The Joy of Self-Knowledge
Thank goodness my husband and I enjoy each other.
Our relationship feels like “Dessert” at the end of my life!
I asked myself, “Why does it feel so good?” And I realized:
It’s because I CAN ENJOY BEING MYSELF around him!
And he enjoys HIMSELF, being around me.
Why do I mention this? It’s because it’s so different from what I experienced with my previous husband who passed away years ago. Although he’d had many admirable qualities, he suffered from emotional and mental problems that threw a monkey wrench into the works, sending me scrambling for crumbs through enemy territory, anticipating the next skirmish. I wasn’t able to enjoy the real ‘me’ because it didn’t feel safe to be me. I felt I had to hide.
Are you hiding the ‘real you’ around others?
For years living with him, I felt confused and controlled, shapeshifting in vain, never able to make him happy. Sadly, he was trapped inside a carnival of mirrors that tormented him daily. And I was trapped too, unable to find the exit door as his voice echoed in the recesses, “I love you, I hate you, don’t leave me. If you leave, I’ll kill you”, or “You’ll never see the children again.”
Shame and fear held me prisoner many years, afraid to tell anyone of my pain. Could he be right, that his unhappiness was all my fault? Then, just when I’d give up hope, he’d turn back into Mr. Nice Guy, the one I thought I’d married in the first place. And for a little while, I’d imagine my pain was imaginary. Again.
Have you ever felt trapped like that?
Looking back now, I realize I’d always had the key to that prison door, but just like Dorothy’s Ruby slippers in the Wizard of Oz, I didn’t know how to use it till I’d learned the lesson.
And the lesson was this: That it wasn’t until I opened my mouth to ask for help that I could see a way through the wilderness.
Thank goodness I finally did ask for help – and I’m no longer afraid, ashamed or hurting inside. And I’ve found a path.
It’s been a long road, so I created this map to show some of the routes I’ve travelled in my search for self knowledge.