I’ve been listening to a new-to-me podcast called Darken the Page with Dave Booda. He posted one last week about being a blogger and when I commented he sent me links to a few more episodes he thought I’d like. I immediately went and downloaded them to my phone so they would be loaded up the next time I had time to listen to any of my backed up podcasts.
You may have noticed that I’ve actually had a couple of posts in the last week. This is why! I’ve been inspired to work writing back into my weekly schedule. I’d shoot for more but I want to be realistic. So my commitment to myself is to write about what’s going on in my life once a week. I’ve avoided that for sometime as I felt really hesitant to expose so much of my current relationship. I have issues around protecting his privacy as well as my own. I also have a habit of really wanting to be liked by his family and I knew I was already putting myself at risk by having this blog. But the reality is: people find my stories useful. I’ve met the chunk of P’s family and I seem to have been well received so I guess my confidence is high enough to return to this platform a little more often.
So when I sit and think why I enjoy writing I come to one thing: I love how the process helps me sort out my own solutions. It’s very therapeutic for me to write. The thing is, I often like to put a fancy bow on it and not write until I can share the solution. By picking a weekly format I’m betting that won’t always be the case.
I often find myself thinking and making private video journals on my drives up to Grand Rapids. It’s about an hour drive to most of my commitments so I get a lot of good thinking time. I don’t have a drive planned until Wednesday but I did go for a walk this morning and I thought to myself, “What would you be thinking about if you were driving today?”
Today I am deep in thought around my feelings of invisibility. It’s been a tough week. It started last Sunday when I found myself in a huge blow up with my ex and we dove into renegotiating visitation due to my plan to start living half time here in West Michigan and half time in Southern California, where P lives. I had to sit with myself and ask what I really wanted around that. THAT is a whole other topic. Needless to say, it was trying on me. And I was handling it with the support of P in California over text and my sister over phone, for the most part. They were my main supports. That situation was resolved by Wednesday. It was a huge weight off my shoulders.
Tuesday I had a dinner date that I think went well. Wednesday I woke with a beautiful string of texts from P that filled my tank. Maybe they filled my tank too full because by Thursday I started to struggle with not feeling missed by him. Where did that come from? No clue. I brushed it off and then I read a Facebook post from Bryan Reeves:
The part that stuck with me most: “…like getting a man who doesn’t know how to show up unless you make it happen.”
That tripped a trigger for me. I saved that post so that says something right there.
Currently P tries so hard. If I say I have a need, he’s happy to supply what I need. He tells me how much he appreciates me asking for what I need. But that’s the thing. I spent so much of this relationship “making it happen”. So now, reading that line, I ask myself how much is still me “making it happen” in our relationship?
Yesterday I reached out and I told him that I needed reconnection. Basically, but not directly, I wanted to feel less in the driver seat, but I actually said that the only time we talk or skype is when I initiate it and that I need him to initiate that kind of contact more. This last week he’s had so much company staying with him and has been so busy entertaining I just feel invisible. He doesn’t feel very engaged with me. I’m used to sometimes being so busy that we kind of end up just giving the run down of your day at the end of the night. My rundown works out to be his goodnight text and his rundown to me ends up being my good morning text the next day. I’m not so used to it being every night that way, or at least what feels like every night lately. When we start to hit the one week mark of not talking on the phone or skyping, it starts to really wear on me, and translates for me as: he doesn’t miss me, like I’m the only one feeling the separation between us.
He responded that he was sorry I felt that way and that he doesn’t ask to talk because he knows he’ll see me soon. I let that be, but in my head I wanted to hear him give a different answer, one where he said he always thinks of wanting to talk to me but that he doesn’t want to bother me. It’s difficult being three time zones a part.
I can work this in my head a few ways. I could say that his desire to be a better version of himself inside and outside our relationship and doing the work is in fact him making it happen. And that’s the one I want to choose to believe.
I can also say that me not feeling seen sometimes is him not showing up. That I’m feeling him being disconnected.
But I could also go inside myself and ask, “Jesus, Michelle! What more do you need?! This man loves you! He talks about you and your relationship to everyone he crosses paths with. He’s so proud of you and your life together.”
And maybe that’s what I need to do. Take the first one and combine it with the last one and just give myself that mantra when I’m in doubt. He thanks me for making him a better man. He often gives me affirmation of appreciation for all I bring to his life. If he did it all the time it would feel diluted. Or maybe it wouldn’t. 😉
I’m working a plan we made a long time ago. When I’m kind of in this spin, I need to sleep on it and then to journal before coming to him. While I did go to him with some texts yesterday, I didn’t make it a big conversation where I called him and didn’t really know what I needed say but just looking to feel better. Instead I texted my feelings. He responded and I let it be. I slept on it last night and I’m writing about it now.
I don’t know why there is a part of me that wants to hold on to these feelings of invisibility. I think it’s ultimately my responsibility to deal with those feelings. I know there is a pattern and I don’t know why I keep going back there. But I hope I can learn to at least deal with the feelings better and I think I have this time already.
That post from Bryan Reeves, it affected me like I used to say some dreams would completely fuck up my day, back when I was married. Once in awhile I used to have a dream where I got to connect with a friend. It wasn’t sexual, but it was very intimate and affectionate. The dream would leave me feeling resentful that wasn’t my real life. It left me very moody. Bryan’s words did that to me. They left me very moody. Anger is fear. I think I’m still afraid that I’m pushing this relationship because it’s been my pattern. Am I actually still pushing it? No. We are at a really wonderful, balanced place in our relationship. I know that. Or as I like to say, “My rational brain knows that.” But my hamsters sneak up on me at times, looking for a meal. To them I say, “Fuck off, hamsters!” I’m going to make this a great day and I’m going to love P and count down the days until I get to touch him again. 4 days from the day this posts.
See, it worked again! Writing is how I work this shit out. I feel so much better now. Thanks for joining me!