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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Goodbye Pride, Hello Healing

I was talking to a friend/colleague about a year ago.  She mentioned that 5 years after her split up with her husband she was finally feeling settled.  I thought to myself, heck, I was okay with my marriage ending the day I asked for a divorce.  I figured the circumstances around her divorce must have been less cut and dried then mine.  I felt for her that she had had such a hard time "settling" and how lucky I was that I was able to get over my marriage breaking up fairly quickly.  I prided myself on my ability to leave behind what was a damaging situation and just be free of it. 

I am going on 4 years since my separation date and I'm realizing that I am not free of it at all.  In fact, I am imprisoned by the fear that my whole world is going to be turned upside down in a matter of days -again.  I had an anxiety that I could not name,  I felt like I had to control everything in my life because 4 years ago everything spun wildly out of control.  In a matter of 2 weeks a series of letters and emails told me everything I believed about my relationship, my family and my finances had all been lies. I trusted  my husband.  I don't just mean I didn't worry about him cheating on me when he went out, I mean we had a joint email account and every time I saw an email from Michelle, Katie or any other female name that was not my own, I did not read them.  I figured very confidently, they must have been spam.  I don't know many women who wouldn't open those emails. 

I would open them in a second now. 

I also panic whenever Scott and I are having a rough time in our relationship, if a marriage that seemed to be going so well can suddenly be so wrong, what about a relationship that has its problems?  Deep down I have not fully committed to Scott,  there's a part of me that's ready to run, there's a part of me that cannot believe that this man will love me forever.

This distrust has spread into all aspects of my life.  There are very few people in my life who I do not suspect of talking behind my back or using me in some way.  When someone does something that I find to be inconsiderate I have a hard time believing that it was unintentional, 5 years ago, someone would have had to go out of their way to prove to me that there were hurtful intentions involved.

All this paranoia for what?  I do not want to be any one's fool again.  I feel stupid, how the hell did I not see what was happening in my last marriage?  The signs were everywhere and I blindly trusted this man.  He is a very nice guy.  He's the kind of guy who will change a stranger's flat tire, help a new neighbour move in, walk an elderly woman across the street (I've seen him do all these things myself) if this very nice guy could screw me over then who can I trust?  I certainly cannot trust my own judgement in these matters of the heart.  That's what this really is about.  I cannot trust anyone else, because I no longer believe I can trust myself.

Pride would have me keep everyone at a safe distance, rather than be a fool again. Fear would have me stew in this anxiety and steal the opportunity for moments of genuine laughter and tears with a friend.  This fear has me cling to grudges as if they were lifeboats,  hurt me once and I will not give you a chance to hurt me again. 

Okay pride, this is where you suck it.

He hurt me.  He hurt me a lot.  I'd like to pretend I didn't really love him, but I did.  I can't look at the pictures of him holding our newborn babies without crying (so I don't look at many photographs of  our children as babies, which is sad in itself). Scott once said "No one takes pictures of the bad times, that's why it hurts so much to look at them."

I understand my anxiety now, I understand why these negative situations keep re-occurring in my life. 

I'd rather be a fool for love then this cynical and anxious person I have become.  It's time for me to realize that being naive is nothing to forgive myself for.

7 comments:

  1. Wow. This hits home in so many ways. I am 2.5 years into my separation and I find myself dealing with a lot of these same feelings, although I haven't even really dated yet. Still. I trust no one because I can't trust myself. I wish I knew how to get past that because I feel like I'm depriving myself of a lot by being this way.

    Thanks for writing this. It's something I really needed to read right now.

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    1. I'm glad it helped. I've been re-reading Chrisine Northdrup's Women's Bodies Women's Wisdom. There's a great chapter on self-healing. Writing is one of the ways she describes, but art is talked about too.

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  2. Hugs, Amber. I think it took courage to write this and even MORE courage to put it out there for everyone to read. You are stronger than you give yourself credit for, you amazing woman.

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    1. Thank you, Vernonica. Your words warmed my heart and gave me hope :)

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  3. Hugs to you. Sadly, I can relate with your words more than I would like to. It is only three years since the end of my marriage, and while I left because I was being abused for 19 years, I am still realing from the emotional scars that were inflicted upon me for years. And I am sad that, while I love my new partner with everything I have, I am not able to love her completely, that is to say, without fear.

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    1. How do people survive, let alone thrive after so much damage has been done? I hope that you are able to find healing and some peace.

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  4. Thanks for all of your support guys, it is both saddening and comforting that I am not the only person who is going through this. I thought putting this out there would be my first step towards trusting. Trusting that I could show my feelings, be honest and everything would be okay.

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No hate please.