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Vulnerability and peace

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Aubrie posted 4/23/2014 11:10 AM

Couple things happened this week.

Been feeling "blah" about myself. Trying to work on things, and while there is progress, sometimes the "blah" still hits. QS and I were talking the other night. The kids were sleeping. The house was quiet. I took a deep breath and said, "I feel really insecure and icky about...." I shared my insecurity in an extremely vulnerable, crazy moment.

And you know how sometimes you open up to people and they pooh-pooh your insecurity, or try to reassure you, but it doesn't feel right? It just feels hollow? Anyone ever got that before? And sometimes it's not actually the other person. Sometimes its yourself. Your own internal battles that you project onto them.

I watched his face. Waiting. His entire face changed. Softened. His eye were liquid. They were insanely gentle. I dunno. Can't really describe it. Anyhoo, he opened his mouth and said he understood my insecurities, he saw them, but they didn't hold him back, they aren't the definition of me, and he loves me regardless. I heard him. I mean really heard him.

I made a conscious decision to speak and listen without automatically pinning his reaction and response in the category with my haters. His reaction and response were his, and his alone. And I chose to believe him.

This morning we were talking. And I realized that his speech is changing. His ideas are changing. I haven't said anything. I've encouraged him, and am doing what I can to support, but his changes have to come from within. Its happening. Not how I expected. But its happening regardless. And there is evidence of that more and more each day.

Simple phrases. Simple observations. But the impact is huge. I hear contentment in his voice. I see it in his actions. He has rearranged his priorities and wishes and dreams. He hasn't compromised. He isn't defeatist. There is a difference. He said, "I look at Mr. X as a role model. He doesn't have much. But he is so happy and content. That's what I want for us."

Oh. Em. Gee people, you have no idea. No idea how huge that is. The realization that "stuff" can't and won't give you peace and contentment. The realization that "stuff" isn't security. That if you have "stuff" it doesn't guarantee happiness if there is inner turmoil. And that killing yourself to get it is selling yourself short. Growing up with nothing and no peace/contentment is hard. You idealize that "stuff" will fill the void. But it doesn't. In the quest for "stuff" there is always something bigger or better out of reach. And you look and see people with "stuff" who are still incredibly unhappy. And you realize you have to find a balance. And that peace and contentment come not from outside, but inside.

He's sitting there on the phone preaching me a mini sermon on this and tears are streaming down my face. Because he spoke with conviction. He spoke with peace. He has tried to find the balance before but he always lacked one element. Genuine peace. Something every human craves. He's wanted it for so long. And he's getting there. One step at a time.

stroppy_wanadoo posted 4/23/2014 12:18 PM

What a wonderful thing to read. I'm so happy for you and QS both!

I wish I had something eloquent and moving to say, but I don't. I just wanted you to know I think this is fantastic!

JustOneMoreDay posted 4/23/2014 12:22 PM

If there was a "Like" button I would hit it a million times over.

FindMyselfAgain posted 4/23/2014 12:57 PM


I am so happy for you and QS both individually and as a team.

And so very proud of you both too! It takes a lot of courage to open up and share those vulnerable parts of ourselves. And he responded to your laying out your feelings beautifully and sincerely. And you allowed him to comfort you and reassure you when needed that. You and QS are making so much progress and building a beautiful life together.

Deeply Scared posted 4/23/2014 13:02 PM


What a great thing to read very proud of you both!

NewWorldMan posted 4/23/2014 13:16 PM

That's great to hear, Aubrie. I'm happy for the both of you

somethingremorse posted 4/23/2014 13:42 PM

Goosebumps here.

Aubrie posted 4/23/2014 14:30 PM

Thanks guys. Its been sooooo bumpy for sooooo long. Then he admitted his depression/rock bottom and Lord, it was tough. I've never seen him so lost and broken.

I'm not saying he's 100% A-ok or he's "over it". But he's finding strength. Legit strength. He's changing. Legit changes. It's quiet. Like him. It's gradual. He doesn't accept change easily. But each positive movement forwards is crushing walls to powder.

We've both done a million versions of "fake it till ya make it" or "try till it sticks". Finally something clicks and its like, "Oh.That's what we've been searching for!"

I'm not deluding myself. Bad days are inevitable. That's life. But I'm holding onto these small victories. I'm so proud of him. I'm proud to stand beside him. To be able to say, "That is *my* man. This is *our* journey. We've fought thru hell and back. Suck it Life's Battles. We're kicking your butts."

LosferWords posted 4/23/2014 14:33 PM

This is outstanding. How wonderful for both of you.

wifehad5 posted 4/23/2014 14:47 PM

Ascendant posted 4/23/2014 15:05 PM

Woot woot!

'Yay' for Aubrie and (((QS.

20WrongsVs1 posted 4/23/2014 17:15 PM

Suck it Life's Battles.

Yeah! Suck it!

Beautiful positive post in the shitstorm that is Wayward Side. Thanks.

OnAnIsland posted 4/24/2014 01:19 AM

Aubrie and QS,
so glad to hear that. It has been a tough time recently, but I hope the progress continues. it won't be linear, but cumulative hopefully. thinking of you two.

authenticnow posted 4/24/2014 06:01 AM


There is so much growth in your posts, for both of you. This is good stuff! Thanks for sharing.

AML04 posted 4/24/2014 06:47 AM

I'm not deluding myself. Bad days are inevitable. That's life. But I'm holding onto these small victories. I'm so proud of him. I'm proud to stand beside him. To be able to say, "That is *my* man. This is *our* journey. We've fought thru hell and back. Suck it Life's Battles. We're kicking your butts."

This is perfect!!

tired girl posted 4/24/2014 20:27 PM

I read this post the other day and I sooo wanted to say that this was awesome. Vulnerability is tough, it just is. So WTG.

Aubrie posted 4/24/2014 20:29 PM

Thanks TG.

Its been brutal. But we're chuggin' along.

tired girl posted 4/24/2014 20:48 PM

I know it has. I have been watching the issues with your family as well. FOO issues suck. And no or limited contact is difficult. It feels like abandonment, but in reverse. It will get better. I promise.

knightsbff posted 4/25/2014 01:03 AM


Wonderful post!

((((Aubrie & QS))))

Aubrie posted 4/25/2014 09:26 AM

FOO issues suck. And no or limited contact is difficult. It feels like abandonment, but in reverse. It will get better. I promise.
Actually had a breakthru yesterday morning.

My sister and I were talking. She finally told what I had suspected. She'd sat down with Mother and told her why she felt certain ways and how much dad hurt her. Mother said she understood and that she had no idea. Enter a very superficial relationship. My sister is able to call, text, or visit with her as long its very superficial. She even invited my FOO to her house. Mother responsed, "Your dad wont "hang out" with people if he knows there are underlying issues. But if you and your husband want to come talk to Daddy and apologize for how the way things went down, I'm sure that would help a great deal."

Cool. So as long as we "rugsweep" to a degree, we are more than welcome to chase a relationship and go on their turf. However, for it to reciprocate, we must apologize for stepping out of line. Nooooo thank you. Hell will freeze over before I betray myself like that.

So anyway as we're talking and I'm hearing that she is managing a superficial relationship with Mother, I'm tortured. Am I being too stubborn? Am I being bratty? Do I need to put myself out there more? And this is something I've struggled with for months. My sister said, "You have to do what's best for you and your husband." And I know this. Its not new. However, QS put up with their crap for years. His "give a dang" is so broke, if I never speak to FOO again, he is totally cool with it. But.....are we being overdramatic?

Then she said, "As long as you have peace with God and yourself, that's all that matters." She's said that 100 times. But as the conversation progressed, it started coming to me. If I knew that I or my FOO were to drop dead tomorrow, what would I feel? How would I feel? Would I change anything? And it hit me. I wouldn't. I have done the best that I can with the circumstances I've been given. Sure, I would feel sadness and a sense of regret because I know it could have been different. But I can say I wouldn't be scrambling, trying to apologize, trying to smooth things over, or to fix it, before I or them died. This is the way things are.

I finally, finally, FINALLY realized, that's ok. I'm doing the right thing for me. Doesn't matter that my sister is doing something different. Doesn't matter that it looks like I'm just being a witch to them. I'm standing up for myself and my family in the best way possible for us.

That weight is gone. I found my peace about it.

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