At the Edges of the Wound

I bless my anger, and the ability to cuss through it, and rage at the injustices served to me. Psycholobitch was formed out of a commitment to being truthful in speech. Psycholobitches here are not your typical bitches- they are women who have been through some major shit with completely cruel people. So they came out broken, not bitchy. And being a Psycholobitch is an effort to enter into the mysteries of love and healing in a truthful, transparent, vulnerable way. Once broken, now strengthened through the power of our words.

Yet, as I just wrote, it is important to grieve and that is where the healing is. I have to say something about the power of nurturance. So I have a friend, once a lover, with whom I can be completely free and open and honest. I can tell him all my grievances, lay on him all my doubts, tell him where I’m worried, tell him where I’m not congruent, tell him my guilt. He will tell me I’m being too hard on myself and shhhhhhh into my hair. I will cry in his arms and sob like a baby. I have learned that nothing helps me heal more than a tender person witnessing my pain with complete and total compassion.

I’m not sure we talk about this enough- the power to heal each other. The power of being able to be completely vulnerable with a person. And I will bring gender into it- the healing power of a man holding me when I cry is immense.

I did not invite, intimately, a kind man into my life until I was 28 years old. Before then, there was my dad the narcissist, my grandfather the pedophile, and an ex husband who just raged (looking back I understand his rage better now, and I think he does too, but that is a world of stories yet to be told.) But when I met the first of two kind men, I was amazed that first of all, someone could love me like that and that much- that they found enough good in me to love so unconditionally, and second of all-that I was worthy of that love. The second kind man I met became my lover and best friend. To this day, I consider him my soul mate. We could walk into a room together and never touch each other again and I know in my soul that he loves and accepts me.

It took me 4 years for my heart to believe he loved me.

Twenty-eight years of being close to men who could not love, who were dysfunctional has left a deep teaching about men. Along with the bitterness and deep fear, I am also insatiably curious about men. As with most learning, it does not happen on an intellectual level, but on a heart level. I’ve been so used to tuning out how men make me feel it’s difficult to parse out what is harmful versus what is healthful. I’m still learning to name the feelings I have around men, and to be curious about what those feelings mean for me.

For example, the man I spoke of above who will hold me when I cry also highlighted a pattern for me. When I was in college, I had a boy very interested in me and who had a clue about what he wanted-he wanted to have a proper college girlfriend, graduate college together, settle down and have children. He knew what he wanted. I, however, could not believe I’d be worth that. Of course, with my youth and wounding I’m not sure he would have been suitable for me long-term anyway- he just knew what he wanted. But I got scared, and I cheated on him. He was upset about it and dropped me. But there is a part of me that becomes sneaky and creates a relational diversion when I’m scared.

So it happened with this man who loved me. I’d get anxious and scared about being close and I’d break it off with him or cheat on him. Once his love held steadfast, I calmed down a bit. But he was never going to settle down and live with me.

Then I married the narcissist, and was fiercely loyal to him. I never would have cheated on him and never did. I suspect he may have cheated on me, in fact.

Under those behaviors is a habit of mind. Of all of those significant others, I’d keep a record of their wrongs in the form of a journal. The journal was to write out all of the ways they’d hurt me and how something was wrong with them.  It is one part fault-finding for protection, and one part needing the protection because of the dysfunction.

My point is, I’m exploring my feelings of dissatisfaction with men, and disbelief that a man would want me. Men are my landmines as far as triggers go, and I want to give them a fighting chance so I can heal. Having situations and experiences where I am soothed by a man is huge for me.

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