There’s goosebumps and then there’s goosebump mountains. The latter is what appeared all over me after posting last night. A post that you can’t see right now. I removed it at the request of a kitten. It was about a comment written to her by the man who betrayed her. She emailed me within moments of the post going live. Their relationship has improved significantly over the last few months and she didn’t want the publishing of his comment to alter that progress. He had commented many moons ago, but it just didn’t seem right to post it then.
So last evening, as I dozed at the keyboard, I felt it was the right time. I wrote. Found a picture. Checked for typos. Reread my words to make sure I said what I intended to say. Then I clicked publish. When I received the kitten’s email I went to remove the post and discovered something remarkable.
Even though his comment was in the body of my post when I published it, it had vanished. Somehow. The rest of the post was intact. His words, gone. Unbelievable. I feel like I’m wrapped up in the arms of some being, so utterly protected. And one who desires to protect those around me, too. I am so grateful.
I do need to publish the intro though, because it is hilarious. Thanks to the tall dude. So here it is:
I picture some of you with sugar plums spilling out of your grinning mouths. Others wearing footie PJs and popping dark chocolate. And over there, where the lights twinkle, I see the holiday triathlete set – pre-Christmas bashes, Christmas Day done right, and gearing up for New Year’s Eve. Your endurance is respectable. Admired, even. You are the kids who can hit the gym for a week and look smokin hot regardless of the sugar cookies, champagne and the Manchego cheese drizzled with black truffle honey (Oh, wait, that last one’s mine.) that you put back like Lohan on a bender since the holiday season began.
I love you for that.
Tonight I am a puddle. The tall dude spent the overnight at the hospital. What looked like appendicitis turned out to be (I SO love bathroom humor) a yacht sized poo crammed into a too small canal. At about 11:30 this morning he announced the impending birth.
I’m going to drop the kids off at the pool.
That’s no kid, dude. That’s Sasquatch.
5 minutes later…
You’re right, Mommy! It is Sasquatch! And he’s shaved!
I attempted a comeback but stopped short. Those three sentences need to stand alone. Instead, I stood over the toilet bowl marveling at the dude’s creation as I began The Plunge – a Herculean task.
A 50 year old man would have been the more likely manufacturer of that large shipment.
As I said, I am a puddle. Feeling more like watching my feelings for a while to see what they have to say than writing it out just yet. I’m too cloudy. But I have this for you…
Other than one comment from The Genius that I have not posted (not to say I won’t some day), this is the only comment that has never seen the light at HGM. When I first received it, I was too overwhelmed to craft a reply. Then I felt it was simply too personal to post. I had so much to say, but felt I ought not be in the middle. And that he may have regretted writing it. So, there it sat. For months. Never deleted, while all others were posted, save one.
Over the past week I’ve been pondering this comment. My curiosity about the genesis of affairs and the collateral damage once they are discovered has been fed by owl sightings and foggy nights of late. This comment drifted in and out of my core while I gazed up at the moon and the beam of Jupiter, sitting just off a silvery white swirl of paint floating in a gray and black clouded sky. Last night, before our trip the ER, I felt the time was right to publish his words, and do so in the body of a new post.
Perfect timing. My eyes are in fact shut. I have no idea what I’m typing.
Tomorrow I will be all Big Bad VooDoo Daddy. So needed. Then, I’m begging you to come walk through the Christmas Just Passed with me. I have goosebumps just thinking about it.
Merry, Happy, Holy, Holly. You look so slammin with that bow on. Best present ever.
*And there you have it. Magic at work. The balance of the post was his comment. Gone. HGM is a magical place. Taking my laptop with me on my adventure. These next few days are going to be brimming with messages and signs. The first being this, that I received this morning from The Universe: You don’t have to understand all that happens, figure out every twist in the plot, or even know why the winds sometimes blow as they do, Cleo, to grasp that I do, I have, and that ultimately each and every story has a fairytale ending.
Thank you, Universe. Thank you, kittens. LY
One word for the Tall Dude: Probiotics. Still reading and looking forward to 2013.
And less chocolate! Arms wide open ready to hug the new year. So grateful to have you here.
Wow. First, I’m so glad Tall Dude is feeling better – poor little man.
I’m glad that worked out the way it was supposed to as far as that post. Sometimes not to say something is incredibly powerful. Today was sort of the opposite for me. I have to share because I’m a total puddle myself. Today I signed my divorce papers. We sat in a room with my lawyer and signed them, so we could file together and make the wait time for the actual divorce shorter. I wore my power red pants, made sure I looked damn good. Walked in there with a letter to my husband telling him everything I felt and told my lawyer to hand it to him with all his copies of the signed documents before we left (sealed in an envelope – only for his eyes).
With every notarized page I had to sign, I cried. Every time. I was a total mess. I know it’s the right thing – I don’t deserve a gutless cheater – but I was / am heartbroken. I still love him. At one point I felt him look at me and he had tears in his eyes. SERIOUSLY? Really? For what? It angered me – he has no right to be sad. So when we were done signing, we were to wait in the waiting room until copies were made. I bee-lined to the bathroom to contain myself, then walked out and told my lawyer I’d get my papers later. I could NOT be there anymore.
He got the letter apparently because I got a text from him that said (I’ll share – hell why not): “Got ur last word… I hurt so much u have no idea. A lot of things cud of been different. Time will tell a lot.”
I’m not sure WTF that all meant. He hurts? Really? Different? I tried my ass off for almost two years while you played headgames, and wait, slept with me AND her. Then did nothing to change anything. The hurt he inflicted ladies, I can’t even begin to explain.
My response to his text? Nothing. My universe (not my temper which taunts me by the minute), tells me to stay silent. And I will. Thank you for letting me vent.
By the way, as I drove home, he drove by with his whore as they left for a weekend away together…. yeah, “he hurts so much.”
Silence. The gift that keeps on giving. You made the perfect choice. Especially when I read this:
“…u have no idea.”
Yes, you do. Actually, he’s the one that has no idea. You both are experiencing the pain and anguish of divorce, but only you are experiencing what it feels like to be betrayed.
You have no idea and You don’t understand…two phrases tossed around as if the words have no meaning. They do. And they also cast light on those who use them.
You do not deserve to share your heart with a cheater. Give that love to you so you can heal, tame your temper, let go. This is your best opportunity yet to shine. Kittens, grab your shades. H is ready to flip the switch!
Thank you for sharing your words with us. Caring for each other is one of the best ways to heal. I’m grateful you have given us that opportunity. I trust others will chime in.
Thanks so much Cleo,
There are so many of us who appreciate you and this forum in general. I am definitely one of those kittens!! Just getting feedback helps to validate that I did the right thing. Can’t tell you how many texts I wanted to write to tell him off, but honestly, my letter to him said everything I wanted to say. So silence it is.
I feel like I want to comment on Patty’s situation…. Patty, I 1,000 percent agree with Cleo. You’re learning to adjust your sails. While the sting of rejection completely sucks, there are really good things here. 1) He was HONEST (there’s a concept!). 2).you know you can focus on someone other than your husband, and that’s growth, girl! Now it seems the universe wants you to focus on you. While you seemed to know that it wasn’t right either, when we’re raw, it makes it tougher, which is totally appreciated by this kitten. It’s a new learning process for so many of us! I wish you well and congratulate you on your steps moving forward.
And PS: Cleo, I loved one of your comments so much that I had to post it on Pinterest (with due credit of course):http://pinterest.com/pin/110619734569057705/
Thank you so much for taking the time to support P. And for posting my words on Pinterest – a site I have yet to master. I’ve mentioned this before, but it begs repeating. It is SO powerful for me to read the words that resonate with all of you the most. It’s as if you distill out that which is most important for me to grasp, to make part of my being. It’s the BEST gift you give me. It’s essential that I revisit my words and your comments to make real progress on what often feels like a very complex journey of self-discovery and healing.
Happy New Year, H. Your presence here is priceless. You are magic. And I am grateful to know you. Thank you.
I hope you have someone who can be a stand in for your “temper” texts. It can be quite therapeutic to share the idiot’s texts and then bounce off what you COULD reply, but don’t. I am going through my own journey of my husband’s betrayal, but I have also, for the last 3 years, been witness to my sister’s ragged journey through her husband’s betrayal. Her divorce could be written up in Sociopaths Anonymous. Ex is wacked and in turn wacking out the kids. Sad. But, through all the pain, we have moments of belly laughter. Take last night… Sister just picked up her kids for her half of Christmas break and the ex (or the crazy girlfriend) texted her “where are our kids?” For the record, in the last day and a half, her kids have been hanging out with their cousins, going to the local trampoline park, playing football (real, outdoorsy, get some exercise type of football not just the video game football they play at their father’s house). Anyway, I gave my sister the advice “do not text back”. However, the next text provoked her to call the ex. The text read “worst mother ever”… Oohh them’s fightin’ words! Wow. Pretty shocking. She picked up the phone and, of course the ex didn’t answer, so she left a voicemail, went something like this: Stop harassing me, how dare you… For your info kids did this & this, with cousins as I am grocery shopping to prepare a home cooked Christmas dinner for our celebration tomorrow. She added a little “flavor” and emphasized the home cooked part… And threw in “unlike your effing girlfriend”… My sister is not a curser, but I’ve found through my own journey of betrayal that the eff word has a nice ring and just fits at times. Anyway, running joke that the kids eat burgers or frozen chicken nuggets at the ex and his gf’s house. The kids tell all. Apparently the comment that the gf doesn’t cook, hit a nerve. On and on, a barrage of one sided texting went, about how the gf cooked a fab Christmas dinner (kids came home and told my sister of the fab Christmas dinner cooked by grandma… maybe that’s the gf’s nickname?!?! She IS seven years older than my ex bro in law). Also texts came about how the gf is accomplished with a BS (too easy) in nursing, beautiful, smart, blah blah blah. Sister doesn’t reply, just forwards texts to me and we laugh hysterically at their neurosis. I always tell her it’s impossible to argue with crazy, so don’t. But, I send her funny replies to his texts…for her eyes only. Not for her to send, but to laugh in the face of something that could really get her down. She’s always tempted to send, because they REALLY are smart ass funny. But she doesn’t. It’s a coping mechanism that truly diffuses the anger and puts a smile on her face. I hope you have a sister… or a sister from a different mista… with whom you can trade your tears of pain for tears of laughter. Just so you know… After the last ex text about the gf’s honor roll of resume accomplishments, I told my sister to text “u forgot to add proud AARP card carrier”… We both rolled on the floor with that one. Nothing against AARP members, I’m going to be getting my application in the mail in a few years and I embrace it. The gf just turned 50 and is having a hard time with it… Maybe because her boy toy is younger. Anyway, H, I wish you all the best in 2013. I am so grateful to Cleo and her honest, thought provoking, bravery inspiring blog. Buh-bye 2012, you sucked!
Thank you for taking the time to comment. And for your kind words.
2012 was a challenging year for many of us, but don’t you sense it provided us with an opportunity to shine? I can see your glow all the way from here.
May 2013 be full of adventures, encounters, signs and visions, all created out of the love you have for yourself. I’m so grateful to have you here and for all your loving support as I skid and skip on my journey.
S, Thank you so much for a GREAT idea. I have lots of people I can share my ridiculous response texts with, and should/will totally do that. Your interaction with your sister is – while situationally awful – pretty damn funny. Your sister’s ex sounds like he has the mentality of an old shoe and I’m sorry for that. I’m still in favor of karma and keeping our heads high. A friend told me a year ago, “head held high, nose clean.” I think of it often. We manage our situations with as much grace as we can muster. Cleo made a good point of us focusing on ourselves, and not seeking vengeance on the people who cheated. This is something I battle with daily but am overcoming it.
Be the change you want to see. My daily mantra. And venting to a few select BFFs won’t hurt that!
Thanks again and HELLO 2013. Italians believe 13 is a good luck year and being Italian, I’m psyched for the brave new world. xoxo
Dearest Cleo. I got dumped tonight. No, not by my husband – that happened a year ago. But by a lovely man who was gentle and respectful, a gentleman, a man I met 6 weeks ago who wasn’t perfect for me, nor was I perfect for him. But he was a bridge I needed and wanted to cross and I couldn’t have chosen a better person to do it with. But HE dumped ME! He just didn’t feel the spark he’d hoped to feel and apologized for things perhaps moving faster than they should have. I stopped him there. I had a choice in this and it was all good. But wait, what? So I’d love to hear how it was right and important and needed to happen this way. Because I kinda figured I’d be the one telling him ‘we were right for right now but…’. I think my biggest fear is that I’ll go back to focusing on my husband because for 6 weeks, I was focusing on someone else. And it was so freeing.
Nobody gets their PhD in six weeks, but they can conduct an experiment or two. I imagine you learned quite a lot about yourself in that time. Much to ponder. It moved at just the right speed. For just what it was. An encounter that is helping you to adjust your sails, get to know yourself, experience a conclusion in a healthy way – kudos to him for communicating!!!!
Replace the urge to pine with the urge to explore yourself, watch yourself go through these next few weeks. Be conscious of how you choose to spend your time and what you choose to ponder. Guide your thoughts to you, she really will appreciate it.
If you had not these six weeks, how would you know it when the right partner does appear? So, knowing that there will be lots of teachers to come your way for the sole purpose of showing you what is not the right fit, why not enjoy them? You do an excellent job of picking good teachers. A gentleman has played a role for you. I bet their were many divine moments. All there to help you realize what you need.
And if you must pine, pine for the man that is way up ahead. Not the one you left behind.
Thank you for being here, P. You help to keep me on track. Big time.
Cleo – have you ever considered doing THIS for a living? By that I mean get yourself syndicated, stick to advice just on infidelity and betrayal, still have the kittens weigh in and take all the time you’re using to help others and make it a career. Kind of a specialized Carolyn Hax (Washington Post). Your responses are always so positive and healing. YOU ARE GOOD AT THIS.
It might be too exhausting, I don’t know. All I DO know is you’ve helped so many already. I can see this growing into something you were truly meant to do.
There are hundreds if not thousands of us out here who would go to bat for you to make it happen. Say the word Cleo!
THIS is what I will do for a living. Somehow. I love to write. I love to write about human emotions and experiences. And I love connecting with people who are dealing with betrayal and divorce. The blog is so crucial to my journey, I’ve relished every moment I have here with all of you, and I will continue to write here. But my most favorite part is the dialogue we engage in after a post is up. That ROCKS. Which is why I reply to every comment. (Not always as timely as I would like!) This dialogue is where the magic happens. I learn so much from all of you and experience such joy in our encounters.
I am grateful, blessed, and so appreciative of your kind words. Thank you.
Love yourself is such a hard thing to do after his affair. My boy genius had an affair and left 4 months after I gave birth to my darling daughter. I feel so angry at times and its now almost a year since he left and I cannot let it go and love myself. How do you do it ?
Thanks Cleo- your blog is helping me.
Apologies for the delay in posting this comment. I’m going to fully answer your question in tonight’s New Year’s Eve blog post. It’s a perfect way to begin the new year. Thank you for reaching out to me. I’m grateful you are here, and I can sense that there are a myriad of reasons for you to let go and love yourself, so let’s make that happen. I know without any doubt that you can do it.
Do you even want to be like the Red Bull guy who jumped out of a balloon/spacecraft from 128,000 ft. with a fancy parachute? How far do you need to go?
When I was a younger man, I was a stage rigger and rock climber, and had more than my fair share of life-endangering incidents on summits. I don’t go there anymore, now my most potent challenges are inside my noggin’.
You do have to do the physical before you can get to the mental, IMHO. So you’ll perhaps need to do McKinley…but skip Rainier, it’s dicier and who knows when that nasty volcano will blow (-;
The planet has many unpleasant surprises when you choose to walk along the edge of the wild. Please be careful:http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/2-swimmers-pulled-from-bay-are-dead-4153263.php
I speak as someone who has lived on that edge my whole life. All I’m sayin’ is that we want you around a while.
So, once you are done with the physical, here is just one venue for finding out how to summit the mental:
Ten Principles of Burning Man
Burning Man Founder Larry Harvey wrote the Ten Principles in 2004 as guidelines for the newly-formed Regionals Network. They were crafted not as a dictate of how people should be and act, but as a reflection of the community’s ethos and culture as it had organically developed since the event’s inception.
Anyone may be a part of Burning Man. We welcome and respect the stranger. No prerequisites exist for participation in our community.
Burning Man is devoted to acts of gift giving. The value of a gift is unconditional. Gifting does not contemplate a return or an exchange for something of equal value.
In order to preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience.
Burning Man encourages the individual to discover, exercise and rely on his or her inner resources.
Radical self-expression arises from the unique gifts of the individual. No one other than the individual or a collaborating group can determine its content. It is offered as a gift to others. In this spirit, the giver should respect the rights and liberties of the recipient.
Our community values creative cooperation and collaboration. We strive to produce, promote and protect social networks, public spaces, works of art, and methods of communication that support such interaction.
We value civil society. Community members who organize events should assume responsibility for public welfare and endeavor to communicate civic responsibilities to participants. They must also assume responsibility for conducting events in accordance with local, state and federal laws.
Leaving No Trace
Our community respects the environment. We are committed to leaving no physical trace of our activities wherever we gather. We clean up after ourselves and endeavor, whenever possible, to leave such places in a better state than when we found them.
Our community is committed to a radically participatory ethic. We believe that transformative change, whether in the individual or in society, can occur only through the medium of deeply personal participation. We achieve being through doing. Everyone is invited to work. Everyone is invited to play. We make the world real through actions that open the heart.
Immediate experience is, in many ways, the most important touchstone of value in our culture. We seek to overcome barriers that stand between us and a recognition of our inner selves, the reality of those around us, participation in society, and contact with a natural world exceeding human powers. No idea can substitute for this experience.
Cleo, you can take to the air in many different ways. I very much look forward to following your elevated journey on this blog.
Happy New Year! Thank you for all your support and belly laughs this past year. So grateful to have you here, M.
Five days ago I would have said that jumping out of or off of anything is not my kind of risk. But then I watched a glider (I don’t know the right terminology – he was sitting in a swing and had wings. Totally cool.) soar over Stinson Beach and up the lower rolling hills of Mt. Tam, then circling back toward the wide Pacific, shimmering in a downpour of sunlight. I wanted to reach up and rip him out of there and get in that swing.
Add that to my list of I Need to Do That At Least Onceexperiences.
But, to mountaineering. M, I can’t explain it. I have to do it, even though it’s dangerous. While taking nothing for granted, I feel like Nature will take care of me. Of course, I will also be using the best guides. I can guarantee you that my ego will not climb a mountain. If it doesn’t feel right or look right, I’m happy to walk away. Life is more important than a single event.
My every cell vibrates with joy just thinking about being able to climb those two mountains. And then some. (This, by the way, I do not understand. I flee snow and cold winds.) And I will be in the best shape of my life or I won’t do it. So it’s what I do today that will create those opportunities for me in the future. Burning Man would be the perfect place to celebrate a summit of either Rainier or McKinley!
Yes, one day this pale skinned ginger Swede will avoid the sun at Burning Man, and love every second of it.
The key word is CHOOSE. Choose yourself, your life, your friends, your experiences, your feelings. Sometimes you have to fight for it. (All those nasty little voices telling you all the reasons why you can’t, shouldn’t, don’t deserve.) You must face them head on and say, “I choose different. I choose better, I choose me and what I need this time.”
When I was in the “picking myself up from the floor” phase I cut out pictures and sayings and put them on the door to remind myself visually what I needed to remember. It really helped on the days when my mind went reeling off in the wrong direction. The best news is that as you face the voices and begin to choose, it gets easier and easier. The more you do it, the better you are at it. One choice we all must learn to make is to choose to say no. I met a brilliant woman last summer. Within minutes I recognized her talents and I asked her outright if she would be involved in something I was working on. She told me she loved the idea but that even though she had the ability and desire to do what I asked of her, she did not have the capacity to help at the time. It was the best “no” I have every heard. And I was empowered by her telling me no. It made me admire her even more! It is interesting to me that there are so many sailing metaphors used to describe creating your own life. When the weather changes and the seas get rough, you have to step up and sail the boat. You stand in the blowing wind and rain with your hand on the wheel and trim the sails to keep you and your boat safe. Of course you are scared but nobody is going to come and do it for you and you can’t just lay down and hope for the best.
Well said! Face the voices and begin to make choices. Those ‘nasty little voices’ are feisty, no? Now I view them as loveable coaches, challenging me to run faster, leap farther, turn doubt inside out.
This journey is about doing it for myself – loving myself, supporting myself, making myself happy. I wonder if that’s the goal for all of us who experience such similar events? Is that the thread that joins us?
Your story about the woman who said No is potent. We need to respect ourselves by creating boundaries, and we need to stop the cycle of over-committing so that wecan berate ourselves for failing to deliver. We deserve to be celebrated. Each choice we make should be one which we can celebrate.
Thank you, D, for taking the time to comment and for being here.
Thank you Cleo. I did learn a lot in 6 short weeks. Mostly how to fine tune. And thank you Hazel, for commenting on my 6 week guy and how he was honest. Yes he was, and he was so many other things along the way. I don’t take that lightly and he’ll be remembered for that. And thank you for your congratulations – it never hurts to hear and be reminded of how far one has come. And if I may… Know this – the world fell on your head and you are wriggling to get out from under it. There will be more things you might want to say to your husband, but really, you’ve already said them. And he’s already heard them. Sure, you may find different ways of saying them, but they really would be the same old words. So it’s ok to stop now.
Your timing is better than Big Ben’s! I don’t need to express more than that for you kittens to get it. I stop NOW! Look! This is me stopping! Not gonna engage. No way!
Thank you, P. Massive nudge accepted and appreciated.
Perfect post. I thought the same thing about that Notes from the Universe post too that day. Divine timing. All is well in our worlds! Happy New Year Cleo!
Happy New Year, M! Those Notes from the Universe – remarkable! Last night after posting (2:30AM!) I received the most perfect one. I’ll be writing about it next. You rock, M. You know that, right?