I hide away sometimes within the safe confines of my own mind. That’s not fair, is it? I tell myself it’s easier to sweep my thoughts clear as opposed to sharing every single whim, plan, thought, or dream with my husband. Why do I do that? I share most things with him. And still, I don’t bare it all. Just last night we were talking about our future plans. He’s really betting on me and that’s scary, right? No. It’s actually quite the confidence builder. But certain things I keep to myself. I don’t think he’ll judge, in fact quite the opposite. I think he likes to encourage my crazy. “Whatever makes you happy” he says. So then what’s the hesitation?
Certain things I share here on my blog with you, and there’s lots that I keep to myself. I wasn’t always like that. I didn’t always pull a Mary and ponder all these things in my heart. I was an open book.Is it age? You know, as we get older we are more afraid to take risks, or to seem like we’re throwing caution to the wind, because we’re settled and mature. Going back to the chat with my husband last night, I kept repeating the word “settled”. I just want to be more settled. Granted, the most stable thing in our lives is each other. Yes, my faith is too. But he doesn’t have that. So jointly, all we have that we can count on is, each other. So where is all of this “settled” coming in from? We’ve moved quite a bit, I’ve changed directions in my career quite a bit, the boys have changed schools, we’ve had our parents tornado their way in and out of our lives countless times and he even noted that we never have the same adults at the kids’ birthday parties. Our lives, as adults aren’t perfect. Nor do I want them to be. I trust him and know that I can be completely myself when I’m with him. He understands the quirk that makes me work, in all of its idiosyncratic splendor (it’s not really splendid people, that man is going to be canonized as the saint for atheists married to Catholic women if he’s not careful).
I think it’s something closer to “picking your battles”. It’s not to say that sharing is a battle (maybe it is?). But if we shift that perspective a little bit, maybe we just pick things we want to share because those parts that we don’t are still being chewed on, processed or polished. Maybe we need that time, that space to feel it out, make it real within ourselves. Vet it to be sure it’s something we want to push forth into conversation with people we love and trust. People who will help nurture that polished idea into fruition.
He says I have to ease up in my zero tolerance approach to things. It’s true, I am that way. But it’s not without reason. So much of my life was spent at the mercy (or lack thereof) of others, that naturally, if it doesn’t work, I shut it down. Friendships, I mean. Save one person, I don’t really let people know when their chances have run out. I just remove myself from the equation. Enter in, online communities where I can connect when I want to, and disconnect when I need to – and it’s an understood rule, people just disappear and no one wonders. You know?
Is it fair? Maybe not. Maybe the combination of getting older, needing to feel “settled” and not being one for confrontation has taken root. As loud as I seem, it’s all smoke and mirrors. I crumble where confrontation is concerned, except with, you guessed it, my husband. He’s right to wonder about that. In fact, I wonder about that. Why can I confront him when I feel my feelings have been hurt, but not with anyone else? I even took racial slights from a past boss for a year, and still another was able to toss their card at me in the morning and cry “I need coffeeeeeeeeeee” and slam their door in my face. I wouldn’t say a word. Eventually though, I just left. It’s kinda just what I do. I leave things, unfinished, unspoken and unsaid.
This is me. This is real, and it’s not perfect. It may not even be fair and maybe I should just come with a warning label. “She may phase you out if you hurt her. Don’t ask questions.” I’m a protector. I always have been since I was a little girl. I think I’m realizing that the same protection I unceasingly gave to my younger siblings, then to my children, has transferred to a fierce protection of myself.
And maybe I’m the reason why we don’t have the same people at the kids’s birthday parties. But keeping safe is what I do best.
Join the rest of the Good Enough Moms at The Wounded Dove.