I woke up with Gwen Stefani’s song “Spiderwebs” in my mind this morning. This is really unusual – especially since I haven’t heard that song in forever. As I was sitting and drinking my coffee, I remembered what a friend of mine told me once after praying with me about something. She said that when it comes to my issues with men there are many, many roots that need uprooting. I can kind of picture myself walking around with all of these roots attached to my back keeping me from moving forward. I’ve also seen myself in my mind’s eye in a dark forest tripping over these big tangled vines – it’s all kind of Alice and Wonderlandish (Tim Burton’s that is).
Recent events are forcing me to acknowledge that I’ve assumed some things about men that aren’t true. These are things that I take as givens without really realizing it in all of my dealings with men. Last week, a couple of friends of mine were in town. I had never heard te story of how they got together, but it blew me away. This man so genuinely loved this woman. He truly sought the Lord to understand how to help her through a lot of very difficult issues from her past. His love with God’s direction healed her heart and changed her life. I’m not sure I believed that a man could or wanted to really love a woman – not like that. I always thought that a man would run screaming from a woman if he found out she had issues or was hurting in some way.
Then as if to underline this new revelation something else happened. I’ve had an issue with the man in my own life. This relationship is well – as we say on Facebook “its complicated.” I don’t want to go into the details of the complication – we’ll get to that eventually I’m sure. It just isn’t relevant to this post. Anyway, I was upset with him and was feeling really hurt. It is terrifying and nearly impossible for me to share negative feelings much less cry in front of a man. In the home I was raised in, we weren’t allowed to cry or share negative emotions – “Dry up and get happy right now or I’ll give you something to cry about.” The men in my life after that were fine as long as I didn’t get too deep, too upset, and played it casual. Over the years, I’ve come to believe that if I share my hurt with a man, he’ll ditch me. I’ve been absolutely terrified this last week because my emotions have been so strong that I didn’t think I could keep them bottled up if I saw or spoke to Jay. I tried to delay returning calls until I could “get a grip.” He was persistent, though. I finally responded to a text with a bit of an outburst. We spoke and I was a blubbering idiot. He didn’t run. He was honest that he was struggling too, but he didn’t run. He affirmed that he does care and he enjoys being with me. I’ve also always been hesitant to initiate communication, because I didn’t want to “bother” him. It’s not just him – I always feel like if I contact a guy too much I’m bothering him. Jay said that he wished I would text and call more often.
I also realized something else – I’m completely inept when it comes to expressing my feelings well - at least, the negative ones. My tongue was all tied up. I felt like a 3-year-old trying to find and use her words. Thankfully, Jay is a patient man who is not so bad at expressing his own feelings. I think my tangled brain needs to be rewired when it comes to what I believe about men.