It was midway through our training and my emotions were hitting rocky territory. The partner work displayed my obvious struggle to inhale deeply. “Wow,” he said, “that is telling.” I knew it. The corset-like tightening that comes whenever I try to fully fill my lungs with air is something that I have yet to break free of. The more I try, it seems, the tighter the cinch becomes, inducing frustration and often panic.
We broke for lunch after the discussion, creating an opportunity for further dialogue should I want it. Cautiously, I approached Jenn. I wanted her to share her opinion on the matter yet suspected it would unleash further emotion. That, it did.
Knowing the answer, she asked if I ever felt abandoned. “Oh yeah,” I answered. We talked briefly on this topic before she went on. She inquired if I had feelings of continually being let down. Again, she didn’t need me to answer. She suggested that this let down was the root of my deep-seated drive to control everything, do everything…so as never having to rely on someone to do something for me that might result in my being let down when they fail to come through for me. My next step, she said, was to learn trust again, to receive, and to let others do for me.
So today, 2 weeks later, I sit in meditation and watch the offending moments of my life flash before me…
Tears flow as I see myself disappointed that my father is not at any of my swim meets (week after week after week), has decided not to attend my graduation from high school (and college), and didn’t show up to welcome the first of his grandchildren (even though he said he would come). I see myself purposely planning a wedding where guests will not be invited, and therefore will not be missed when the fail (once again) to show up in support. Further down that path, I take on every ounce of responsibility for the children possible so as not to risk being let down, but subsequently set up a situation where Tom’s presence is not needed (and soon becomes absent). And my disappointment grows deeper.
One might ask why I feel so abandoned, if I seemingly never leaned on my husband for support. But I did rely on his support. It was just at a different level. And I know that dying isn’t exactly abandoning but that’s just how it sits in the stuck part of my mind.
Besides, it no longer matters. What matters now is getting past this. Learning to trust and to be open to receiving oxygen, and other vital provisions, will be my work. Loosening the corset, so-to-speak, will likely be a slow process. However, learning to be on the receiving end, at least once in a while, will do me good.