Monday, October 20, 2014

My Beacon Light


Thou dost not know that thy grand life
Has been my beacon light.
I aim to conquer in the strife,
That I may reach thy height.
I strive to live,
so that my feet May walk the fields most fair.


-Ella Wheeler Wilcox




Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Guilt

I thank everyone who chimes in here at RP.

I have butterflies in my stomach today from yesterday's experience. I struggle in ways I have not shared, mainly with self-blame and self-recrimination. I find I did this in my marriage too, when it broke up. Maybe it's a go-to for me (taking it all out on myself) and maybe it's just that I did not learn how to create a self that is full of grace, dignity and esteem.

I get down on myself for how I behaved after Bill and I broke it off. Letters, emails, visits, pleas. I resorted to seduction, self-imposed private investigation (aka snooping) and the like. There's more, stuff that's too embarrassing to share. I'd be happy to share if there was a way to stay anonymous, but there isn't and it could be that a future client or employer would read this blog. Or maybe I'd marry George Clooney after he divorces Amal and my past would be dug up. ;)

So while you all champion me and think that I was undeserving of his anger, I believe otherwise.

And yet, there is a part of me that does think had he been more of a kind-hearted man without demons of his own to deal with, he'd have treated me with more respect at the lumber yard. But he thinks I'm stalking him (which I am not); he thinks I am tracking him on his phone (which I am not, and certainly have not and could not). The fact that I pulled up next to him may likely support his paranoid thoughts (and maybe they are not so paranoid).

I did some things Bill thinks I did. I did not do many of the things Bill thinks I did. I did many other things that Bill does not know I did.

I remember Matt saying to me, They don't know all the details. They don't know what you did. They don't know my side of the story. If they did, they would not be supportive of you.

In one fell swoop he took away all your support and the support of my friends.

Maybe I am still working thru the crap Matt said to me. I still hold my head high with regard to everything I did in that marriage, and even after. I admitted my marital mistakes to him (no infidelity or lies) and worked hard at being someone who was more tolerant, kind, respectful, courteous and understanding as we separated and eventually divorced. That paid off for we are friends; we are very amicable and work as a team when co-parenting.

This more recent relationship I fear will never have that same outcome. I don't completely blame myself for Bill shutting me out. He had done some awful things: he was emotionally cheating on me, and then started a relationship immediately upon ending our own. He stopped talking to me for no reason and I was met with anger, rage and lies. He began acting like this on my 50th birthday after wishing me a beautiful birthday text. It turns out that was his farewell text and was the last, honest, sweet thing he said to me. He must have said some bad things about me to his family (altho I can't imagine what I had done to him at that point) because both his brother and sister-in-law (with whom I was close) told me I was not welcome at their home anymore.

I also can tell you that for as incredibly intelligent as Bill was, for as kind and loving and thoughtful as he was in our relationship, he also struggled with emotional intelligence and maturity. I was always shocked at how his first reaction to conflict was really poor. He'd shut me out during conflict, walking away, sometimes for days. A friend of mine said it was controlling behavior. Bill said it was because he would need time to cool off to see things logically with understanding and compassion. And he would. After we had conflict, he was understanding, kind, mature and often (not always) took ownership of his behavior. But I remember always being shocked with his initial response.

I feel I betrayed his trust in me just as he betrayed mine. The fate of our relationship seems inevitable now, even understandable. We were two people who did things that hurt the other. I reacted badly to his stonewalling, something that is extremely painful to experience. We both lost trust in one another. The sad thing is we never talked about it. I'm one to reason things out. As I wrote before, there are few areas in my life that have not been resolved. I have done all I can in my family and friendships to be kind, open, and respectful. I can look every single person in the eye and not feel bad about how I have handled things. When I am wrong I am often able to admit it. I don't need a pat on the back for that. I just don't want to live with conflict, resentment, hatred, anger or guilt.

With Bill, I feel deserving of his anger, altho it's difficult to accept that he hasn't forgiven me after all we have been thru. But maybe what I did is akin to someone cheating; there are some women who will not forgive an adulterer. She will kick him to the curb and never look back. Maybe what I did was just as bad. I don't know, and I fear I will never know. What I do know is he is not hurting as long as he has another women around to keep him distracted from the loss of us.

My heart still breaks. I want to share a photo of my shelves with him to prove to him that I was at the lumber yard for very good reason.

I am looking forward to a day where I will not be this kind of woman, where I will give myself a break and forgive myself for what I did. I can easily forgive him. I cannot forgive myself. And when he is angry, I wear it like a silk scarf — it's bright, noticeable and becomes a part of my look for the day.



Monday, October 13, 2014

Wrap Me in Your Arms and Take This Awfulness Away

I have two closets in my new bedroom; I was too excited about my new apartment and all its newness to take notice of the second closet until I moved in. The main closet is a bit larger, and then there is this small 26.5" wide closet with one rod to hang clothes on. I did a great job of getting rid of a large collection belongings, including dozens of clothes. I don't need the smaller closet to hang anything. Instead, I decided to have shelves installed for my lovely shoe collection.

Then I decided maybe I could do it myself. I remember how Bill built shelving for me. I also remember how he told me I could go to the local lumber yard and have the guys cut the wood for me. I wouldn't even need to do any cutting myself.

This morning after journaling, I made a to-do list. On it was to build my closet shelves. I measured and measured again. I counted my shoes, carefully making certain the shelving would accommodate my shrinking collection (about 15 winter shoes and boots).

I headed to the hardware/lumber yard with my list and measurements.

Bill is a carpenter. I made certain his truck was not in the lot before I pulled in. I pulled all the way to the back. As I pulled in next to the last car, there he was.

THERE HE WAS.

He was driving a brand new vehicle, a car, not a truck. A Subaru, something he had always wanted. I had no idea he had a new car. And I had pulled in right next to him. RIGHT NEXT TO HIM!

The blood drained from my face. He was walking to the back of his vehicle when I pulled in. He obviously saw me because my truck is recognizable. He shook his head. I could tell by the look on his face he was extremely disgusted. My heart stopped. A vat of shame poured over me and my body felt hot. I got out, did not look at him,  and walked the opporsite direction. I SHOULD HAVE LEFT AND IF I HAD TO DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN, FOR THE SAKE OF MY OWN DIGNITY AND TO PROVE TO HIM (AND MYSELF) THAT I WAS BETTER OFF NOT SEEING HIM, I WOULD HAVE BACKED OUT AND LEFT.

GOD I WISH I HAD DONE THAT.

Dumb, weak woman that I am (yes I'm THAT hard on myself) I kept on. I was greeted at the front of the store and I asked where I could order the lumber. I think a part of me wanted to see him. A part of me hoped he would talk to me, reconcile even. Not to get back together, but to let the past be behind us. I felt mixed emotions simultaneously. I was told to go to the back of the store by the glass doors; I could see him behind those doors. Panicky, heart racing, I moved my heavy legs in his direction. A part of me was relieved. I wanted to see him, talk to him. I am pathetic I think. Not proud one bit. I hate myself for being this way.

I went back there, and he did not acknowledge me. I kept my head down. We both waited in line, me next to him in the second line, just a step back. The lumber men were not especially kind, and my voice was weak. I ordered my wood shelving. I sounded meek and nervous, extremely insecure which is exactly how I felt. I thought he was still next to me, but then out of the corner of my eye I could see he had left. My heart sank again because the pathetic part of me wanted to talk to him.

I went back into the hardware part of the store and gathered the other items on my list.

I travelled back and forth from the lumber yard into the hardware store a few more times. I saw Bill was back in line, watching to see if I was still around. I took no pleasure in that. I knew he wanted me gone. This was his store, his stomping grounds. He had shopped here for years, and he had brought me into this store several times. He was the one who shared this resource with me. I should have known I would run into him here, and a part of me hoped I would. In fact, as I dressed for the trip to the lumber yard, I made certain I looked great just in case. There were two aspects of my preparation: wanting to see him, getting ready to see him, but not really believing I would run into him there.

And yet there we were together.

He was disgusted and angry. I could see it. And yet while I was wrapped in emotion, trying to maintain a sense of composure, he was frivolously chatting it up with the boys. He sounded like nothing in the world bothered him, he was just fine. Meanwhile my world was torn up in an instant, and even just that morning and the night before I had cried over him.

Finally at one point we crossed paths, alone outside. There was no one else around.

"I had no idea you were here Bill."

He continued to look down, nodded and loaded something into his new vehicle. I continued on, away from him.

I could barely stand, barely talk to the lumber and hardware men, my eyes well-up with tears. I fought hard to keep them contained. I had a few more things to do while I waited for my shelving, waited for the clerk to fix my drill, waited for someone to find me the sander I wanted. I needed glue, screws, sandpaper.

Finally I checked out and could see he had left.

In my car I texted my therapist. She was too busy to talk but she texted me many helpful words.

I sobbed in my car.

I pulled out of the parking lot and onto the street where no one was. I pulled over and cried hysterically, my head as far down as it would go. I could not get the pain to go away. Overwhelmed with emotion, I cried buckets of pain, buckets of his abusive anger, buckets of his rage. I didn't know if I would be able to stop. I was hysterical. It was 20 minutes before I could drive again. I was desperate. Who can I call? I needed immediate relief. How could I get relief? My sobs ached with a fierceness unlike any before. Wailing, I prayed to find some comfort. I prayed for Bill to drive by and comfort me. I prayed for him to stop being so angry at me. I prayed for God to stop this hurt I felt. I prayed to make it thru this moment.

I took it all on. I took on his anger, rage, his hatred for me. I took on his disgust. I beat myself up. I tried to think of my son and I hurt even more. I considered driving to my son's school just to hold him. I cannot ask Oliver for comfort. I prayed, begged, pleaded with God to take this away from me.

My therapist said to feel the pain and know it will pass. I was feeling it, intensely. It took a long while, but it passed enough for me to drive.

Heading home, I focused on the shelving. Doing something will make me feel better.

Inside I texted a few friends. I called Christi, the woman who knows all the details about this break up, all the stupid things I did (things I never admitted on this blog) and all the hurt and hysteria I experienced over this relationship ending. I could barely put two words together.

After talking with her, I cried more and knew that if I could just start on this project I would feel better. I heard Bill's critical eye about my carpentry skills (he was not critical of me, but of other people's work). I was able to get two shelves up. My measurements were accurate. The shelves are looking good so far. I need to run and get a better leveler. Somehow during the move mine went missing.

So here I sit. It just started down-pouring. I need to run out and get this tool, but this time I'll try a different store. Christi, my dear friend, suggested I don't go to the lumber yard I saw Bill at. And she said I prolly needed a plan if I were to run into him again. I most likely need to stop what I'm doing, turn around and leave. And def don't go to any store where I might run into him again. Not just because he will be angry, but because it sends me reeling.

Oh friends, what the eff is wrong with me? Why am I the last one to see he doesn't love me, maybe never did love me? Why am I still hanging on? How sick can I be? Please don't beat me up in the comments section for I am doing that enough to myself. I am just horribly hurt and keep thinking he will miss me, love me, forgive me. I need to forgive myself, I need to find the self-love, the self-esteem to say Fuck You to him. I just haven't found it yet; I want it. I want it badly but I have no flipping clue why I don't have it.

I am not a door mat in any other area of my life. No one and nothing can push me down. When it comes to Bill, I'm weak and pathetic. God help me.


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