Thursday, October 13, 2016

High Maintenance

I've wished my whole life I was easy going. I want to be that person who, when everyone is trying to decide where to go eat could go lots of directions happily. Instead, I'm kind of like, "Yeah, okay. That's fine...if that's what everyone else wants, except I need the Macaroni Grill bread STAT!!" Sometimes I just don't open my mouth because that's what could come out. 

I usually know exactly what I want. When I shop, I'm a salesperson's worst nightmare. If they ask to help me find something I'll say, "Yes, I'm looking for black paper bag shorts with a sash belt. Do you have any?" When they show me the pair they have IN BROWN, I thank them and walk away. Some people call this knowing what you want and I have a soft spot in my heart for those people. Others call it picky or anal. 

I've harbored a lot of shame about being high-maintenance. I know I've talked about this book a lot lately, but seriously...there's SO much. Once again, from Brene Brown's Rising Strong:

In my family, being high maintenance was a huge shame trigger, especially for the girls. Be easy, fun and flexible. Need a bathroom break on a road trip? We'll pull over when we don't have to cross the highway to get to the gas station. Don't like what we're having for dinner? Don't eat. Carsick? It's all in your head. Unfortunately, being low maintenance also meant not asking for what you needed and never inconveniencing anyone. 

Uh-huh. In my childhood I understood everyone was tired and broke and my present want or need would likely become the straw that broke the camel's back. So I stopped asking. So much so, when I married Brian I was a chronic hinter. I'd storm around saying lots of things about my dire straights, and he would say, "Would you like some help?" 

Well, yeah. 

But I couldn't get myself to ask him straight out because then, if he didn't want to help me, I'd have that pain all over again. After a few years, I started to realize he wanted to help me, generally, and started to put myself out there, asking forthright. It was all because I had faith he cared and would try to help. It was a new day. 

Things went along and while I asked now, I still felt shame about wanting or needing something. There was a whole era when I cared if people said I "wore the pants" in our relationship because I made a lot of decisions. I just had an opinion all the time, where he didn't have a hankering one way or the other. I finally got over that once he'd reassured me a million times he was happy. 

And now, with fatigue and a bum wrist, I've taken high maintenance to a whole new level. It's borderline diva. My diet alone would be hard to live with and then there are earlier bedtimes, opening jars, pulling off my left boot and avoiding action movies (don't need to raise the cortisol for things that are NOT EVEN HAPPENING.) On bad days I ask myself, "Why doesn't he want to run away?"

He's literally quoted this line to me:


So I'm grateful for a husband who likes maintaining me in health and in sickness. 

I'm blown away on a daily basis and it's still really hard sometimes.

But tonight I'm just thankful. I don't know all the whys or how this will play out (which scares me sometimes) but for tonight it's enough just to know my husband is here with me in this time and space. He doesn't run when it's hard. Never has. 

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