These last few weeks have been full of insights and revelations. The one I had this day stunned me. The notion had started to percolate around my brain last night while doing an exercise for one of the courses I am taking in my quest to gain better relationship skills. It came to full fruition this morning.
I am very curious about people, try to understand what makes them tick. I am fascinated with relationship dynamics. A few years back, I became aware of the walls we put up to protect us from others. I was consciously trying to live wide open and thought that I had gotten very good at that. No walls here!
I believed that my ex-husband and partner had walls up, were keeping me out and that I was battering against those ramparts in a futile attempt to gain entry which was always denied. I looked back at the past and saw that pattern repeated in most of my relationships. I thought that a lack of self-love had led me to choose emotionally unavailable men.
So, this morning revelation was a complete shock. I realized that the walls were mine, not theirs. Do they have some? Possibly, in a relationship, we do tend to mirror each other. Point one finger at someone else, however, and three point back at the self. To say I was stunned is putting it mildly.
I decided to explore this further now that I could see the truth. I saw that for the many years I spent in the wheelchair, I was completely shut down. There was no getting in by anyone except my pets. I was waiting to die, had severed all bonds to family and friends. I lived in a world of disease and pain, and there was no reaching me. There was no love for the self until the day I almost died and was reborn.
During the time of my recovery and the many months spent in Germany caring for my parents, I changed. I became more open and made friends with most of the nurses helping us with my mom. I reinvented myself. I opened up, slowly but surely, grew younger and much more alive.
Once I moved to Gig Harbor, I blossomed. Women I am so good with but around guys I am still leery, guarded, and there are few men I am comfortable spending time with. Men seldom see the real vibrant me because of my fears. I retreat at times and capsule myself off even from my partner.
What was worse, if there was conflict in my love relationship this turned into a ‘me against him’ feeling. Instead of being sensitive to my partner's needs, I closed off my empathy towards them, shielded myself as much as I could, stopped giving unconditional love.
No mate deserves such treatment, and I am fiercely determined to do better from now on. I came to acknowledge and let go of men=pain. In my own defense, there are justifications for this attitude, but that does not matter. I will not allow this again. Every person is different and reacting in such a manner based on the sex of an individual is just plain wrong in my book.
I am so very happy that I see this, have become aware of this relationship killer. It will be very different to live with my partner without those walls to shield me from his emotions, his needs. Kind of scary to be honest but I have gained the skills and the courage to be able to do this.
Without those walls, I will be able to be more understanding, empathetic, compassionate, accepting, and appreciative of all that he does. I will be more aware of his feelings instead of protecting myself. I hope that the amazing men in my life can accept me for the human I am and forgive me.
I am sure there will be times that I will have to remind myself of this. Rome was not built in a day, and this is a journey and I tend to meander a bit at times.