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Monday, April 14, 2008

Uncharted Territory

Of course, I've encountered this every day throughout my life. But somehow it's always been on my terms and within my own parameters. I have no idea what I mean by that.

I suppose I mean that I deal with new and unusual situations all the time, externally. I, myself, have not changed.

So now I must acknowledge that I am different.

Last night I slept--really slept. I woke up without experiencing even the beginning of a nightmare/flashback. I had no ghost pains lingering from memories of being raped. I felt rested and at the same time, as if I could sleep more, and I did not feel trepidation when I thought about going back to sleep--so I did. I slept until 6:30 this morning. I never sleep so late.

As I feel stronger I am deeply grateful that I worked as I did to free myself from the agony and fear I have refused to acknowledge for most of my life. I also experience overwhelming impulses and emotions I don't always expect. Often I find myself wishing I had no ties--no family, no husband, no friends, no children. This is not because I don't love those people who are part of my life, but rather a feeling that I am becoming strong and independent enough that I don't need anyone.

Of course, this is a false impulse. I do have a need for those I love, but it's not unhealthy or crippling in it's manifestation. As I have come to understand this need, it's more of an emotional nurturing we give to one another. It is an assurance that we care for one another, we won't manipulate or betray, we try to foster trust, and we will respect, honor and protect any vulnerability one of us chooses to share with the other. With the exception of Darrin, I have not allowed relationships which included the above mentioned attributes into my life until the past two years. In allowing myself to accept others, to trust them, to truly be authentic with them, I am wallowing in uncharted territory. It has been exhilarating, beautiful, and frightening beyond expression.

I've finally made it beyond the place where I contemplate isolating myself, running from my attempts at friendship, living in insecurity and fear. I suppose all this is a process of coming to understand that every human (even me) is entitled to many different kinds and sources of love and affection. At any rate, I now understand my emotional desires for friendship, fellowship and human acceptance. I no longer view those as weaknesses, but rather an integral part of who I am--a part I have starved for the majority of my life, accepting love from and being emotionally honest only with Darrin. In truth, every person needs more than one with whom they can share different aspects of themselves. It is not weakness that dictates this, and only those who are truly strong make it to the point where they become secure in expecting and accepting emotional intimacy from those they love.

When Tolkien Boy and I were watching the ducks a few weeks ago, I had asked him a question and he was attempting to answer it. I heard his voice and registered a few of his words, but in truth, I have no idea what he said. I was exhausted mentally, emotionally, and physically. I had foreseen that Darrin was heading for a sort of breakdown, I was frightened at the prospect of losing my greatest source of strength and support, and I was worried about his ability to cope with his emotional stress. I was contemplating my life without the constant struggle which had shaped nearly every aspect of it--and while this should have brought me joy and relief, instead it was stressful and frustrating.

So TB was explaining one of my life's greatest mysteries, and I missed it. The setting for the explanation was ideal: a park bench in front of a quiet lake filled with the affable noises of ducks and geese, few people, and a small stretch of uninterrupted time. Had my head and my heart been at peace, I think I would have heard, been enlightened, and left the spot as the earth's wisest person. As it was, I ended up listening to the turmoil inside, wishing I could understand what TB was saying, and wondering what I would do with my newly discovered internal uncharted territory.

One good thing about all that--I wasn't alone. Normally I tackle all this awful emotional stuff when I'm by myself, so no one gets to see the mess it makes me. AtP and Sully have both seen a tiny bit of it--the part where I rant uncontrollably, look like I might laugh hysterically or weep for hours, and lose the ability to drive my car. And now, TB has witnessed me in my emotionally messed up glory sans the hysterical laughter and eternal tears. Darrin, fortunately, is the only person who has experienced the entire scope of the emotional Hurricane Samantha.

Therapist asked if, in my mind, I had resolved and accepted the aspects of my past experiences of rape and abuse, or if there were more "tasks" I believed necessary. I told him I was finished, but I'm not. There remains one thing--and it may never happen. One day...someday...I would like someone to cry with me, to acknowledge that the things I was asked to endure were unfair and frightening, painful and sad. Someone who will shed tears not only for me, but with me. For the first time in my life I am acknowledging that I no longer wish to grieve alone.


  1. Samantha, I'm so glad that you're feeling so much better about things!

  2. Be different, different is Goooood.