Friday, February 5, 2010

Open the window

When my mother tells the story of how she met my dad, how his bright blue eyes looked so warm and attractive, I sometimes wonder who she is talking about. When I had upset the delicate balance in our house by coming home with poor grades on the report card, when I had made too much noise or did something else to anger him (it was hard to predict what that might be) I was confronted with those eyes. Those eyes would become weapons as he shared his displeasure with me. Those moments where time slowed down, when all I could do was to mentally leave that space, go somewhere deep inside of me to escape the torrent of words, standing there, building a container around my anger, ending up disliking myself, my passivity, my life. I had no power, nothing beneath my feet to push from. I was deeply afraid of my father, held under his spell.

Any conflict, any argument, any moment when someone was expressing their anger, their displeasure with me, I would become quiet, sullen, passive. Waiting for the time to pass, internalizing my own feelings and values. I could not, would not, argue or try to express or defend myself. This behaviour manifests itself in my recovery, refusing to give my opinion when there is some conflict at an AA business meeting. I have opinions, feelings, and I just bury them. When other writers express how they relish a good argument, that it's fun to spar, I just don't get that.

I learned to use anger when people tried to move me from my internal place. There is still an intense desire to remain hidden, unknowable. I don't want to offend, I don't want to be judged, it's almost like I don't want to be.

Recovery has given me the tools and courage to be willing to risk, to open up and share what's inside. When I was in treatment, and we sat in group, and I opened up to share some of my darkness, found that I was accepted and not found lacking after the stuff came out, I thought I was in heaven. I learned the power of honesty, openness, and willingness.

I would like to take more risk, to speak my opinion at a business meeting and not be afraid of what others would think, to speak clearly to my boss without anger clouding the issues, to be honestly open with all those around me, giving myself the space to be me, is something I am hoping to grow into. All I need to do is say the words.

Photo Credit: swamibu


Garnet said...

To share honestly and be open to any outcome. that was a gift of the program, for me.

Susan Deborah said...

Its not very easy to say the words we want to at all times. Sometimes I just don't defend or argue, just disappear mentally. I like harmony and sometimes even when I am right, I just keep quiet.

But this does not happen always.

I am so glad that you chose to share this with us today.

Joy always,