As I’ve been healing I’ve been remembering things that I either wasn’t willing or able to process or feel until now. Sometimes things are too mind boggling or emotionally painful to understand/investigate so our psyche works to protect us, to keep us emotionally “sturdy.” Or it’s unable to protect us and so in a way, we fight to protect ourselves. This is often the same time and place that addictions of all flavors, shapes, and sizes are born. While they can ultimately be the demise of us, they often serve a purpose, at least initially, for a period of time… They serve as albeit, unhealthy ones, but as coping mechanisms. They allow us to sedate ourselves until we are ready to face what we may or may not consciously know that we need to face; the emotional pain. A way to avoid what is otherwise seemingly unavoidable. For some of us this may be a shot of tequila, the hit of a joint, the popping of a pill, a needle in the arm, the snorting of a line… For others it may be a shopping spree, an eating disorder, or self harming. I’ve spent time in some of these places, but most recently I’ve been pondering if I’ve unconsciously worked to ignore my intuition as a means of coping during difficult times. As a way of not facing the things I didn’t want to know, but already knew.
I was really struck this week, to in my awake hours, recall a re-occurring dream That I’d had many times throughout my last relationship. It was always so bizarre. I would wake up with my heart racing, simultaneously aching in-between beats; I would reach for him as I let my eyes slowly open. Instant relief and gratitude would flood my entire being; as I noticed he was still there. I would throw my leg and arm over his body and squeeze him tightly. Whispering “I love you,” into his ear. A smile would spill across his face, he would purse his lips as he turned his head to kiss me. He loved me too. He even said it… Sometimes this would be enough to silence what I now recognize as the all knowing part of me; I’ll call it my “intuition.” Other mornings it would lead to love making, and although I don’t recall, I’m willing to wager that my dreams and intuition must have been louder on the previous evenings… That I must have needed a stronger dose of him to reassure me that we were ok; that things were how they seemed when I was awake. He was the only antidote to my nightmares, the only one that could save me from what I somehow viscerally knew would be/ or already was the truth.
The details of the nightmare always seemed very bizarre, they made no sense, but neither does my reality these days… We were “us” in the dream, an engaged couple, with the most beautiful baby girl; things were great. Then suddenly with no warning, with no explanation he was gone; and with that the dream turned into a nightmare. He hadn’t broken up with me, he hadn’t died, he hadn’t been abducted. I didn’t know where he was, but I knew those things… He had just without warning, seemed to completely vanish… His family still existed and I would speak to and see them from time to time, but he was nowhere.
Some mornings I would tell him about the dream, needing the verbal reassurance that he wasn’t going anywhere… he would, of course, always provide that. His words were as hypnotic to me as the sound of his voice. They soothed my soul. He calmed what we would refer to as “my crazy.” We would chat about how none of it made any sense. How he’d never been happier, more fulfilled, or so in love before. We would talk about a relationship I was in, years before. The one where I’d had similar dreams/nightmares… I shared with you how I would wake up in the same fashion; playfully telling him that the dream version of him was a real jerk, because he had been cheating on me. Him and I would laugh it off in the morning too, but he’s married to her now… and you are gone.
And so now I wonder… How long Have I been silencing my voice, my truth, my intuition? I sit here in awe as the dots have connected. (No wonder I haven’t slept all week…). I contemplate if the intuition of others speaks as profoundly as mine does, in hindsight. The veil has been lifted and this is what lies before me. A beautiful disaster. A deep, painful, and yet brilliant understanding. I had been helping you silence the all knowing part of me… Just as I helped the “him” before you. I thought I was doing myself right by inspecting, analyzing, and talking about my dreams out loud, but I maybe I was merely enabling myself to look the other way. Enabling myself by allowing the both of you to lie to me, with such great conviction. Falling helplessly on each word that I wanted so desperately to believe, as I continued further down the wrong paths…
This noticing doesn’t lead me to believe that I’m psychic or that I have premonitions. It does however leave me both sad and inspired. It makes me mourn for the naive, faithful girl, and woman I was in my relationships, with him and you. It makes me profoundly sad that I was so willing to work for/on/in relationships where the deepest part of me already knew the truth.
Earlier in the week while sitting with this realization that my intuition has been speaking to me through my dreams I was kinda pissed. I thought, okay. What am I supposed to do? Wake up in the morning and pack my bags because of something someone did to me in my dreams!? That seems to be a bit irrational, (even if they have proven to be right). What kind of wackadoodle would I be if I set that up as my new plan?
However, today I have more clarity… I realize that the truth showing up in my dreams is not my intuition gently presenting itself. It’s my intuition screaming in my face! It’s the all knowing part of me jumping up and down, setting fire to my soul, trying to get my attention…
I’ve read a million times in a million different places that we teach people how to treat us. The truth is that my relationships with the ex that left me and is now married, and my most recent ex have some things in common. Both of these men showed me who they were in our relationships a number of times, in a number of ways… They were often both charismatic and kind, but my relationships with them were also, over time, littered with untruths and betrayals, (both big and small). I stayed anyway. I kept loving them anyway. In fact, I loved them harder. Thinking I was the flaw, (which was my real flaw)… Most days I thought that made me stronger and better than someone who would just walk away. I was willing to work on “us,” and so were these men… so I thought. I even believed that the last one had changed through therapy, time, and intention. Now I realize I was wrong. Now I realize that staying made me a doormat. This is for me to own. This is for me to change.
Maya Angelou says “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” What are betrayals and untruths if they are not neon lights and red flags warning us, begging us to turn around!? What is intuition if it is not the feeling that things like this do not serve us in relationships?
The truth always shows itself in the end, and the actions of others truthfully say nothing about us; and everything about them… However, whenever someone has broken my trust in the past the hardest thing has been learning how to trust and believe in not just others, but myself again. This most recent scenario is definitely not an exception. I have struggled with how it’s possible that I could have been so wrong about somebody. I have found great comfort in knowing that I was not the only one who could have never imagined a betrayal like this; in the form of an actual crime. Yet, I’ve also grappled day in and day out with how I can possibly trust my instincts when it comes to judging someone’s character ever again.
As it turns out the exhausting reality imbedded within “connecting the dots” is the realization that there were signs… There were signs, in the form of little and big mistruths and betrayals. Signs that I perhaps unconsciously, chose to ignore. As painful as it is to recognize it’s also a bit of a relief. A relief to know that I have the ability to notice and choose differently next time… I write this as a way to own the truth; my truth. I write this to bring awareness to myself of the patterns that have existed in my relationships. For once we know something about ourselves we cannot truly un-know it. So here’s to noticing, to praying, to wanting more for ourselves, for choosing to listen to that all knowing part of us, and acting accordingly. Here’s to intentionally stopping and noticing how we feel in our hearts, and letting there be space for whatever arises; without judgment. For it is in knowing better that we can do better.