Yup, I’m still Sober and may I mention that although I have 49 days sans alcohol, I first started by quitting smoking marijuana. Mary Jane has been out of my life for the last 56 days and let me be honest, I kind of miss her. It’s been a tough couple of weeks and have had the desire to numb. Out of the two, my addicted mind thinks alcohol is the worse and so we can afford to still smoke…occasionally. Ha! Yeah right! It’s all bullshit. Sober means sober and I intend on being truly and honestly sober. I fooled myself when I first quit drinking two years ago that I was “sober” even though I was smoking pot with my husband.
Anyway, that’s my quick report on abstinence. In recovery, as we all know, alcohol nor drugs tend to even be the real issues of our lives. How easy would that be? Quite drinking and using and waalaa! You’re better now. You’re nice and healthy and whole. Nope. Not how it works. Not even close! Quitting is just the thin paper-like layer of the onion. The real works lays below that and as we peel, boy o boy does it sting and causes us to cry! Stupid onion. I’d like to just throw it as hard as I can at a wall and watch it SPLAT! Makes me smile just thinking of such scenario. Yet, that’s not what I’m called to do. I’m to love the onion, learn from the onion, be aware of it, go to bed with it and wake up with it. I’m to hold the onion. If you could see me now as I type these words, I look like I’ve been rolling around in onion funk probably smell like it too. Uurgh, the mess of recovery.
Here’s the kicker, you won’t even know what each layer is until you are there. No prep work, no time to muster up courage, no talking it out beforehand to get yourself mentally prepared. Nope! Just one day at a single moment….BAM! You’re there and it WILL surprise the pants off of you or in my case, it threatened my sobriety.
So there I was, with my three boys, getting things done, running errands, looking at rental homes, getting myself ready to stand on my own two feet when suddenly I received a text message that made my heart sink. It was my mother in law whom I love deeply. In a series of about 3 text messages she brings up a list of the men in my life whom have caused me damage. Man #1, my dad. Man #2, my first husband, father of my oldest. Man #3, my second husband, father of my middle and youngest. Man #4, my THIRD and current husband and boy#5, my stepson (too sensitive of a subject to share and because he is a minor, I will protect his anonymity. Suffice to say that I was deeply wounded by some of his actions that affected one of my boys especially and therefore affected me).
Can we all just gather together hold hands and yell the word TRIGGER from the top of our lungs!? Yup, let’s change this Diet Coke order to a glass, nope…scratch that; a bottle, nope that won’t do it, a bottle of wine plus 2 beers and maybe even a shot of tequila to ease this wound. I mean, nothing does it (actually I can think of other things that would do it) like a list of your Hall Of Shame being thrown in your face. A “look, YOU are the fucked up one” smile from the self loathing subconscious mind.
And that’s the truth folks. I can face that. I can own it and know that I have work to do in this area. What I will need to work on as well, is not allowing this history of mine to shame me. Although I do believe my MIL intentions where from a place of love, what she ended up doing is pointing the finger at me. Her text message read that I may have perceived all these men and my situation in each relationship wrongly and have un-forgiveness in my heart. That stings that she thinks that way about me even DH used this history to shame me. You know why it hurts? Because I care what other people think of me and there we have yet another stupid onion layer!!!
I want the whole world to like me, accept me, see my heart and usually I AM liked and accepted. In my marriage, however, that was challenged. There were so many people on his side that just plain out didn’t like me, that questioned my intentions, felt I was fake and labeled me many things. I never felt accepted, I mean, my MIL’a office and home walls where still filled with pictures of my husband’s ex wife and their wedding pics and their family pics! Not. One. Picture. Of me. I never really got over that. Still makes me scratch my head.
Here’s the thing, I care because I’ve yet to like/love myself as I should. This desire to be liked and the history of men that have been in my life, truly go hand in hand. There is a pattern, they come in as my knight and charming hero, ready to save me, seeing my vulnerabilities as something they want to protect and then once they have me…poof it’s gone. Immediately they want to change me and due to my PTSD and traumas I reacted in anger and in some instances it resorted to physical anger towards my partner and myself (liquid courage played a roll here for sure) Fight or Flight and I do both. Then because of this reaction, here comes the assembly of labels and just how mean and evil I am. And so, I try harder to be liked, attempt to be super sweet and nice so I can be liked and accepted and loved by these men. I end up ignoring my gut feelings and intuition of their behaviors and unhealthy patterns all for the sake of being accepted and viewed like a true Proverbs woman.
According to Dr. Estes, American women learn to override our intuition because society wants us to be nice. Instinct keeps us safe, but being nice puts us in danger. Habitually choosing niceness over intuition invariably forces us to lose touch with our instincts, and without instinct, we cannot discern danger from safety. When we lose our ability to discriminate between danger and safety, our internal survival system sends out the alarm: “Hey! Since we don’t know what is dangerous, it is best to assume everything is dangerous so we stay alive!”-healthyplace.com
What an insidious cycle. I cared deeply how these men perceived me and I ended up silencing my intuition. I have always known how I wanted to be loved and treated. I wanted to be adored and valued yet I was self sabotaging and treating myself poorly. I own this. I am aware now and so the onion layer is being lifted as it peels and the nastiness of the awareness fumes my entire being causing the sting and tears to flow.
Now, as I put one foot in front of the other and more people become aware of my current separation, I will have to take courage and face the whispers and gossip of me having yet another failed marriage, another one that didn’t work out, another one that “bites the dust.” It’s okay, they can see it that way. I chose to learn from this history and analyze my codependent issues and make the connections and move forward with my head held high.
I will leave you with a song by Sia that has been singing in my head as of late.
And another one bites the dust
But why can I not conquer love?
And I might’ve got to be with one
Why not fight this war without weapons?
And I want it and I wanted it bad
But there were so many red flags
Now another one bites the dust
And let’s be clear, I trust no one
You did not break me
I’m still fighting for peace
Well I’ve got thick skin and an elastic heart
But your blade it might be too sharp
I’m like a rubber band until you pull too hard
But I may snap when I move close
But you won’t see me move no more
Cause I’ve got an elastic heart
I’ve got an elastic heart
Yeah, I’ve got an elastic heart
And I will stay up through the night
Let’s be clear, I won’t close my eyes
And I know that I can survive
I walked through fire to save my life
And I want it, I want my life so bad
And I’m doing everything I can
Then another one bites the dust
It’s hard to lose a chosen one
You did not break me (You did not break me, no, no)
I’m still fighting for peace