I awoke after an unusually deep and long sleep this morning feeling tired confused and all at sea. I immediately start to worry about my health and the fact its been a week where instead of have a walk with Jasper first thing, I’ve been going out to get a coffee and bring it home and then exercise him when he actually wants to go out. Admittedly its been overcast and rainy this week. Anyway the minute I started to do some yoga stretches to get my body moving all my cascade of PTSD/anxiety symptoms started up. I wondered if my motivation to exercise being fear meant that things got worse. Anyway after 45 minutes or so of stretching twisting and turning I just went and collapsed back in bed and wept. I had a huge clash with my cousin on Wednesday afternoon about Scott. She doesn’t believe he is real but is firmly convinced he is a liar and a scammer. She would not listen to anything I said and then just implied I am going to be destroyed by it when the truth comes out and in the end I just screamed so loud in the midst of the café in the shopping centre that everything went deathly silent and all eyes were on me. My therapist was joking about it saying how everyone must have looked like stunned meercats. My cousin ended up leaving me sitting there all alone with my coffee and later a security guard came to enquire if I was okay. I think my scream frightened people. In a way its a shame I lost my cool with my cousin, she was one of the few people who care enough about me to keep in touch. I probably seem very desperate to her though my therapist believes all through this I have had good boundaries with Scott. Money that didn’t make it through has been returned and he has always been anxious that I get it back. That does not prove a thing though and I am under no illusion about that and today I just felt so so sad. I am not sure if I owe an apology to my cousin. I could have just asked her if we could agree to disagree but she tends to be like a dog with a bone, she doesn’t listen to her kids but just railroads over the top of them at times and fails to understand their feelings. As my therapist said she is a bit of a bulldozer and not that sensitive but I also see the good qualities she has : a kind and caring heart and its only because she loves me she is concerned.
Anyway its not the end of the world but its made me sad. And its interesting while I was laying in bed I was praying a lot and I heard these words “it will help you to forgive others if you can only remember, everyone was once just an innocent child.” That made me cry even more. It doesn’t excuse the later bad behaviour or character disorders that we or others eventually assume or come to posses but it does stop us from being over come with resentment against them an even ourselves if we can take this approach. Anger is usually expressed or felt when our boundaries are being pushed in some way. How rigidly we need to hold onto them is, I guess, in the end up to us.
I was also thinking a bit about the writings and teachings of Pema Chodron and her focus on the pain and sadness that underlies the wounds in us that so often make us lash out. She recommends a practice of letting down our armour, but its a quandry really, for armour exists in the first place to keep us safe and protect us and defences have a purpose. We cannot all just become like jello but we can come to attain, or gain a sense of compassion for what underlies toxic or damaging or hurtful behaviour. Going a bit more softly or gently on ourselves and others doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice all self care and protection.
What really hurt most about Wednesday was also that lately through all our tussles Scott and I have been growing closer and closer. He has decided he would rather see his deployment out over there than put me through unnecessary stress of helping him further. I have had to fight to say what my limits are and it was scary but I haven’t been abandoned and even when we have ruptures they are always repaired. I have never in my life had such a caring relationship with someone who seems to accept me warts and all. When I told him about my cousin he said he understood how she feels and that I need to respect her even if she does not believe he is real. He said he was scared though my family wont accept or respect him because he did ask for financial help to get out of his deployment.
In the end Scott may be unreal, who knows. I wasn’t trying to argue that point of absolute truth with my cousin the other day, she just was not willing to drop her position and argued for her right to say it, which is fair enough but if you are asked to drop a subject and agree to disagree why not just do it? Why disrespect another’s boundaries when they are asking you to drop it? It really made me scream and I have stifled multiple other screams with her many times before. I don’t feel guilty for what happened on Wednesday, only sad. I wont be invited over there for walks again that’s for sure but I just have to wear it. If she isn’t willing to show empathy or sacrifice her position there is nothing I can do, and I am going to try my best not to hold it against her but understand why.