Throughout my marriage to Bubba, I was in constant physical pain. My shoulders hurt all the time. I had horrible headaches 4-5 a week plus every single time Bubba and I had sex. My life was defined by the pain and by the fear. They were both so constant that I developed a very high pain tolerance to the point where I had all dental work done without novocaine. I simply didn’t need it. By the time I had Shane, I barely had any pain until he crowned. I just thought I had a high pain tolerance. I never understood that it was a defense mechanism and that I’d shut down so much that it just didn’t register.
It wasn’t until I had that headache that Sean helped me through that I realized exactly how much my pain tolerance has changed since I left Bubba. The headache that knocked me down that night was no different than any of them I’d had while married. The only difference was that it had been so long since the last one that I was no longer used to it. What had been a completely normal part of my life was now something nearly intolerable.
It is amazing to me that headaches now are few and far between. Usually they happen when I am working through something emotionally painful because I’m still trying to hold the feelings in. I’m still in the process of learning that I can safely feel and express my emotions without recriminations. It’s been a long road and I’m not done figuring it out yet.
The pain I carried in my shoulders back then was all of the emotions I wasn’t free to feel. I was in so much physical pain that I’d often thought about seeking out medical help but could never justify spending money on myself. I lived with the pain because I just thought that was the way life was. It was an absolute revelation to me to have all that pain disappear almost overnight when I left Bubba.
Yesterday my shoulders started hurting again. The pain is intense. Last weekend when Sean disappeared on me, it really hurt my feelings and I’m refusing to let myself feel hurt. I think that I should be above the pain because I know this is just who Sean is. It is just the way it is and I shouldn’t be hurt. So, I’m stuffing my feelings because I don’t believe they are justified.
I know this is erroneous thinking. Endellion and I spent quite a bit of time on the phone about it last night. She said I absolutely can feel hurt when someone hurts me. After speaking with her, I had every intention of crying myself to sleep. At work, the tears were on the edge all day and I managed to stuff them. When I went to bed, I just couldn’t find the tears. I think the fact that I’m angry about it is hindering the tears right now. There are too many emotions swirling and I don’t know how to just let myself feel them.
I know I absolutely have to speak to Sean. I’m not looking forward to it. I used to be ok talking to people when they’d “hurt” me because it was the ring-in-the-pool-of-jello. I knew the hurt was there but I couldn’t really access it. Now that I have that ring in my hands, it is so hard to open myself up and be vulnerable enough to tell someone, “Your actions hurt me,” because I am revealing a real piece of myself them. I let my armor plating and force fields down with this person and I’m not keen on feeling this vulnerable. I just know it has to be done because this is what mature, responsible adults do.
I’m hoping that after we talk, this physical pain will leave. It’s been so long since I’ve felt like this and I do not like it one bit.
I just need to figure out how to release the emotional pain so that the physical pain will be released with it.