A libretto to Women’s Lib. I love that word – liberation, and I love being a woman, but geez it’s tricky. I massaged a girl yesterday (I do Kahuna massage, dedicated to releasing energy blocks) who needed to talk, as she spoke her body tensed, emotion was being released through ‘off-loading’ but as quickly as that happened, her energy was caught up again by more anxiety as memory, thoughts and words are immediately transferred into our muscles, every fibre and every cell, so instead of being healing and therapeutic the massage became a tug-of-war between anxiety and cathartasism. When I suggested we talk after she flatly said, ‘no I need to talk, I’ve come here to talk’. And what transpired was a libretto of oppression and angst of being a woman in a draining, unfullfiling relationship.
It’s not the first time I’ve heard the lament, our conversation reminded me of one I had had recently with another female friend, actually at a massage course. She was constantly apologising for herself and this was something I could relate to and something that I’ve been trying to work on (see my previous post: Hey I’m actually OK). She was so emotionally damaged and psychologically oppressed that her libretto was one of self-destruction. Both of these women are warm, intelligent and naturally happy beings until they’ve allowed themselves to be sucked dry by their egomaniac, narcissistic, alcoholic partners, and once again, I know where they are coming from, I’ve been in the same cycle. But I have to wonder what allowed us all to make the mistake to share our lives with these people in the first place and to be devoted to them throughout and even after the abuse. Is it Stockholm Syndrome? or simply a lack of boundaries and low self-esteem to begin with? One thing is for sure, we have all been emotionally crippled by the experience and it takes time and a concerted effort to heal. The liberation comes from realisation that the situation is no longer sustainable but who actually leaves? In this example of the three of us, it was just me who had made the shift and in part it was due to listening to friend’s woes in similar situations which made me break the tie. It’s not been easy, however, and with two small children to look after it certainly is a daily challenge but despite the longing I have and the memory of our relationship at the beginning, I know that where there is alcohol in the family unit there is only destruction in its wake. In truth we three have similar traits, we are all flexible, warm and kind-hearted and easily manipulated. I don’t think any of us stood our ground, not aggressively, but from a core of strength and a belief in our own self-worth, that we will not tolerate anything other than respect. In these relationships respect on both sides had been eroded and then the soul begins it’s deterioration process, dislodging from the tissues of our body and withering under the strain. And before you know it, you wake up tired, confused and depressed. I was strong enough to ask for help, I went to my GP, I got an emergency crew around me of professional people who saw this sort of thing all the time. I realised that no matter who we are if there is the bottle, it will always come first to an alcoholic, no matter what you do, say or feel, all is pale to the call of the disease.