“…You’re going to get hurt sometimes, and no matter how much you love somebody, you will at times hurt that person, not because you want to, but because you’re human. You will inevitably hurt your partner, your parents, your children, your closest friend—and they will hurt you—because if you sign up for intimacy, getting hurt is part of the deal.”
“…What [is] so great about a loving intimacy was that there was room for repair. Therapists call this process rupture and repair, and if you had parents who acknowledged their mistakes and took responsibility for them and taught you as a child to acknowledge your mistakes and learn from them too, then ruptures won’t feel so cataclysmic in your adult relationships.”
“You will heal and self-repair and sign up for another relationship full of its own ruptures and repairs. It’s not ideal, opening yourself up like this, putting your shield down, but if you want the rewards of an intimate relationship, there’s no way around it.”
-Lori Gottlieb, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone
Lori Gottlieb’s book, “Maybe You Should Talk to Someone,” about a therapist and her therapist and the patients she sees day in and day out was a long book that you wish would never end. There is so much deep and profound topics she covers on grief, death, loss, relationship issues, parenting issues, really the whole range of the human experience that you could face as you go through life.
Life hurts sometimes.
There is pain and loss and vulnerability and uncertainty all around us all the time.
Such is life.
These specific quotes I pulled out have to do with intimacy. As I have gone through therapy now for more than a year since my spouse and I separated and later divorced, I have come to see myself in a completely new way. I see my situation before and after, and I see my own flaws and struggles in a completely new lens that I hadn’t recognized in the past. This is what therapy offers for someone who wants to grow and develops trust with another person who is fully committed to his growth.
It has been a wonderful experience and life-changing process. I wish I had done the work before I got married. But I am still thankful for the work I am doing now that will affect the rest of my life.
I resonated with these quotes about intimacy because in my past when I was wounded, my wounded turned to scars that didn’t seem to heal as well as I would like. The repair portion of those wounds were never done in the right way. This started in my childhood and continued into my marriage. I will take some of the responsibility for this healing.
A defense mechanism I developed after being wounded a time or two too many was avoidance. I would refuse to deal with the hurt feelings and the pain. I would stuff the feelings deep down, hoping that they would never re-surface. The flawed thinking is that when you don’t deal with those wounds, then the always come back but with greater intensity and impact than if you had dealt with what happened in the moment.
This is a lesson I’ve had to learn the hard way.
Therapy has helped me to find a voice for my feelings. To be able to share what I am feelings when I am hurt. I am able to acknowledge the wound and then explain the feeling that it caused me. This then allows me to begin the healing and repairing process.
In the past, repair was not something I really received or engaged in because I avoided my feelings, and I told myself that what happened wasn’t too bad, and I didn’t need to deal with it. I am strong. Feelings aren’t that important.
It has been a total 180° turn for this in my life. I am learning to be more aware of my emotions and triggers that I respond to, and then to work through what I am feeling and move forward.
I am still a work in process. I am still working on my healing and repair. But with this new outlook on life, full of new tools and a new self-awareness, I believe I can again seek out meaningful relationships, moving forward in a positive way.