"Vulnerability is disarming. It compels one to go to that level, too."
Heart felt words from a close friend last night.
Often I've told dearest one he is the most beautiful
when he is the most vulnerable,
when he let's me in to see who he is.
He can tell me the ugliest thing he sees within himself
and I have yet to be repulsed or disappointed.
It's easier to feel that about things
left unsaid or imagined
than about reality.
We're in a new place relationship wise.
Walking hand in hand to that deep place
where fears and insecurities,
which have been kept under wraps
our whole life long, are being revealed.
We're slowly uncovering who we really are,
like a shy bride on her wedding night.
It's the most hopeful layer of the never ending onion.
Honesty is easier to write about than to live.
To open, what feels like a pandora's box,
and reveal who I am?
That's scary shit.
My recent slip forced me to face some ugly truths.
Well, I guess no one is forced to do anything
they don't want to in recovery.
But if I wanted to move forward, then
facing those truths was my only option.
And, no matter how loudly I may whine about growth,
I will only shrink from it for a limited time.
I'll be damned if I'm going to let fear rule my life forever.
Life is too short to tuck tail and run.
The scary part is that facing those truths
means sharing them with dearest one, too.
My struggle with this addiction in particular,
affects our marriage at a deeper level than either
the alcohol or the eating disorder.
So facing forward means telling the truth
about how it is within me.
Recently, I realized I do most of my processing in my head,
where it stays safe and secure.
My head is the worst safety deposit box there is.
So I'm learning to say outloud thoughts I usually keep to myself.
Learning to share from the vulnerable, troubled spots of my heart.
Sometimes it's benign things like,
"He said this and I felt that."
"She shared this and I had instant tears and this is why."
Other times it's something that has the capacity to hurt,
yet it does more damage unspoken, so I take the risk.
Recently that meant telling dearest one that, at times,
I will go to any length to avoid being present.
I told him this in a restaurant where I was
fessing up about my latest slip.
I'd asked for a corner booth because I didn't want an audience
if I ended up in tears when I said this is what I did.
"And behind what I did these are my issues, these are the things that keep me in this loop of slips. This is where I need you help and your patience."
While I felt like I had reached the limit of what was forgiveable, dearest one's steady, loving gaze told me otherwise. He reached across the table, took my hand in his and made me look him in the eye. He wanted me to see that he meant it when he told me he was here for the long haul, no matter what that long haul looks like.
It's a steady, tough climb to a saner, safer, more intimate place.
We continue to be disarmed and compelled by each other's vulnerability.
Thanks be to God.