Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Like Sands through the hourglass
Where does the time go? I mean only a few weeks I was getting K ready for her first day of first grade and now it’s the middle of April and everyone’s scrambling to get summer camp applications in before it’s too late. How does this happen? Sometimes I feel the days forever to end and then all of a sudden 365 of them have flown by.
Last year at this time I was recovering from having all my wisdom teeth removed, I can still see K sitting next to me on the bed trying to comfort me and sharing in my sorbet diet. Then a few weeks later D, K and I took a trip to Sacramento to spend the weekend with D’s mother who was having surgery. Originally the plan was to drive up to her house and spend the weekend there. I took over the planning of that weekend and turned it into a few days of fun activities and a change of venue instead of sitting around my mother in law’s house while she convinced herself that she would never be returning. This was a big step for me, usually in situations involving my MIL I would protest the trip, my objection would be overruled and I would retreat back into my own thoughts. This time I stood my ground; my arguments were strong, clear and concise. For the first time ever I convinced the judge to see my side. The weekend was a success, MIL went into her surgery with a positive attitude and was able to go home after a few days.
This was only a year ago, so much has changed since then it doesn’t seem possible. How could so much change happen in just one year? The physical and mental transformation I went through took a lifetime to reach, I suppose I didn’t have the patience to wait any more. Having that weekend go the way I planned helped me in using my voice to get the things I wanted and needed. I knew that everything wouldn’t go as smoothly but it wasn’t the outcome that mattered, it was the confidence I had in using my voice. That newly found confidence is what helped me eat right, it helped me see that I didn’t need food to comfort me, just as I didn’t need the extra weight I had been carrying around and hiding behind.
That weight loss happened fast, not because I did anything special but because I wanted it so badly, I made it happen. I wanted other things just as badly and started going after those things as well. This probably came across as antagonistic to D, what I wanted was to have him see what I knew was behavior from his mother. I knew this was going to be difficult, I had tried to do this in the past but was met with anger. I usually just kept it to myself, which did absolutely no good. This time I was going to press it, I was going to fight, I was either going to get through to D or die trying. It was a rough summer for many reasons, we had our good times and of course we had some bad ones. Through our work with Dr. Phil we were learning to communicate with each other, not just in the language we used, because that was terrible, but in the way we listened to each other, a skill that neither of us had mastered.
We spent the better part of the Fall butting heads over things but it was good, this was happening because we were both using our newly found voice. All of this led to to our Christmas trip. Over the summer I had mentioned to D that through Facebook, my childhood friends were planning a Thanksgiving reunion in New York and I thought it would be fun to go, immediately following my request was “Fine, then we’re going to my mom’s for Christmas.” This was always the way these visits were brought up, I know now that D did this because he knew it was something I didn’t want and he felt attacked even before the words came out, so they always came out as a counter attack. We never went to New York though, someone owes me a trip.
Anyway, as you know, off we went. There was a compromise though, I insisted we not rush up there, that we take our time leaving the house in the morning (I never understood the rush to get up there to sit around and do nothing). We were on edge for most of the trip, even before anything happened. I think D and I both knew that this trip was going to be a defining moment. The true test of all we learned in our work with Dr. Phil. I have to say that this trip, without the tools we took from therapy would have been a disaster, it would not have united us the way it did. In fact I believe if this trip had happened the year before, we would have arrived home separately.
So it’s almost been a year since we started working with Dr. Phil, I think it was around the end of May or beginning of June. It sometimes seems like years ago yet at the same time feels like weeks. The amount of progress we have made is incredible, when we first started therapy D wanted to reclaim the closeness that somehow had been lost. We had no idea what we were in for, but honestly it couldn’t have been any worse than how we were living. Our life since then has been turned upside down but in a good way. I never in a million years thought that we would be able to have the discussions we have now without screaming and bad feelings. I never thought we would be making jokes about the things that used to kill us both inside. I never thought that the fantasies I had in my head would ever come to fruition.
One year ago if you asked me where I’d be in a year I probably would have lied to you because the truth would have been a far-fetched fantasy. I’m not talking about the material wishes because that stuff is great, but never the stuff of my fantasies. Last year what I wanted more than anything, and I believe D is with me on this is, was to be heard and seen because I wasn’t. Honestly if anyone asked me what was a more feasible goal a 10 bedroom house on the beach or getting through our issues I would have picked the house. It was that kind of pessimistic outlook that ruled my world. A few weeks ago in Dr. Phil’s office I remarked that I was dripping with optimism, another thing that I never expected. All of this in less than a year is pretty remarkable.
So yes, the time is going by rather quickly but that’s because we aren’t sleepwalking through life anymore. We are tackling all the things being thrown at us and facing them head on. Is it easy? No, nothing worthwhile ever is. Is it better than what we used to do? Hell yes! I hope that this summer is one of those lazy summers that I always read about. I hope that we are able to take that hourglass and knock it over, let the time stand still for a while so we can enjoy all the things we’ve worked so hard to attain.
These are the days of our lives so let’s enjoy them. I don’t want them to fly by, they mean too much now.