Fear Results in Emotional Illiteracy.

Following from my previous post I wish to share a personal story of part of my journey in life.  I was married at the age of 20.  As I look back now I realise that I was not only emotionally illiterate but that I was crippled as well.  Early in my marriage I realised that there were problems with our marriage.   I did not have the skills to articulate those problems furthermore I did not have the desire to deal with them.  I was an Island, my fortress was made of a number of things, spiritual pride, and an excellent ability to avoid questions and change the subject.  I did not allow any one into my inner-self in any manner or form.  I actively avoided any activity that encouraged me or enabled me to look at my behaviour in any manner or form.

I was actively involved in an evangelical church, a full on spirit filled bible believing, evangelising Christian man.  Well if God wanted me to change he would enable me.  I would pray for healing and then my mind would be renewed.  I would not attend any retreats; go for marriage guidance or personal counselling at all.  If someone got too close I would just close them out.  There were many other things that I would avoid.

My wife found this difficult to cope with (surprise) and then would seek solace with her friends.  This behaviour only increased my anxiety so I sought to control this by imposing times for her to be home by and questioning her about what she was saying to whom.  I became very paranoid about what she was reading, who she mixed with, and at the same time tried to present this image of a young lion going on for God.

I involved myself with good works, lead a cell group, preached at the local mental hospital, was elected as a deacon in the church, all the time however I was afraid that people would find out that my marriage had problems.   The f word.  Now the question arises why would I be afraid of people finding out that I had marriage issues.   The divorce rate at that time (1984) was quite high so it is only natural that there were a lot of other young couples who had marriage problems.  The thing was that the marriage problems were symptomatic of my life really.

I was a manager of a retail outlet, when I think of how I was I am still embarrassed, although I am open about it now, a didactic little Hitler, my way or the highway! In my personal relationships I had always done something better, bigger or faster than the other person.  I was lost, a little boy on the inside, broken, fragile and very scared.  I wanted to be a success in life but I had no way of translating that into action.  I was paralysed by fear.

Like any good serial I will stop here now and will carry on with my next blog the second part of this sorry story.  Till then just a word there is one thing that is stronger than fear and that is hope.  If you are paralyzed by fear in a terrible situation I just want to say there is hope, I cannot promise a miracle but I do know there are answers and there is always another way forward.

Paul

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One response to “Fear Results in Emotional Illiteracy.

  1. Pingback: You have seen them | kiwipaulspoetry

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