Holding Resentments - A Journal Entry

Here’s your warning, Hooligans:  This will be a meandering post. 

I have some clutter in my brain I need to clear. The best way for me to do it is through writing. I’m going back to the roots of my blog by writing a journal entry.

You’ve been warned.

I remember thinking a while back how life was when Devin was dealing with sobriety from sex addiction.  It was scary.  It was a rollercoaster of emotions.  But, it was rather predictable.  The fears and feelings were usually the same.  It allowed me to focus on my own recovery from his disclosure.

The road of emotional sobriety is harder to navigate for me.  I’m traveling a new path every few months.  The time between is blissful.  I have serenity.  We get along perfectly and the potholes aren’t nearly as deep.

This makes hitting a pothole a bit more unnerving. It takes more work than I expect to get me back on track.  That’s where I am today. 

After I finished writing my book, I shared the news with my husband.  He told me how proud he was and that was that.  I should be happy, right? 

Well, I’m not. 

Instead, I’m sad he never read my book.  He didn’t make it past the first two pages.  I shared it with him months ago, but still, he hasn’t read it.  It’s been one excuse after another.  Each time he promises to read it, I get my hopes up only to have them dashed. 

You’d think I’d learn but not so much.  We talked about how important it was to me that he read my work.  He’s my husband, this is what I do, I want him to be a part of it.  He apologized and promised to read it.  Over a week has past but, no go.  He hasn’t read it.

I held back the snarky comments I wanted to make.  Instead, I turtled up and withdrew from him.  Since part of his addiction is related to rejection, he also retreated. 

My recovery work fills my head with tons of slogans:

“High Expectations Lead To Resentment”

Are my expectations too high?  Perhaps.  As a recovering addict, I tend to want immediate gratification no matter what the circumstances.  In a “normal” marriage, this several months long request would be abhorrent. But, we are not your average couple. I have to remember he’s a people pleaser and a recovering addict. While I can hope he’ll sit and read my story, it’s not his nature to read anything that doesn’t pertain to his gaming hobby.  He hates it.

“Keep My Side of the Street Clean”

I need to take responsibility for my own actions.  Becoming distant, rather than expressing how I felt was immature and detrimental, especially knowing how rejection hurts Devin.  I need to let him know I’m hurt but do so in a kind and loving manner.

“The Next Right Thing”

I have a choice to make. I can do the right thing by focusing my attention elsewhere.  Perhaps writing a bit more in my non-fiction book or making a phone call to a loved one.  (As I write this, I’m texting with my brother, “just because”.)

“Let Go”

I need to examine what it is that makes me so upset that my request isn’t being met. I realize it may boil down to me not working.  I can’t work so writing has become my “job” even though I don’t make a dime.  It’s how I occupy my time.  I don’t sit and watch television, I write as long as my health allows me.  This leads me to think I may have some envy that Devin works and I don’t.  Or, maybe I don’t like feeling like I’m a burden to him.  This book is my proof that I’m still productive despite my illness.  That’s a lot to let go, but as I write, it’s obvious it needs to be done.

As with most of my journal entries, this one helped me see through the jungle of my emotions.  I need to be more compassionate with my reactions and not shut Devin out.  That only causes rejection issues for him.  I need to accept that he understands my health problems and doesn’t see me as a burden.  That’s all in my head. 

I also need to practice patience.  Emotional sobriety is tough.  It’s something we both struggle with.  We need to do navigate this terrain together.  It will only make us stronger.