella of course...

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    2. Well both things would be perfect. Although I'm not sure how much more patient I can get

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