Relationships are read to us in fairy tales when we are little, and then played out in movies when we are getting older. Over tubs of popcorn we compare our relationships to people declaring their undying love for each other in the rain. We are fighting over small things that are metaphors for feelings of rejection, and emotional abuse. Every sock that is failed to be put in the laundry basket is a mark of disrespect on one part, and a failure of recognising an others perspective of feeling overwhelmed.
The truth is that every couple wades through the same crap as everyone else. It makes some stronger, and it breaks others. With every moment of silent treatment, every screaming row shows pain. For “pain that hasn’t been transformed will be transmitted” (Brene Brown).
When that pain hits, it comes from the gut.
“No you don’t understand”, “you’re being irrational”, “no I’m fucking not”, “you’re just like the rest of them”, “go on say it”, “…sometimes I can’t get it out”.
The punch in the gut is usually from a rejection 10 years ago. But a gentle shove in that region can echo the pain all over our body. We can live our lives covered in bubble wrap, telling our partners to watch out for our scars, or we can work on soothing them ourselves.
I believe the most important relationship is with yourself. Although that is a sentence I would normally vomit at, recently I have come to believe that is more and more true. I’m working on my past feelings of anger (which did feel energising at the time), and then sadness (through which I felt has healed me).
I realise now that all I have ever wanted was the strength to set healthy boundaries. I embrace the darkness that I’ve walked through, and I know where to find the light switch if I find myself in there again.
At times I still feel fear that I will die alone, and my cat will eat my face… But I’m hoping wisdom comes from that somehow.