Monopoly on Self-Protection


Well, I am back in therapy. This time it is marriage counseling (for the second time.) I know, I know, I should add this fine fact to my resume – expertise on the couch – wow, that sounds kinda dirty.

It’s interesting to me that when one is in therapy they just learn the same lessons about themself over and over. Like my husband explained, “it’s like peeling layers of an onion.” And I would add, each layer just seems to make your eyes sting a little bit more.

One little tidbit about me is that I self-protect.  For whatever reason I have abandonment issues, and I cling to very destructive tendencies as if they were a cobra and my only chance at a meal when I am starving. I may get to eat, but more than likely I am just going to get bit. The bite may not kill me, but it’s keeping me from eating.

I am still trying to process (you know you have a good counselor when they make your mind reel) what I learned from my last session on Friday, but several of my self-protection methods are: keeping high standards so that others won’t meet them and will inevitably let me down (making me right), staying a step ahead of everyone so they can’t touch me, and maintaining walls the size of China’s so that no one can hurt me. The degree to which these things are causing me pain is yet to be determined as my awareness is in infancy, but I certainly recognize that they are keeping me from the emotional  intimacy I desire. I think our therapist read this article before our session. Good stuff.

So I am trying to work on allowing imperfections (in me and others), staying present, and being vulnerable. I suck at all three. I believe if I can let some of these unproductive and self destructive tendencies go I will learn to be happier in life but specifically in my life at home. Sometimes it can be overwhelming.

Yesterday while playing monopoly as a family I got a glimmer of hope. It happened towards the end of the game (after being reprimanded several times for being on my phone – someone took it away, wandering off to cook dinner and dessert – missing many rent payments on my properties, and generally just being a crappy game player who doesn’t know how to live in the present.

As the players got more and more desperate for money, they got increasingly grateful any time they received some cash. I thought of the similarities between the game and my bankrupt soul.

As I was able to force myself to be present during the game, the little moments I have been missing all these years were HUGE to my soul: all the girls training Caroline to tell everyone to “pay up”, Sophia lamenting because she only passed go three times the whole game, Bella being super-focused on her desired property negotiations, and me landing on boardwalk the turn right after I forced Abigail to sell her hotel.

The hope lied in the fact that I have only one way to go: up and out. Even if I have to sell all my properties to do it, it’ll be worth the sacrifice to get closer to those that I love. But maybe perhaps there is a merciful God and He’ll help me to win the game without selling a single property. When I get to the end, He’ll say, “See, you just needed to trust me.”