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There are a few blogs I read that seem to be all sunshine and roses. Occasionally the blog author will confess to a disappointment or a bad day, but then it seems they always qualify their negative experience with the words
For example. “What an awful day, the kids were so naughty and I forgot my appointment and our dishwasher broke. But then… my amazing husband showed up with Chinese take-out and a dozen roses.”
I feel like on my blog here, it’s a bit more dark clouds and noxious weeds, and occasionally I confess to moments of pleasure, but then I feel obligated to qualify them with “but then… my toddler pooped in his underwear and my husband acted out.”
I’m not quite sure at what point I began to feel ashamed of happiness. But it seems that now, I’ve spent so much time in self-pity that I’m not sure how to enjoy happiness. I don’t subscribe to the belief that happiness is the end-all, be-all object of my existence. Rather, I think sorrow and other non-happy feelings are meant to be part of our mortal experience, as teachers. But as I’ve come to really accept anger and grief as guests at my table, I think I’ve left little room for happiness.
Who am I to be happy anyway? I’m the despairing wife of the sex addict, it is my identity and my role. I am meant to forever be the pitiable victim. And yet, even in my moments of martyrdom where I square my shoulders and accept that my circumstances simply are what they are, I’m still not quite feeling real happiness, but reluctant consignment.
Pete and I were discussing last night how this part of our lives can get so bogged down in the negative. He was saying how his sponsor probably thinks his children are demons because all he ever says about them are his resentments. And it’s true, I never think to call my sponsor when I’m basking in sunshine and my heart is filled with bliss. I think to call her when I’m pissed or when I’ve been hurt or when things go wrong.
Lately I’ve been experiencing moments of real happiness. I really love the place where I am living. I really enjoy the ages of my children and their blossoming personalities. Even Pete and I are finding some common ground again to try to rebuild a relationship.
And yet each time I feel these feelings of gratitude and joy, I feel something pulling me back, telling me to hedge my bet or keep it to myself. It’s almost as if I’ve forgotten how to be happy. I've come a long way in learning how to sit comfortably in sadness. So why can't I sit comfortably in happiness?
Post Edit: As I've thought about this, it has occurred to me that I've spent a lot of my life faking happiness, and now to feel the things I've pretended to feel makes me a little uneasy. Is it real? Am I being authentic?
Can anyone else relate?