My family wasn't great at expressing upset. My dad would get deadly quiet, and withdraw emotionally and physically. My mom would bottle it all up and then let it out in a fireworks display of screaming and crying a few times a year. Neither were particularly good role models for me, and I found my natural tendency were to do both.
Thanks to some pretty great work with a life coach, and the experience of this past year, I think I am finally gaining some skills at expressing upset and the shitty emotions we all experience in a healthy way. I'm learning that there is no shame in feeling ugly emotions, and that ultimately it is my responsibility to express them in a respectful, healthy way. Self-expression is an art, and I'm grateful to be getting better at it.
It humbles me. To stand in front of another human being and expose my wounds, my darkness, my struggles. To not be brave and resolute in dealing with everything on my own; to allow emotions to be wrapped in words and brought to the outside of me, instead of them bloating until they spill out in tangled piles of noodles and gore from a rip in my carefully constructed armor. I find words, "I am really struggling with a lot of anger right now," or "I have never experienced rage like this, and it's really hard to carry inside of my body." I experience life in an intense, rich, deep and full-bodied kind of way - it's why I love food, sex and music so much; I absorb it into my every pore, and fall away from all facets of myself into the full experience of being. Emotions are no different; they are tidal waves that settle into thick physical symptoms in my body, and scream for release through every cell. I have to stop, still, breathe and quiet, see what floats up, and then put a word bubble around it. Assimilate and educate myself on what belongs where, and to whom. Such a child at times.... such a child.
And I have been in The Shit these past few weeks. And the best? Is Elemental's respect and gentleness around this experience - of me finding my voice, and speaking my truth. He is so resolute in what he has learned from this past year, and stands in front of me, arms open and ears ready to hear my words. He is understanding and patient, and I feel something new happening. This total vision of all of him, and all of me at the same time. No more dirty secrets, held back bits, just wide open love and communication. When did this happen? Amongst all that scrabbling in the dirt, all of a sudden we have arrived into our relationship, a maturing and blossoming that leaves me breathless in its simplicity. He accepts me. I accept him.
I have seen all of his darkness, and I am not afraid. Annoyed at times? Yes. But not afraid. He loves me, and it's not going away. He sees me, and he loves what he sees. And I am the same with him. Am I angry with him for so many of the choices he made with Sync? Fuck yes, Son, I sure am. Am I struggling with true forgiveness and letting go? Shit yes, Son, I sure am. But I look at him, and see all of him and understand; neither of us are perfect, and we both have hurt each other. It never would have even happened had it not been for my misguided ideals and Romanticies. Perhaps my forgiveness needs to start with myself.
I stretch and begin to break that skin of anger that surrounds me like a birth sac, sipping the first small taste of fresh air inside of myself for a long time. I don't want to stagnate in my life and stop growing - not now, not ever. I am destined to birth and rebirth and rebirth over and over again in this life, and welcome it no matter how much it hurts sometimes. Looking back I see how all of these gifts of darkness and pain have brought new parts of myself to light, to life, to living. There's no going back, no undoing what is done, only moving forward with new knowledge, new connection and new senses of one's self. Growing into my soul, and growing my soul brings me to my knees in humility.
He is my man. For those who do poly without hierarchy, I salute you, but it will never be like that for me. My life starts with him, and I am believing with increasing certainty that it will end with him as well. He is my heart, my life and my love. I am all in.
And so I grow. Because that's the thing with being in The Shit - it helps things grow - in my garden, and inside of myself.