Some days I wonder what it would be like if we could just grunt to each other as our ancestors did before language was constructed, and live that primal kind of life. Our level of communication would be simplified by necessity. With only grunts to get our points across, and the need to hunt, gather and fend off beasts off prey, our conversations would be short, succinct, direct. Type A. Our goals in human interaction would be equally as straightforward. They would center around food, survival, pecking order and mating. As in feed me, save me, me first and let’s do it. No need to get flowery about it.
A time machine might be the only way to find out how our ancestors, those that lived in caves and in trees, managed their emotions and expressed their feelings. Club-swinging can only do so much.
They had no idea what was over the hill, beyond the valley. No newspaper to tell them of the latest ticked off predator headed their way. Weather was a beast to be reckoned with, literally anger from some unseen being, not a storm system to wait out with cocoa and a warm fire. There were no cocktail hours or holiday parties, but instead constant pressure to survive. They had s…tuff to do. Rattling on about hurt feelings, insecurity and anger never made it onto the to do list scratched on a nearby rock.
I imagine cavemen rarely got pissed off at the little stuff. They may not cuddle on cue or tell funny stories while stroking their lover’s hair, but they probably would be fairly predictable in nature because life was so elemental then, albeit dangerous, laborious and stacked to the cave ceiling with unknowns. Keep disease at bay, find food, procreate, and if the cave could be swept clean, awesome! I doubt they would gather ’round the fire (those fortunate enough to live after fire had been discovered) and grunt about all the pressure they’re under to make ends meet, and how their girls just don’t do it for them anymore, or how they’re so bummed they missed out on fight night because the kid had the flu. And how it all makes them feel.
Surely, they were emotional beings, experiencing joy and fear, love and anger, just as we do. But they didn’t have to talk through it. Some days I’d rather have my hair pulled while dental flossing a saber-toothed cat than converse with The Genius about the emotional fallout of his infidelity and our divorce. The other days? I’d rather eat my own tongue. On rye. So I get all gluten-itchy, while washing it down with a wheat beer.
Goodness, I don’t even want to discuss the weather with The Genius.
Why? Because there’s nothing to say. I rode the Mastodon all the way to forgiveness. Now, it’s not about him anymore. It’s about me learning how to be in this wide world, playing a whole new sport with no rookie season to shelter me. But he’s still sticking around, reading every post, my twitter feed, your comments. I shrug. What can I do? Can’t stop him. So I get a text every now and then, like today, telling me how angry I am.
Where did he find the time to get his PhD? (Juvenile humor alert – sorry, Mom – PenishappyDance – it’s a new degree. Takes four years to get it, but you can lie your way through the penis, I mean thesis.)
Every time I read about how angry I am, I do two things: say to myself, You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. (Thank you, Inigo Montoya of The Princess Bride) and then I look deep inside to see if I am still angry.
No. I’m not.
I was. And there’s always the potential for future anger, but as far as anger because of his betrayal and our divorce, there is none. It was left on mountains and in the bay, on my pillow, and on the shoulders of friends. It was written out here at HGM and gracefully whisked away by all of you. It spilled out during downward dogs and shook out during planks. It was laughed out, cried out, bitched out, and probably farted out at some point after a bean-heavy meal or at 13,000 feet on Mt. Whitney. If anger could fuel cars, I had enough gas for a fleet – especially on Whitney!
After several months of learning how to coax the anger out, dance with it, let it vent, have an imaginary conversation or 70 where I translate its message and deliver it with barb after barb, it got tired. Exhausted. It had been worked over so much that it was becoming translucent, no longer a dark, menacing cloud. Then gratitude threw it a retirement party; hugs all around, thanks for the memories and good night, Gracie. I couldn’t be angry anymore. I forgave him for the lies and his affair. As far as our relationship was concerned, I would never choose to be with someone who deceives. I feel relief, not anger.
I’m grateful that I had the presence of heart to know that anger would create major problems for me and the dudes. I credit my Mom with that nugget of wisdom. My health would be compromised, and their happy childhood would be shredded beyond recognition if I walked around pissed off at their Dad. I don’t stand on a stage and beg for a tiara often, but when it comes to processing my anger, I deserve one, as does anyone who bravely pursues an anger-free life. It’s grueling work, but so crucial. Processing my anger was one of my top five priorities. I knew it had to be done, or I would later pay an inflated and painful price for ignoring it.
So why does he insist on keeping me there?
Maybe he’s just confusing anger with aversion.
This may shock you, so steady yourself: I don’t like being around The Genius at all. I try to be even-keeled but there are many moments when he just irks me. He doesn’t send me off the deep end, ruin my day, make me cry – all the things he used to do – he just irks me.
Maybe one day he won’t irk me so much.
With anger out of the way, the other emotions get a bigger piece of the dance floor. Someone recently mentioned in a comment that I am really starting to feel. When I first read that, I associated the comment with the butterflies I experienced when seeing Mr. Wild Card at the Sand Dollar. Now, the meaning in her words is clear: with anger out of the way, I am able to feel, really feel.
Which means I can really feel them. The emotions that make me feel good and the ones that make me feel bad. On top of that, I’m discovering how I feel about how I feel. Lately, it’s made me feel like one of those perfectly preserved, skinless bodies in a museum exhibit – only I’m alive. My every nerve exposed.
It’s not all bad. I like big feelings. I’m not afraid of them anymore. And without skin, no stretch marks! But being so exposed requires a watchful Observer Self. Emotions like worry or concern don’t brew, they heat right to boiling. The butterflies don’t cause my stomach to flip, they stop my heart. I need her to be on it, coaching me like M to my James Bond, pointing out pitfalls and tendencies, reining me in. Helping me to be objective and emotive, not just highly charged.
This time last year I was angry. And angry is a one-woman show. With that show now dark, an ensemble gathers – happy, sad, scary, feisty, nervous, love, and a cast of other emotions looking to get in on the act. It was way harder to free myself of anger than it was to learn to recognize my emotions and decipher their origin and intent. It really requires nothing other than paying attention and taking the time to ponder. Getting rid of anger requires personal trainers and life support.
I had an encounter the day before Thanksgiving with a woman, divorced, around 50. We spent an hour together. I had not met her before. In the first 15 minutes she told me how she was finally at peace being alone. She didn’t need a man in her life. She actually preferred to make dinner for one and eat it on the couch with a book. She dated after her divorce, and eventually fell hard and fast for a man. The relationship fizzled out after burning hot for three months. After that she just didn’t feel the need to be with anyone. She was content and happy doing her own thing.
In the second 15 minutes she told me about the six guys she was dating. But it’s just casual. Happy hour dates and dinners at home.
At minute 30 she was telling me about how men just want to date and have ‘bootie calls’ (her word choice) and don’t want to commit. They want to come and go as they please. “If a guy doesn’t call me within seven days of a date I am done.” She would rather be alone than deal with that. She wanted a commitment. Someone who was ready for a relationship.
Someone who was emotionally available.
I spent the last 15 minutes talking about swimming. Which is exactly what I felt like I was doing. Swimming in her emotional debris. Debris, that if rescued, would make for a fantastic dwelling. But all ripped up and tossed about just created litter. Before she finds someone who is emotionally available she would benefit from knowing how she herself feels.
Now that the days of cave bears and saber-toothed tigers are behind us, and language has given us endless ways to describe how we feel, maybe the next step is being able to work with our emotions to finally figure this whole relationship thing out, as we order take out and shop for our disaster survival kit online.
Maybe we’re on the upswing!
I want to be in the lead pack.
But who am I going to figure this whole relationship thing out with? (I know, total grammatical bunk.) Well, he looks like this…
My dear C,
I laughed out loud when I read The Genius sent you a text about being ‘angry’. I wanted to reply to him, “just because she doesn’t *like* you anymore doesn’t mean she’s angry”. That’s what it comes down to, I think. You just don’t like him anymore. He’s not the type of person you want in any meaningful way in your life and he doesn’t get that. He will, unfortunately, continue to have contact for the next several years, but *shrug* you’ll be fine. He won’t.
I think he had to create a very complex, duplicitous internal world to navigate the last few years. Part of that world was you. You provided him a home, children, an extended family (hi cleo’s mom) and a sense of identity. That’s no longer there (except the children, but you know what I mean). I’m POSITIVE this man is adrift without it. Yea, he has HDC, but is it enough? In the long run, I doubt it. He is searching for answers elsewhere, searching for someone to blame rather than turn this focus inward, to himself. I don’t think he would like what he sees and he’s avoiding that. It’s so much easier to blame someone else than to do the work. He will not have a true, meaningful LASTING relationship until he does this.
Anyway, this blog is about you and your wonderful journey. Of course you will still have days of anger and despair — um… you’re human — that’s part of what makes you sparkly and wonderful. However, those of us who have been with you know that you have faced this anger head on, let it wash over you and let it wash away from you.
Keep it up gorgeous!
Thank you for taking the time to comment and for your kind words.
I hesitated to even write about TG in this post but felt strongly that I’m not the only one being labeled angry by their former spouse after being betrayed by them. It’s crucial for those experiencing the dicey early days of betrayal, and even these smoother, later stages, to know that only they can understand their feelings. Be suspect of those that try to label them for you, especially if that person is the one who betrayed you.
Likewise, I am not in the business of analyzing TG. Just as I buy whatever anyone sells, within reason, about how this world operates, I buy that TG and anyone else who betrayed their family, may have found that elusive true love. And may be perfectly positioned emotionally to embrace it and create relational utopia. I would celebrate that because it would mean that the dudes would have a shot at developing healthy, open relationships where honesty and integrity come before all else.
A girl can dream…
I’m grateful you are here, K. So many need our support right now. Your words go beyond kindness and support to me – they touch people all over the world. I’m grateful you take the time to share them. Thank you.
Leigh Ann Davison says
I’m grateful for K’s words, too. Thank you! I absolutely treasure this blog and all of the kind, wonderful expressions from the kittens. <3
You know I treasure you! You make me laugh on twitter when everyone else is asleep! That’s priceless.
Cock robin says
Ditto! Ditto! Ditto! Beautifully stated – I think TG feels he should still be able to come & go while whistling a happy tune anytime he feels like it & he doesn’t like your resistance to that notion. And believe me if there wasn’t resistance he would be trying to play family again all the while keeping THDC thinking she’s the only one. God knows how many HDC’s he has out there while they & him play happy family until they can catch a weekend together. I’m sure there are more spouses than you & THDC’s husband that had to let go of anger hurt & betrayal & move on from His Giant Mistake. Love you girl !!
You are so…cock robin, I mean…what can I say?
I struggled writing this post, but I felt so strongly about making sure that men and women who have been betrayed realize that we’ve ALL been on the receiving end of the anger, the “you need to take responsibility for this too” nonsense, and the emotional analysis by those who wouldn’t know an emotion if they caught it on a Shimano reel in a stocked tank where each is labeled. (If I don’t go fishing soon I might start to insert fishing metaphors every other sentence!)
Well, as for your hypothesis…as my Mom says, The truth will always out. And she is so very right about that. The beauty of it is, it won’t affect me at all. Relief. I gave up 15 years, but it could have been 50. The best part? I get to help a whole lot of people through betrayal and divorce and that makes me so happy I could spit salmon eggs. (That’s actually a good thing.) You rock, C.
KC – your insight about TG was DEAD ON. It’s far easier to blame Cleo’s “anger” than to look within and see what’s there. Or more accurately, what’s not there. I’d like to say I feel sorry for him but I don’t.
Cleo – you have what I imagine was your original sparkle back. When I read you posts I read strength, confidence, and happiness. I don’t see anger. I see healing and growth.
For those that are having trouble with forgiveness, I found an outstanding book “How Can I Forgive You?” by Janis Abrahms Spring. She defines 4 forgiveness paths, 2 of which are healthy, 2 are not. Cleo chose one of the healthy paths, acceptance. I honestly didn’t think forgiveness was in the cards for me until I read this book (recommended by my counselor). I hope others can benefit from Dr. Spring’s insight.
Anyone who has followed this blog can attest to the fact that you have worked through your anger and are now past it. The Genius wants, maybe even needs, you to stay angry because that would keep you tethered to him. He wants that because it feeds into his narcissism. He is trying to stoke your anger in order to stroke his ego. I’m so proud of you for not falling for it. Weak-minded men (and women for that matter) are a hurdle for those of us on the path to self-discovery. But I prefer to see them as “that which I don’t want to become.” My own Genius is a constant reminder of the attitudes and behaviors I see as being counter-productive to my growth. Now, instead of anger when I see him or when he does something irritating, I feel pity for how desperately needy he is. What did I ever see in him?
As an aside, I just read “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch. He had some amazing nuggets of wisdom in there one of which made me think of you and all of us going through this type of betrayal. Here it is: “Experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want.” I love that.
All the best,
Randy Pausch is an amazing man. I say ‘is’ on purpose. We still are, even after we aren’t here. He remained so centered and full of grace even though he was leaving his family behind. Such love and respect for each other, so beautiful.
I’m so grateful that you take the time to share your wisdom. In the past several days I have been consumed by the desire to help those who are susceptible to manipulation and deceit, those who have been shredded by infidelity. I’ve benefited so much from the guidance of the kittens. To balance that, I imagine, I truly feel the pain experienced by those who are moments or days removed from discovering that their life was not as it seemed. Without asking, you have all gathered to lend them a shoulder and speak to them from the heart. Nothing makes me more grateful than to witness the love you share with those who so need it.
I’m beyond moved. Thank you.
Avril Hughes says
Again, I’m extremely proud of you. Proud of the mature and gracious way that you’ve dealt with the various crap that was created as a result of your husband’s affair.
Reading your latest post, I got to thinking about his accusations regarding your anger. My diagnosis is “projection”:
According to Sigmund Freud, projection is a psychological defense mechanism whereby one “projects” one’s own undesirable thoughts, motivations, desires, and feelings onto someone else. ‘Emotions or excitations which the ego tries to ward off are “split out” and then felt as being outside the ego… perceived in another person’. It is a common process. The related defense of ‘projective identification’ differs from projection in that the impulse projected onto an external object does not appear as something alien and distant from the ego because the connection of the self with that projected impulse continues’.
In one example of the process, a person might have thoughts of infidelity with respect to a spouse or other partner. Instead of dealing with these undesirable thoughts consciously, the subject unconsciously projects these feelings onto the other person, and begins to think that the other has thoughts of infidelity and that the other may be having an affair. In this way, the subject may obtain ‘acquittal by his conscience – if he projects his own impulses to faithlessness on to the partner to whom he owes faith’. In this sense, projection is related to denial, arguably the only more primitive defense mechanism than projection, which, like all defense mechanisms, provides a function whereby a person can protect the conscious mind from a feeling that is otherwise repulsive.
Projection can also be established as a means of obtaining or justifying certain actions that would normally be found atrocious or heinous. This often means projecting false accusations, information, etc., onto an individual for the sole purpose of maintaining a self-created illusion. One of the many problems with the process whereby ‘something dangerous that is felt inside can be moved outside – a process of “projection”‘ – is that as a result ‘the projector may become somewhat depleted and rendered limp in character, as he loses part of his personality’.
Compartmentalization, splitting, and projection are argued to be ways that the ego maintains the illusion that it is completely in control at all times. Further, while engaged in projection, individuals can be unable to access truthful memories, intentions, and experiences, even about their own nature, as is common in deep trauma.
In psychopathology, projection is an especially commonly used defense mechanism in people with certain personality disorders: ‘Patients with paranoid personalities, for example, use projection as a primary defense because it allows them to disavow unpleasant feelings and attribute them to others’.
According to Kernberg, all ‘the primitive defenses, such as splitting, projection and projective identification, are commonly connected with primitively organized personalities, such as:
* Borderline personality disorder
* Narcissistic personality disorder
* Antisocial personality disorder
Thank you for taking the time to comment.
While I don’t diagnose (I’m really bad at it), I believe it’s so important for people who are moving through infidelity to understand that it’s not always as it seems. If you are being told it’s your fault, or you created the void that allowed your spouse to lie, or that the lies are justified because you didn’t meet expectations, than read this comment a few times and seek additional guidance on these issues.
It concerns me that many people who have been manipulated in their marriages are continuing to be manipulated by the very person who betrayed them. Time is best spent on healing the self, but it’s necessary to understand why logical analysis of a situation may fail because illogical communications exist between the betrayed and the betrayer.
It’s taken me a year to finally understand that words spoken often mean something so different. Those words may be said to me, but they are for the benefit of another. I choose to rely on the words of those who have not betrayed me and the messages I myself create.
Thank you for being here and for taking such care to help others.
Thank you for writing about anger. I have not been able to process and work through my own anger, although in my case infidelity is not the issue and I am still married. But I feel that even if I dissolve this marriage, I must work through my anger and bitterness because it’s making me miserable much more than anyone else. I have always thought that I need to express my feelings to reduce resentment, but that has pretty much backfired, mostly because I have not done it calmly. Maybe I should let the anger take over until I am exhausted. I want to be calm in all my dealings with my possibly-soon-to-be-ex, and I don’t want my anger to affect my not-so-little-dude (love reading about your closeness with your dudes!!!) Really loved the way you described processing your anger. Thank you for imparting such wisdom in a light hearted way. Love your writing, and admire the way you live your life. Much love, N
Thank you for such kind words and for being here.
From experience I have come to appreciate that feelings are distorted by anger. It’s hard to be calm and communicate from a grounded place when angry. Once the anger is moved on in a healthy way, given the attention by you that it needs in order to be heard, the other feelings and emotions are clearer. More easily expressed.
Take the time to sit with your anger. It’s not to be feared, unless it festers. It’s like an aggressive child – it needs tenderness and love to disarm it, and it doesn’t like to be in control. But it will take control if no one else will.
I admire you for seeking answers, being vulnerable and wanting the best for your child. Your presence here is much appreciated.
KC said the same thing I thought. It isn’t about anger anymore Genius. It’s about not wanting to share space with someone with no ethics or empathy. I hope the HDC reads this blog too. If she does, she must be coming to understand how awesome you are and how very short of that she is. An honest, ethical woman does not mess with another woman’s husband-EVER! The two of them deserve each other and you deserve the incredible life you are creating everyday.
Thank you for taking the time to comment. Your support throughout this journey means a great deal to me. I hope that everyone on the planet can get to awesome – even those who seem so far from that at this time.
I also don’t choose to share space with someone who still insists that I take responsibility for his lies. It’s an important thing for me to understand – many people who have been betrayed continue to be manipulated in an effort to displace guilt. My heart breaks for the person who believes those words and cannot protect him or herself from the damage they can cause. Because that damage can result in a life of agony or worse. Tragically worse.
My mission is to protect those people, and to help them understand that those words aren’t meant for them, but for the person who says them. That their life is valuable and theirs to lead. Let no other whose intentions are selfish get in the way.
Thank you for being here, D, and for taking the time to comment.
Oh this was all SO very clear to me…as I’m sure it is to you also once you’ve had time to ponder it all. He WANTS you angry because then he’s still in your life. He still has some meaning–even if it’s negative. I have found that these man-children behave like little kids. It doesn’t matter whether it’s positive or negative attention…as long as it’s there.
None of your more recent posts in the last few weeks have sounded angry to me–if anything, they are full of hope and a sense of renewal. And that, my friend, is what is burning his ass right now! You’ve moved on. You have dates…you are having fun with your boys…you HAVE A LIFE that doesn’t include him anymore. And THAT is worth celebrating! It took me closer to 3 years after my ex left to get to where you are now so kudos to you! I’m sure if I had found a supportive community like this it would have helped me immensely since I felt SO alone.
So you should feel so very proud that you are helping others with this blog just as much as you are helping yourself! Thanks again for creating this space for all of us kittens
It is because of you and everyone at HGM that I am here today, happy, fearless, and excited for my future. I feel free. The guidance shared in the comments of this blog is worthy of a standing ovation. It’s moved me swiftly from anger to a place of peace. I don’t know that I will ever be able to express my gratitude in the way I want – which is to get every single person who has read our words together in the same space – Stinson may not be big enough, we may have to go to Limantour – and hug each and every one of you.
Rock on, gorgeous.
Loved your comments Nicole. I think you’re right. It appears he hates that Cleo created a beautiful life for herself and her boys even with all the muck he continues to throw in her direction. What a sad, emotionally immature person. I hope he looks within and does an honest assessment before his boys are old enough to realize what kind of man he is.
I wrote a comment yday that was deleted by my computer. basically it stated that with individuals such as TG – ones with narcasstic tendencies that put their wants and needs first…they tend to mirror their remarks in general.
So basically he is trying to say he is angry. again it has nothing to do with you and he seems to be mad at the bed he has made and doesn’t want to lie in it. well that is a life lesson that he is learning. consequences. you don’t have to analyze TG – his motives are pretty straight forward and simple. he has been able to emotionally distract you in the past with comments such as those most likely, which is why he goes there. which is why ignoring is your only tactic. keep on keeping on.
love victoria from indiana
Thank you for taking the time to write, and rewrite!, to us.
Transference, projection – tendencies I never understood before. I am learning to not take things at face value. To look deeper. With my heart leading the way. It’s not what is said, but why. And what it means for the person saying it is often vastly different from the meaning I am to take from the words spoken.
I’m feeling freer and more grounded every day. Thank you for being here and for helping me to remain centered. You rock.
Your post reminds me of a lesson I took from a friend of mine. She was in India and spent a day with a yogi. And I’m probably mangling this a bit, but the nugget of advice I took through her description of her day with him was that the only people we should let affect how we look at ourselves or feel about ourselves are people who have treated us with love and respect. Because people who raise questions or make comments about us out of a sense of love and respect have our best intentions at heart. So when those people speak, we benefit ourselves by listening and looking within ourselves. But people who say things to us from places other than love and respect don’t deserve our insight or attention, because what they are saying isn’t about us, it’s about them. And you are wasting your time renting out space in your head or your heart to someone who doesn’t treat you with love or respect and who only sees you in relation to their own needs.
That’s the lesson your post made me think of. I’m very happy for you that you are no longer renting out space to TG. You deserve so much more and are making such better use of that space in your heart and your head.
Thank you for taking the time to comment and for sharing such profound wisdom with us. It’s a simple message, and one that should provide many here with peace of heart. It helps me to put in perspective the many things that have been said to me.
As my Mom says, consider the source.
We must not get caught up in what those who have betrayed us say to us as they are really speaking to themselves.
Thank you, N. Your words will help many people.
Laura Perry says
Oh. Ohohoh. I am suppressing some mama bear rendencies right now- because as soon as I read that he reads this blog I wanted to scoop up my better angels, duct tape their mouths shut and throw them in the closet. And behave badly. I will not, but only because I don’t want to feed the beast.
This “anger” being referenced is some serious wishful thinking. Here’s the thing, if someone is angry, they are still in it with the betrayer. Anger means that person still cares, and that means the betrayer still has power. When the betrayed doesn’t care anymore (has healed), the betrayer can’t fathom that he is not the center of your universe- he’s like a child, that way. You know how they say kids are desperate for attention, and if you won’t give them positive attention, then they’ll gladly take negative attention in its place? Well, the betrayer’s inner toddler- that adorable little id that thinks he should be able to traipse along laying waste to other people’s lives with no consequences- is having himself a bit of a tantrum. Time out, buddy.
I so understand what you are saying about being irked. Not the same thing as being angry at all. I look at my ex-husband (which, I realized the other day, now feels as exciting to say as it once did to call him my husband. Beautiful newness.) and think to myself- not only do I not want to be married to him anymore, but he’s not someone I would even want in my life in ANY way, if I had my choice. He’s simply not someone I would choose to know- so I don’t like being around him.
If he is following you on Twitter, and reading your blog, then you mean much, much more to him than he does to you at this point. Probably not a comfortable space for a Narcissist to inhabit.
And it’s funny that you quoted Princess Bride (which, let’s face it, might just be the most quotable movie of all time…) but after I responded to your last post I thought of this: “You rush a Miracle Man, you get rotten miracles…”
Thank you for taking the time to comment, for caring so much. Mama Bear… In an effort to speak more universally about those that betray, I made some tiny edits in your comment. I trust you trust me.
Best part of all: “You rush a Miracle Man, you get rotten miracles…” All sorts of profound quotes thoughtfully left here in the comments section at HGM resonate with me and affect me deeply. It was very unexpected that this one would jump near to the top of the list.
I need to stop rushing. Thank you for allowing those words to come forth. I truly needed to read them today. You, beautiful, rock.
Yes, Nicole’s words and yours and all these posts help me in my daily struggle to not be angry, and to stay focused, calm and centered. To dig deep and know that the answers are within myself and my husband’s cruel words and actions ( going to the other side of the world to visit his lover) are not a reflection of the love and support that I gave him for 26 years. Yes, I am angry and hurt that he chose to deceive me and live a double life for almost 3 years. I have discovered over this past year that letting go of that anger is so difficult but I also have found,as you say Cleo, that communicating from a place of anger is not productive or really ‘true’. Distance and time have helped. As have all of these posts and just knowing that we can all get to a better place, a place where we are not dependent on another for happiness, peace and fulfilment. Thank you.
We are already in a better place. And still on the move!
You are brave, M. What helps me to continue to excavate is the understanding that I created this situation. I am not the reason why The Genius cheated or lied or betrayed me, but I chose to experience that – to partner with a man who was going to betray his wife. I am on a quest to understand why. We’ll figure it out together, m’lady.
Thank you for being here.
Cleo, I am loving your posts as always. Although we are at different phases of post-divorce (post-separation in my case), I still relate to all that your write about and sometimes your words really do hit the nail on its head for me – you talk about the genius irking you. Funny that, I can’t stand to be in the same room as my ex… Even receiving a text from him irks me. I still feel anger. And that is mostly because this is still ‘new’ to me…but like you, I do hope that I will one day live an anger-free life and make room for other more worthwhile feelings.
I have to share this with you! Last night I went to the town Christmas tree lighting celebration to hear the tall dude sing. It was PACKED, due to the rain and needing to be held indoors. I mean wall-to-wall and sweaty hot and humid. The Genius and I were actually touching. Tou-ching. Guess what?
I didn’t care at all. Didn’t feel clenched, creeped out, nothing. I held the little dude in my arms with TG right behind me, a few inches away, and even turned to him to comment on one of the performers, just like the old days! Crazy. But so cool! I wonder if that anger you are feeling is partly due to not wanting him to think what he did is okay. I held onto that for a long time with TG. Too long? Maybe. Not sure. But after the recent posts and dialogue about letting go, I was able to do just that. Holding on was holding me back. I draw the line at having TG in my home, however. That’s sacred space.
Letting go has been magical. You’ll know when the time is right. And, since you are living consciously, you’ll establish the right boundaries for yourself. I’m excited for you!! Thank you for being here and for bravely sharing your experience.
Cleo, the anger I am feeling is because I am realising as each day goes by just what a coward he really is. I feel like all he has been doing since our separation (it’s been just over a month) is avoid dealing with everything that he has so selfishly caused. It is not because I don’t want him to think what he’s done is ok. Quite the opposite. The anger I feel, I express only with those I trust and those close to me. I have not expressed outrage or anger towards him (apart from one incident posted on my blog) in any way and that is because I feel he does not deserve to witness any of my emotions – happy, sad or angry. I will not give him the satisfaction of seeing me emotionally hurt or pained.
Thanks for sharing your Christmas lighting story – I completely admire your ability to just let go. Some days I feel I have. Other days not so much. I don’t know if I can say I’ll ever get to that day where I could ‘touch’ him again or speak to him like I used to – because I don’t plan on seeing him ever again. But maybe I’ll know when I wake up one morning and his betrayal isn’t the first thing on my kind. Thanks Cleo xoxo
You’re on your way, J! You’ll have moregood days and less unsettling ones. I read the same words I am writing to you several months ago on this very blog. I kinda believed them, but I thought, I can be the exception. The one for which it doesn’t get better. Terrified of that, I ran in the other direction. I chose to make it better, and often faltered. But eventually created better. Led by my desire to create the happiest of memories for the dudes. Followed by conscious choices that made me feel good (not always the fun choice, but the one that made me feel good in the end). And then a still-growing sense that no matter what happens I can take care of myself. Soon you’ll let him see the emotion that will eventually dominate – happy. Genuinely happy.
You deserve to be the first thing on your mind when you wake up. I’m playing a game this week – join me. It’s called, Really, Just How Much Magic Can I Create? Start with the very first thought of the day. It doesn’t have to be about your children, or a man, or something significant. It can be totally silly. But it’s about you, not him. And if you feel scared, or hurt, and that’s the first thing that is on your mind then just take a moment to love yourself. Deeply. You are a beautiful spirit who is creating her world. Don’t hold back, and by all means, let go when you can.
Suzy Q says
Since your other readers have handled the anger issue quite well, I will comment on another part of your post, regarding the woman with whom you spoke the day before Thanksgiving. You were obviously annoyed with her, and yet, you spent an hour talking with her. “Swimming in her emotional debris.”? Ouch. Yes, her divorce aftermath has been quite different from yours, but couldn’t you be grateful for the opportunity to lend an ear so briefly to someone who needed it? Perhaps something you said to her during that conversation will help her to find the next step in HER journey. I hope so.
I’m so grateful you raised the encounter for discussion. As I reread my words about our conversation, I knew I missed the mark. I wasn’t annoyed, I was entertained and, most importantly, educated. That encounter is a prime example of how we are all at different stages of soul growth. I loved being whirled around in her emotional debris – which I believe is a micro-hair away from becoming a very cool and quirky work of art. We laughed A LOT during our time together.
I failed at drawing the lesson learned – words create reality, so we best have our thoughts in order before we speak them. I could see how she was creating chaos in her romantic life because she couldn’t settle on that which she most needed. She was all over the board. I’ve been there, saying one thing because I think it’s the right thing to feel, when I actually feel something totally different but am unwilling to acknowledge it. She was a teacher for me. A very important teacher. She showed me that in order to be perfectly at ease with someone I must be perfectly at ease with myself and my needs.
She needed nothing from me, and I needed to hear her words. By teaching me a very important lesson, I am certain her reward will be clarity and love. I hope this paints a better picture of that encounter. I am very grateful for meeting her and being able to watch her shimmer.
Thank you for commenting. I’m grateful you took the time to do so.
Sounds like he wants to win, to come out on top. That you feel nothing more than annoyed by him buzzing around you gets to him. It’d be funny if it weren’t so sad. That he reads this site and the comments (the comments!) says everything.
I’m so happy for you that you’ve moved beyond your anger for him. So many people can’t, years later, and it ruins their lives. You’ve blossomed so much since this all started.
Thank you for taking the time to comment and for your kind words. A late bloomer, that’s me. Always have been. I aim to lead a very long life so that I can open up all these petals.
As the last of a long line of children, I became accustomed to watching those before me, seeing what worked and what didn’t. Doesn’t mean I make the right choices because of those observations. But in this case, it wasn’t a well-kept secret that forgiveness was the fastest route up the mountain. And the very best decision I made was to start HGM. It became my laboratory – the place where I came and donned my white coat and conducted experiments. You all weighed in on my methods. I went back to the experiments, came back and showed you my progress, and eventually we got it right, more often than not.
I am a happy and content woman who still has a great deal to do and to learn. I will have bumpy days and perfect days – both types full of magic. Thank you so much for helping me to get here. You rock.