I’ve had a hard childhood where I ended up suppressing my voice a lot. Keeping in expressions that should have been spoken. Had an older brother drug addict causing all kinds of tragedy and hurtful consequences to our family. I went quiet into the background. Swallowed my pain. In order to not cause more upset to my family I stayed quiet and remained supportive and did my best.
But now in hindsight I see how many times I should’ve spoken up. How his actions affected me, I should have been angry with him. But I just couldn’t. I suppose I feared losing his love. Losing a relationship if I told him how much he hurt me with his choices and drug lifestyle. He hurt my mom and grandma, and many other friends. With divorced parents, and alcoholic Father, my older brother became like a father figure, but became a worse addict than my actual Father. Bringing a tornado of tragedy and pain. His gf overdosed of Heroin, and when he came home I was the first person he told, he cried on my shoulders and I had to be strong for him. But I died inside knowing he experienced such a tragedy and played a role by doing H with her. I couldn’t express anger towards him for being involved in such dangerous high risk deadly activities. But I really should have had ongoing therapy for going through such terrible events. I never went to support groups or talked out my feelings with anyone. It was kept inside and came out in different ways.
Now in my marriage I see the core beliefs that formed, and how very hard it is to be as verbally communicative as she needs and deserves. I keep in the negative feelings, but as a result of the “cork” on my throat - a lot of the positive expression is also suppressed. It’s not easy to assure her of my love, though it’s so strong. Many of my past actions and my own behavior addictions have hurt my wife. Therefore I feel like my words " I love you" don’t mean very much. I have a hard time forgiving myself for some past ongoing porn viewing and lusting behaviors that really hurt her when she found out. I am recovering lust addict and I’m now clean and free from those behaviors.
I show by my good actions and changed behavior that I’m a better person and I’ve built up new healthy coping strategies that don’t involve cheap dopamine rushes. I also have ADHD meds which help stimulate the parts of my brain that are weak from that mental illness. Self regulation and impulse control has been difficult my whole life. And my “inner world” and “being in my head” has been a long time state. I retreated into my arts, my music, my creativity, my math/numbers…as safe spaces where I could exist.
My goals for self care are to become more verbally expressive with my wife. To assure her regularly of my love and admiration of her. Writing down my feelings is easier than out loud. But I’m getting better with practice. I can instantly feel the positive fruitage after expressing appreciation for her qualities, for her hard work in our family, as a mom and wife. It’s about intimacy. Emotional intimacy. Somehow in childhood I developed a fear of intimacy. I developed a false belief that intimacy was dangerous and unsafe to show my vulnerability. Because mom and brother often ended up hurting me despite loving me, I’m still trying to make sense of it all. To grow to be the healthiest version of myself.
I also have some goals to do more singing work and throat strengthening hobbies. To help reinforce my effort to give myself permission to speak out. It’s hard for me to understand why speaking my voice negatively and positively is so hard. I can talk facts, logic, information and surface topics very easily and enthusiastically. But when it comes to talking emotions, fear and anxiety grips my body.
Thanks for listening.
Some thoughts that scare me are:
What if expressing ( abc ) makes me cry uncontrollably?
What iceberg is underneath this feeling?
Is it safe to say this?
Will she judge or accept my feeling?
Will my voice be honored and understood?
Or will it be judged and condemned?