Last Sunday’s episodeof La Vida de Casa del Meyer – appropriately dubbed La Señora Rojo Va Loca – left off where I’d just told Charlie Brown that surprise, asking for help is hard, and more importantly, it was crucial that he helps me – when he concedes to do so – in a relatively fast response time, because, shock, Heather has issues in the realm of asking others to meet her needs due an early learned expectation that her needs will either be 1. Ignored, or 2. Heeded, but will remain unmet. Failure to do so results in the following manifestations:

  • Externally – I appear to be a nagging, raving, control freak – hence the “Heather’s gonna freak” statement in the previous post….true, but damn it if you must push me to that point, you know?
  • Internally – I feel inadequate, because my needs are apparently of less import than whatever he is presently attending to – often TV, hobbies, etc. That feeling of inadequacy puts me in a self-preservation mode where I often vilify him in order to justify my actions and not feel so badly about myself. And, hell-o. That’s gotta be great for a marriage, eh?

Also….I forgot to mention the other point of my help-wanted/I’m sorry soliloquy – In Charlie Brown’s account of his talk with Prominent Male a couple of weeks ago, he had been upset with himself for his lack of spiritual study of late, including blowing off putting a lesson together for our Life Group the evening before said talk. Well, this past weekend we were in the same boat where time was getting shorter and I 1.) knew that he needed a little spurring on and 2.) was annoyed that he was avoiding this obligation…again. Anyway, suffice to say that my reminders were as much for me as they were for him to find some time and get his lesson done. And I told him that.

His response was slow-going.

Which made me think back to class that morning and he’d made a jab at my tendency to prod responses out of his silence – “I find that when I’m looking to God to help me guard my tongue during a conflict, she says, ‘Well, don’t you have anything to say?!?’” There had been some truth in his comment that morning, but the requisite kindness in tone had been lacking – ironic, as we’d been discussing the whats and hows of speaking truth in love

Meanwhile, my head was going 95 mph.

The porn..we still haven’t talked about this issue.

My God, my Abba, how bad is it and can I possibly endure another blow right now?

Hold me, wrap me in Your Love.

Eventually, Charlie Brown spoke. “About the lesson, I get what you’re saying, but here’s the thing, Heather.”

Oh no….here we go with excuses….

“No one’s given me this guide that we’re supposed to be using – so I don’t have any guidance, and last time I read the passage in Ephesians we were on and it just didn’t hit me on how to make it relevant or interesting. Of the people here tonight, that group is a hard group, we have no real talkers who make discussion but you. So I ask a thought provoking question based on the key-point of the sermon and apparently it wasn’t as deep as I thought it could be – because they all essentially said, ‘It’s totally easy to honor God in a life-threatening situation because it’s a win-win – either you sway their thinking with your faith, or you go to heaven,’ and honestly, come on! I mean in theory, yeah, totally. But really? None of them have kids yet, or other things that might gray it up for them…. I mean if I were in a situation like that where I might likely be spared if I denied God and did what everyone else was doing – I could see you and the kids again, provide for you and do everything I could to ensure you were cared for. By dying for God, I’m not guaranteed anything about your welfare, you know?”

I nodded. Good grief Heather, you have got to start giving the man some more props!

It all made perfect sense and slowly the perspective shifted…

Ok, but still no thoughts on the whole vulnerability thing. Hopefully it registered with him. I don’t know that I’ve ever spelled it out quite that way for him before.

It was silent for quite some time – and then a subject change was made by Charlie Brown – about just what I don’t remember, but it felt as if the elephant in the room – the inevitable porn conversation – walked over and sat squarely on my chest, constricting my airway.

That elephant teetered uneasily as I inhaled deeply and evenly, summoning my courage.

“So, I know that we’ve talked a lot lately, and that that is not your thing. This is hard. But since you talked to me about your talk with Prominent Male, I can’t stop thinking about what you meant when you said that ‘sometimes you get things in your head.’ I can’t put it out of my mind and then it spins out of control, and your answer is the only thing that is going to really effect change here.” Tears resumed.

With compassion, not defensiveness, he responded, “That’s why I hate saying anything. But truly, it was a minor part of that conversation. Seriously, like 2 minutes of an hour and a half was spent on that. I guess it’s just like an alcoholic or drug user, you just crave a fix now and then – and recently that craving’s been there.”

Is it contemporaneous to my depression? Did I trigger this?

Or is it the weight, because there is that.

:gulp: And here’s the part that is my inner masochist – I need to know more.

That elephant teeters a wee bit more.

Silence.

“So…is there anything that triggered this craving, because I know I’ve put on weight, and…”

“No, it’s not the weight. Really, it’s just you’ve been gone so much at night and it would just be so easy…it’s been really tempting.”

I simultaneously felt relief that the burden was his and my own burden of being so inadequate that he would need that – in both a sexual sense and the sense that living with me contributed to his own emotional pain that he must escape from.

“Well, have you, uh, indulged in that temptation? Because we’ve been getting more of that type of spam and unsolicited IM’s from dating services.” Pause. “I just need to know, and I’m sorry that I have so many questions. But we also had some issues with being in sync lately and I just need to know why that is because it is a little much for me to just shake all of these co-occurring things off without a little doubt. I mean, even if you haven’t looked at porn, per se, you may have fantasy stuff that’s going on and you’re not really with me but with a fantasy, and I just need you with me, now.” Tears are falling freely.

“No. Babe I’m sorry. I’m sorry that I’ve created a history that puts so much doubt and fear into you. I love YOU. I’ve been able to be on the straight and narrow, and all I was sayin’ is that it would help to not have to battle alone. Ok?”

Nods.

“Now that we’ve got that out of the way, can I ask you something?”

“Yeah,” I managed between sobby hiccups.

“How long have you been feeling down, babe? ‘Cuz I hate that we have to get to this place before we see it.”

I shifted….this elephant was about to tip over.

“I don’t know when to pinpoint it. Months? But I thought it was just my period times and well, such are the joys of being a woman, and then I thought it was the change of the seasons, and then I thought it was just the busy-ness of this part of the work year,” bawling, I continued, “and then, it just wasn’t getting any better and I’m a shrieking, horrible shrew all the time, and I…just..can’t…do…that…to you and the kids!”

And then I cried while he held me rocking me, murmuring that things would be ok, that I was doing the right thing calling the doc, and that we were turning a corner.

It’s not the scene I would have envisioned if someone asked me on my wedding day where I saw us in the next 10 years. It’s not a scene I would wish upon my worst enemies, because the pain that led up to this moment was so long in the making, so deep and yet so very raw at the surface that no one should have to deal with this.

But for better or for worse, we will. We will weather this storm – and what good it does me to know that Charlie Brown is strong enough to be my man, especially now when I need him most.

And that elephant? Tipped over and fled the scene – seems I’m not a comfy spot for him to hang at anymore.

© 2008 Ramblings of a Red-Headed Step-Child. All Rights Reserved

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