The only person I hope to forgive is myself and I can already tell you that will be the most painful thing I have yet to do in this undertaking. That being said, with regards to my marriage, “letting go” seems like a more realistic goal for me. I keep reading that forgiveness is not forgetting and it’s not condoning past behavior/actions, so what is it? Sounds like an empty concept or useless word if you can simply let go and give yourself closure without the other person even taking an active part in the process. “Acceptance” also works.
The curb stomp made letting go of him initially easy. Perhaps that was his intent. What’s left is letting go of the feelings that carried on while the floor dropped out from underneath me. There was a massive amount of love I had in my heart which is now replaced by anger, indignation, and resentment and I know I’m only harming myself every time I ruminate. It’s a very bulldog-ish part of me that hangs on to that “how could he,” “how dare he,” “after all that I,” “that ungrateful piece of…” The anger protects me. I’ve read about it and that’s what they tell me.
You remember from my post Going Nuclear that the process of cleansing his presence from the house happened immediately. Getting rid of all photos and disconnecting from all his social media has helped me to forget his face. However, I discovered a cache of photos auto saved on my computer(s) and am having to do it all over again. Not only am I already starting to see him as someone I once knew a long time ago but every new delete is ritualistically cleansing at a time when I am specifically focusing on letting go. This is good timing but I need to get it over with quickly and it’s an unpleasant task.
Another part of letting go is moving forward. I think that’s what my attempt to join a dating site was about even though I am vehemently opposed to it. If you don’t know that story, here goes. I have a friend who highly recommended a dating site and a couple who met on the same dating site who have been happily married ever since. These dating sites generally creep/gross me out but I do love these people who have found success on them. Early one morning a couple of days ago I hopped on. One person told me I could look at profiles without joining but that turned out to be not true. I found my self answering profile questions until lo and behold a profile was created. Before I finally said, “WTF am I doing,” I had already “liked” 3 profiles. I couldn’t take the likes back either. That was shitty. I realized two of them were my age and hadn’t been married. Red flag.
It was then time for my walk at dawn. I had started crying the moment I shut my laptop to leave the house. Add that to my 45 minute walk and I cried for an hour about it. I felt so gross. This wasn’t how my life was supposed to go. I recognize the efficiency of dating sites and maybe eventually I’ll fold but this is not how I want to meet people right now. It felt wrong. Either it’s really wrong for me, I’m not ready, or both.
As I walked, entertaining a concept that many of you are in favor of (that I didn’t waste fifteen years), I wondered if there was a way to slowly extract each memory of him, only retaining the lessons I’ve learned so that I do not repeat this mistake in the future. Create a blind spot in my head of all memories I made with that person. Could it be possible to recall fifteen years of life without them? Can I untangle him from each memory or will it require me to get rid of other things tightly bound to that memory? For example: I’d have to get rid of an entire month of Japan. I think I have spent enough time in Japan to be able to salvage the magic I felt in that country. Worth it. What else do I have? A few bits and pieces of other trips. I’m not recalling a lot right now so maybe it’s possible. Then, THEN, I could look back on alllll the growth and happiness I’ve experienced over the past fifteen years and not feel like it was wasted by simply erasing him from the equation. (Mother of a goat I’m thankful he wasn’t active in my world of cars.)
But then, what if I’m experiencing things with a new lover and some piece of bullshit floats up from the depths and makes me cry? That’s what I want to eradicate right now. How do I dig that stuff out of my head? And it’s stupid little things. I mean, here I thought I was done with this but stuff keeps surprising me and coming to the surface. I’ve mentioned that I’d rather suffer physical pain than emotional pain. Right now I’d give a kidney if I could receive electroshock therapy while looking at things that remind me of him.
Momentarily, on my walk, I did do an exercise in letting go while listening to a podcast called Letting Go and Trusting the Universe: a lecture by Alan Watts. Here if you want it. It’s good. I let my arms down and imagined pain, expectations, and fantasies draining from my hands. It was, if only brief, freeing. I felt lighter and cried heavier at the release of that which I have burdened myself with. I really did feel in that moment that if I let go and stop trying to force my idea of what my life should look like that everything would fall into place as it should. It was a different kind of free fall. A good one. It didn’t last though so I plan to listen to that podcast a few times.
I have some specific podcasts to share with you. I’m going to keep listening to podcasts on letting go, shock, loss, and forgiving yourself until I’m back to at least 80%. In addition to the one above I recommend Mel Robbins: How to Let go: 2 Simple Ways to Find Clarity and Move On, Help Me Be Me: Loving Yourself Enough to Let Go (A little more for those who are still married but on their way out. Good advice and tools and it helped me understand friends who are contemplating the big change since in my case I was blindsided and didn’t get a say in any of it.), and Let’s Talk About: Letting Go. I like this guy enough to want to listen to two more of his podcasts on shock and on forgiving yourself. I was going to give you my takeaway notes for each of these but this post has gotten really long and…
Writing this one has been tough. I have been softly weeping the whole time.
This fucking sucks.
I still have love for you all, except that one guy.
P.S. I did go back to the dating site and one of the guys I “hearted” had messaged me. The dating site wanted me to pay them money to see what he said. No thanks.
It takes a lot of courage to put yourself back out there, and it’s understandable that you’re not ready yet. You know you best. You’ll know when you’re ready to date again. And when you are ready, those eligible bachelors aren’t going to be ready for the ferocity, grit, and determination that is YOU.
Gah. Thanks Michele. Still so emotional that instantly made me cry. It was terrible writing this one.
all the love and hugs to you, my friend!
Right back at you!