Thursday, February 05, 2009

denial works until it doesn't


i am reaping the whirlwind today. i have been walking in new territory this past year and i am finding myself ill prepared for it. this past year i have found myself. i have become comfortable in my own skin and i have navigated many new things. community and friendship have become so important to me. living inside myself has been very new for me and it has opened up a lot of different doors in my life. some good. some not so good. i don't know where they go, but there are definitely a lot of new doors.

writing about this is torture, but i have no place else to navigate this. i want to crawl in a hole and weep. i feel cracked open wide because when denial stops working it leaves a big pile of shit in the room that i feel so unbelievably stupid for not noticing before - and it was right there all along. p.s.f.d.

i am surrounded by really incredible people in this community. i have made some amazing f2f friends. one of those friendships was a cross-gender friendship (cgf). i have been reading dan's faith dance blog for quite some time now and am inspired by the thought that men & women aren't dangerous to each other and can truly develop friendships. so much of my broken comes from ugly male behavior, and so safe men in my life are important and healing.

i had crossed a line emotionally with this man. the husband of one of my best friends. on a scale of other peoples issues this one probably ranks really low, but because i closely monitor my serenity i can feel when it goes off the rails, and i lost it and found that it was because this relationship had become an addiction for me. this is mostly about me. i'm not sure how much this has to do with him per sey, but his dysfunction and my great need do play a role here - but most of it has to do with the rush. that heroin that shoots through my veins with the fresh, new, long ago familiar feelings that i haven't felt in 20 years. p.s.f.d.

all along this friendship i was telling 3 dear friends about all of it and talking to liam the whole time. i know i am only as sick as my secrets and deeply want to live in the light. but i have found that when those secrets are buried deep in denial no light can expose them until the denial goes away.

in an attempt to bring things into the light i had a conversation with this man that actually turned things more intimate than stopped them. i feel like a fool. i told a confidence about a mutual friends marriage struggles as a guise for trying to keep us and another pair of dear friends from falling into the same ditch. i really thought i was doing the right thing - but have to admit that i hid behind that to share something that would bind us together somehow. i exposed one of my best friends deepest shame for my own purposes. these are the ugliest parts of my self. i hate to see them, let alone expose them to others. but i believe that they cannot be redeemed unless i do.

so i had to confess my broken confidence to one of my besties - the woman who had fallen off the rails. i immediately called her to tell her - i had kept her secret for months - why now? why ever? i so longed to be trustworthy. i was so angry at myself for breaking faith. it was one of the hardest conversations i have ever had.

next i told liam. he was forgiving. (but too forgiving. a bell went off in my head. this should be bothering him more. he's not getting this. it's not registering. why isn't this registering? why isn't he angry?).

i also IM'd with martha and she called me on the carpet. let me know that i was kidding myself. i truly thought before that that bringing things into the light would keep things from going south. i really did.

after our IM i realized i wasn't being honest. that it wasn't just this ONE conversation, but that i had become emotionally attached to this man. p.s.f.d. it had become an addiction. the rush of the attention. feeling noticed. talking about big ideas and deep theology. p.s.f.d. every one of my hooks was sunk deep into this rotting fish (the addiction, not him - although he is not innocent in this either).

i have tried to do everything in the light and be as accountable as possible. but my dear friend martha told it to me straight yesterday. just because it's accountable doesn't mean it should continue. p.s.f.d.

so today, just for today i am grieving the loss of a really important friendship. a friendship that really did heal some deep places in me. it taught me that i was trustworthy. that the hay/fire didn't have to explode into deep passionate sin. for most of this it wasn't taudry or innappropriate. but i have crossed a line emotionally.

i had a conversation with liam this morning challenging his well constructed front. i pushed and it crumbled. he told me that he's been uncomfortable all along, but hasn't told me. how can this be so broken? i have talked to him about this from the beginning hoping that if i did it would strengthen our marriage and keep the cgf healthy. i was wrong. his denial sat right next to mine. p.s.f.d.

so where do we go from here? i have no idea. i am just doing the next right thing. just for today i can face this. i can try to sit with the level of emotion i have and this great big steaming pile of denial and begin to detox and find healthier ways to feed this starving part of my soul. liam is doing good work. i know at some point we will find a way in and through this, but for now my hope is hanging by a very thin thread.

*abbreviation for four cuss words to express the deep level of frustration and disgust i am having over this situation.


Dan Brennan said...

I am blessed and touched by your honesty and vulnerability in this post. You are in my prayers.

Hope said...

I feel for you my friend.
Your honesty here is beautiful.
Don't beat yourself up for a moment, okay?
You're going to be way harder on yourself than anyone else could be. And it serves no purpose.
You are brave and courageous and beautiful.
Strong and vulnerable.
Hugs to you.

bobbie said...

one of my character defects is that i don't fail. i'd rather not try than fail. and this feels so much like failure. thank you for your comments and encouragements.

Seeker said...

Bobbie, what a sad, wistful, honest post!. Full marks for dealing with this in the right way. Will say a prayer for you. Be strong.

Bethany said...

I pray you will not condemn yourself for the denial as the bravery with which you are facing the truth behind the veil proves your desire for light.
And I pray you will continue to have the courage to sit through the pain in ways that are healing. May you sense the covering of the balm of grace.

gracie said...

I can't see a failure here. Just a normal journey of friendship. My cgf began even more addictively, went through a time of no contact, and now is the safest and richest one I have. Being an 'addictive' person I am aware that the beginning of friendships is like walking into a new house, trying all the doors, and working out which ones will remain shut and which ones will be rooms you can use. Go gently with your humanity. There will be a day when you will look back and see the messiness with kinder eyes.

Togenberg said...

Draw your boundaries, get held accountable, and be bluntly honest with yourself. But don't be overly zealous and cruel with yourself (if you are).

Now I know what you'd meant when you said you'd been cracked open (never heard that phrase).

*sending you gentleness, calm and resolve*

~m2~ said...

i love your transparency, bobbie. it is transporting.

it is so difficult to live in the light, the true light. i remember hearing that mother teresa frequented confession - almost daily - and she likened her soul to a pain of glass that was just cleaned. looked beautiful and clear, until you held it up to the light. only then could you see the lint and the flecks left behind. she said confession was her way of allowing God to remove the flecks on her soul.

you are doing that here.

it also reminds me of my barfly days when everything was lovely under the dimmed lights. then last call came and the lights were "full on." only then did you see things for how they really were and it wasn't pretty.

good, honest post. please be gentle and loving to yourself. self-flaggelation only gets you bruised :)

love you.

Eli said...

This post really caught my attention, Bobbie, because my cgf addiction was so similar. With her I felt that lost thrill you describe, I came alive, I went through healing, and ultimately, I had to completely let her go. It was wonderful and awful, but could not continue. I haven't blogged about her yet, but I am encouraged to do so after reading this.

I haven't yet read Patrick Carnes, but I will look into him. Linsey and I are both wrapping up our individual step study groups and need to figure out what's next.