When your heart gets broken why doesn’t it stop beating? I have often wondered about it, this is not the first time I felt like an iron fist has clenched my heart, but perhaps it will be the last time. I surely hope so but know better.
Yet, not even twelve hours later, I find myself acting almost normal again. Puffy eyes from crying, but inside there is a willingness to just push away what had happened last night. If I just pretend it didn’t happen, life will just continue on the way it always does.
In a few minutes, my husband will come downstairs and I will act normal, perhaps a bit colder but that’s about it. I handle arguments so well, have learned it a long time ago.
When they call you names, slap or humiliate you -push the memory away and pretend it never happened. Don’t talk about it, don’t bring it up, because perhaps it has been all my fault, to begin with.
Just like it was back then. “Go, sit down at her bed and apologize,” my father had told me and I couldn’t believe it. Why would I apologize? She, my mother, was a violent drunk. She was the one who had been mean all night long. She had called us names, had made fun of me and my dad the way only a drunk can, and now, she laid in bed, sobbing and felt sorry for herself.
Peace was wanted and needed, and it was up to me to make sure the next day would be perhaps a quiet one. So I sat down and apologized, listened to her sobbing, and added numbers up in my head. “I am sorry,” I said over and over and hated the way it made me feel. I should sit here and tell her how much she hurt me. She should be apologizing to me -us- but it never happened. The next day she wouldn’t remember, but she would forgive me and perhaps for one day, she would stay sober -just to repeat the same thing the day after.
It was a vicious cycle. It was an unhealthy cycle. I learned to walk on eggshells. I feared arguments, to this day I don’t handle them very well.
Now forty years later I am still the same little girl deep inside. After every argument, I feel I am the guilty one, and so I have become the internal peacemaker. I don’t sulk or mope around. I don’t give the guilty party the silence treatment, as I should, neither do I confront the other person with their wrongdoing.
I am an adult. The beatings have stopped a long time ago, yet still, I am terrified of not being loved anymore. I am frightened my words could have consequences so I stay silent. I am my own enabler and I know it. Last night it finally sunk in.
I don’t react normal, hate arguments so much that I try to avoid them as much as I can. The moment someone raises their voice or heaven’s forbid, shouts, I am defeated. Instead of standing my ground, I cry or walk away and eat myself into a frenzy. I numb every kind of bad emotions with food, sweets, and candy. My heart feels broken way more than it should be. Old pain lives on deep inside.
Chewing puts my mind at ease. Overeating gives me the break I need. It’s like for a short time I leave this planet, and all my problems behind.
Last night I opened a bottle of wine, got me a small glass and started writing instead of eating and this a huge success. I am finally aware of my behavior, and I know I will have to change it. I did not open the fridge. I did not open the pantry. I dealt with me!
I am not a little girl anymore. I can’t be forced to apologize, and I damn sure don’t have to be afraid of the consequences my replies might bring, each and every time I say something that might be uncomfortable for the other person.
This is a relationship and I am an equal partner. We love each other dearly and my husband is a sweet man, who does everything in the world for me. Last night was an exception, not the norm. I will tell him how I feel and will tell him how much his behavior hurt me.
I will not drown my sorrow in candy, neither will I chew myself happy with foods I shouldn’t have. Instead, I will be pouting, will give him the silent treatment for a while. Will let him know he hurt me.
This is a journey to better health. I am working on it. I am working on me!