Not calling Mr. Blue Eyes over the last week has taken every bit of will power I’ve got. I miss talking to him and I’m fairly certain he’d be happy to hear from me.
Here’s the problem – every time I think about talking to him, I go straight into victim mode. “If I say this, maybe he’ll understand that…” “If I talk about that, maybe he’ll acknowledge this…” Blah, blah, blah. That is manipulation, not communication.
That victim is not the person I am in my strong moments; it’s not the person I strive to be; and it’s sure as hell not the person I want to show to him.
I’m beginning to understand that it’s actually not him that’s triggering this response in me. It’s the anger and sadness and pain I’ve felt every time someone has told me that he loves me and then walked away. It’s the disappointment I’ve felt each time I opened myself to love someone only to feel rejected. It’s the shame and humiliation I’ve felt when I made myself vulnerable and then was laughed at.
It’s the anger, sadness, pain, rejection, disappointment, shame, and humiliation that started with my dad. He was the first man who told me that he loved me and nothing could ever change that…and then told me that I was wretched and walked away.
My “big girl” adult brain knows that my dad had a terrible history and he was just acting out his own story of guilt and shame and pain. But my “little girl” brain has some healing to do because she still wonders why her daddy didn’t love her.
And all those hurt places came screaming out of hiding when Mr. Blue Eyes told me that he thought he had found “his person” in me…and then a few months later told me that he wasn’t in love with me anymore.
And here, too, my “big girl” brain knows that Mr. Blue Eyes is acting out his own story of fear and hurt – one that says if he gets too close and becomes too vulnerable, he won’t be safe. But my “little girl” brain doesn’t get it yet. She still wants to know why she isn’t lovable and why she has been abandoned yet again.
Until my “little girl” brain gets it, I can’t call him. Until I can talk to him simply for the joy of talking to him, rather than trying to work out some old hurt through him, I have to keep myself from dialing the phone.
As the amazing Ken Kizer reminded me the other day, the fact that I opened myself up to love at such a deep level is a miracle. It would be so much easier to stay shut down. And it was exactly that act of opening to love that allowed my heart to break open enough to spill out all these other things that need to be healed. Perhaps that is the biggest miracle. Because that little girl is still trying to win her father’s approval and love. She needs to learn that she is lovable no matter what he said or did. She is the one who needs my help right now.
I’m trying, little Leah. I really am. We’ll get there together.