Sometimes wisdom comes from the closest to home. My husband and I have been under a lot of stress, and when there’s a lot of stress, cracks start to form and dams of emotion burst.
Yes, we’ve argued.
We’ve argued in front of the kids.
The fact is, we love each other, but sometimes, whether we mean to or not, we hurt each other. We do our best to overlook it, but sometimes the lack of care or lack of consideration gets to be too much, and it has to come out.
Fortunately, we both understand and acknowledge our weaknesses and do what we can to do better. I am autistic, have chronic pain, have an audio processing disorder, am visually impaired, and can be extremely socially oblivious, especially when I’m trying to muscle through my own depression. There are times that I do or say things without thinking, and it hurts the people closest to me, especially my husband.
Michael is a good man. He’s patient, and he’s learned from his mistakes. He also knows his worth and sets boundaries as he needs them. He is also an excellent therapist who is frustrated because he cannot use his skills as a therapist to help me overcome my own demons (it’s unethical and would turn our relationship into something we don’t want it to be).
He did, however, give me a couple of tools to help me process my emotions–wheels that break down feelings into their emotional roots. He also told me that a statement is not the same as an emotion.
For example, if I said, “I feel worthless,” that’s not an emotion. Buried in that statement are sadness, anger, and fear. I feel sad because it is ingrained into me that the value I bring to others is monetary, and if I am not making money, I do not have value. I am angry at myself because my eyesight and body are weak, and my ability to work is limited by my need for the bathroom and for rest when the pain and/or exhaustion get to be overwhelming. I feel afraid that I will be rejected by the people I love because I do not bring in a steady income to this family, I cannot do conventional work anymore, and I’m scared that they see me the way I see me and will get rid of me when I am no longer useful to them.
That’s heavy, Doc.
At the same time, though, it feels liberating. When I am able to disengage myself from the pain my thoughts are causing and break them down into their basic emotional components, I can analyze them. The simple act of analysis actually quiets my mind somewhat. Now when I thought comes barreling in and knocking me on my ass, I can hear my husband saying to me, “That’s a judgment, Rebecca–what are you feeling?”
This also ties into a free class I’m taking right now about manifesting money in your life. Yes, I’m aware that a lot of people think it’s a woo-woo waste of time, but I feel it has value because it helps participants shine a light on their internalized feelings about money and how those feelings may be preventing them from seeing and participating in opportunities than can lead to financial success.
I have enough to say about money that I should probably make a separate blog discussing everything I’ve learned about myself and my attitudes in the last week. Between the tools that Michael and Tasha have provided for me so far this week, I’ve been learning a lot, and I hope that things change for the better as a result.