It is with sincere respect and admiration that I bring you October’s guest blogger, Eva Kane. She has chosen to share her story with us, about her struggle with her marriage and her choice to seek an answer. I hope that you gain insight from her story.
We are: WOMAN HELPING WOMEN
By Eva Kane
Idiom: tie the knot.
When you marry, you are saying I do to many things. If you marry someone with a troubled past or childhood trauma, that trauma will most likely one day become your trauma.
We met with a priest a few times before we married in a ritual known as Pre-Cana, where you and your intended take separate tests with such helpful multiple choice questions as:
What is your idea of the perfect vacation?
How many children do you want?
Will you attend church every week?
What do you want the other one to do, should you have an untimely death?
Your answers are compared and discussed, should there be any glaring contradictions. There are no questions about past trauma, no delving into anything too awkward, yucky or personal.
Perhaps there could be a one on one interview with a trauma specialist before a couple even gets married. I think that would save many marriages.
Before I met my husband, I had completed Werner Ehrhardt’s The Forum (a weekend long seminar in creating possibility in your life), The Six-Day (a brutally challenging continuation of The Forum, replete with a Zip-Line across a mountain and repelling down yet another mountain). I then continued various workshops. I love things that help me function as a person – finding it extremely challenging to navigate a world where everyone has so much emotional baggage. Some days, it feels like I’m shuffling through a fly-infested, malodorous, garbage dump. I’ll try anything that gives me a leg up!
One night, before we were married, possibly after we completed Pre-Cana, we were hanging out in the caboose of our railroad apartment, aka the bedroom, talking. I had just come back from a Werner Erhardt Sex Seminar. Since my soon to be husband didn’t know any of the people in the seminar, I entertained him with some of the more memorable stories. There was one so profoundly shocking, I wish I never heard it, so I chose not to burden you with the disturbing image!
The point being, we’ve all done things we are not proud of, and airing them in a room with others makes you feel less strange, or maybe not in that one guy’s case, but nonetheless the exercise proves to primarily cleansing and liberating.
It was then my husband shared something shocking about his introduction to sex. It is indeed awkward, yucky and personal so I am sparing everyone the details. Although I was the one who attended the sex seminar, I got the feeling he had just reaped some of the liberating benefits.
I’ve been practicing, and I mean practicing, Kundalini Yoga, replete with meditation, about 3-4, sometimes 5 times a week for almost a year. Kundalini is the energy stored at the base of your spine and the exercises release and move energy stored in your chakras. I feel a lot smarter with ample space now in my emotional brain for some pretty fascinating thinking!
Normally I poke fun at myself with such self-deprecating phrases as:
“My elevator stops at the 11th floor of a 12-story” building Or “I’m not the sharpest tool in the drawer”
You’re thinking “no, It’s the sharpest tool in the shed or sharpest knife in the drawer” – but I meant to jumble it for extra emphasis! Even when something was thrown in my face, I didn’t realize its significance.
When the red flag came up about my husband’s childhood trauma, I virtually did nothing, save, let him talk about it, which indeed brought us closer together. I vividly remember the conversation and getting the feeling he didn’t tell many people. I shared some of my secrets too. I wasn’t exactly an angel growing up and had my share of inappropriate fondling as a child. We bonded over our perverse introductions to sex. That’s where it was left. Until 20 years later.
His younger sister passed a few years ago, and again, without getting too personal here, it was a web of abuse, trauma, and family secrets gone amok. It was too much for him to bear, the wheels came off and he spiraled out of control.
After the whole thing played out, I decided to stay married to this broken man. He was still my husband and my son’s father. This man had chosen me, and what if that night, the night he told me the secret, was the moment he realized that I was the one – the one who could handle him and everything that came with him? Even if he wanted to vacation at a mountain ski lodge and I wanted the sunny seaside, I was still the one.
I DO, are the words we declare at the alter: We DO WHAT?
What is it we are saying WE WILL DO?
Through sickness and in health, for better or for worse.
This was sickness and worse in all its glory.
SICKNESS, as in emotional breakdown – deeply imbedded, overwhelming, inconceivable heartbreak, with a splash of shame, all in one single human being.
Unable to connect to me, or a group of like grievers, or fund raising cause, who was left to connect with in his life? He reverted to something he was all too familiar with – secrets, shame and, well, WORSE!
“Sometimes the fractures in two souls
are the very hinges that hold them together”,
–Lisa Kleypas from Devil in Winter.
We attended a Bonnie Raitt concert a few days ago and she performed a brand new song. The lyric was something like “here I am, all alone with something to say”.
I’m thinking “why is she all alone with something to say”? I don’t mean to one-up Bonnie Raitt, but here I am, together, with something to say.
Most women would say, “Get rid of him”, but isn’t he, in a lot of cases, your child’s father? Nobody bothers to dig deep enough inside to help him figure things out? “I tried everything” is what I often hear women say. So you let this man loose? You dump him at his worse? The father of your children? Oh, I get it! It’s all his fault? It probably isn’t YOUR fault. I mean that!! I’m not getting sassy with you. Whose fault could it be? That’s where there is work involved – investigating – cracking things open – yucky, painful secrets – things too horrible to bear alone – I’m just saying it could be some of those things.
I was one of those women, who tried “EVERYTHING”, but my husband had and still has, walls – his walls are at least 12 stories high. But lucky for him, through the openings I’ve had in yoga, and maybe through all the love in my heart I have always had, my 12 story building I was telling you about – remember the one whose elevator stopped at the 11th floor?
That building has been renovated to stand 20 stories high with an elevator that goes all the way up to the roof.
He is breadwinner in this family. But I am the emotional millionaire! I give him the emotional support he’s never had in his life. No one ever had his back; my advantage? I knew his secret. How about the woman married to the man who has never told anyone his yucky, personal, shameful secret? She has no idea and just thinks her husband is a big jerk or a sleaze.
Occasionally I feel he is socially and emotionally “slow”. The bad news is that, as the recipient of someone’s fly-infested, malodorous garbage dump, you sometimes step on a piece of glass. It can cut deeply to the core – yet it is at that exact moment you should ask yourself – what pain is he covering up? Is he crying out again? Help me out of this? Are we back in our tiny railroad apartment in the west village of Manhattan, sitting on the bed, sharing? Can I turn this into another bonding moment? Am I the one responsible for fixing this opportunity? Isn’t this what BETTER means?
Maybe “fixing” is beyond your capabilities, and he’ll probably just reply “I don’t want to talk about it”, which by the way is the name of a very helpful book I am reading by Terence Real.
What about trying on some old fashioned compassion, and take a few deep breaths. I find Meditation and Kundalini Yoga, help me achieve the HEALTH, and find the BETTER.
As a child I could never get enough love and I have MARRIED someone who needs so much, but doesn’t know how to ask for it without acting in a petulant, hurtful or childish manner. Perhaps it’s the only way he knows how to ask. It can be very painful and tiresome. Luckily I am learning to hold my nose and calmly step around the glass. Sometimes I can even carry my dust pan and collect the bits of glass so they can be properly disposed.
Thanks for giving this a read. I hope it empowers you in your life. If you’d like more information please LIKE my FACEBOOK page: www.facebook.com/divorceblocker follow me on Twitter: www.twitter.com/divorceblocker and visit my website: www.divorceblocker.com