Stress and I are not friends. I know how to be strong when a stressful situation arises. But, what I found out this weekend is that I don’t know how to balance being strong with still being open and vulnerable to my husband.
The weekend was awful. A very stressful situation reared its head on Friday. I put up my walls and made sure the flood gates were closed tight and did what I could, but there was no resolution in sight and nothing further I could do about it until Monday morning. I usually look forward to the weekend and this weekend had been no exception. But I was a wreck all weekend. I kept trying to find some kind of balance, but it really never happened. I would stand firm and strong and contain all those emotions within the walls I’d built, but they just kept building. At some point there would be too much pressure and the flood gates would open and a slew of emotions would come pouring out. Once the pressure had lessened I’d slam the doors shut again, but invariably the pressure would build and become too much and the flood gates would open once again. I don’t care to recall how many times this pattern occurred this weekend. As you can imagine, it wasn’t pretty.
Michael was caught in the crossfire as I reverted to old patterns of behavior and attitudes. I’d be awful to him and then feel terrible about it and apologize, only to do or say something awful again. How he got through the weekend I honestly don’t know. He kept reaching out to me, trying to help me, trying to get me to let him in. He was so understanding and loving. Of course he got upset, but he dealt with it so much better than I was dealing with things. Finally, Sunday evening, I lowered the drawbridge and let him in. I explained where my head was at, how upset and worried and scared I was, and I let him comfort me as I cried and apologized over and over again, even though he’d already forgiven me. Why hadn’t I done that Friday night or Saturday night? Why did I wait until the weekend was almost over? Why did I try so hard to handle it on my own, to be strong? Why hadn’t I let him in? I don’t know. And I was just wound so tight that no matter how hard he tried, he just couldn’t reach me.
I deserved to be punished, but my husband offered me mercy instead. He knew how upset I was and why and that I hadn’t wanted to act like I had, that I’d struggled not to act that way. He told me that he’d only spank me if I felt I needed it, either for stress relief or to feel like there was a resolution. I didn’t know what to tell him. I didn’t know if a spanking would help or not. It wasn’t going to affect the stressful situation at all and I had already cried my eyes out and was emotionally drained. I imagine he was too after dealing with me all weekend and worrying over the same situation himself. Instead of a spanking, he held me close and wouldn't let me go.
This morning I was relieved that the weekend was over, that it was Monday, that I could finally try to do something more to resolve the situation that had caused so much stress over the weekend. I took steps in that direction first thing in the morning and the ball is now in motion. I have to sit back and wait again, but hopefully we’ll have some answers soon and a plan of action. I still feel a little stressed, but not nearly as much. At one point this weekend, Michael took my hand and pulled me close and prayed. It took me by surprise. I was at a point where I just wanted to yell at God. I realize that’s not the best approach, but I’m pretty sure God can handle anything I throw at him. It did comfort me when Michael prayed though and I was reminded of how strong he’s becoming, how much he’s been working on himself, all of the changes that he’s been going through. He's grown so much and even though it might have been hard for him to tell this weekend, my respect for him has grown by leaps and bounds. I'm amazed by the man he is and the man he continues to become.
As for me, I’m disappointed in myself. I let myself dwell on the negative, the stress, imagining the worst possible outcomes. I put up walls and wouldn’t let my husband in. I treated him like the enemy instead of realizing that he just wanted to help, to be there for me. I didn’t leave things in God’s hands and trust in him. And I ruined most of a weekend, making both Michael and myself miserable. *sigh* I will find a way, or perhaps a lot of little ways, to make it up to him. I started last night, spending some time taking care of something on the computer for him so that he could attend to other things. It was a little thing, but he appreciated it and I was happy to be able to do something for him. This week is likely to still be stressful, but I’m going to try very hard to keep my focus where it should be. I can be strong and be vulnerable at the same time. One of my favorite Bible verses is…I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13) I can do this.