Okay, so made some realizations about myselves over the past couple of months. When the body was growing up, the mom would try to joke with me but I remember her saying that I never got her jokes. She always had to tell me that she was joking and even then I remember not really laughing or if I did it was a cautious laugh because she wasn’t ALWAYS joking and in face more often than not she wasn’t. She was abusive to us not just physically but emotionally and psychologically so I never knew if her “joke” was a real threat or insult or I dunno whatever the case may have been.
I’ve been noticing it in my daily life the past couple of months. I know it has been there most of my life, but I’m just now paying attention (or else paying attention for the upteenth time before I forget again). When I am not feeling safe for whatever reason (mostly due to the past experiences/memories hacking away at my soul and making me constantly afraid of just about everything), then when my friends and my husband try to joke with me, I don’t get that they are joking and take them seriously. This in turn causes me to feel uneasy and disliked or threatened. Then, I most likely react defensively (in a passive way cuz it feels safer), but still a way in which one could see my “fur stand up” or feel the strong nonspoken defensive energy pulsating from me which catches the other person off guard and not sure what to think or say. Then….well AWKWARD!
Lately I realize I have especially been doing this with my husband. With it being summertime and my summer crew is around with all of their complex histories of abuse that I have yet to learn about, I have noticed the defensiveness is on the RISE even more than normal. He tries to joke with me, but I take him seriously and then get pissed off at him which eventually leads to an argument. I realized today that this is due to my being on the defense in general right now and I need to realize that 99% of the time he IS only playing/joking with me. His family has this sense of humor that is picking on ya but not really….it’s kind of goofy when you get their humor.
What made me realize it and turned the light on for me happened today. We are visiting his sister and her gf and I went to the couch to get into the suitcase and was standing just in his view of the television where he was playing video games. I tried to get my stuff and go, but had to go back again and once more. Each time, he was leaning forward to see around me. The last time I was at the suitcase, I told him, “yanno, you could go sit on the other couch from which you will be able to see plenty well”. He did move and said something to the effect that I could get into the suitcase somewhere else, too, instead of right in his way cuz yanno it’s “mobile”. Now, coming from any other guy I would get pissed and I did get pissed at hubby when he said it and told him that he was being inconsiderate to which he didn’t respond (I think his feelings were hurt that I didn’t get that he was playing)…. I took a breather for a few minutes and replayed what had happened in my mind. His tone of speech, gestures, facial expressions, and I realized he was just playing with us. He certainly wasn’t serious! To verify my conclusion, I asked him about it and he nodded solemnly affirming that yes he was just playing with me.
I felt so bad because I didn’t realize it, but why would he have ANY reason to be cruel like that to me when he has NEVER been cruel to me. That made me realize that I’m dealing with transference. We made up and I told him of the struggle I was having with jokes and feeling defensive and not always getting them, but I realize now more than ever that he is NOT the enemy and NOT out to hurt me or demean me. I asked him if he would help me realize when he was joking if I was unable to discern it and he said he would. I definitely think this will help in our marriage. Now, if I can figure out how to not let it effect my relationships with other folks I’ll be doing super!