Tension & Pretense

Play napping on the living room floor.
A picture of Levi being SILLY. There was no tension here! Image by alexis22578 via Flickr

Ever been in a situation where there is rampant speculation, many unknowns, and lack of trust with each other? You know what I hate about those situations? The TENSION. The kind of tension you can cut with a butter knife it’s so thick and soft.

After I got married, our lives threw us into some of the realities of marriage: IT’S HARD. It’s damn hard. It’s hard letting go of the butterflies and giddiness and getting down to real life. It’s hard learning to trust. It’s hard not speculating, and it’s hard realizing boundaries. So, with my sister’s death, Grave’s Disease, being a new mom, and a new bride, I found myself in (gasp) … counseling. This is a concept I have previously abhorred because I believe we should be able to turn to our close friends (think many generations, inter and intra) for guidance, listening, and hope. But, I realized that my friends (and family) either didn’t have the time, the wherewithal, or the capacity to do that – so we had one session of marriage counseling, and I continued on, solo, for a year. I’m sure I could use more counseling, but I got sick and tired of talking about myself the whole time. It seemed no matter what progress we made and how my views changed, I was still talking about the same things. So, to me, it meant I needed to really figure out how to talk about those same things to the people that mattered: namely my husband.

I got some good tidbits, though, from this psychologist.

  • First, I have permission to have boundaries.
  • Second, I am responsible for my own feelings and no other person’s.
  • Third, not everything is my fault.

There were more tidbits, but those are good highlights.

See, I’m the type who has been known to over-analyze and take things too personally. That wore me down. Always. Wondering what people think, what they consider, what they want – constantly anticipating needs while letting my own go. And, this psychologist, she gave me permission to stop. It was so obvious, so beautiful. She encouraged me to read a book I’ve promoted before, Safe People by Cloud & Townsend, two Christian Psychologists who talk a lot about boundaries. She and this book ask simply why we just don’t take things at face value? So, I started doing that.

I still see things lying behind the surface. I can still tell when someone is holding something back. I can still feel tension because people have interpreted things maybe in a way that shouldn’t have, or they are sensing something coming down the pipe that they are fearful of, but I have learned to ask questions and not worry about it.

I am learning to be more frank. I am learning to not care as much and have faith that I will be taken care of because I have a will, and where there is a will there is a way.

So, what I wish for is that I had more trust, so when I find myself in another group setting where there is so much tension, I could just say something to encourage others to say what’s on their minds.

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