Days 103 - 107
Post date: Oct 12, 2016 1:42:26 AM
FRIDAY - TUESDAY
As a codependent, one of the things I really struggle with is intimacy. I just don't understand it. Growing up, I was never to have feelings or show emotions. I was to sit in the corner and pretend I didn't exist. "Children are to be seen and not heard," I remember my grandfather saying this whenever we went to his house.
Now, I am a great storyteller. I can tell you every detail about my life. All the horrors. All the crimes against me. But if you ask me how I felt at any of those times, well, I wouldn't know what to say. Sharing how I felt never really mattered. I walked through most of my life as a visitor, never really fully engaging in anything.
I didn't grow up in a touchy-feely house. Well, not appropriate touching. I remember the day my mom quit hugging me. I remember, as a new mother, making the conscious choice to let my children hug me. Taisha was probably three or four. There was no cuddling in my world. I slept on my side of the bed in my "safe" little bubble.
Intimacy is a new word in my vocabulary. It is a scary word. It means I have to let people inside. Inside my very messed up world. I have to feel and express those feelings. I can no longer be just a bystander in my own life. What absolutely horrifying thoughts these are.
But on the flip side, imagine years and years of dealing with someone with whom their only emotion was rage? Not really caring about you or how you felt, because no one ever cared about me or how I felt. How do people live like that? How did I live like that for so long?
I started reading this book, I really don't feel like sharing the title, however, I also don't plan on plagiarizing it either. The book talked about intimacy in a way I had never before thought of. The sharing of one's day, one's highs and lows, one's dreams and hopes.
How was your day? Fine. How was yours? Great. Let's eat dinner. Did anything exciting happen today? No. Wasn't it a beautiful day today? Don't you just love Georgia weather? 24 years of that. It is so very empty. It's so very sad.
So, what exactly is intimacy. I'm sure when I said intimacy, sex was the first thing to pop into your mind. Yes, that is one part of intimacy however, a quick Google search found this:
close familiarity or friendship; closeness.
"the intimacy between a husband and wife"
"the sisters reestablished their old intimacy"
a private cozy atmosphere.
"the room had a peaceful sense of intimacy about it"
synonyms: closeness, togetherness, affinity, rapport, attachment, familiarity, friendliness, friendship, amity, affection, warmth, confidence.
I believe that's why I don't feel any loss at not being in contact with my mother. I can't think of a single time she shared how she felt with me. Wait, take that back. MANY times she told me what she THOUGHT of me. We never had any intimate moments. No tender moments. None of the synonyms lived in my house growing up. Sadly, as a wife and mother, very few made it into my own home. I laughed at the "the room had a peaceful sense of intimacy about it." Yup, sure, maybe when no one was home.
We have started the High-Low game at our home. Each day we will tell each other the high point or high of our day and then the low point or low of our day. Today, my high was when Jared came to see me before he left for his trip. My low was my daughter telling me what a crappy mother I've been. I asked her if she's noticed any change in me over the past 90 days. She said she's blocked out the horrors of her youth, so she has nothing to compare with. That hurt. Oh well.
I'm starting over, building trust and intimacy with my family. It's hard. I don't know if I will ever be able to freely share how I feel. It is the only thing I truly own.
I know a lot of pain. I don't think pain is a feeling. It is a reaction. It is a wedge that lives between people. It is excuses and lies. It is abuse and mistrust. It is Satan's favorite party favor. It's the gift that keeps on giving.
I believe the closest thing I had to giving intimacy in my life was when I baked. I bake with love. I am not a great baker. I burn more cookies than I'd like to admit, but I put love in my baking. It has always been a way of giving a part of me away. At times, it was all I could give. I remember my children asking why I never baked for them. The thought had never occurred to me. I made 144 cookies for the baptism, but they weren't allowed to eat a single one.
It's amazing how now, when I bake, they are so amazed I did it just for them. Yesterday, I made a double batch of banana bread. I found the prettiest pan and cut out a dozen or so pieces, just for them. They got the prettiest pieces. They deserve the prettiest pieces. I don't know if they know that, but they do.
I am grateful to be on this journey. It is humbling, continually.
I have a testimony of my Savior, Jesus Christ. He loves me. In all the many broken ways I am, He loves me.
I love my family. I love my husband. I love my children, all of them. I want them forever. I am working toward forever.