I think I'm still doing it...

I started to wonder today how to tell the difference between authentic thoughts and feelings and those that you've been programmed to think and feel. When I came out as gay, to say that was monumental would be an understatement. I literally could not say the words out loud. I had a seriously hard time even thinking them. What drove me to it was being sick to death of playing the role that everyone around me expected me to play. I didn't know who I was, because I wasn't allowed to be anything but what I was told to be. Today I started to fear that it's happening again and I don't quite know what to do with it.

For the last 3-4 weeks work has been heavy. Try being an infection preventionist in the middle of a global pandemic. The work literally never ends. Add to that additional responsibility with a supervisory position I was promoted to. I blamed the job stress at first for being tired by Saturday and just wanting to sleep. I also blamed feeling sick. The COVID vaccine challenges the immune system (as it is supposed to) and can give you a mild fever and feelings of malaise. I've received both doses about 4 weeks apart, so that could play a role. Home hasn't exactly been paradise either. I lose track of time so I'm not sure exactly when it occurred, but we had an incident. Most of it centered around lack of truthful communication (not lying, more like withholding). For the first time since we've been together I heard him say "you'd be better off without me". That was a sucker punch to the gut like no other. Add that to items one and two above and you can imagine why my mood has been off.

This feeling like "who am I?", "what do I want?", "what do I believe?", "what do I really want to do?" "where do I really want to live?" - the questions go on ad infinitum. I get sick to my stomach if I ponder them too much, so I just put it all away. Close it up for some future time. I get through my weeks because I'm a dutiful employee - and I like to eat, pay my bills, etc - also doing the right thing all the time, perpetually, without a break and without end. Always doing what is expected of me. Never feeling like I have any real say over what comes next in my life. It's all predetermined by the choices I made in the past. So difficult to undo. I don't want to feel regret. I don't want to undo my marriage. I love my husband and want us to be happy together. There is really only one thing about my mate I have a hard time with. It is a problem from his past, that he was genuinely over when we met, but recurred about 9 years into our relationship. I hate it. Sometimes I hate him for it. He knows exactly how I feel and I have to avoid any conversation about it because I become off the charts angry. It's the closest I've ever come to rage. The funny thing is, to the rest of the world it's not that big of an issue. Just to me. This is part of my current problem, I'm sure. I've tried talking with him about it, but I really don't know what to do anymore. If I put my foot down and do the ultimatum thing, there is an equal chance it might work, he might just lie about it, in which case it will blow up bigger later, or that we will be no more. I can't bare to deal with either of the last two options, so I stay mostly silent.

Life is so complex. Our personalities and attitudes, our feelings and all of the terrible interaction with our fellow beings that twist up into this tangle we call life can be really very confusing and distressing as well as simultaneously loving and joyous. That dichotomy is what makes it interesting I guess.

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