The person at the very top of my list of people I’ve run through the ringer with my recovery is my Hubs. While I was discussing my regrets with him last night he said: “It’s okay. That’s just who you are, a very shoot first ask questions later type person. You eventually figure things out. I tried to tell you like two years ago, but you weren’t having it.”
I don’t remember any sort of conversation about the impact my trainwreck would have on others, he only tried to convince me to stop to protect myself. Instead I found other ways to protect myself, but he never actually clarified what he was trying to say until yesterday. So I asked why he never did and his reply: “Well, I tried to tell you, but when you resisted I didn’t want to be a dick about it. Like I said, you always figure it out eventually, so I just let it go.”
Oh my adoring, patient husband. Trying so hard to be loving and supportive, watching me charge head long into a brick wall. He’s right. I do always figure it out eventually, but there are some times when I need a figurative (some times even literal) slap in the face to do so. Growing up in an abusive environment gave me a hellish disadvantage in the way I relate to and treat other people. There are certain ingrained behaviors that I simply don’t realize are harmful until someone shows me otherwise.
And it can’t be a gentle, subtle hint either. It’s gotta be: “shut the ef up, you’re being controlling, abusive, your mother etc” Once you get my attention with that, I’m usually open to dialogue, but gentle doesn’t always sink in with Kelli. Yet, another unfortunate side effect of enduring years of manipulation and gaslighting.
It’s a very specific set of circumstances that has to be met in order for me to listen and understand. I’m always listening, but forever stuck in defensive mode I’m usually listening for clues to malicious intent, instead of gentle correction; then I shut down and stop listening all together. I’m not entirely sure how to correct that.
I’m aware I NEED to correct that, I’m just not sure how. It won’t happen over night that’s for sure, and in all reality it might never happen since it is so deeply engrained into my personality. We can hope. All humanity can hope. At least while I’m working on it, I have a patient and understanding husband by my side. A man whom instead of taking the opportunity to criticize me and make me feel even worse for a dumb mistake, found a baby sitter and made dinner plans for a date night tonight.
I don’t deserve him. I really don’t.