When exactly did the soul-sucking start? It's always so unobtrusive at first. The longer we were together, the more it amped up.
I was too critical. I didn't acknowledge it when he did the dishes. I gave him a mean look. I didn't initiate sex. I didn't enjoy sex enough. If I loved him, I would have more sex. I never laughed at his jokes. Didn't I think he was funny? Other women thought he was funny. By the way, did I see he had fertilized the lawn? Why was I being so quiet? Was I mad? He could tell I was mad. Fine then. See how I am? I would rather spend time with my friends on Facebook than I would with him.
Well, actually, yes.
If I had been truly honest I would have said, “You deplete me.” Maybe I did. I don't remember. What I do remember is that I was perpetually exhausted. I constantly felt his presence, whether he was physically there or not. Wherever I went, there he was. I started leaning away from him.
It was an odd dance. I could be sitting on the other side of the room, or in a completely different room, but I would feel his attention on me. Reading me, gauging me, tapping my invisible shoulder, waiting, waiting, wanting.
For a long time I tried to fix my marriage. Actually, I tried to fix myself (that seemed easier). I went to see a therapist and admitted out loud that my marriage wasn't working for me.
I saw an energy healer, too. I don't always trust people who charge me for things I can't see, but I trusted her. She looked at me and told me that energetically, I was leaning backwards out of my body. I actually laughed at the accuracy of her statement. When she looked closer she said my husband's energy was occupying my body. It was in my core.
I knew she was right because it was what I felt. It led me to wonder, who lets another person occupy them like that?
Is this seat taken? No. Well, I'm here, but it's okay because I barely exist.
It took me eight years to wise up and kick him out of my core. I decided I needed the space, after all. I remember in one of our (futile) marriage counseling sessions he said that I never gave him enough, ever. Instead of responding to him, the counselor looked at me and told me to stop trying because I never could give him enough. No one could.
A vacuum, by definition, requires the absence of matter to exist.
I get it, now. In retrospect. That kind of void creates a never-ceasing appetite. It must be fed, constantly. Compliments, acknowledgment, attention, more attention, more more more, from anyone, everyone, men, women, dead women, children. Glom, glom, glom....it never ends.
After I evicted him from my soul, it felt so roomy in there. I would get up each morning and stretch and realize I could stretch forever. It was like moving out of a cramped apartment and into a spacious, new home. I kept walking around and opening doors and marveling at all the space. Ooh, and look at this room, what could I do in here?!
It was like being reborn. How many times can a person be reborn? It seems infinite.
Here's something. The more I settled into my own space, the bigger that space grew. I never had to stop stretching. A never-ending sigh of relief.
Freedom like that makes me want to run through the streets and shout, “Hey you, don't shrink yourself to let someone else feel bigger!”
What a wasted exercise. Shrinking oneself.
Stand up tall. Breathe. Take up space.