Thursday, April 16, 2015

mirror wanted

There are three basic rules in a dysfunctional family: don't talk, don't tell, don't feel.

I learned the lessons well, and have spent many years trying to unlearn them.  I have learned to not always be quiet, and I have worked hard to tell my truth. Expressing my feelings, though, in public?

And it isn't just negative feelings.  I mean, that is obvious with the other rules, you can't show anyone that you are less than a happy, normal family.  But it also is not safe to show good feelings.  If I liked something, loved something, wanted something, dreamed something, hoped something - that was something that could be taken away to hurt me.  If I was excited or joyful or proud, that was a place I needed to be brought down, taught my place.

My husband was a mirror for me - he understood and would tell me when I was hiding.  I don't have a mirror anymore.  I don't know if I am letting people see my joy.  I don't know if I am sharing my hope or my pride.  I think I probably am not, because I am feeling pretty cut off.  I am feeling that people don't know me and I'm not having conversations that go beyond the lightest surface of things.

It doesn't help that I am an introvert.  It is really easier to just withdraw.  In a group, the conversation will usually move past me before I have a chance to fully form my thoughts, let alone speak them.

So I'm writing this here.  I need someone in my life who is willing to sit in silence sometimes.  I need someone in my life who is willing to call BS as needed.  I need someone in my life to be a mirror, show me when I am hiding and keeping it in.  Sometimes I go for days without saying one word that isn't polite social stuff, passing humor.  Sometimes I go for longer than that without feeling I have connected meaningfully.

I recognize that I'm not easy.  I'm sorry.

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