"God counts her tears." -Jewish Proverb
Don didn’t say goodnight last night. I was scared, and hurt. This morning, I get this text:
Good morning. I just wanted to give you an update on me. I started coming down with a cold yesterday, and I woke up sick AGAIN!! I can’t believe it. I’m getting a cold like every 4 weeks. I’m feeling very defeated. I’m so tired of being sick all the time. I’m also very stressed out about everything that I need to do but haven’t gotten to. My apartment is a freaking mess. I’m not in a good place mentally. I think I mentioned that when things are like this for me, I retreat away from the outside world until I feel better, and things are back in order. I don’t feel like talking with anyone when things are like this. It is nothing personal to do with you. But I didn’t want you to worry about that. I hope things will be better in a couple of days.
And I respond:
I’m sorry sweetheart I really am sorry.
Let me know if there is anything I can do.
And then I think, “Why in the fuck would I ask him if there’s anything I can do? He just told me not to bug him for a couple of days. So, what in the fuck is there left for me to do but not bug him for a couple of days?”
Then a rush of painful ugly emotion runs through me, a torrent of guilt about the fact I immediately take this as rejection, when it is so obviously obviously not.
How hard was it for him to compose a lengthy text explaining his mental state simply because he knew how important it would be for me to understand his silence? He sacrificed mightily. He worked damn hard to assure me what’s happening, his withdrawal in communication is about him, not me.
Men don’t do that unless they recognize the importance of ensuring their lover understands the situation. Men don’t do that unless they care. Men don’t do that unless they value a woman.
He also clearly gets the urgency of telling me the truth of where’s he’s at mentally in a timely manner, because he knows my personality. He knows if left to my own devices, I’d assume all the worst.
He did good. He really really really did good. Why isn’t that enough? Well, actually, it is. Once I process through all MY bullshit, centered around MY insecurity, it will be enough. I know that now, ahead of all the fearful emotions that will wash over and through me, in painful crushing waves, over the next “couple of days”.
I just used the term “MY bullshit”, but it’s not bullshit at all. I must truly be careful how I use my words about myself. I am not consistently self-honoring. And that is a flaw that causes me unnecessary shame. These emotions are centered around my insecurity, and they are rooted in fear. But there is a way through that.
Spirit has planted Truth in me, and it has taken root. I know Truth.
I’ll be able to talk my way through some of this self-doubt, which I know from experience manifests in self-hate. I am talking my way through it now. Yet some of my conditioned fearful reaction to similar past events will pain me to tears. That man will definitely get some undeserved tears.
Actually, the tears aren’t for him. The tears are for me. The tears are for past abandonments, for the pain of that, for reliving the pain of that. The tears aren’t undeserved at all.
The child in me, the woman in me, the one that has been abused, trampled upon, used up, she deserves my tears. I will cry for me, and I will cry knowing my tears are for me and just for me.
Spirit is with me always, continuously showing me the truth of who I am. This is about me learning to embrace my insecurity as part of who I am, and see myself and all the events in my life through the lens of love and not fear. This is about me honoring the roller coast of emotions I experience based on past hurts, and pushing through them, and learning the truth – that this particular circumstance is absolutely not about me.
There is no fault here. There is no rejection. There is no dismissal or marginalization or manipulation or abuse. This is a situation that just is. This is about two people trying to navigate the gauntlet of challenges in their lives in seemingly polar opposite ways.
The learning is in embracing our differences, not in despising them, or assuming they’re intended to inflict pain on the other. The learning is in letting things just be. The learning is in resisting the temptation to sabotage a pretty goddamn healthy relationship by acting out of fear, and not patience and love. The learning is in living in the moment, letting go of expectations, and firmly resisting the urge to make assumptions.
This wisdom, how to manage all of this, already exists within me because I’ve written it out quite clearly here. This wisdom already exists within me because Spirit lives within me. And where Spirit lives, Truth lives.
I am not alone. I can do this. There is suffering to push through, that’s a given. Yet already, the battle against my own ego is won. I can do this. I am doing this.
[Original publication date: 6/25/2022.]