Saturday, January 22, 2011

Cleaning Out : Communication and Taking a look at Ourselves

We had one of those nights, as a married couple. You know, the kind where as a wife I am stewing, overwhelmed, resentful and sputtering obsecnities under my breath. My husband is confused and has almost completely given up.
We lay on the bed for the first time together all week.
Todd has been staying up late doing research for his book most nights, I was "checked out", either out one night or watching TV or working late the other night.
I stare at the black TV at the other end of the room,shiny dead and heavy. I feel the weight of many days of built up information, thought,concerns,guilt,frustrations and issues boiling inside. As I begin to share them with my husband, I don't make eye contact. I can't look at him and be as angry as I want to be right now, so I indulge my bitterness and continue to stare at the TV.

"I can't stand the mess anymore,"I am spewing..."There is no place to put it all anymore.The knobs on the cabinet over there has been missing for months, there are 8 boxes of papers and toys that I don't know what to do with...the kids are constantly hungry and making messes and I am the only one who does anything about all this, it's all on me and I can't stand it!"

My husband,smart man, just listens. We have done some courses about men and women and he gets I am just "emptying the trash", so to speak. He is holding the basket and catching it all for me. Not easy for him, as his instinctual urge as the man that he is, is to fix it,but a generous and loving act that enables me to get it out, Get it ALL out!
I keep going. I've got more...."The car is rattling, you are always working or writing and ignoring me,the shed is stuffed full, I want a garage, we still haven't opened a bank account for Ben,taught him about money,Ben got picked on at school today..."
I essentially make me husband wrong for everything ( allll his fault!)until his part in it dwindles and it just becomes about some things that are just the way they are...and have nothing to do with him.
Then he speaks. He says he hears me. Gets me. And he promises he will be present.
I breath and look at him.His eyes are promising and loving,asking me for trust.
I do.

The next morning, as he is cooking a beautiful breakfast I start putting dishes away and again cannot close a cabinet drawer. Instead of my thoughts going to blaming him for it like I have been for the past few months,silently, I open and close it again,investigating...and I hear a crunch of paper behind the drawer. I reach my hand back there and find a brown paper lunch bag and pull it out. I reach again and there's more...and again and again...paper bags, ziploc bags, tin foil scraps, pretty soon I have a mountain of garbage in front of me and I am incredulous that it all fit in there...and begin to giggle. I make the connection between me cleaning out the junk in my head last night and what I am doing right now with my kitchen drawer. In both cases I was blaming him, when in actuallity it was all just my own crap! By the 7th brown paper bag I am lauging so hard tears are coming to my eyes. My husband is smiling to himself as he flips the bacon. Yea that's right...his nodding head says. I am just bubbling over with laughter.
In all there were 7 paper bags, 9 ziploc bags, 3 pieces of foil, a fabric rice bag, two large plastic trash bags and an entire plastic tablecloth. Hilarious! Astounding!
All that, like all the rambling, accusations, resentments,stories I have made up about how woe is me...all was cleaned out in a few moments.
I am free. My husband is vindicated. I kiss him sweetly before we eat his gorgeous generous breakfast.

Sometimes the solutions to our upsets are right before us. And always, they have much more to do with us than them.
Just share,listen, look and then laughter will come.

Zen Honeycutt

P.S. I wrote this a week or two ago. Since then all of the issues mentioned here, and then some have been or are being completely handled. I created trust and love for my husband and he created taking care of us. And he has. Thank You Todd.

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