After the high that was Monday, I’ve spent the past couple days feeling completely exhausted. Physical tiredness I could deal with. Aches and pains are to be expected: my body isn’t used to me being so active, and I’m not exactly “young” anymore. What’s got me concerned is that I feel emotionally exhausted, like someone sucked a year of my life away. For a while I was wondering if maybe I’m sick (again) but no, that’s not it. I might get sick if I don’t take care of myself, but this is definitely emotional exhaustion.
The exhaustion is bad enough that I stayed home from my music therapy on Tuesday, and ended up doing a phone session with Wakana. She listened to me talk about how great it was to be surrounded by so many awesome people, and reflected my joy that I’ve “found my tribe” – and (possibly) my calling. (If only I could make money doing it.)
Then she, being my therapist, took the conversation in the last direction I would’ve liked it to go in. “I seem to remember you complaining that you don’t feel that connected with Fox lately. You’re both just kind of coexisting, you’re not connecting.”
So I reluctantly talked about how Fox is exhausted all the time, or at work, or out pursuing other interests, or on the computer, or talking about stuff I don’t really find that interesting. And he doesn’t really take much interest in what I’m doing; I feel like I’m kinda forcing it on him and I have to be careful not to bombard him with too much. Even when we try to connect, we can’t decide what to do, or one of us can’t get comfortable, or is distracted and cranky, or falls asleep … It takes a lot of effort for us to share in each other’s joy. And even then … I’m not sure how much we’re really sharing, it’s more one of us supporting and encouraging the other – from the outside.
It’s basically the exact opposite of what’s going on with Ron, and it hurts. A lot.
One part of our conversation that really stood out went something like this:
Me: “… I listen for his cues that …”
Wakana: “Can’t he tell you how he’s feeling?”
So I told Ron I won’t read zir mind, but I’ve been trying to read Fox’s for … I dunno. Years. And I’ve been expecting him to read mine.
No wonder we’re both so exhausted, and turning our focus outward, and letting our home become such a mess! We’ve been requiring each other to do the impossible.
This has been a chronic problem my whole life, though it’s never been this bad before. My room would get messy, then I’d clean it, then it would get messy again. My mom would go through the stuff I’d decided to get rid of and say “You’re getting rid of this?!” and I’d feel guilty. Every decision to let go of an item I don’t need, but that could potentially be useful, is a painful struggle. We don’t really get rid of things in this house – when I was growing up, or now. Things go into storage in the basement, the front porch, the garage, the “attic.” When Fox moved in, the corners of rooms and the tops of pieces of furniture also became storage areas. I was raised by hoarders and I married a fellow hoarder and I can’t imagine life as a non-hoarder.
It’s not that I don’t care. I hate it. I can’t deal with it. And I can’t bring myself to truly believe it’s that Fox doesn’t care – he doesn’t really show it, but I think it bothers him, too. And he’s said we need to do something about it … just when the time comes, neither of us does anything. […]
And the thing is, on the surface, my life is pretty awesome right now. […]
A chronic problem my whole life … Having to read my parents’ minds in order to survive. Being afraid to talk openly about my feelings and needs because it often – usually – wasn’t safe to do so. Pouring my whole heart and soul into whatever (and whomever) I could on the outside, so I wouldn’t have to feel the pain on the inside. Letting the clutter build, because to decide it’s time to get rid of something – or even just where it should go – is asserting a will that might not be accepted, and non-acceptance could be deadly…
But I’ve grown to a point where I can tell a person I love that I won’t read their mind.
And Fox … well … considering he reminded me that I need to use my words to communicate,
maybe he’ll set the same boundary I can suggest (and I think he might agree) that he should set the same boundary.