For those of you who have read my blogs over the past year you would be familiar with all the various challenges and stages I have walked through or rather at times moved at snail’s pace to get to the next day. You yourself may connect with my blogs as perhaps you have or are experiencing truly tough life circumstances, which is one of the reasons I decided to start writing in the first place. To not only help myself to process life with all its challenges but to use my pain and growth for good purposes. If it helps someone it is all worth the effort. In no way do I profess to have all the right answers and we each go through different situations.
What works for me may not work for you!
It’s not so much that I write to give the answers, I write to share my journey with life so others don’t feel alone. I write to breathe hope. To shed light. To let individuals, know that if I can get through it, they can too!
Today I am writing about forgiveness. ♥
This past week has been another one of those very trying and difficult times. Not only have I been battling some sort of virus in my body which has put me out of work now for four days, last weekend I had to meet with my ex-husband for the first time in over one year.
The shear thought initially had me very vulnerable and sensitive. The week prior to seeing him I was experiencing all sorts of emotions. It didn’t seem to make sense. Why was I experiencing so much emotion when I had thought it was already dealt with?
Perhaps it was the unknown.
How was I going to react seeing him especially after everything that has happened?
Was I going to react angry? Sad?
The reality is I was with this person for 27 years and had five children.
It was a special family occasion that put me in the situation of having to see him again.
No amount of psyching myself up was going to help me.
Prior to seeing him as I mentioned I was very sensitive. I went through a series of thoughts, emotions, worries and even regrets.
The moment arrived in which I was in the same room as him. It was perhaps one of the most surreal and awkward times of my life. It was as though a dead person came back to life and they were now in the same room as me.
As I was in what you can call my own ‘safety bubble’ at the time I was unable to notice my young son’s reaction to seeing his own dad after having had no contact with him for the whole time. Prior to the day I had encouraged my young son in coming along as he too was apprehensive. It was not my young sons fault that he hadn’t had contact with his dad nor was it mine. I explained to him that another year on and it will be virtually impossible for him to meet up with his dad. Not the ideal situation by any means.
Amongst family in the same room I stood there with my ex-husband breathing the same air as me. At first, I found it difficult to look his way. Slowly I got braver and could take short glimpses of the man I was married too. Each glimpse was confronting. Each glimpse brought back pain and hurt. Each glimpse touched on sad places in my heart. Each glimpse reminded me that our marriage was over.
Then the time came for our first conversation face to face.
It was during our conversation that the reality of our marriage being over was hitting me. We were such separate people now. Any connection we may have had was completely broken. We were like old friends from times past who were having a conversation and catching up on each other’s past year.
There was no topic off limits. We talked about everything.
While in the back of my mind I remembered everything that he had put me through I was able to come to a place in which I told him that ‘I can forgive him’. I choose to forgive him. In the next sentence, I had to let him know that while I forgive him I won’t be able to forget. That as a person I have grown so much and recognised what I want and what I don’t want and what is healthy and what is not.
This sequence of events has helped me heal some more.
Despite the harsh reality of a broken family something has shifted in that I can talk to him without animosity or resentment. I can talk confidently. For the sake of all our children and especially the youngest there is now room for Dad to be in their life if he chooses to be.
This past week I have learnt to FORGIVE.
To GRIEVE again.
To ACCEPT what is.
The signs I chose to ignore:
• Silent Treatment: Silent treatment is just as the definition describes. When someone you are in a relationship with becomes silent rather than discuss important issues turning cold and withdrawing leaving you feeling as though you are invisible and unimportant. At times walking past you as you sit there on the lounge at home ignoring your presence (that’s when you know things are quite bad). It is often talked about that men go into their man caves or there nothing box inside their head however when a man ignores you and gives you the silent treatment when you are hurting is hurting you! There is no excuse for a real man to ignore you when you’re hurting. Any real man that truly cares about you will care when you are hurting. Even when they don’t have all the answers they will support you emotionally.
• Not taking responsibility: When your partner makes decisions usually big ones (particularly financial) and it goes sour! They suddenly disappear leaving you with the after effects. Debt collectors knocking on the door and calling you on the phone. A real man takes responsibility and doesn’t leave their partner to deal with the after effects and vanish. Real men face their wrong doings and admit fault. Real men make amends. Life doesn’t always go to plan and sometimes things go wrong however when a partner ditches you with all the consequences and stress something isn’t right? When you confront them with their actions they get defensive and angry. You walk away feeling like a failure, feeling as though you are not strong enough to deal with life’s problems…. You begin to make excuses on their behalf. You begin to lie to the debt collectors and then you get used to doing so…. You start lying to yourself….
• Boasting: The topic of conversation is usually about how good they are at pulling off that deal. They can get so caught up in conversation about themselves that they don’t even realise what they are saying. It starts getting uncomfortable when your around other people and your partner begins to boast. It’s about them. About how great they are. Every sentence begins with them and ends with them. They talk themselves UP to such a point everyone listening on begins to feel uncomfortable. You hear what is said and recognise all the exaggerated facts. All the untruths. You stand there smiling while on the inside you feel embarrassed and mumble underneath your breath ‘that wasn’t what happened, his lying’. Why the lies?
• Embarrassing you: Around others they will say revealing things about you. Without warning conversations have you feeling embarrassed. Nothing is safe in their knowledge of you. They reveal personal information to others you thought was only between the two of you. You start to wonder what your friends are thinking…eventually you stop making friends, close ones. You may know a lot of people however it’s not safe to get too close as eventually it will only end up in embarrassment. Or worse they may say something to your friends and they don’t want much to do with you anymore. You begin to get isolated from friends and family. As you confront them about their behaviours they convince you that everyone else has the issues and not them. They can be so convincing that you may even start believing that your friends and family are unsafe to talk to. The idea of going anywhere with this person can be extremely stressful as you never know what they are going to do or say!!!! You have no assurance that they will look out for your best interest or the best interests of others. They just say whatever comes to mind. No prior thought, no consideration of other’s feelings. In life, there is always room for humour yet there is a big difference between genuine humour and hurtful remarks.
• Never apologising: We all make mistakes. Sometimes we say things in ways that come out wrong. We may be having a bad day and it doesn’t come out right. Most people know when they need to apologise. Especially in a relationship it’s not difficult to know when we have hurt the other person in our lives. What happens when it is always you that apologises? I would rather be someone that can apologise. A person who leaves you to do all the apologising is someone who struggles to see their part in the story. If a partner always leaves you feeling as though every problem that arises within the relationship is all your fault I would question how long that relationship will last? You can only go so long apologising before you begin to grow resentful. It is about having a partnership. A partnership involving only one side apologising is not balanced.
When in a relationship or partnership with someone and these issues are involved you begin to lose RESPECT and TRUST … You begin to lose yourself in the process and eventually the cracks will cause a complete break, it’s inevitable. … If it isn’t the relationship that breaks in the beginning its your personality and your own worth and value.