Life of Liz

Posts Tagged ‘Maggy’

Authentic Life … part 2

In Authentic Life, In the Beginning, Out of the Comfort Zone on November 30, 2012 at 10:03 am

I’ve been guilty of presenting the appearance of success while the truth of failure lurked beneath the surface.  Like Thanksgiving dinners from my past, my marriage looked successful on the outside but it was very close to failure.  The kids appeared successful, but beneath the surface was a different story.  Our oldest daughter had adopted my attachment to perfection and as the stresses of her junior year in high school escalated, she engaged in self harm as a means of coping when it became apparent to her  .… no one is perfect.  I was fortunate; I clued into her secret and helped her find more productive ways to cope and accept herself.  A year later when others heard she was accepted to ‘XYZ’ universities they would have never imagined what went on below the surface which lead to those acceptance letters.  False Appearance …

Our third daughter, Maggy at 17 is doing well in school and is active in extracurricular activities … No one would ever suspect the struggles we encountered before I could even consider writing the above sentence. The truth is she had a lot of difficulty in school, which we wrote off as her ‘not applying herself’ until she was 15 years old and her math teacher challenged our logic.  She had to fail a lot before I would even entertain that there might be an explanation other than she wasn’t applying herself.  False Appearance …

In the case of Elizabeth, Maggy and my marriage, I am glad I see things much clearer today.  I like the reference to the Matrix films – the metaphor of the red pill, which refers to waking up from an illusion and suddenly realizing that everything is quite different than how you always thought it was…

To a large part, the shift from my Über controlling former self is directly related to a daily dose of the Red Pill.  Because before taking the Red Pill, everywhere I looked reconfirmed on a daily basis that husbands (men in general) are inept and in need of a strong (controlling) women to help them through life.   My Mom treated my Dad the same way my friends treated their husbands … with very little respect and often with contempt.  Now I look back and see why the men in my world couldn’t be our leaders — I (my Mom, my girlfriends) wouldn’t let them.   We challenged, shamed and humiliated them at every turn.     And it is in reminding myself daily of the illusion of my past  – and of authentically accepting how wrong my views were –  that keeps me anchored in my desire to be a submitted wife.

On a daily basis I am mostly happy to have the clarity to see what is really going on with my kids and my marriage … although there were periods when dealing with Elizabeth’s self harm that I questioned my ability to help lead her to a safer place.  It crossed my mind (in passing) “ wouldn’t it have been more comfortable to sit back, have a glass of wine and not notice the little clues she was leaving for me?”  That is what many of my friends do with their teens; the turn a blind eye to behavior they know is taking place.  Maybe their teens aren’t self harming in the way Elizabeth was, but many use drugs or alcohol to numb their reality.  It was an equally daunting journey when we began to address Maggy’s ADHD.  It would have been a lot easier to continue blaming her for being lazy or unmotivated but once I knew the truth, I felt compelled to act accordingly.

The red pill analogy correlates so perfectly well to my marriage.  Submission to Henry is my red pill reality; he is the leader and I am the follower.  Believing a married couple can live as equals and co-lead the marriage is not reality but instead a fairy tale that I bought into for 20 years.  My illusion.

Saturday night I tried to block my Red Pill vision and hide behind BLACK OUT GLASSES;  pretend the concepts of my marriage were unclear to me.   Henry (who has advanced red pill vision) recognized how much I needed a reminder of my place in our marriage. But because I refused to submit, the ‘reminder’ turned longer than anticipated.  Henry did a couple of things  – first, he challenged my attempt to go into the ‘isolation bubble’; he told me in no uncertain terms that it would be HIM and I together as we move closer to Grandma’s move-in date and my stress escalates.  He also refused to let me dictate how the night would unfold.

Later when we went to bed I tried to explain to Henry why I had so much trouble submitting to him when it was obviously needed.  As I at first tried to justify myself I instead began to realize the truth behind why I was unable to let go of my fears or my pride and submit to his leadership.  At first I thought it was a step backwards and I was surprised and a little (a lot) disappointed with myself.  However I now think it was a step forward because even though I wasn’t willingly submitting to Henry’s leadership – but because of Henry’s determination I was able to recognize the ‘line in the sand’ that I instantly draw that allows my isolation bubble to wind tightly around me and in turn keeps me from living an AUTHENTIC life, which is the life I desire. I don’t know if that makes a lot of sense?

When I use red pill vision to look back over the last 20 years, it has not been easy nor does it look very pretty.  And then there are the days where I see clearly how my behavior or attitude is not becoming of a submitted wife and also does not lead to a harmonious family life – I see clearly what effect a comment will have but sometimes still choose to make the comment. That is where Henry comes in … paddles a swinging to help me get back to my base and not ever fall back into the illusion and the appearance of success while the truth of failure is lurking.  ~Liz

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