You may recognise the shoes in this photo from a previous post titled 'Happy Little Camper' however I can assure you that what I'm about to write is not of my shoe addiction. Instead, I'm going to explore my addiction to feeling unloved in response to mishaps.
Earlier today Patrick and I got caught up in our work and consequently skipped lunch. We were both starving as we were preparing to head out for an appointment, when Patrick raided the fridge in search for some 'fast' food (rare in our household).
He claimed one of my favourite smallgoods produced in the Barossa Valley that we affectionately call a 'bum burner'. This tasty savoury delight is made with natural wood smoke in the authentic German tradition and is in a word, delicious.
I'd be lucky to have had half a dozen bum burners in the last five years, so yesterday I decided to purchase two tasty treats - one for the road trip and one for when we returned home, which did just before midnight last night.
Before I had a chance to ask for a bite, Patrick had eaten the entire thing (it's only about five-bites worth). Thinking that he was playing a joke I said "Come on, I know you wouldn't do that - pass it over here," to which he replied, "I am not joking. I was so hungry I ate it all." Then after a small pause he said, "That was so selfish of me".
It was at that point that a javelin went straight into my heart and I became bombarded by the all too familiar "He doesn't love me" inner dialogue. I was so upset that I instantly felt like drowning myself in a bottle of wine, gorging myself on ten KFC hot wings followed by a cheeseburger, several chocolate bars and three ice creams (one of them would have been a Magnum) all while smoking an entire packet of cigarettes (I still have some from a carton I purchased duty free in Hong Kong in 2007 for such occasions).
As these feelings of rage, rejection and questioning whether being married to Patrick after such an act would be possible, I bit my tongue (metaphorically). I knew something was going on beneath the surface that was causing all these toxic emotions. Feeling like United States of Tara, I kept switching from observer to being in the midst of fury and dejection.
Even now as I type I feel myself switching through opposing emotions. One minute I am a calm, insightful wise woman and the next - a crazed axe murderer (lucky for Pat, we don't have an axe... I wonder if dental floss can do any damage?).
I may not have had such a strong reaction had it been the last apple Patrick took, as we can easily trot to the local shops and buy more... but we are talking about the last BUM BURNER, which we've not had in this particular household since moving here four years ago - nor is it so easy to replace (an 8-hour drive, or $100 return flight to get another one).
Had this not happened today, I may not have been alerted as to how strongly I react when my 'unloved' feelings are triggered. Since starting Project Grace 2010 200 posts ago (yessirree, you read correctly - yesterday marked my 200th post), I found that the number of these episodes have markedly reduced. So much so, that today really took me by surprise.
As soon as the trigger goes off I experience a sequence of feelings starting with sadness and loneliness, followed by rage and fury that rises in my belly. I then have an overwhelming urge to abuse myself with food, alcohol and cigarettes. The yearning is strong, the desire is magnetic.
Is this longing for intoxication born out of the need to numb the pain, say 'f#ck you' to the world or to slowly kill myself? At this stage I don't know, though my guess is that it is probably a combination of all three.
For many years I did not have the strength, will power or self love to resist. Today I did.
I still don't know why I translated Patrick's self-confessed act of selfishness to mean that he doesn't love me, therefore my addiction to feeling unloved in response to mishaps continues to remain a mystery. I will, however, keep a close eye on this addiction over coming months.
In the meantime I'm grateful for the insight I have gained- though there are moments when I'd like to be vengeful and get my hands on another bum burner, tie Patrick to a chair and make him watch me eat it one teeny bite at a time. Ah, the power of imagination - I feel better already.
Until tomorrow, be sure to dig deeper if your reactions are bigger than what you're reacting to.
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