Truth Telling

truth

Last night after my revelation I closed everything down and went back to bed. It was 4:22 when I climbed in next to my pup and my hubs; as I did he stirred and then got up to go to the bathroom. When he returned he asked if I was okay and what I was still doing up. I told him I was fine and that I was writing and that I have things I would like to tell him but that it could wait until morning because clearly it was late and we were both tired. He smiled and said okay, told me he loved me and I slipped into a deep dreamless sleep.

Five hours later I woke up. We all did. Each of started to stretch and look around at each other and cuddle. We let Lu out, got her breakfast, got our own breakfast, and then scooted back to bed to eat and talk.

I put on oils in the bedroom, a mix of peppermint and lavender for clarity and calm. I lit my candle, I have many candles in my home but one is special, it is my candle, it’s light is there solely to support me. Then we crawled back into bed, him with his oatmeal, me with my peppermint tea and we started a new chapter in our relationship.

I told him that I experienced a shift last night and that I understood things I did not understand before and that I wanted to share these new realizations with him. Before I started I explained to him what I needed from him while we talked and that was space to be honest without it feeling like too much. He did not think that would be a problem.

He listened as I talked and when I was done, before moving on to another part of my epiphany I waited for feedback or questions. He was on board with everything, all of it. He understood everything I was saying and was open to all forms of honesty in our relationship. I made sure he knew that the standing invitation that he had always held for me, I was holding for him too. I am going to honest with you, in all forms, please trust me enough to know you can be that free here too. Our love is strong enough to hold this for us, it will only make it stronger. We agreed. We will move forward in this relationship without editing ourselves for the sake of the other. We will be real, and honest, and authentic, and build a deeper love on this.

Then I did something I have never done. I asked for help in my dark place. My therapy is what my therapy is, we are still separate from that part of my work because only I can do it. But there are other things that could get better if I ever trusted anyone enough to ask for help. He has shown me I am not too much, I am not asking too much, I am lovable, and he is not only willing but wants to help me should I ever ask. So I asked and he said yes. He is going to help me with practical aspects of overcoming my PTSD. We are going to work together to try and make me feel safe in ways I never have before.

This request was my very first step towards taking him up on his invitation of honesty and love.

Our relationship does not come up often in therapy because he is not something or someone I have to heal from. I realized though that he could help me heal. And that by being open to accepting his help I would also be opening myself up to a deeper level of trust within myself and in the relationship. I am learning to trust myself and trust him. I am learning to love myself and allow myself to be loved.

This is big stuff. It makes me think about the intention I started the year with, transformation. That is what this is. It is transformation, it is a learning and unlearning of love. I have been planted and now I am starting to sprout and grow.

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“When I was your age”..

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While at dinner with our friends Saturday night we wandered on to the subject of hitchhikers and how different society looks at them now compared to during the depression/dust bowl era. I remember my Papa telling me stories about the drifters, entire families sometimes, that would stay with his family as they traveled west towards work during the depression. Even though his family was poor and frogs and squirrel were the norm on their dinner menu they would always take people in for the night, feed them and then allow them to sleep in the barn. People they had never met, from parts of the country they had never been to. Complete strangers. The chances of this occurring in our current society, zero.

I wonder what changed in people? My friend’s husband and I agreed that many of us still have that goodness in us that we want to take of each other but we are afraid. Our society has deteriorated to the point of being afraid to offer an elderly woman a ride if she appears stranded. I am no different believe me. I have offered help to people I don’t know but to ever go as far as offer a ride to a stranger when it is just me.. I don’t know. My friend was telling us all about this time when she was coming out of a doctor’s office and a spanish family who spoke little english approached her and asked if she would mind giving them a ride across the street to the hospital where they needed to take their grandmother who was with them. She agreed and as she only had her husband’s truck that day she had to load most of them in the bed. She said that when she got there the women in the family were so grateful and kissing her face over and over. It makes it worth I think. It was such a simple thing that made such a difference, how can you not think that is worth it?

When we were in Illinois staying with our friend who lives just outside the city I noticed she leaves the front door wide open at night when the weather is cool. She has a screen door so there is no concern about bugs or animals getting in but I was still surprised. She trusts the safety of her neighborhood enough to be able to sleep at night knowing the front door is not only unlocked but ajar.

It reminded me of when I was a girl. The house I grew up in was down a dirt road and we were surrounded by fields and woods, no other life close by. We never locked the door. Now my parents have the door locked during the middle of the day. They still live in a remote area, quite rural, and they know their neighbors but something changed, I don’t know what.

Todd and I are the same way, the door is always locked, even if we are home. We are not in a rural area though. We live 5 minutes from downtown proper and although it is a nice area where we know our neighbors we are still too close to not-so-nice areas to trust it. One of the things we love about College Park though is the community. There is a sense of community here where you feel like everyone is your neighbor. It is the kind of place that encourages you to get out and interact with your neighbors, it has a very 1950’s feel to it. We have block parties and community garage sales and a celebration with the changing of every season. There is always a reason to get out and meet people and be social. Todd and I love that. We love that restaurants and shopping are within walking distance to our house and there are parks on many neighborhood corners. It is exactly the kind of place we would want to raise a family.

I don’t think we will ever see a time again when picking up a hitchhiker would feel safe or the majority of us would be comfortable leaving our front door unlocked while we sleep. The only way I see that happening is if things went completely to shit. That seems to be the only time we rally as a people anymore. It would take something major for things to change that drastically though.