Good Morning! Today is the day that I get my shit back together, again.When I started this week, I had no idea that my shit would fall apart.
It was a truth, and it was a truth that I could not carry any longer.
Let me get back to that and unveil how this all came to be this week.
I entered the week fully recharged and energetic to take on the world. I cleared a milestone on a large project early in the week. Tuesday evening I went to a support group meetup for people that are going or have gone through a divorce or separation. For me, it has been almost a year. I went thinking I would pay it forward for the people in the group that were fresh into things.
I felt confident that I had my shit together. I could help others.
During the meeting two things happened simultaneously.
First, my personal life intruded on the meeting as I received angry text messages from my ex-wife accusing me of violating her personal space, coming onto her property and working on her broken down van without her permission. This flabbergasted me as I did no such thing. It upset me as not only had I not done this, but I couldn’t conceive how she would even think that I would want to do such a thing. I am not a secretive, sneaky random mechanic that enjoys or even is capable of working on someone’s broken vehicle when they least suspect it.
Second, as a member of the group attempted to share their truth, a different member of the group interjected and tried to tell the first person to simply just let it go and be positive. I felt that his words broke the rules of the group that should allow anyone to share their feelings in turn and do so without someone else telling them their feelings were wrong. I am not a trained therapist and was not ready to stop him in time. Fortunately, another (new) member of the group, was a trained therapist and stepped in and did stop him. Damage was done regardless.
Later that evening it gave me a chance to talk with the lady who had been interrupted. We had talked before at past meetings, but we connected more this time. She was upset and I felt rightly so. I also could empathize with the gentleman who had interrupted her. His interruption was not a good thing to do, but he is human. Human’s make mistakes and I felt he had an opportunity to learn from his mistake.
Furthermore, his example taught me a whole lot about the power of a group, the power of employing active listening techniques and the power (negative power) of not employing active listening techniques. I needed that lesson. I think it may have been useful for every other member in the group to learn from the experience too.
During my subsequent talks with that same lady, I realized that we shared some commonalities in our separation and divorce experience. From my perspective, I realized that I had lost trust in my ex-wife and potentially that loss of trust was driving her to distrust me.
My loss of trust stemmed from my learning some things about her that I had not known during our marriage. She did things that hurt me during our marriage, but I did not learn about them until after we decided to divorce.
I am a recovering codependent. When I learned these things, I did not address them with her directly. I had many reasons for this. At the time, the most important one was a legal reason. We were trying to negotiate our separation agreement and my attorney advised me not to bring them up as that might antagonize our very broken ability to negotiate.
For codependent reasons, I also kept the knowledge to myself. I felt that if I told her what I knew, it would hurt her, embarrass her, give her more pain and neither of us needed more pain. I did not address it publicly either as I felt that if I did, it could have a negative impact on her career, which could then in turn harm our children. Anything that hurt the mother of my children, might hurt them and I did not want that.
So I bottled it up, and agonized over it internally for months. We finally finished our negotiations in October and by then, I had accepted our separation and divorce and decided it was not worth bringing up. What was the point?
I continued to carry the knowledge and the pain that it inflicted until this week.
Fast forward to today. My new friend from the meetup group that had been interrupted, shared a gif with me today. It details how a glass of water, when we hold it has a weight that is inconsequential. Yet if I hold that glass for an hour with an arm outstretched, it will feel heavy and our arm will tire. In my case, if I hold it for a week, a month, a year, the agony of the ache in my arm will be unbearable.
The lesson is that we do not need to hold things for long periods of time. We need to set them down and let them go.
I had held the truth and the pain that came with it, the pain of my ex-wife’s actions for almost a year. This week I let it go and set it down and did so by letting her know what I knew. The context and details of that communication are private, but I let it go.
Doing so, caused me to go through the grief cycle all over again. I felt anger, I felt depression, I cried at times and went through everything that I had gone through over the last 11 months within the space of a couple days. It wasn’t as severe, nor as stretched out, but I had to reprocess those feelings again in light of a new context. I apparently had to do this to heal or re-heal some wounds that had not set well the last time.
I went to sleep last night, emotionally and physically exhausted after learning of the death of Prince earlier in the day, which also triggered more grief. I paddleboarded up and down the South Fork River for the first time since last summer listening to Prince songs, which of course have lyrics that are very emotional. I raised and exorcised a lot of personal demons.
So today, Friday morning, I’m sitting here after going through that.
It rained a bit this morning. I awoke thinking, it will be a rainy day. I do not want to be stuck inside all day. I want to work outside. I want to find a beautiful place to recharge me and carry me through the day.
I decided to walk down to a park near the water, just a block away. I figured, I would find a place to write for a half hour until the rain came back.
I envisioned taking that experience of working in the park before the rain came, back and using it to fuel me through my day.
That is what I am doing right now. In the process, I wandered past a repaired fence post.
It does this with every moment, every second. I have found my office for the end of the world and it is beautiful. I hope you find yours today as well.
I am going to make an amazing day today and invite you to do the same!
We are gathered here today to get through this thing called life…
Let’s go crazy!!!!!