Wednesday, February 24, 2010
The Power of Love
Ugh, it pains me deeply to know that the title of this post is a song that makes me ill. Not the message, I like that, it's the bad 80s band doesn't sit right with me, but that's a rant for another day.
If it's Wednesday it must be therapy. D and I both went to the appointment this week, we had a few bumpy road moments this weekend and talking about it with a third party always helps. I'm always surprised where these sessions end up, it's a lot like writing this blog. I have a general idea or random thought and then all of a sudden I'm in the middle of something bigger, often related to where I was going only to a place deeper and sometimes darker. It's all a process and I'm not afraid to go out of my comfort zone if it means getting real. Sometimes I think D has trouble doing this, something that Dr. Phil will say is inherent in most males. I call this getting comfortable being uncomfortable, and it's a relatively new thing for me. I was a huge fan of keeping it all to myself, the more difficult the issue, the deeper it was buried. Now it's all bubbling up to the surface like methane in the Northern Siberian permafrost (I read a lot), and like that methane it has the potential to be deadly. Often when I let things out I don't think about the language I use, I realize I do this because I'm not really comfortable saying these things and need to get it out fast. So while I believe I'm doing this out of love it may not come across that way.
We tend to use the word love a lot: I LOVE Krispy Kreme, I LOVE Radiohead, I LOVE Tory Burch flip flops!!! (and I really do love all those things). I Love Lucy, I love the 80s (I do not) "I love you man" is the drunk guy battle cry and we all know the motto for my hometown: I♥NY. I do my fair share of throwing these words around, usually related to food, clothing or something cute that K has done, what I don't do is give love as freely as I talk about it.
Which brings me back to Dr. Phil today. During the weekend I told D something that was becoming a problem for me, we discussed it like adults and didn't just trade facts. I was happy that I got it off my chest but I never really thought about his feelings, I guess I never really do that. I think because I didn't hold it in like usual it wasn't a problem. I suppose I do this a lot, and in a perfect world, or a perfect relationship this may be OK. In mine, it's not OK, not even close. In order to take in all I'm dishing out D would have to be 100% secure in my love for him, this would be possible if I actually knew how to show love. Like I said earlier, I can fling the word around like nobody's business, I can put passion behind everything I do (writing, cooking and baking, photography, child raising, even shopping) and I can tell D that I love him but I'm just no good at showing it. I hate beating the dead horse that is my childhood but that's not going to stop me from doing it.
We were not an affectionate family, my grandparents were, to a fault but that trait wasn't exactly passed down to their kids. My parents divorced when I was 7 and I spent the majority of my formative years living with my mother and later her and the psycho stepfather. The time I spent with my dad was great, he wasn't affectionately challenged like my mom, but he was in the odd position of seeing his children when my mom saw fit. This arrangement wasn't natural and took a toll on all of us, making weekends jam-packed with activities, never knowing when we would be able to see him again. I felt love in his house and when we would visit his parents it was a lesson in love, my grandparents had been in love from the day they met until the day my beloved grandmother passed away. In fact the light that shined out of my grandpa's eyes went dark the day she died. He existed that way for 14 years, I can't use the word lived because after she was gone there was no life in him. The power of her love sustained him and without it he merely functioned. I wish I had spent more time with them, maybe I would have learned something about giving and showing love.
As I grew love was shown by geography:
"Do you love me?"
"I'm here aren't I?"
That was good enough for me but only because it was better than nothing. My first marriage came and went, he grew up with a similar "way of love" so it was easy to walk away because I had never really given him my heart. He was more upset because he had failed at something more than he was at losing me. When I met D I was in the process of finding a way to live and accept the positive and not fixate on the negative. We had a wonderful courtship, friends first, growing and learning about each other slowly, but all on our very best behavior. We got engaged, married and pregnant in less than a year and a half. After we had K we both got caught up in whatever would occupy our time. I spent my days with my daughter and was too physically exhausted to give anymore of myself to my husband, to make it worse I resented him for even wanting that from me. I did this for a long time until D could no longer take it. That's when we found Dr. Phil, D wanted us to be connected again, and up until today I didn't realize exactly how disconnected I had become. I don't need to model the bad behavior I grew up with just because it was comfortable, all I have to do is look back and think of my grandparents, and the little things they did for each other every day. The smile she gave him when he looked at her melted his heart, so much so that he never once complained about chauffeuring her everywhere because she refused to learn how to drive a car. She was the glue that held our entire family together and when she died a big part of all of us did too. I never realized that I not only inherited her physical traits but I must have some of her emotional ones in me as well. I always saw her give 100% even when she didn't want to. I do this with K every day, why don't I do it with D too? Surely I'm capable of this, I'm pretty strong, inside and out, just like Grandma E. She had the power of love and I bet I do too.
I have a smile just like hers, I bet it works the same magic.
Now if only it could get this stupid Huey Lewis song out of my head.