The relationship is new — less than one month in. The abnormal mammogram results arrive just as we are getting started. I hesitate to tell him because I don’t want to introduce ‘drama’ at this early stage. I end up sharing because, well, it is impossible to not reveal the weighty thing that is occupying my thoughts. I don’t cry or break down when telling him my worries or fears. I state them matter-of-factly. I do not want him to think I’m one of ‘those women’ who always has a problem, always need taken care of and whose emotions bleed all over the place. I can take care of myself, self-soothe, and handle it.
But, the night before the follow-up mammogram I do not want to be alone. I know the night will be endless and sleepless if I endure it by myself. I am vaguely aware of how this could be construed as using him. I am not entirely sure I’m not. I just know he offered to have me sleep over and I was grateful.
His face lights up when I walk in. There are flowers and a balloon on the table. He’s wearing a sweatshirt with his and my mother’s alma mater on it (an intentional connection reminder). He stretches out his arms and takes me in. I instantly know I did the right thing. I know I came to the right place and person for comfort and companionship.
We spend the night in innocent togetherness. We lie together with no hanky panky, just a man and a woman in closeness. We discuss the worst possible outcome from my mammogram — the C word. He says, You’ll get to pick out a new set of boobs and I’ll bring you cheeseburgers when you recover. I feel his strength and steadfastness. The underlying message to me — I’m here for you. I’m not going to run. I can handle your ups and downs.
He is his own person. He is immune to my anxieties. Miraculously, his personal integrity and strength, fortify me. Normally, I am so conflict-avoidant with my intimate people I fear ‘bothering’ them. I walk on egg-shells, making sure I don’t get upset or upset them. I don’t have to hide my fears/truths/nature with him. His calm, calms me. I relax. I get confident.
Emotional by design?
A New York Times article written by a seasoned psychiatrist titled, Medicating Women’s Feelings states, WOMEN are moody. By evolutionary design, we are hard-wired to be sensitive to our environments, empathic to our children’s needs and intuitive of our partners’ intentions.
The same article claims, We have been taught to apologize for our tears, to suppress our anger and to fear being called hysterical.
Why is this? Why is it not OK to be emotional? Why are stoic masculine traits revered more than sensitive feminine ones? I do not want to make this an entirely masculine/feminine thing. Tears, fears, empathy and emotions are HUMAN facets, not just female or male traits. We all experience them.
Like extroverted and introverted traits, couldn’t they co- exist for the greater good?
Author, David Deida, thinks so. In his book, The Way of the Superior Man, he discusses the masculine/feminine interplay with regards to mood and emotions.
Moods, growth and superior men
He says any woman, if she has a feminine sexual essence, will cycle through moods of closure. You (men, masculine essence) cannot change this or wait for the moods to stop. You can only develop your skills at serving her into openness.
Don’t tolerate her mood, participate in it. Bloom her into fullness. Move her body with your body. Open her heart with your humor. Penetrate her closure with your fearless presence. Open her heart, again and again and again. She could do it by herself, but if she could grow more by herself than by receiving your gifts, perhaps she shouldn’t be with you. — David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man
And there it is. It’s all about growth. We share our gifts/traits in order to create relationships that encourage growth.
It’s been over five months since my mammogram scare, biopsy and final benign results and the relationship is still evolving. His fearless presence is unwavering and his calm still calms me. We both seem to be learning and growing within the relationship. Perhaps I’ve found a Superior Man? 😉
Who calms you? Who is your rock? Is integrity as contagious as anxiety? Do you think women’s emotions are healthy or hindrances?