unsure

*wrote this a few days ago

Have you ever watched one of those shows where for whatever reason some people are loading a large cat, like a tiger, into a cage for transport.  They can’t knock them out for long because they can’t pant to regulate their body temperature.  They are frequently coaxed to go in and then the door slams behind them.  They pace, round and round, back and forth.  They are agitated and nervous.  They growl and show their teeth in an attempt to keep people away.

I’ll come back to that later.

A month ago or so I told Brad that I wanted more from him.  Not more spanking, not more control, not more rules.  I wanted more intimacy.  You know, let’s get back to basics.  Now, even I have a hard time defining intimacy, or what it is exactly in words that I want.  Nor do I know just how to get there.  I know that there have been times when we’ve been closer, and times we have not.  But I can’t put together a formula or a couple of exercises to make that happen in a way that is lasting.  I have some idea, but at the time we talked I couldn’t say “here’s what you can do”.  Anyway, he got mad, he felt attacked, and I was confused as to why someone saying they wanted to feel closer would cause another to be angry.  So that made me angry, and this is a little dance we know very well, it was comfortable and familiar.

Then I went on vacation with some friends so we were apart for a week.  It gave him time to think, and me time to calm down and forget about home life for a while.  While I was gone he read a relationship book, that I gave him, that seems to have inspired him.  Since I have been home he’s been very nice, affectionate, supportive, helpful… He’s told me a few things that he wants us to do together and they sound great.  He commented on my last post for the first time in …. I don’t know…ever.  He set up an email acct and subscribed to my blog.  I knew he read occasionally before, but now I don’t feel like this place is mine.  I mean, it’s fine, (I know your reading this Brad) but I feel like I’m under a microscope, which is polar opposite from a week ago.  He acting totally different.  I feel like he is closing in on me.  I’m just not used to it.  I’ve only been home a day and a half and I am feeling like a tiger in a cage.  It’s not that I’m not thankful for this change, I just feel very uncomfortable.  Very anxious and a little snarly.  I’ve been thinking over and over about why do I this.  Why do I hope and wish and ask for certain behaviors and then when they show up I start getting uncomfortable.  I hate that about myself.  What is wrong with me?

In the case of the tiger being rescued, he is being helped in some way.  However, he doesn’t know that.  He has no prior history to know that where he is going won’t harm him.  I’m not a tiger, or an animal, but I am feeling a little frantic.  Last January I put up some walls to keep some people out.  Those circumstances that caused that are mostly gone now but I still now have to deal with the aftermath.  I’ve been trying.  When I was a kid, my dad would appeal to me to take care of my mom emotionally.  Back then I thought about how unfair it was that I was being asked to be the adult in the situation when I shouldn’t of had to be.  I have that same sort of feeling that I can’t seem to shake free of.  I didn’t cause this situation, why do I now how have to clean up the mess it made inside of me.  But I guess that is life and we should expect that life is messy.  It doesn’t matter what happened, I’m responsible for what happens inside me.  Brad is responsible for what happens inside of him.  I do know that I am not ready to jump in head first and hand over my trust like it’s not worth anything.  It’s been such a rough couple of years.  I’m cautious, cautiously optimistic.  He’s talking about a relationship overhaul, and that won’t come easy.

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12 thoughts on “unsure

  1. Sara says:

    That was a really interesting post Ally, and rather brave, too. Why did you ask for more intimacy, and then get scared when he moved in? Do you really want an answer? Because it is unfamiliar, because you have memories from childhood of unhealthy intimacies, because although you don’t like the distance you and Brad maintained, you also feel scared to let him get close enough to ‘see’ you, know your feelings…let him in. You’re worried about rejection. You’re worried he will get so close that he’ll get past your walls and then you won’t have the same control of the relationship, of him, of yourself.

    How do I know all this? Because I’ve lived it! I think this has been something you’;ve been preparing yourself for a while. You’ve wanted it, but you’re scared and are not sure what comes next. All I can advise is go slow, talk, continue to build trust…and pat yourselves on the back for the major steps you both have taken!

    I am very impressed that Brad took the time to read that book, and has signed up for your blog. I think he might really love you! 🙂 Sara

    • Ally says:

      Sara, You know me so well… I’m defiantely afraid to relax into something, show myself, and then…. well, you know. Your advice to go slow is good. The rest too… I’ll take it.
      Thanks Sara.

  2. Change is always scary.
    Change is not always bad, just different.
    And scary.
    Props for being brave enough to look for the scary changes.
    And courage sent your way to help you through the scary now that you’re getting it.
    Great post, thanks for sharing.

    Tapestry

  3. Katherine says:

    Ally, I understand your conflicting emotions so well, because I have them myself. I am working toward getting there and am having more honest and transparent conversations with my husband, Alex, than ever before. I just admitted this fear to him today.

    I recently came across two things while blog reading that have impacted/challenged me greatly:

    “I cry because he sees me, because I allow him to. Together we navigate the maze of static, disciplining the unruly self who otherwise denies the existence of darkness to arrive at the center.

    There is light there.” — Barely Pink

    http://thepinkreport.wordpress.com/2011/07/21/d-is-for-discipline/

    “I learned that I could be loved for my needs, my vulnerability. I found something softer and less fearful inside. I could show the tears without feeling embarrassed or awkward. A part of me that I thought was unloveable became valued and cherished.” Meow Learns About Life

    http://meowlearnsaboutlife.blogspot.com/2011/07/tears.html

    I hope this helps you as much as it has helped me.

    Katherine
    p.s. Sara summed up the varying emotions very well. She’s a wise lady.

    • Ally says:

      Katherine, I do love Pink, Meow, and Sara. All wise women. Thanks for reminding me of some of the beautiful things they have said. I’m glad that you can relate to what I’m saying, I’ll be around on your blog, I saw it recently. Thanks for your comment.

  4. Meow says:

    Ally, I think guys like to fix things and he probably got angry at first because it was a “thing” for him to fix that he didn’t know how to fix. Now that he has some information and feels more comfortable, he’s full steam ahead! I’d be nervous, too, because I like to control the “fixing”. But…. he’s showing his love in a big way and, like Sara, I’m really impressed! Trust is hard to give after rough times. Go slow, talk, be gentle with each other and remember the love!

    • Ally says:

      Meow, I really don’t like not having control over what happens to me, or letting myself be hurt. I think I am most afraid that this is temporary. There have been some hurtful things said and it’s so hard for me to forget those. Thanks for the advice, slow is certainly what we need.

  5. Sara says:

    OK, I could not resist pointing out this Freudian typo in your comment to me: “I’m defiantely afraid”

    Looove it! 😉

  6. Ally, you know? I read this post from my e-mail right after you posted and I didn’t have time to comment. I came here tonight and I have to say, it is not only a rich post but so many rich comments! Sometimes it’s good to be late.

    When I first learned to read blogs I used to skip the comments, but it’s so important to read them too! Wow Sara, so much in that first comment by you! And lol, to your Freudian slip showing Ally! Tapestry is right too, change IS scary! Meow’s on the money about “fixing” as H can feel that way too. And Katherine is showing me that I’m missing out on some good blogs! I feel I haven’t enough time in the day! (Well E, why don’t you try shortening your comments silly goose?)

    OK, that was my preface. Now for the real comment.

    I think it’s sad that your father asked you to help your mother emotionally. But likely he just didn’t know how to reach her and he might have hoped that since you were female, that some how you might understand her better. (?)

    I really think that Brad has had some light bulb moments recently. (hang on while I get a pencil and paper to write down the name of that book. OK, got it. How do you spell that?)
    Oh, and whatever is “wrong with you” is wrong with ALL of us. So you’re in the right place for good company!

    Now I better visit some other blog friends! -E

    • Ally says:

      Elysia, you are such a sweetheart, I love you so much! If you haven’t read Pink/Tapestry/elle …too many to name, you are missing out. I have a hard time keeping up myself, and there are so many good newbies too.
      The book is titled The Complete Husband, written by a Christian man. It’s pretty heavy.
      I have a confession, I read your post yesterday too and didn’t have time to comment… I’ll come visit today 🙂

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