I finally started to doze off when I heard the owl. I woke back up not with a startle, but with a happiness for having heard it. I listened to it for the next ten minutes or so. Thoughts bounced back and forth- from the owl to what had transpired that day with my bosses. That symbol of wisdom was right outside my bedroom somewhere, seeing in the dark, looking down on everything around it. It was confirmation that I was on the right path, even though I have no idea what path that is.
I know that the various authors didn’t write the books on it to shame anyone, and they do have helpful guidance in how to establish a better relationship than the anxious-avoidant one I had been trapped in- but it really did make feel like a dented can in the discount section. I was damaged, and only could make the most of my situation.
I was so ready to build a future, to move on and away from trauma, to be free and to be a grown-up that I allowed myself to ignore all kinds of warnings, and to consciously convince myself that this person would bring stability to my life. I threw all my eggs into that unstable basket.
Give me a guy ballsy enough to tell me in person what he’d like to do to me and not one who casts a wide net of selfies to see what he can drag in. And as someone who has been painfully sensitized to a partner’s ability to be unfaithful, I don’t think I could ever trust that the guy who is unable to start a conversation with an attractive woman in real life would be able to be truthful with me about the really important stuff.
If you are from the southwest or San Francisco, you are used to hippy-dippy, new-age spiritualism and will not laugh when I tell you what kinds of referrals I got. Everyone else, know this: ask for therapy here, and you get referrals to: reflexology, aromatherapy, crystal therapy, hot stone therapy, sweat therapy, neuro-linguistic programming, massage, scare therapy, rebirthing and on and on. I was really asking for talk therapy, but I figured, what the heck, I should be open to anything that might open my heart again to a man for whom I’d lost all respect. Marriage was forever, and maybe there was a magic therapy I could sign up for?
The conundrum of being a strong girl is that often the people who are attracted to you are weak. It’s like the law of attraction coming back around to kick your butt. If you manage hard situations well, you gain competence and strength and that in turn brings people to you who need you to figure out their problems, to fix them. And a good girl always helps others out. It’s what makes her good.
At least in high school, my peers and I all had the commonality of believing that everything sucked. College, by contrast, was a world of people talking about how great college life was,.
I would never have predicted that the person who would understand best what was going on in my marriage would be a celibate priest.