On MarriageYou were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.
We have, as He indicated, both started back into therapy. We had a relatively calm summer, without many overt symptoms related to His PTSD, and with very little of the acute craziness that I am prone to in reaction response to that (which seems to have no fancy name, so let's just keep on calling it "my craziness"). The therapist (Judy -- as He has indicated) is clearly going to focus on the harms done to Him by His abusive mother. With me, she seems focused on helping me negotiate my own craziness with strategies and "friendly advice" about how to cope in the event. While she is clear that I have my own abusive history, it is clear to both of us that my really nutty episodes are wrapped around His. In general, I'm level when He is, and I am totally nuts if He is mired in a PTSD episode. I believe that much of what Judy will try to help me figure out is how to make "space" in my life with Tom.
I admit that I am afraid that creating separation between us will forever push us apart. She assures me that is not the case. She insists that a healthy space between us is necessary for us to come together fully again. I can hear that, and somewhere in my brain, it feels true -- and I am still scared of the actual doing.
I have, for ten years, lived and breathed inside of Tom's energy. There came to be, over time, very little of our life together that was not directly or indirectly influenced by Him. I willingly (for the most part) shifted my physical and emotional world to conform with what He wanted, needed, directed. A lot of that was my own wish, my volition, my desire. I wanted to be close to Him. I wanted His approval. I wanted His love, and I wanted to live out the love I felt for Him. It seemed right and good and natural and easy (usually) to move into being "His" in that intense and intimate way. I knew, as we moved along, through the years, that I was losing my voice; losing my capacity to say "no" in even the most elemental ways. I understood, that, while He loved me, there were places where He'd let me be desperately unhappy rather than abandon what He wanted in the moment. I kept on believing that, wherever I would find myself struggling, with those realities, it was a failing in me -- and never about something that ought to be examined and changed between us.
Now, it seems that if we are to ever find our way to something that is genuinely good and happy again, we are going to have to fashion a different sort of dynamic between us. Judy believes that we will again feel deeply connected and play again with the power we share, but she is clear that we will have to do that with a new set of understandings. I think the phrase she used with Him was "codependent psychosis." Not sure that is a "real" diagnosis. I think it probably isn't, but it may be an accurate description in my case. The trick I have to learn is how to express to Him how much I love Him; have always loved Him; will always love Him -- while not getting dragged down into the muck and mire with Him. How can I figure out a way to make a space to stand that is safe enough for me, without somehow giving Him the message that I don't love Him even as He struggles. Because I do... Love Him just the way He is.
Over and over again, as I have worked with Judy, she has asked me if I would choose this life and this love even if... Even if the sex went away and was never ever fantastic again? Even if the spanking stopped forever? Even if He never does feel sure and confident and secure enough again to take me in and hold me and tell me I am His? Even if He and I never find the place where we step into the flow of our shared power and soar off together? Even if...? Over and over again, my answer has been "Yes." Unequivocably. Forever and always. The rules seem to have changed. Radically. I changed them He changed them. Maybe they never really were rules to begin with. I don't know. I only know that I love this Man.