Forgiveness, Uncategorized

Survivor – compassion and forgiveness

I finally watched the Survivor episode where Zeke was outed as being transgender. I’ve been working really hard the last 10 days or so on learning how to forgive. I’ve been trying to forgive my ex for things since I first met him 20 years ago – but in the last couple of weeks it has really come to my attention that if I am to move ahead in my own healing journey I need to learn how to really and truly forgive him. I don’t like it, it is the last thing I want to do – but I also want to heal and find peace and I know I have to do this.

Anyway…

I was watching the tribal council when Jeff Varner outed Zeke as being transgender. I’ve actually now watched it twice as I wanted S to watch it with me to see how incredibly some of the people responded to the situation.

I had been so impressed with Tai and Zeke. Tai giving Varner comfort as he broke down and realized what he had done, and Zeke not saying a harsh word but instead forgiving, saying that it was likely for a better good, hugging him and letting go.

I realized that often in situations that need forgiveness, compassion, and love instead of responding like these two men and offering it with their whole hearts, I respond more like Sarah who instantly turned the entire situation into an “all about me” moment. The first time I watched I didn’t notice as much, but the second time around it really became obvious the two different reactions to the pain (whether on purpose or by accident) that Varner caused.

Sarah told Varner he was malicious and cruel and then went on a rant about how much this game had changed her that despite how sheltered she had grown up she didn’t see Zeke any differently. Tai and Zeke just turned to Varner, said what he had done was not cool, but offered him so much compassion and forgiveness. It was impressive to watch these men act with so much dignity.

It’s impressed upon me once again how important it is to respond with compassion and forgiveness to Tab when what I really want to do is scream from the rooftops about what an evil dick he is.

So I will continue to pray and meditate and really watch what comes out of my mouth, but more importantly what sits in my heart.

I don’t have many examples of how to forgive someone who has hurt me deeply, and I am hugely appreciative of the fact that I was able to watch these men behave with such grace and love.

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Forgiveness, Uncategorized

Unexpected gift

Last year I dated a guy for a few months (we call him 2.0). He was the first person I had dated since I was 26, which at the time was 19 years ago, when I met my now ex-husband. I had no idea how to date, what to expect from a man I dated, or how any of it would work.

When we first met, the pull to each other was almost instant. We both said it was like our hearts had known each other in a previous lifetime. We were able to communicate silently through our energy fields in a way I never had before with a romantic partner (but always had with my kids and pets). It was a very intuitive way of being with someone, something I didn’t think I would ever experience.

We wanted to be together all the time and constantly shifted our schedules so that we could meet up – it took some work as we lived almost an hour apart. But we had this need to be together, when we hugged we both said it was like broken pieces inside ourselves got healed.

I said to him that I had this strong feeling that he was a gift from God, that I wasn’t sure what that meant, but I knew he had been sent into my life for a very powerful reason. Of course, then I thought it meant that his reason for being was to be my happily-ever-after. It wasn’t.

He used to tell me all the time how much he loved me, how lovable I was, how I was the kind of person he wanted to spend the rest of his life with, how he wanted to be with me all the time, how we had so much fun together. Little things he also said that it took me a while to clue into were things like the fact that usually he was attracted to more the model type of woman, that if he had to pick his perfect match he would never have thought it would be us together, that he had dated tons of women online (he met three the day he met me) in his search for the perfect relationship.

About 2 months into our relationship he sent me an email saying that he didn’t think it would work out, that he felt there was a “chemistry issue he couldn’t reconcile” and that we should go our separate ways. I shut off communication with him and went about my life. I thought about him being a gift and realized that all of the broken parts in me that had healed with him were still healed and I thought maybe that was the gift. He had helped me heal a lot of things about my ex and my divorce and that really was a gift.

A week later he called me and wanted to meet. Against my better judgement I met him, he cried and said he was sorry for how he had ended things, that he had spent the week thinking about what he wanted and that he knew without a doubt that he wanted to spend his life with me.

Because I had this strong heart pull towards him we got back together. Again, for about 7 weeks everything was fantastic. Suddenly after a very close weekend spent together, with no warning, he pulled away again. This time I knew we were done. He met me in the parking lot at Winners on a Saturday evening and while I stood outside of his car he told me that (and I quote): we get along so well together, I have never connected with someone like this before, and I have never had so much fun with a girl before – but you just aren’t attractive enough for me to date. For real – I wasn’t attractive enough for him to date.  We said a few more things – but really what is left to say after that?  I said I wasn’t doing this any more and I left, got in my car, and drove home. That was that – never saw him again.

It’s been about 7 months since the break up. I have dated casually, I have even met some pretty nice men, but I haven’t wanted to get involved in a real relationship again. Not because of 2.0 and what he said, but because of me. I wasn’t even that hurt by him telling me that I wasn’t attractive enough to date him. I figure I’m pretty average and I’m ok with that – I’d rather sleep in than spend hours on my hair and makeup, I don’t think I need to put a paper bag over my head to go outside so people don’t get scared, I am liking who I am more and more. I also figured (and once said to him which apparently was a mistake) that something I liked about him was that he was pretty average too – I don’t think I was dating out of my league.

Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time reading and learning about forgiveness, hope, happiness, and attracting what we want into our lives. Here’s what I think the gift of 2.0 was in my life:

He reflected back all the things I hold deep inside me as being truths. I am fun, kind, great to be around, a good friend, someone you want to build a life with, someone you can trust. But…. and it’s a big but… at the end of the day I’m just not pretty/worthy/good enough. That is my biggest, deepest, darkest fear. That I’m all these great things but at the end of the day just not worthy enough.

As I was reading about how our relationships reflect who we are and how we think about ourselves it all fell into place. Because we connected so deeply, he could reach right down into the darkest areas I hide from everyone and pull them into the light. And now that they’re in the light I can work on them.

What an amazing and  incredible gift. I am so grateful that I have all these un-truths I’ve told myself for most of my life now sitting around me and I can clear them out.

I have no idea what kind of impact our relationship had on him, and it really does not matter. He is not someone who is welcome back into my life although I no longer hold any anger or resentment towards him. He was in my life for a reason and a season and that is all. God gifted him into my life at the perfect time to show me some dark beliefs I held about myself so that I have the option to change them.

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Uncategorized

Stepping out of the victim role

I have been spending a lot of time praying about and working towards learning how to forgive my ex-husband Tab – it is so not something I want to do, but something I am beginning to feel compelled to do it all the same. I thought maybe I could forget about him without forgiving – but his energy presence has remained very strong in our family even though his physical presence is non-existent.

Not forgiving him is keeping me in the role of his victim – when I realized that, the way I looked at everything changed.

For a long time I had to be his victim. Part of this was his doing and part of it was mine. His part was playing the role of narcissist and abuser, mine was different as the victim, but also very damaging. I realized a few years into the abuse that life was better for me and the  kids if I was wounded, weak, broken, full of anxiety, – basically damaged and broken. Then he clearly had the power and was a kinder, more gentle version of who he normally was. If I stopped being his victim he took his rage out on S and I couldn’t stand that so I tried to be the weak one as often as possible.

I haven’t seen him in almost 2 years and yet his presence is still strong in our home. It’s there because of the financial dependence and ties, it’s there because of the emotional damage we are still learning to heal from, it’s there because I’m angry as fuck with him (and also scared as fuck if we are being perfectly honest), it’s there because the kids live in fear that one day he will show up, kidnap them, and make good on his old threats to harm or kill them (lovely isn’t it?). I mean, the fears are real – the feelings are real – but they are holding us captive and that can’t happen anymore.

Here’s my issue with forgiveness (well one of them). In the past when I forgave him for raging, cheating, lying, stealing, I had to work at trusting and trying to have a relationship with him and that made my life a very unsafe one. In my brain I know that now I can learn to forgive but that I don’t have to let him back into my world – my heart and my body don’t seem to have that knowledge. So, every time I begin the process of forgiveness my body shuts down in protective mode afraid that he is coming back into our lives to hurt us.

That is not what forgiveness is, and obviously I have a long road ahead of me learning what exactly it is and how to do it. I don’t have a role model for this kind of thing, I don’t particularly want to be the trailblazer – but here I am. If I can learn forgiveness and show the kids how to forgive someone we were supposed to trust – if I can show us all that we can do that and still be safe, that we can be free, that we are no longer the victims – then I will have changed the way we live the rest of our lives.

I’m working on it.

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Forgiveness, Uncategorized

A step towards forgiveness

I have realized as I’ve been kind of stuck lately on my healing journey that I need to figure out how to forgive TAB. Quite honestly, this is the last thing in the entire world I want to do. I think if I only had to forgive him for cheating on me over and over for years, for spending and hiding tens of thousands of dollars (probably closer to hundreds of thousands in all honesty), for hitting me, for hitting S, for the reign of terror and emotional abuse he subjected us all to, for the lies, the threats – if that was all there was to it, maybe that I could forgive.

It’s the other things I’m having a hard time forgiving. The unfairness of it all, how he broke the dream of the family and the life I wanted, the fact that my kind and amazing son talks about suicide on a regular basis because of trauma left over from this man, hearing my daughter talk about stuffing all her feelings down deep inside so she does not have to deal with them. The brutal unfairness, the fact that we are away from him and he continues to try and create uncertainty and chaos, the fact that I’m left alone to lead this family as we heal from crisis, the financial stress I’m left with.

The unfairness.

I have a hard time forgiving because it’s so unfair.

He’s got everything he ever wanted – great career, fun girlfriend, weekends away, the perfect executive life he wanted – the one that his family always got in the way of.

The fact that now I have to figure out some way to support myself and my kids when I gave up my career building years to look after the family so that he could build his. The fact that the career that I wanted was looking after my family and it will be taken away from me so that I can take some shit job to put food on our table.

I have a hard time forgiving because it’s so unfair.

Yet… it’s hurting me to not forgive. I am stuck at this place in my healing because I’m not forgiving. It’s hurting me not only emotionally but physically as well.

I have to figure out how to forgive him. I have to do that knowing that even if I forgive him for all the past hurts he will hurt me again today, tomorrow, and for as long as he is alive. And I have to figure out how to forgive him for that as well.

I have to do it so that we can continue to heal.

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