Yesterday I went to a day spa and had a facial. Let me start off this blog by letting you in on two little secrets - First, I'm not a touchy person. I'm not sure how I got this way - perhaps it was my upbringing...my parents were not/are not touchy people. I can't recall the last time I hugged either of my parents. I hug, kiss and love on my kids, but that's about as far as I go. I don't typically hug other people. I have difficulty reaching out. Part of me craves physical contact with people, but it just doesn't come easily or naturally to me. I think at least part of my hang up is in my physical body. Having been 350 lbs for some amount of time, and then losing 125 lbs, but still not connecting my current physical being to who is looking back at me in a mirror. Well, it's confusing. I'm disconnected in large part to my physical body. When people touch you, you quickly become in touch with your physical body, and I've never been particularly comfortable with that.
Second, I don't get naked. Now for a facial you only get half naked (waist up)...so it's not all the way. Regardless I don't take my clothes off in public regardless of a sheet that covers me. Call it hyper-modesty, odd, whatever. Even after birthing two children (and all the people who see you naked during that process), I still would rather not show any part of my skin to other people. It makes me uneasy. And I'm not a big fan of seeing other people naked. Over 12 years of marriage, it still strikes me as odd that my husband can walk around naked and not be bothered at all by that fact. I'm used to seeing him naked, but I've never gotten completely comfortable being naked around him.
The further I get into this process of discernment (or whatever I call it today) the more I realize that both of my secrets have to do with intimacy and vulnerability. I don't want others to see my frailty. I would rather not be touched, whether it's emotionally or physically. I like my sense of control. Anything that undermines that, well, thanks, but no thanks.
I had a conversation last night with my husband (albeit soon to be ex). He said that he could look at me and he knew that I was not in our marriage anymore. That as much as he would like to salvage things, he could tell that my heart just wasn't it in anymore. While this is true, I was surprised that he could perceive what I haven't been able to say. I've had a lot of rationales for why our marriage is ending. But, I didn't want to admit the big truth, which is that for reasons I don't entirely understand, my heart hasn't been in it for a long time. As much as I tried to force myself to comply, to stay, to do the "right thing," to keep up the act, ultimately I couldn't do it. I just lost the ability to maintain the facade. This conversation unnerved me because I felt exposed. Naked. Vulnerable. My husband knows me well, and has known me for 12 years. What I assumed I had hidden well, was obvious to him.
How much greater then does God know me? This must mean that my ability to hide my face from Him/Her hasn't been nearly as successful as I thought. "To You all hearts are open, all desires known and from you no secrets are hid." This must mean that God knows the deepest parts of me. The ones that I have hidden so deep and tried like hell to forget. The notion that the naked body is shameful because sex is shameful because I am...well you get the idea. The idea that in moments of intimacy with others or with God, I have to admit I'm scared, hurt and sad sometimes, and that I can't control the deluge of emotions at times. The fact that I have to stop holding back the tears and let them fall so that I can be cleansed, so that I can begin to unseal that which I have long since sealed and buried.
I've booked a massage next week on my 34th birthday - it's almost an experiment in how I cope with getting naked and being touched.