(The Terror of) Opening Up

My fluctuations in mood, my state of being, and my every single moment-to-moment, keep having this disastrous effect on me. Their unpredictability and persistence are really messing with my mind and my confidence that this will some day be OVER. That every day will eventually be an empowered and happy one where I am totally self-reliant, confident, and whole.

I have never been a patient person and this moodiness leaves me with worry and frustration – am I EVER going to just be happy – with smaller bumps in the road? Will life ever reach a place of slow-and-steady minus these fucking pits of despair? Last week was a really good week. I was ecstatic and happy and confident. Today I woke up to gray skies and no children in the house and that achy uncomfortable feeling is back.

And this has happened: I finally admitted/acknowledged that I am still very much in love with my ex.

I had been trying SO HARD to turn that off.

It felt stupid and embarrassing to love someone who hurt me so badly; weak. A person who doesn’t seem to give two shits about me and who I am becoming now. It felt too risky to allow that love into my hurting heart. I know it is not reciprocated any more – if it ever was, to the depth that I seem to be able to feel it. When I made space for that love, it filled up the empty places in my heart (I am really questioning the emotional repercussions of this).

Admitting a love for someone who has hurt me more deeply than anyone in my life ever has, did one really powerful thing – it aligned my two selves. The hurt me, who put up walls so thick and so tall that nothing was getting through them, with the girl standing on the other side. The one standing there, looking up at the wall, waiting patiently, knowing you cannot simply turn love off. No matter how scared or hurt you may be. I was spending so much time trying not to feel, that I was exhausting myself – just as I spent so much of last year trying to be someone I was not ready to be.

Extending myself outward – always stretching myself too thin, still keeping parts of myself in check.

I have a lifetime of trauma to unwind. 32 years of compartmentalized emotions; always making sure they didn’t get too out of control. Don’t love too much – you’ll get hurt. Don’t get too sad, you won’t recover, don’t get too happy, it will end in disaster. Don’t feel anything too much or love anyone too much because life is a lie that cannot be trusted and people die and leave you. They rip out your heart and stomp all over it leaving you broken.

Never feel too much, it won’t hurt as much when people disappoint you.

Now my heart is learning to open up and I AM SCARED. What if someone else leaves me? What if someone breaks my heart into pieces again? What if one of my kids gets hurt or God forbid dies? I know what that emptiness feels like – that horror of not seeing someone you loved with your whole self – ever again. Doesn’t it make more sense to have a life of half-feeling? Walls made of steel?

I’ve finally come to the conclusion that no, it doesn’t. Living in constant fear of being hurt and only exposing half of your heart isn’t living at all. Denying your own children, your spouse, your friends and family, the absolute essence of who you are means you are also denying that piece of yourself to yourself.

This is the only shot we have. There are no repeats, redo’s, or second chances. This is the one life you are given and that means that you need to give it all that you have. I am learning to do this. Learning to trust my own emotions and to trust others. I am allowing feelings to be as intense as they need to be without the fear that they will swallow me whole and never go away.

I think that the deepest hurt for me, in terms of my marriage, is the fact that my husband of 11 years and partner of 16 didn’t think that I was worth the wait.

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