Friday, November 09, 2012

Love and Resilience

Had a long chat with the X2B on the phone. Wrote out my musings and decided now is not the appropriate time to share them publicly. Shorthand version: Let it suffice to say that he is doing some good psychological work and I am happy for him. He is making progress. And I feel oddly saddened by the fact that I didn't care on more than a superficial level. He has become an outsider to me.

So this blog post begins in media res -- in the middle of things.~~GH

Then I told him some things. I told him that I wanted him to know no matter how deceitful he had been, that I had felt protected and largely safe during most of our marriage. That this experience had not caused me to feel bitter or close my heart. That I was still able to allow myself to be tender and vulnerable and open and trusting. And he cried and said “That is your resilience.”

The word resilience stuck in my head, so I decided to look it up. Turns out it's not what I thought it meant. It isn't some magical quality I possess or can lay claim to as a character strength. It's a coping mechanism, a dynamic process of behavioral adaptation. I read through Wikipedia's page on resilience and at times wondered how in the hell I ever developed it considering the dearth of outside support I had as a child. I thought about it for a couple of minutes and came up with this idea:

I am able to continue through hardships because I really do believe I am loved. Dearly and deeply and fully and in a special way. I believe I am precious – to somebody. I am not even sure who. I don't want to think too long or too hard about it either. But in my darkest hours – well, maybe not the darkest ones but the dark ones – I know I am loved and cherished. In my darkest ones, I despair and feel abandoned and alone. But in just the awful hours, I still believe I am loved and not alone. And if I'm not alone, I can do anything.

Even though my parents did the horrific things they did to us, they sold me on the idea they loved me. I truly believed them. I felt loved. I felt angry and betrayed and confused and conflicted and wondered at times what the fuck love meant if it hurt so badly, but I still believed I was loved. And that was enough. And that was how I got through nineteen years (or however long it was) of living a total sham of a marriage: I believed I was loved.

Do not misunderstand me. Surviving is not thriving. Believing you are loved when you are not loved is like being on a ventilator. It will keep you alive but you can't really go anywhere. But you can get through the crisis until such time as you can move on and breathe on your own. I suspect that may be why religion was created. But that's another musing for a different day.

Know that I love you. I really do. I have such love for my brothers and sisters, every one of them. Call it resilience if you want to. I don't care. To me, it's Love.


Elaine Curtis said...

I sincerely believe your writings 'now and in this place' are for the purpose of not only healing yourself, but allowing us to heal through the 'aha's that you cause. Thanks


Thanks for writing this. WE all need to have resilience and I'm pretty sure I have a heaping helping of it.
I've come thru some trying times over the last years and know what it's like to hurt.
To be able to write it as you have in such a way shows you're moving forward onward to better things.
Blessings and hugs, Barb

Ginger said...

I apologize for not having replied to your comments sooner. This particular post is very meaningful for me, and Elaine, your comment that my writings are not only for self-healing but for helping others to heal -- wow, that just blew me away. I hope so. I truly do. I hope the pain I've experienced can be molded into something good and beneficial to others.

Thank you too, Barb, for reading and commenting. I am coming to believe that we each know what it's like to hurt. Maybe my babblings are affirmations of a universal experience, one we all share. ~~Ginger

Karen said...

A peek into my soul. Wow.You did it again, Ginger.

Ginger said...

Dear Karen,

I'm glad my post touched you. *hug*