Friday, January 18, 2008

baby steps


I'm in a rage. A white hot just on the verge of being out of control rage.

I'm caught in a tight spot, between the proverbial rock and a hard place.

And it's a terrible combination.

My husband and I are having serious marital issues. They may or may not be fixable. We had our first counseling session Thursday morning. Those are the bare bones facts.

And now here are the emotions. I had forgotten how therapy works. You go in for an appointment, you open up wound after wound for an hour or so...and then the appointment is over. And then what? The FG asked just that. Now what? Do you hash out everything that just got said or do you go to your own corners and lick your wounds until the next appointment? Will it be made worse by discussing what was said or will it be made better? Can it be made worse?

Can it be made better?


All I know right now is that I am in serious vent mode. I can feel the fury running through my veins and I know it isn't a good thing. But what to do? Ah...enter the rock and the hard place.

The obvious answer is to pick up the phone and call someone. A friend. Someone who will listen and say the right things and comfort me as much as possible in ways that I need to be comforted. Obviously a good friend is called for. And I have good friends. I'm blessed with good friends. What I'm not blessed with is the ability to reach out for help. I am really good at listening to other people's problems and being there for them. But it's excruciating for me to ask someone to be there for me. Especially when I convince myself that there's a good reason for not calling all of the people I trust enough to talk to about this.

There's the friend whose own marriage is hanging by a thread.

There's the friend who is unexpectedly battling a major health issue.

There's the friend whose job is -literally- ruining her life.

There's my mother who would freak.

There's my sister-in-law who is painfully putting her own marriage back together.

There are the friends thousands of miles away who have such long and stable marriages that they'd never understand.


And there's my own impulse, which is to bolt the doors and not let anyone in. I should be rallying the troops, but I don't. I play a lone hand. This is my crisis mode. I shut down. I don't answer the phone. I ignore emails. I don't reach out. I piss off plenty of people in the process. (I didn't pick the name Rotten Correspondent for nothing, you know).


Of course there is the blog. I could certainly vent in the blog. It would seem tailor made for something like this. Isn't the beauty of a blog that you can be honest and yourself because it's (kind of) anonymous? I suppose if I didn't mind driving you all away I could just let loose.

Oh, wait a sec. Are we talking about the blog that my husband reads?

Back to the drawing board.

I'm fully aware that the argument could be made that throwing this out there in this way is a cry for help, so to speak. And I completely understand that if I hit Publish on this baby I'd better have picked up a phone first.

I understand it perfectly. It's doing it that's the problem.

Postscript: Stepped out of comfort zone. Venting in progress. Cry for help answered. Yay.

34 comments:

Willowtree said...

Then of course there is me, who doesn't care one way or the other, but is at least honest.

ped crossing said...

RC, I feel for you. I am the same way. I don't ask for help. I have to be on deaths door to ask for help. That strong, independent, stubborn kind of person.

I'm glad you called someone. Even if it is one of those stable marriage friends. They may not get it, but they can let you vent. And you never know, their marriage may not be as rosy as you thought.

Hang in there. And think about taking a kick boxing class. It is good for visualization if you know what I mean.

ciara said...

baby steps are always good...i would listen, i'm good at that. and hey, i WOULD understand. hell, i'm on marriage #2! let me tell you...this one hasn't all been a bed of roses. it has it's moments, but i got the blended family thing thrown in for good measure. anyways...i'm here if you need someone

PixelPi said...

See email I just sent. Just in case.

I have Ciara beat--I'm on marriage #3, 19 years in the system, with 3 years of living together before we tied the know.

And of course WT cares or he wouldn't have written such a mushy response (by his standards).

Hugs and sending kool positive 1969 Real Hippie vibes. And I mean really.

PixelPi said...

Oh PS. I hate to be rude and do a PS.

You have an award at my site. It has no expiration date so whenever.

Hug.

Aoj & The Lurchers said...

It seems it's the day for opening the heart in blogland.

RC I feel for you. Rock and hard places hurt like hell and I suspect there are many of us out here who feel like you do about letting out a cry for help, that's a huge step, not a baby step. I'm glad you did and I hope you and Mr RC can put your selves back ttogether again.

Flowerpot said...

well done for asking for help. I know it can be so difficult but it will be worth it, and the friend you called will be glad to help. Best of luck.

laurie said...

i hope things work out for you on all fronts, RC.

talking with friends isn't quite the same as asking for help. it's called "being a friend." i can tell from your message that you worry about being a burden when they all have problems of their own... but you're NOT a burden. you're a friend.

and you're not asking them to solve your life's problems for you. just listen and talk. i think they would all be glad to do that.

good luck.

laurie said...

ps and the stable marriage people? hell. they get it. believe me, nobody's marriage is THAT stable.

Potty Mummy said...

RC, sounds like you already made a large step - the counselling - rather than just baby ones. You should both be proud of yourselves for that. And Laurie is right - nobody's marriage is THAT stable...

Thinking of you both.

Diana said...

A lot of us are like you--great at listening and helping others but not so good with firing off the distress flares when we are the ones who need something. I'm huge piles of sorry that this is going on. I'm glad you've taken the leap and asked for help. You know I'm here if I can do anything.

kathy said...

Believe me I understand, I work with my husband every day. It's a miracle both of us are still alive.

Kaycie said...

And to think we actually missed WT while he was MIA.

Sweetie, I know that place. It's been a long time, but I am cut from that same cloth. Don't answer the phone, don't answer the door, open a bottle of wine and drink it while eating chinese take out. I was once incommunicado so long that my mother called my neighbor and made her come across the street to check on me.

And I am glad you're talking to someone. You're a better woman than I am.

Jen said...

I'm glad you're talking to someone (and to us, in a round about way). Laurie is right, though, the stable marriage people get it, because no marriage is perfect.

I hope therapy works for you and FG and that things can either resolve themselves, or you can work it through, one way or the other.

And have a hug from me, too. It likely won't help, but have one anyway.

Mya said...

RC,
When written in Chinese, the word 'crisis' is composed of two characters. One represents danger, and the other represents opportunity.

That's what JFK said on the topic.

The fact that you've recognised there's a problem is a massive step to have already taken. The counselling will hurt, but it will help - given time. And why the hell shouldn't you ask for help? I think it's time you called in some favours.
Big hugs.

Mya x

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Call me naive, but I never would have thought this. I always think you sound blissfully happy! Sorry to hear you are not. I'm not really qualified to comment, my first marriage broke up due to my own fault and I am quite happy now with the Farmer - ups and downs of course but nothing major!

I'll send you some love and hugs and hope you can sort things out one way or another. Sometimes what we think is the right thing is completely wrong and ruining our lives.
Take care,
Crystal xx

Akelamalu said...

I feel for you RC, hope the answers are forthcoming and the solution reached before you explode. x

aims said...

I know what you mean about the fury racing through your veins. I never could ask for help either - but always went for a car ride instead where I would scream at the top of my lungs for as long as I could - and always ended up with laryngitis. But Oh - how good it felt!!

Kimberly said...

I'm crying. I can just feel the intensity of your frustration that keenly. Glad...so glad your call for help was answered. And so sorry you're going through this. Sorry seems so inadequate, but that doesn't mean it isn't sincere.

HollowSquirrel said...

Shit sorry to read this. I'm glad you're venting to someone, in addition to the internet. I hope you feel some relief and direction.

Thalia's Child said...

I'm the same way as you - I shut down when I am really hurt or upset, or angry.

I'm glad you found someone to decompress with, and I hope you're okay.

Stacie said...

Oh, RC. I know how hard it is to reach out to friends, too. I am so glad you did, though. We are here for you, but it just isn't the same as a irl friend who can reach over and give you a big hug. Take care of yourself and know that you are loved very much!

Happy in the Abyss said...

My Love! True that my marriage is on the verge of implosion most every day, but I am always here! Marriage is not something you can work at without some sort of breakdown in the process. I learned that it is just like a job...some days you realize exactly what you are doing and some days you want to slice your wrists. Thankfully, I haven't chosen the latter, but time will tell. My brother cannot be the easiest person on the planet to be with...his geek status is saying enough...but all of the little things about each other that you cannot get over, you don't have to..nor are you supposed to. You just deal with them and not sweat the stuff that you cannot control. Right? So, I am terribly sorry to hear that things are not well with you two. In my mind, I guess I have always envisioned that through the good and bad you have still been "YOU TWO" and that would never change. None of us married Prince Charming and besides, I think he was gay anyway! We make the best with what life has given us and mend our hearts when they are stampeded on.

I guess what I am trying to say is that I love you so very much. Everyday brings new problems and joys...just reach out. My hand is always here to help you up and my shoulder to have snot wiped on...anytime!!!!

I LOVE YOU!

-Ann said...

So sorry to hear about these difficulties. And I know exactly what you mean about shutting down. I do the same thing sometimes. November and December were bad months for me - I just got all my email answered from that time last week.

Take care.

Amy said...

People who care about you would love for you to call them up and spew all this at them. Seriously, they'd be flattered you chose them to trust. You can do it again and again with a different friend. You can cry and scream and cause damage until you're sick of it because I have the feeling there are a lot of people who care about you. Just look at all these comments.

I hope that you and FG can deal with life together until that next counseling session. I know how it feels to open a wound and pour salt over it with no hope for help for another week. And yes, I am one of those stable marriage people.

Jo Beaufoix said...

RC, everyone has already said it all my lovely friend. I have been crap at opening up to mates. But you've made a start. I think your mates in the real world will want to listen and hug and help just as much as all your blog buds do. Sometimes it's hard to be the one asking for help, especially when you're usually so busy rescuing everyone else, but I think you'll find they'll be glad to listen and share.
Hope things go well with the counselling. Like Laurie and Mya said, nobodies marriage is perfect, and it's good that you and FG have recognised there's a problem and are trying to sort it.
Feel free to rant/vent/whatever anytime, either by blog or by email. You've supported enough of us in the past. Hug.

Corey~living and loving said...

So many hugs to you. You have gotten so many wonderful caring replies here. I hope the venting helped. I'll be thinking of you.

marriage is the hardest thing...I think it is harder than parenting.

hugs!

Rose said...

Congratulations on going for counseling. Congratulations for asking for help. Good luck with all of it. It's so tough to go through and you're right; you open it all up and then have to go to bed and eat dinner and be with the person and parent with the person. It's hard and then it gets harder. I agree with ped crossing; not all the ones that look stable are. Good, good thoughts. And take care of yourself, but you already knew that.

Rose said...

Just thought of something else. My therapist always got after me for saying that because someone else's stuff is always worse, that mine isn't that bad. She said to acknowledge and honor what I was going through without comparing it to other people's stuff or suffering. So don't feel that you can't talk to your friends because their stuff is worse OR better. Friends are friends. Hope this makes sense. It sounded good in my head.

laurie said...

....not only are no marriages totally stable, but an awful lot of us have been divorced, or had long-term relationships that didn't work out.

you can trust.

it's ok.

Sweet Irene said...

You have taken the right first step by going to see a therapist. After a while,things will become more clear and less overwhelming.

It is important that you both ate ruthlessly honest,though,when there.No hidden agendas and you have to agree on what you want the outcome to be. Which I hope will be togetherness.

If all goes according to plan, you will be involved again like two giggling teenagers by this summer.

Nearlydawn said...

Honey, I am in a marrige in the South - GA to be less than exact. Everyone thinks that everyone else has "a stable marriage", because in the South that is what we do. We put on a show for each other. The better the couple looks, the more likely there is real trouble brewing. :)

I smile, because my marriage looks as stable as a rock. Others ask how we do it. Then I come home and we yell and scream at each other a bit then we finally find our separate corners.

You guys are doing the smart thing and getting counseling. We aren't ready to do that yet. Even though the baby we've battled infertility for 3 yrs to get will be here in less than 8 wks.

Eileen said...

RC,
I hear you. I shut down too, when it comes to my marriage, when what I really need to do is talk, talk and vent and vent. My marriage seems to go in cycles, where it is good, and then bam, some days I am seriously looking for a house to move into, without him. We have done the counseling route too. It does stir up a lot, making things worse at first, but it can help, if you stick with it. I want you to know that you are loved here, always have support here, don't forget it. If you ever need to e-mail me or phone, please do so. You have been such a constant support to me!! I want you to know that I am here for you.
XOXOXO

Lisa said...

Hug? *SQUISH*