Forgiveness

I almost titled this blog post: what to do when you fall in love with someone who turns out to be a bad person.

But the goal, my goal, is forgiveness. Complete and total forgiveness.

Not for her sake, but for mine.

I believe that not forgiving, carrying anger, turns you into a monster.

And I won’t be that.

Hell no.

I will be kind, loving, compassionate, and happy. As happy as a human can be. I will go through periods of introspection. I will sometimes get depressed, I will be anxious, but generally the person I am and aspire to be is happy.

And I forgot that for a while.

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes love doesn’t work out and it hurts when it ends. It’s sad, devastating, difficult. That’s what happened with my former husband and I. You work through it and it’s hard.

This is not what happened with her. This person is…well…I am mean seriously, she’s…I can’t even speak…I literally cannot even speak about her. I open my mouth to speak about it and the words get clogged in my throat. I cannot voice the truth of who she turned out to be.

And this blog post isn’t about her. It’s about me.

It’s about forgiveness.

Over the past year, I have done all the things to forgive her.

I have meditated. I have a little visualization that I worked out in my therapist’s office. Where I would envision her child self and my child self are standing face-to-face and my child self is holding her child self and saying the words,

“The same God that is  in me is the same God in you. I forgive you completely and I release you to be happy”.

I did this daily for months. It helped. It was ridiculous but I did it because I wanted to forgive and be happy.

Each day it got better. Some days were better than others. A few weeks ago I declared that I was over it. I thought I was. I felt so free.

But lately I have learned some things about this person I once loved.

I have learned that in addition to being cruel and, likely a narcissist, she is also a pathological liar.

I kind of knew that. I knew she had told people I was crazy. I swallowed my anger about it. She used to call all of her X’s crazy (RED FLAG). It didn’t surprise me. And frankly, spending a year with her can make you crazy. I felt a little crazy when it ended. Broken hearted, defeated, overwhelmingly sad.

I knew she had told people I was stalking her, driving past her house, contacting her…blah, blah, blah.

That one surprised me. In it’s untruth. I didn’t expect that lie. And some of the ones that surrounded that lie. Again I swallowed my anger. I cried. I felt betrayed and sad. I tried to stay as far away from her as possible to discount these lies. For months, I wouldn’t drive anywhere near her house for fear I would see her and encourage this set of lies. I never spoke ill of her. If anyone asked me what happened, I smiled and said “it didn’t work out. It’s been difficult but we are both happier now. I wish her the best.”

But recently I have gotten some specifics, some “bonus lies” that were said, some of them dumb lies, pointless lies but some of them were about my character.

My character.

I am not perfect. I have made some mistakes in my life. I own them. I apologize, regularly.

But I am a good, kind, loving, wonderful person. My character is strong.

I know this. Absolutely.

Yesterday I learned that this person, who I loved, a LOT (it almost makes me sick to think how much)…told people I stole money from her. It’s like the 50th lie that’s gotten back to me. And I just swallow them all. I remain silent and I do my little meditations and work on forgiveness.

But this one, that I stole money from her, I cannot swallow it.

I just can’t.

I have no idea what it is about this particular lie that has me so upset.

I don’t know what to do with the anger.

And I am sick and tired of holding my tongue and saying nothing. I am tired of being silent and turning the other cheek.

I feel in shock all over again as though the past year of positive visualizations and sending loving kindness her way has been for nothing. I am so mad I can’t see straight.

I am disgusted.

I feel betrayed. Again.

Brand new betrayal.

So I made a decision today.

It’s not her I need to forgive. Forgiveness is wasted on her.

Today, I will shift all my loving kindness, all my meditations and visualizations to someone who does matter.

ME.

I will forgive myself for mistakenly loving someone who was not worthy of my love.

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I fucked up. I learned. I’m still learning.

I will do all the work it takes to forgive myself for my poor judgement.

I believe that everything happens for a reason and I have searched my soul for the reason I got involved with this person, how I could have fallen so deeply in love with someone so cruel.

I thought she was my soul mate. I trusted her, me,  the girl who has stood by my mantra “trust no one” trusted the untrustworthy.

Maybe the reason is that I must learn to practice loving kindness for myself. That’s what this experience will help me discover. I hope so. I hope there is a reason. I really do.

Because I am awesome and I am worthy of that forgiveness.

 

PS: I don’t steal money. Ever. Very few people know this blog exists, I don’t publicize it. Slander is impossible to overcome. You simply cannot control what people say about you. But I needed to say it, out loud. I am not a thief. It feels a tiny bit better to say it. A tiny bit.

 

 

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Self Reflection

I self-reflect.

If there is a problem I immediately go into a place of wondering what I might have done to cause it. Not always. Sometimes I blame or get angry but generally, I go to my thinking place and try to figure out what it means, in the bigger picture of the universe. I replay the incident, relentlessly, until I figure out what I could have done to alter the outcome. I have always seen this as a strength, the ability to self reflect. But lately I have begun to recognize that some of that self-reflection is unhealthy. All things are not my fault. I think taking “the blame” for all things is a sign of low self-esteem. And I am on a journey of making peace with myself and my “issues”. In the process of learning to really cherish who I am, I have paid less attention to what I think and feel and more to what the rest of the world is doing, thinking and feeling. I have been noticing something that surprises me.

There are a lot of people in the world who cannot self reflect. Or will not.

If I am leaning too heavily on taking all the blame for all things, there are a hell of a lot of people leaning too heavily on taking absolutely no responsibility for the circumstances of their lives.

Examples:

I know a man who can’t get along with his co-workers. In job after job, he has conflict with his co-workers. In his current job, he has constant problems playing the “sand box” with the other kids. If you ask him why, he will give a thousand excuses for why the conflict exists. A grown man who has been in the workforce for 40 plus years, cannot self reflect to try to figure out why he keeps having the same conflict with his co-workers. He sits in his office, feeling excluded, frustrated and misunderstood…probably angry…and never once does he ask himself, “I wonder what I could do to improve the circumstances of my work life.”

That’s weird.

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Another woman I know has relationship after relationship that ends badly. She is not friends with anyone she has ever dated. None. She makes fun of these X’s, assigns them snarky nicknames and blames them, for all things and any conflict or bad juju that surrounds the relationship or how it ended. She actually feels sorry for herself that she keeps ending up with these awful people. It’s gotten to the point where the people around her just tune her out when she bad mouths her X’s. She has become the teacher in the Charlie Brown cartoons…blah, blah, blah…another crazy X for you…yeah right.

Never once has she sat back and asked herself what the common element is in these relationships. Not once. She just has bad luck. She just doesn’t choose well. There are a lot of crazy ass people in the world and she keeps dating them. Poor thing.

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I have a friend who recently wanted a promotion. She got a no. She was angry, resentful, hostile and upset. I was a little surprised cause the promotion was a stretch and she hasn’t earned the right to it. And she’s had some issues at work. Instead of saying to herself, I am going to get busy correcting the issues I have had and prove myself worthy of this promotion, she turned on the angry and made herself look like an ass.

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So here’s the thing…

It’s a fine line.

I think.

Between self-reflection that can turn insular, introspective, DEPRESSIVE can cause you (me) to isolate yourself and live in fear of conflict.

And narcissistic, blaming, unhealthy, incapable of accepting responsibility for your life, your actions, your mistakes kind of shit.

All humans make mistakes, do stupid shit, all humans sometimes say the wrong thing, hurt people’s feelings, do things they regret, react to pain by being angry or acting like an asshole. We are all just human. We are driven by emotions and sometimes it gets the best of us.

And when it does, we self reflect a little, apologize when we need to, if we are healthy.

But the point of this blog is the fine line, finding the balance between the two extremes. Because in an interesting way, they have a similar effect, they both isolate us from others. Low self-esteem, accepting too much responsibility for things isolates us from being connected to the world in the same way that blaming, angry, narcissism isolates us from others. One is because we are afraid of  conflict and the other extreme is because everyone else is afraid of us.

So I want to find that middle road:  a healthy self-esteem, the ability to balance self-reflection. I want to walk the fine line.

To have a happy peaceful life. And the examples I used, the other extreme, I hope they find it too.

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fuck you very much

Yeah, I just typed that. I am going to type that again, cause it felt really good.

fuck you very much.

fuck you very much.

AHHHHHH!!!! I love it. I love it so much. 

Not because I am angry. I am not angry. I am resigned. I am happy. I am calm. I am calmer and more peaceful than I have been in at least two years.

People told me, a little over a year ago that I would get over this heartbreak and feel better, be better, better than when I started. It was kind of hard to imagine. Because I was so sad. Devastated. And being told by someone I had truly loved that I was crazy, that my sadness was unacceptable, someone I had loved, purely and honestly, laughed at my grief, publicly made fun of me for it. I retreated inside myself. Out of self protection. I caved into myself. It was awful. 

I didn’t really imagine getting over it. I spent a few zombie months, a few months in the “tin man” state where I constantly needed to be oiled to function. My wonderful friends helped, a beautiful lover helped, my amazing kids helped. Then I started to mostly feel better in chunks. Then better, then better and better. It took time. Therapy. Lots of thinking. And lots of time by myself. I ran about 5,000 miles. I meditated. I wept. I forgave. Myself. Others. I made peace with the people I had hurt. At least I tried to. I am still trying to. 

One of my friends told me I would be done  when I was done. She told me it would be over when it was over, that there were no shortcuts, that I had to give myself as much time as I needed. That the shortest way out was through. I didn’t hide from the pain. I embraced it and moved through it…like quicksand, like wet concrete, I moved right through it. I got frustrated. I took three steps forward and two steps back. But I kept moving forward. 

In the past two weeks, I realized it was gone, the burden, it was just gone. You really don’t realize how heavy you are until you are light again. Lightness is good. As much lightness as you can get in life is good. 

I shook off the last of it a few weeks ago and I am floating on a cloud of happiness.

And confidence.

And peacefulness.

I know who I am. I have risen. My beautiful, joyful self has risen. 

I am not looking over my shoulder anymore wondering who is laughing at me. I don’t feel humiliated anymore. I feel great. Amazing. Fantastic. To move without fear. Breathe fills my lungs. I can breathe again. Fully and completely. 

God it feels so good to feel good again. To stand grounded on my feet, firmly planted. To hold my head high again and feel my heart open again. To feel connected to the Lord again. To no longer be grasping for him and not reaching him.

(yes, I know Christian girl with a blog post titled Fuck You Very Much…whatever…I have never made much sense)

And to you, person who loves passionately and then not at all…who I almost allowed to destroy me:

You have taught me so much. Thank you. Thank you for the lessons. For real. I mean that. I am grateful to you for teaching me what I needed to know. I get it now and I have only one thing to say to you:

Fuck you very much. 

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Happy Friday!