3 a m and wide awake with a tight chest, racing thoughts, feelings of hopelessness . . . .
anxiety creeps in and I can no longer sleep or even rest. I walk outside in my bathrobe onto the deck in the chilly night just to try to relax and breathe. I whimper, and pray the best I can to let go of and surrender to LOVE the anxiety that has swept over me . . .
It all began . . . .
Last night as I told my spouse that I can't live in our current residence any longer !
A series of events preceded this dilemma . . . .
Five years ago my Dad died (yes, my abuser) and mom came to live with us for nearly 2 years until my older brother moved her out for his own ulterior reasons.We lost our home 3 years ago after I left my job due to a harrassing boss; my spouse started a construction company at the same period of time in a sinking economy.
Everything caved in on us all at once !
We moved from 2400 SF into a cozy 500 SF granny flat connected to my nephew's expansive home above us on a lovely hillside overlooking the city. I knew that we wouldn't stay for long, yet 3 years have already passed.
Have I already said that I am a compulsive cleaner and need order to feel peaceful in my environment ???
Living with my spouse, a dog, a cat my spouse and the property impacted with construction tools I often feel irritable and clostrophobic.
Last night as I drove home I was dreading our conversation, knowing it wouldn't be pleasant.
A little piece of history . . . .
My spouse was raised in Belgium by his grandparents because his parents were both factory workers who didn't own a car so he only saw them on weekends. Needless to say, some unresolved issues . . .
As soon as I shared my frustration, he became defensive. I was too abrupt when I said that I can't stand it anymore and basically said that we HAVE to move ! Things progressed downhill quickly, without going into the ugly details.
I want to preface this confession with the fact that both J and I are a thoughtful and generous couple who work together helping others and making creative projects, the positive aspect of our relationship. He is well loved by everyone we know; and most of the time I feel happy with our marriage. Before our moved, I was able to compartmentalize the STUFF into rooms and the garage and didn't feel overwhelmed.
One major weakness in our relationship is that our communication SUCKS !!!
As soon as I was accused of being selfish regarding details of the changes I want to make, my wounded heart perceived J as being my abusive, controlling, oppressive father who said that I would never make it without him. So the raging wounded child in me started YELLING for 5 minutes . . . .then I caught myself midstream and walked outside . . .
Called my daughter, took a bath and a sleep aid . . .
However . . . I awakened abruptly at 3 . . .
3 am is the witching hour for me . . . this is the time I was consistently yanked out of bed to be taken to another place of horrors . . .
Whenever I have a disagreement I tend to awaken at 3 am . . . no amount of journaling, therapy, and years of acknowledging and letting go of memories has healed this area completely. Yet, I experience a far less degree of anxiety and don't use anti-anxiety medications any more. Step by step . . .
Knowing full well that the wounded child in me is terrified I am at times unable to console her. No amount of reassurance that she is in a safeplace will lull her into reverie.
Thankfully, the one key mantra for me that is working is that I consciously start thinking about other children that I know who are suffering. When I begin praying for their safety and healing I am able to calm myself better and usually can slumber again.
I know that in time I will learn better to communicate because I already have made improvements. But once PTSD sets in, the road out is very difficult.
In retrospect I could have approached this need in a positive way by suggesting that we set of goal of 6 months, saving enough money for the cost of moving. Instead, I sabotaged myself by making an ultimatum.
I am humbled by my woundedness and pray that I will continue to heal in this area so that I may be a more loving and reasonable partner.