Saturday, October 5, 2013

An Interesting Blessing

I have been fiercely independent for as long as I can remember.  To the point of shunning chivalry and sometimes hurting myself because I was too stubborn to let anyone lighten my load, figuratively or literally.

Over the years I've learned to accept help a little more and even sometimes request it.  I've learned that I'm not enough to take on the world all by myself.  This used to scare me.  Now that I've grown a bit and found some people I can trust, it is a bit of a relief.  Because now I understand that I'm not meant to take the world on alone.

But one area I didn't seem to learn this was in my marriage.  Oh, I did become interdependent with my husband.  Especially financially when my health no longer allowed me to work outside the home.  But there was still this I-could-get-by-without-you-I-don't-really-need-you thing left over from all those years of my independence and our struggles.

For so many years I have been his strength, his buffer.  We both knew that if our marriage ended, as it looked like it would more than once, I would struggle financially but be okay otherwise; he would be a basket case and be lost without me.

But recently that's changed.  We tend to pull together in crisis (thank heavens).  So his job loss, while incredibly stressful in other ways, has been good for our relationship.  We've become closer.

That's not the part that surprised me.  The thing that surprised me is what happened during my last PTSD episode (which still isn't completely over, by the way, but is improving).

This last PTSD episode has included so much fear (it always does).  It's tough for me to leave the house.  It's hard to be around people.  I'm claustrophobic.  I don't want anyone to touch me or talk to me too much.  I try not to visibly cringe when others come near me, but I definitely cringe inside.  The nerves in my skin feel like they are all hyper-stimulated at once.  My skin hurts.  And the thought of someone touching me scares me like when someone comes up to slap your back when you have a bad sunburn.

None of that is new.  I get that way every time my PTSD is triggered.

The interesting part is this.  My husband has become my buffer.  He gets between me and what scares me.  Quite often.  He'll take the conversation for me.  He'll sit between me and others.  He'll field phone calls and visits at the door when I just can't face them.  I feel safer when he's with me.  He's become my protector in a very real way.

For many of you, this may sound like a condition you've always had with your spouse.  Why am I making a big deal of it?  Because it's not something I've ever had with my husband.  It's not something I've ever allowed.  It's not something he's ever seen me need.  Being protective isn't his natural response when I'm in trouble.  He's seen me fight my own demons too many times to think I need him.

But this time I've needed him.  And he's come through for me.  As horrible as this episode has been, and continues to be, it's been worth it.  Because it's allowed a new type of intimacy between me and my husband.  I am so grateful for that.


Karen Main said...

A blessing indeed and what a courageously honest and heartfelt story. You and your husband seem destined to be together.

Anonymous said...

I'll take blessings anywhere I find them! It is a beautiful thing to see how marriages grow and evolve over time. Glad you are beginning to feel better!

Sheila Skillingstead said...

My husband is a buffer, too. When the students at school are being a pain to me personally, he says you want I should rough em up. It's enough to make me smile and remember they are kids and I can deal with them.

He's also great on the more scary encounters and the ordinary like walking next to traffic.

Congrats on the evolving dynamic in your marriage. We can't accept help until we are ready so no regrets about previous times you could have used help.

Enjoy Sharefest.

Jennice Powell said...

My mom is that person for me so I get it! #SITSsharefest

Shanna Craft said...

It's great when our spouses can do this for us. My husband has suffered from social anxiety for years, and I always had to 'shield' him. But now he is learning to overcome some of his anxiety, and now I'm the one who needs help from time to time. Glad to hear your husband is your 'protector.' Its sounds like you two were meant to be together!

Kate said...

Blessings, they are wonderful things especially when they're unexpected. It's wonderful you have found your buffer or allowed him to be our buffer. We all need one sometimes. I hope things continue to improve.

Thanks for stopping by my blog too. Been so long since I have been able to join in the sharefest and I remember you from when it.

Take care

and I hope you and your husband go from strength to strength.


Sherri said...

I lived on my own for most of my adult life. Taking care of me & my kiddo. Fixing things, managing things, making it all work one way or another.

Then Coach came along. Tough transition.

It took a little bit but one of the things I love about him is how he takes over for me when I need it. He protects me from the world. He challenges people who try to cause me problems due to my disabilities.

He moves mountains for me. And I like it :)

I'm glad your husband stepped up when you needed him to. It's a sign of love that runs deep.

MaggieJo said...

I'm glad he's there for you.

Stephanie S. said...

Truly a blessing! What a great post. :)

The Dose of Reality said...

There is nothing better than really needing someone and then having them come through for you 100%. I'm so glad you have that with your husband. It's a beautiful thing!! --Lisa

Chris Carter said...

Oh ROBIN!!!! I am SO SO HAPPY God is using this time of great suffering for something GOOD!!! See how He does that?? See?? Oh He's good!! I am just THRILLED to see how you and hubs have grown and you have been BLESSED by HIM!!!! This makes my heart dance. Truly.

Vicki M. Taylor said...

Robin, what a wonderful blessing God has bestowed upon you and your husband. Have a blessed day.

Followed you from SITS.

Louise@FitRadiance said...

That's lovely your husband is there to support you. I know I'd be lost without my fiancé. Helping each other through tough times definitely brings you closer together I think. It's great to have that person in your life who you know will be there no matter what :)

Rabia Lieber said...

What a wonderful blessing to find in the midst of your struggle! Hooray for your hubby!