Emotions hit out of nowhere. They take over at times, even 2 years later. They fluctuate from anger to fear, sometimes it’s frustration or just plain sadness. And I’ll be honest it’s annoying. Especially when I feel like I’m the only one still facing them.
You can’t ignore them or squash them down because like a soda being shaken at some point when that top comes off it’s going to all come exploding out. I get that and I feel like I have done a good job not repressing things. But I’ll admit it’s hard not to be uncomfortable or uneasy when you feel like the only one left still dealing with all the emotions of the pain of what happened. That brings upon a whole new set of emotions on top of what you where already feeling.
I don’t want to still be hurting or have triggers effect my day. The reality is there are still days when the scar and phantom pain from the trauma are too hard to move past. It’s what to do with them that counts. It’s choosing which moments or emotions to share with my husband. I will be honest I don’t share with him every time I still have a nightmare. I don’t bombard him every time a trigger takes hold or I get a punch to the emotional gut. Why? For a few reasons. The biggest being I don’t want to rehash it all and let the bad win again. I don’t want to still be reliving all that happened all the time. There is self preservation too, there are times I don’t say anything to him because I don’t want it to be about him. He is still healing and dealing with his own stuff and there have (and will) be times when even just sharing my pain it becomes about his quilt and pain of wanting to just move forward. There is also concern of telling him every little incident of pain I feel would aid to the cancer of what happened coming out of remission. We have come such a long way and things are different. We are committed to each other and honestly happily married today. I am sure many would say, “Let him know. He deserves to know how this all still hurts you. So what if he has to feel guilty. He doesn’t get to make this about him. He created this mess” While I have had those thoughts myself, he has taken responsibility for what he did. He has shown remorse. He has created change that instills my trust to grow and rebuild again. And while he may need to know the overall scar is still there, to constantly draw attention to it I fear would begin to eat away at the all the progress we have made. What good does constantly throwing it in his face do? At some point constantly being pecked at by my remaining pain could lead to him feeling unforgiven or unable to move past this himself.
I choose very carefully the times I share when the emotions have the upper hand. I deliberately select when and to what level I tell him I am struggling. I don’t want to continue to add to the pain myself. While he needs to take ownership so do I. He can’t fix my heart only I can. I could give him a book of rules and regulations to follow to provide me a sense of security. I could throw it in his face every time I was feeling off and make it all about what he did. But at this point in the healing process, what he did, is no longer the issue. It’s how it left me to heal and move forward and the process of healing, that is the issue. That is not on him, my heart and my emotional well being is my domain. Yes he should care for me. The Bible gives clear definition and expectations of how a husband should love and be present for their wife in Ephesians 5:25-30,
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body.
NO where in there does it say that he should be a minion in my army or hold responsibility for making me love myself or take responsibility for my healing. He is expected to love me and respect me as the wonderful creation I am in Christ. He is to love me as he loves himself and care for me as he would care for himself. And while that may mean listening to me say the same thing over and over again or walking along side of me while I still process and move forward that doesn’t mean I have to make it any worse than it already is.
I don’t want to go from the one hurting and healing to the one causing the pain and hurt. There is a difference to me. Not every emotional falter needs to be put in front of him. He knows it hurts. He knows this is the hardest thing I have every had to get through in my life so far, why constantly add to the tension by jabbing him with my every twinge of pain? So I filter them. I believe in a healthy way. Many out there won’t agree with me. Many will be reading this and want to tell me I am being too kind, a wimp, or maybe even uglier names or have other impressions of me. I refuse to make facing and addressing emotions become the chance for the bad and ugly side of them win. There is a balance between self ownership and the accountability of anther person for you pain and hurt.
So like yesterday when the emotions of pain and some fear hit and I couldn’t just acknowledge them and still go about my day I told him. Telling him was messy. It came with his own emotional response. Last night was awkward….again…even almost 2 years later. We talked it out some. He asked what he was supposed to do to fix it. He had his own emotions to address after I placed mine on him. Did we fall asleep with answers last night? No. I’ll be honest I don’t have the answers even still this morning. What we both had last night and still this morning was compassion for each other and respect, not to mention love. Neither one of us blamed the other for the emotions we had. Neither one of us insulted or belittled the other. Sometimes it’s not about fixing but just addressing, admitting, or sharing.
Last night behind my choice to address the emotions was to let him in when it was just hard not to let the emotions out. There will be more and more days when the emotions don’t even surface and they pass as fast as they come. Until then I will address them for me, not him and prayerfully choose wisely which ones need to be shared before allowed to be any more than a reaction to healing.