“This is how to clear the polluted river. If you’re scared, scared to fail, I say begin already, fail if you must, pick yourself up, start again. If you fail again, you fail. So what? Begin again. It is not the failure that holds us back but the reluctance to begin over again that causes us to stagnate. If you’re scared, so what? If you’re afraid something’s going to leap out and bite you, then for heaven’s sake, get it over with already. Let your fear leap out and bite you so you can get it over with and go on. You will get over it. The fear will pass. In this case, it is better if you meet it head-on, feel it, and get it over with, than to keep using it to avoid cleaning up the river.” Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D. from her book Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype
I think this may be my theme lately. We’ve had a couple good days. I had a weekend away and it was extremely freeing and cleansing for me in so many ways. I have finally realized how crucial girl time is, how crucial validation of self is to any relationship. I am falling more and more in love with myself every day. I forgive myself now, much more quickly than I have in the past. I recognize my fears, acknowledge them, and become determined to overcome them. In my mind, I can accomplish everything I want to accomplish. I can go back to school, I can improve my career, I can write a novel (or at least an article), I can savor my friendships, I can make a difference, I can save my marriage. Sigh. In my mind, I can do everything and anything I put my mind to. In reality, I restrict myself with the excuse of time.
Writing this blog has truly helped me grow. I think it’s even helped my marriage in some small way because rather than holding in all of my frustrations and unleashing them in unproductive ways, I’m able to remain calm and constructive during “discussions” these days. But it takes time, and I find that sometimes I resent the time it takes. I know that it is necessary for me now and that it is also good practice for one ultimate goal of mine, which is to write a novel. I am still going to continue to write, and to try and write more often. It can be difficult for many reasons to find time to do this, but on days like today, when somehow after 4 full days of hope and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, it disappears almost entirely, I need to reach out.
A good friend recommended the book referenced above to me to remind me that I am loved… this was one part of the section that jumped out at me because the fear of what is to come can be so crippling. I am almost afraid of my own strength these days. I’m so much stronger now than I ever have been that even though things can be going much better one minute, the walls I’ve built around myself and the boundaries I’ve set remain so firmly in place that once they are crossed I revert back into my shell. This morning, my husband denied that he yelled at me when he all but screamed at me yesterday for no good reason. As soon as he said, “When did I yell at you?” I simply looked at him and said, “Are you sure that’s what you want to go with?” No response. “This conversation if over, then,” I said. Because, what’s the point in continuing a conversation with someone who cannot own their own behavior? There isn’t. And I don’t have the strength to do it anymore. Even though we’d shared two very good days together and I can tell he is clearly trying, I just can’t back down this time. I do have guilt that I should give him a break due to his depression, but at the same time I am afraid that I am using his depression as an excuse for this pattern of behavior and therefore, it’s really only going to hurt me and him if I let him continue in it.
I’m at a loss again. I am glad for the reprieve I had and the passage above truly helps me put things into perspective. It’s the reminder I need, on a daily basis, that trying again and again at my marriage doesn’t make me weak. It also reminds me that if I do ultimately end this marriage, that although it will feel like I have failed, I will survive the feeling of failure. I will make it, no matter what happens. I will clean up my river…