Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Welcome Home

I didn't know the truth of that saying over there about transitions at the beginning of this melt down, but Dearest One did. He'd been through the process and in doing so became unabashedly himself. He can tell in his body if something is right for him or not. He can place his hand over his heart and ask, "How does that feel here?"

This fall he flew to another province for a funeral. Funerals in his family involve hundreds of people and that's not including the community. I think for his grandpa's funeral we were 189 immediate family members.

The day after the funeral he had had his fill of people. So when his hosts mused aloud about throwing a barbecue and starting listing off the people they could invite Dearest One told them if they did so he wouldn't be there.

He knew it would be too much for him. That he'd rather get in his rental car and go for a drive than spend the evening with too many people. He didn't feel one bit bad for speaking up and owning his truth. It was a better option than having an anxious knot in his chest grow due to social pressure to be someone he isn't. Because of his close relationship with his hosts, and the respect they have for one another, his boundary was honoured and the gathering was much smaller and more manageable for Dearest One.

Last month I brought home a paper from my therapist along with a photo of a diagram she'd drawn for me. Written on the paper was my biggest fear about what would happen in Dearest One and my relationship if I softened and embraced what was on the diagram.

The diagram had categories of what we do from birth to three to try and have/keep secure attachments and what happens if we don't have them. I didn't develop an edge accidentally. It was survival; looking for ways to feel safe. Ways that tend to keep people out. Dearest One and I have worked hard the past two years to form a secure attachment and become each other's person.

My therapist and I talked about how much softer and kinder I could become if I was willing to commit to the process of laying decades old coping mechanisms aside. If I was willing to challenge my thinking when I let those necessary coping mechanisms of old be old news and not current news. I'd thought that edge I developed was integral to being me. So much so that I had been looking at new hairstyles that could possibly indicate to others that I had an edge before I ever opened my mouth.

Immediately I worried out loud that without the edge I would be too much for Dearest One. That I'd ooze all over the place without boundaries. Comforting Therapist was quite sure I wouldn't be. I had her write down on a piece of paper exactly what my fear was so that I could remember to talk it over with him when I got home.

When I did, Dearest One's face lit up at the thought of a softer, kinder me. Not for his sake, but for mine. He could see the potential for me to live free. After assuring me that a softer me would not be too much for him, he told me that letting go of those coping mechanisms would allow me to become who I was created to be. I started to do that ugly cry sobbing.

When he reached over to comfort me I wish you could've seen his eyes.
Eyes that said, "Welcome Home." 

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