As I walk this crazy path of discovery, I’m uncovering things about myself that, although I’ve always suspected them to be true, are now proving to be true. It’s kind of like learning about a long-lost relative with whom you share personality traits or getting the results of your first Myers/Briggs Assessment. You see it and then think, “Wow! So that’s why I eat my peas with my knife,” or “Hmmm, that’s why the pillows on the couch need to be perfect.” There’s comfort in numbers and an even greater comfort in knowing WHY.
I have always had a very difficult time letting people take care of me. I brush off comforting hugs (yes, even from my husband and children) and say, “No, no really…I’m okay.” I feel extremely uncomfortable when people reach out to me with compassion and concern. My first response is ALWAYS, “No worries. I’ve got it. Don’t trouble yourself.” When my father died I wrote the eulogy and watched, dry-eyed as my husband delivered it. People saw me and began to cry and I comforted them. The same happened when my mother died. My children were devastated and I had to be there for them. I pretended I didn’t need to grieve because we had such a difficult relationship but that was the biggest pile of bullshit ever slung. Everyone needs to grieve – for what was or for what wasn’t – doesn’t matter.
The love and compassion flowing from the comments on this blog recently are overwhelming to me…and a little uncomfortable. Each one I read touches my heart, some make me cry, some make me laugh but they all make me know I’m not alone…that I’m cared for. While I’m reading them however, there’s an crazy desire to say, “NO, NO…it’s okay! I’ll be FINE. Don’t worry yourself about ME!” Can you hear the unspoken truth here? It’s saying…”Don’t worry about me…I don’t deserve your love and concern. I’m not worth it.”
How fucked up is that?
Pretty fucked up indeed. But like the tendency to perfection, I’m uncovering WHY all of these things exist and that part, while extremely uncomfortable, it really kind of exciting. Why is it that I don’t feel I’m worthy of the love and kindness you people pour forth? Why, after 32 years of a happy marriage, is it so hard to for me to believe that my husband loves me? Why can’t I let anyone give me a hug when I’m crying or say “there, there”? Why can I be there for everyone else in their time of need but not let anyone be there for me? Kind of selfish don’t you think?
But now I’m starting to see some answers and it has me frightened and nervous and anxious and excited. Just the thought that, after almost 54 years on this planet I could open my heart to love and compassion not only from others but from myself; that I could actually learn to love the person I am and not the person I think others want me to be; that I could actually let someone else TAKE CARE OF ME emotionally has my mind reeling and my heart cautiously optimistic.
It’s almost too much…but not quite.
“Most of us have far more courage than we ever dreamed we possessed.” ~Dale Carnegie