I don't talk much about my first marriage. I mean this second one is going so good...so far.
I write while (knocking on wood, sprinkling salt over my shoulder and spinning three times clockwise under a full moon!) Honestly It's easy to forget that there ever was another, but this is indeed marriage numero deux. In many ways the first marriage holds so much of my origin story of why I am the way I am. Why I coach, talk and workshop around the topics of love, relationships, family, healing and the importance of the yummy being had throughout.
My first marriage was to a wonderful Man who loved me unconditionally. I had a challenging childhood to say the least and so in many ways I always say my first husband loved me "well." As in he loved me until I was well enough to be back on my feet.
He was kind, gentle, laid back and also unbeknownst to me very much lost. What started out as just what I needed morphed into what triggered me the most. I needed a soft place to land a space where I could be myself without fear of criticism or abandonment. And I received all of that in spades. But once I was back up with a big bandaid on my head and heart. I was raring to go. To take on the world and make my mark and well he was not. He in turn was cautious indecisive and unsure of himself, which would oftentimes slide into depression. We were young and depression and mental health had not yet made it into commonplace language, nor what to do about it. Hating his job as a waiter, but not having a passion or purpose to turn to, he took to pounding beers and watching Aliens on loop to drown out his lack of understanding his life's meaning. I was exasperated, angry and depleted. He was defensive, sad and anxious. All of his passiveness triggered all of my aggressiveness. It was a miserable never ending loop and definitely not a recipe for anything yummy.
I come from a long line of amazingly capable Black Women. Strong matriarchs, wives and mothers who had to hack out a life for themselves and their families in a racially charged south. And for lack of a better way of saying it many of whom fought with or dominated their men. Not a lot of equality could be seen For my part my gentle kind husband was searching for a place to be in the world so I dove into the challenge of trying to fix him and save us. But making your husband your pet project when you yourself are bruised and battered is not a sustainable space for any marriage. I would vacillate between being helpful and patient, digging into his childhood looking for clues as to why the malaise. To being annoyed, angry and tired of his seemingly inability to heal and move forward.
I became the manic doer. I made the decisions from what kind of fridge to buy to where our money should go and where we should eat. I spoke to the landlord the repair man the butcher the baker and the candlestick maker. The more decisions I made the less he made, becoming imobile from the railroading I was doing.
But the fixer in me could not, would not rest. I did everything I could think of checking each off the list. I had come from a home where there was physical abuse and so when asked what was wrong In my marriage I would stutter and mumble an guilty explanation. What was I to say? I wasn't being beaten,abused or cheated on. None of the big three that gave you license to leave in the public court of opinion.
I hated who I was becoming someone who criticized and disapproved of this awesome human. I mean who had died and made me queen? I was neither his mother or his maker. I was completely off in my energy. I thought I needed to be two to four thousand people and he was completely off in his energy being neither himself nor anything else. Was what was happening in my marriage enough to blow it all up?
Well I finally got my answer in a therapy session that I had dragged us to and was paying for out of my tip money. She stated "you can only go as fast as your slowest person". For some reason this hit me in my gut and something in me cracked. I crumbled right there in the office. I was already going in slow motion feeling constantly stuck in quicksand as I worked mind numbing jobs and received little pay and constant rejection. And this was the good part. I came from public assistance, government cheese and the projects. I had muscled my way through college and had risen above my issues to try and make something of myself. I had big dreams that felt virtually impossible most days to attain. I needed all the energy I could manage to keep my own head above water. Having both home and the world both be a battle field of turmoil was too much. I was drowning and I had no strength to carry myself and someone else on my back. I knew I had to let this go or be taken down in the undertow.
After the marriage dissolved this warring, sad and bruised version of myself would meet any new relationship with both dukes up (that's two fists for the uninitiated). I could not calm down. I was stuck on fight. . I was fighting for my life on each date. Challenging every statement. Distrusting every move. Wary of life and relationships.
Until I met my Guy.
We had an incredible spark from the start a zing and a meeting of souls. But he didn't appreciate all of this combativeness. He was plenty capable of making decisions for himself, thinking his own thoughts and following his own path. If I wanted this relationship to survive I would have to find a new way of being and so the journey to true healing, cultivating balance in my feminine energy and conjuring the yummy began.
I've spent a great deal of my 8 years coaching working with so many amazing people but I realized just recently that what I love doing the most is working with other women in the same boat I was once in. The bruised and battered in between space. The space of wanting the next relationship to be different. Wanting for yourself to be different but not knowing how to make it so. Not knowing what you need to do and how you need to grow so that you can cultivate the true yummy you deserve and desire in yourself and in your relationships. Life is calling you to do some inner work can you feel it? It's the grimmy whirling confusing messy middle and I am oh so here for it!