Wednesday, Sep. 6, 2006
Happy Birthday. Darrin's mother and step-father called to wish me one. I told them how fine I am. Life is wonderful. My children are perfect. I am the lovely bishop's wife. I have all the answers. They hung up, reassured that I am the most capable, sane person they know.
Happy Birthday. I finished working on my mom's computer. She thanked me, then went to visit a friend. I tried to feel slighted. I couldn't, because really, I don't enjoy spending time with her. She gossips. She self-aggrandizes. She bores me. She frustrates me.
Happy Birthday. Darrin was supposed to go to my counseling appointment with me. He believed it was a morning appointment. It was an afternoon one. He rushed off to work saying that he probably wouldn't be able to make it. For the first time in our marriage, I felt like a liability. The flawed, evil logic line became more pronounced. Self-hatred reared its ugly head. If I am an inconvenience to the person who loves me the most, what is the point?
Happy Birthday. A parent of one of my students told me she'd noticed I've lost quite a bit of weight. She said I must be very happy about that. Yes, I must be. Everyone else would be. She told me I was beautiful. I thanked her, then, after she left, took a look at myself in the full length mirror. Why don't I believe I'm beautiful?
For the first time in many, many years, I wept for me. A selfish gesture beyond my control. Then I bottled all the emotions back inside, dried my tears, and ate a pear. I ignored the desire to choke, to gag. Then I ran six miles, came home, showered, and went to my counseling appointment. Darrin was there. I must be important to him, after all. He hugged me and apologized for being tense this morning. I kissed his cheek and said I hadn't even noticed. I'm such a liar.
The counseling appointment was entertaining, to say the least. I believe Therapist was absolutely elated to be fortunate enough to have both members of our mixed-orientation marriage in his clutches. I tried to be upset with Therapist, but I'm in love him, so I can't be. He asked many questions. Darrin answered most of them. I had nothing to say. After about fifteen minutes, Therapist turned to me. "You're very quiet." Yes, I am. "I'm used to you having funny things to say, as you tell me about the things that are hurting you." "Maybe I'm all better," I said. Therapist looked at me steadily, then asked if I'd like to tell Darrin and him about it. I said no. Therapist made a few more well-placed comments, started the ball rolling, and finally, I talked. I told him more things about my past, about the abuse, about my feelings that I want to ignore. He gave me an assignment. I have to examine my relationship with God--the MAN who is responsible for giving me the body I'm so desperately trying to destroy. I don't want to do it. For the first time, I am balking at his suggestions, and he's insisting. I am not in love with Therapist anymore.
I went home to teach piano lessons. When I was finished, Tabitha suggested we get pizza for dinner. Darrin arrived just as we were leaving. Adam ran to him and said, "DAD!! You forgot Mom's flowers!!" Darrin told me he was sorry. He said things got crazy at work, and he forgot. Actually, this day was feeling less and less like a birthday, so I couldn't even feel unhappy at being forgotten. There was a numbness that set in around noon that had consumed me. I told Darrin this was not a big deal. Then I sent he and Adam to get pizza.
I worked on my seminary lesson for tomorrow. I sat with my family at dinner. I went grocery shopping with Darrin. He bought me flowers. DJ came home from his tennis match. He won.
I left and went for a walk. I told God that I don't want to do my therapy assignment. The sunset was amazing. My numbness eased into peace. I went home and ate a piece of pizza. David and Scott stopped by to get some of my basil for their dinner tomorrow. I worked on my lesson some more.
To those of you who have wished me a happy birthday--I thank you. I sincerely appreciate the wonderful thoughts. A couple of you have offered, in email, to remember me in your prayers. I'll take all the prayers I can get. Funny, I often mention many of you when I pray. I wonder if the Lord knows your blognames. I suppose he does...that omniscient thing...