Returning Home

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Tomorrow I head back home after seven days away and sometimes I wonder what I am going home for and who I am going home to. You tell me that you are all fine. That things are going along comfortably without me. It makes me wonder what is the purpose of my being there when it is so obvious that my being there is not what you want?

This morning when you told me that you asked the kids whether they missed me it made me wonder whether you had an ulterior motive. I mean, who asks their kids that? Kids always miss their mothers. Or were you hoping that they would say no so you wouldn’t feel guilty about what it is you appear to want to do?

But more importantly, the fact that you could not and would not give me what I needed…love words…speaks volumes about where our relationship is at. It crushed my soul that you feel such distaste for me that you could not say you missed me and you loved me. Whether you wouldn’t or your couldn’t…neither one is acceptable for is shows a lack of respect, caring and obviously the type of love that is needed for a marriage to flourish. Shutting down only allows you to keep yourself shut off and to reflect back any love that is directed to you which then allows you to convince yourself that I don’t love you. And it is all because you don’t want that love…at least from me. Or so it would appear.

Even more importantly, I wonder what parts of myself I should bring back and what parts I should leave behind that would help you to love me again. Which parts do I leave at the door because they are no longer desired or is it a matter of just not stepping over the threshold at all because there is nothing there that appeals to your sense of what a marriage should be. And it makes me resentful that I feel that I have to leave the best parts of me at the door to get your approval. That I have to drop off that introspective part, my inquisitive nature, and the part that believes you when you say “I love you” at the prompt.

After we talked this afternoon you said that the letter I sent you made you feel that you always disappointed me but to me telling your lover what it is you need is giving them the opportunity to create a better relationship. And me too. Yet, if the truth be told I think you USE that fact that you feel like you disappoint me as an excuse to be bitter and to prove to yourself that you are right. That nothing you do will make me happy. But I should be able to state my thoughts without being made to feel like if I do that you will think that you disappoint me. Often I believe that if I just smiled and never told you how I felt about anything that would make you happy and comfortable because you would never have to look at things that you didn’t want to. You could live in la-la land being happy while I became more and more miserable being something I am not. I mean if I can’t say in the kindess way I know how what I need from a relationship then I think that a life size blow up doll is your next option. Probably a skinny brunette.

As it is I wish you would ask yourself why you could not and would not assure me of your love? Why would you not say you missed me? Are you withholding because you no longer love me? If so, I can tell you that it feels cruel and inhumane. It feels life taking not life giving.

Yes, I know that yesterday I discussed that fact that holding onto our hurts only increases our own suffering and it does. I know this to be true because yesterday, I did let them go and they left leaving behind the lessons to unpack and contemplate. Yet, here they are back again and this feels like a major disappointment to me because it feels like I have failed myself as I pull out this hurt once again. But I hope in writing all of this, that by seeing my words in front of me, I can let it go and start concentrating on the lessons that are presenting themselves so I can grow.

Maybe it is all baloney. Maybe I can never be that type of person. Maybe I am just kidding and deluding myself but I  would like to think not. I believe that I can and will be able to re-train my brain into seeing things in a new light. And that if I can start to apply what I have learn from these lessons that I find myself intertwined in at this moment;  that someday in the not so distant future that I will finally not allow myself to give you such power over my own emotions. That I will learn to let go of things I cannot control and accept those things that I cannot.

Acceptance isn’t instantaneous. Learning how to allow acceptance to float throughout your life takes practice. Learning that you will not get everything you want from your relationship and you might have to find other ways to fill the void is something I am beginning to seriously consider and am searching for ways in which I can have my needs meet through my own actions rather than yours. It will take a while more. I am still learning. How long it will take I cannot say. But I know that when I come to accept you and myself that things will improve dramatically.

Until then I know that I am doing the best I can working with what I have got at this moment in time. If it is not enough for you then I am truly sorry. If it is, then I hope you have the courage to give me the time that I need to complete this journey that I am on, on my own terms and at my own pace. If you cannot, then you will lose out on something wonderul in the future. I may not know much but this much I know to be true.

 

 

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Understanding

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If you have read this blog before you know that I have been struggling with B’s decision to take a “business” trip to Asia without me. For the past several years we had gone together to try to build closeness in our fragile relationship. I appreciated those times together, the shared experiences and, of course, time away from the kids. So I was hurt when he said he was going alone. Then when I asked about something that seemed odd he admitted he was going somewhere else too. I fretted and wondered if he would have even told me about this new itinerary and I felt betrayed because it brought back past business travels in which odd things had happened. But it was more than that, this anxiety I was feeling, anxiety that felt all consuming and I couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. Until one night I realized it was rooted in fear from the past. Fear because the last time we were apart for 10 days, when I arrived home he wanted a divorce and it brought me back to two years ago when I lost my rudder. I can only imagine this is what PTSD feels like. Bleak, scary and uncertain.  And while I knew that our relationship wasn’t in the same place it was back then my raw emotions couldn’t process that fact for emotions are funny things and whether accurate or not they pull at the soul and can stretch you out of shape.

So now he is away on “business”and not a “vacation” as I insist it is. And B didn’t bother to tell me that even though he would arrive in the wee hours of the morning on Saturday, he wouldn’t actually be engaging in any sort of business activity until Tuesday. I’m sorry, in my mind that is a vacation. Now I could be really upset about this. Not that he wasn’t really doing the business that he insisted he was but upset because once again the pattern of 1/2 truths has appeared to prevail. But this time I am working on really trying to see this in a different light…I hope I can succeed.

It has taken me a while to realize that not everyone loves us in the way we think we need or in the way we would like. Often, they just love us in the way that they are capable of loving us often to our disappointment or dismay. If life were ideal I would have complete and utter honesty but that is uncomfortable for B because he grew up not being allowed to express his feelings and he doesn’t feel he can express his feelings to me.This hurts though I have brought some of it on myself. B feels that to express his needs is shameful or selfish and as a result he hides them to himself and from others. So while I would have loved for him to be honest and say “I don’t have any meetings until Tuesday but I have decided that I need a few days to relax and have a few days of ME time,” he couldn’t allow himself to do that even though I asked him to just be honest and admit he wanted time alone.

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So instead of being upset about the fact that he was a little less than honest I am trying to see his actions as those of a man who cannot ask for what he needs. A man who does not believe he deserves time alone. A man who believes anything he wants that does not involve his family is selfish on his part. Sure, I wish he had just been 100% honest but if I look through into his soul I know he is incapable of focusing on himself. And so I am trying to let go of the fact that he cannot love me as I wish but instead loves me as he can. It is flawed and sometimes it hurts but at this point in life this is how he loves. So I can choose to be angry or I can choose to accept knowing he is doing the best he can at this point in time. Today I choose acceptance…I hope I will choose it tomorrow too! For I deserve it and so does he.

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Brain where social behavior occurs is different for those with High Functioning Autism

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In a new study released yesterday, researchers at UCLA determined that areas in the brain that are associated with social behavior were less developed and lacked sufficient networking in high functioning Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) individuals as compared to their neurotypical peers.

The study noted that ASD subjects showed an increased blood flow in the frontal areas of the brain which is linked to higher oxygen metabolism in those parts of the brain that are used to navigate social situations. This is opposite of individuals not on the spectrum whose blood flow is reduced as they mature. According to scientists increased blood flow suggests that in persons with ASD there is delayed neurodevelopment in these front areas of the brain that are responsible for social-emotional cognition. The study is consistent with MRI findings of enlarged brain size due to a lack of pruning as the brain develops.

The study also found a lack of long-range connections between the front of the brain and the back. This apparent lack of connectivity means that information is impaired between distant areas of the brain leading to a decreased social responsiveness in persons with ASD.

Researchers hope that in utilizing information gleaned from this study that in the future scientists may contribute to developing an even earlier way to diagnosis and perhaps treatment ASD. And that would be great for families who have young children and are just starting down this long and often challenging road. Because if I am completely honest, and I could have given my sons pills to alter their autism so that social-emotional dealings would have been easier for them their entire life; I would have done it in a minute. For as a mother you don’t like to see your child suffer by being the outcast, being teased, being rejected and being bullied day in and day out. Sometimes the lengths to which people will go to hurt and embarrass others are just mind-blowing. Never mind having to fit in with the other kids, ASD kids often are surrounded by adults who unintentionally/intentionally contribute to their ostracism and loss of self-esteem leading to a high rate of suicide in this segment of the population.

Yet, at some point as people with ASD mature they come to recognize what is unique and wonderful within themselves and these future “treatments” no longer appear to be the miracles that they might be considered to be when a child is two years old. Both of my sons say they are happy being who they are, autism and all. Both do not see a “miracle” pill being part of their lives. And I am happy that they feel that way but as their mother also know that no child or family should have to go through what they have gone through to get where they are now. I find nothing noble in suffering and my children were not put on this earth to be the moral compass and recipients of those without ASD practicing their seven virtues to buy their way into heaven. So while I welcome advances in ASD medicine, I will do so on the side lines. But I will cheer on and support those parents of the future who may be presented with opportunities to change the lives of their children in ways that are most likely for the better. For everyone deserves to be able to reach their full-potential which is something many with ASD are denied.

Sweet Emotions…Or Not…305 Days To Fix This

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This is REAL music

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfTa8QhbB_M&list=RDDfTa8QhbB_M#t=0

The other day B and I were talking when he said, “When you express your emotions you are not thinking about others you are only thinking of yourself. It is selfish.”

I was dumbstruck. Stopped dead in my tracks. Bowled over and stone cold. After twenty-nine years of marriage I finally found this out. Well, that explains a lot…especially about our relationship and about B himself.

You see, I thought my wearing my heart on my sleeve and being totally transparent was what attracted people to me. You know what kind of person I am within five minutes of meeting me. Yes, I have deep layers, but people who know me understand that for the most part what you see is what you get. All these years I believed my openness and honesty were a few of the qualities that make me irresistible to B. Obviously, I was wrong.

Where do I go with this information? I honestly do not know. For if sharing your emotions makes you selfish then what he is saying is that I am one of the most selfish people he knows because I don’t believe in hiding who you are from anyone. Never have, never will. I think it stems from situations I encountered as a child. Whatever it is, I don’t like trying to guess other’s emotions or being less than candid about my own.

At the same time, I do recognize that the uninterrupted emotions of a Drama Queen can be overwhelming for those dealing with her. Constant emotional chaos is draining  and having to live within a cloud of emotional debris is life defeating not life affirming.  But I am not one of those women. I’m just your normal run of the mill woman who near her period gets a little more emotional than the other 25 days of the month. Nothing extreme.

If being a normal person with normal emotions whose expression of them makes B uncomfortable than he has a HUGE problem and it is one that I cannot fix for it is his issue alone. I can hand him the shovel but ultimately it is B who has to dig down to find the treasure chest of emotions that makes life rich, full, and complete. I hope for his sake that he will dig fast.