Forgiveness


Forgiveness is not pretending like it didn’t happen or like it didn’t hurt. That’s called lying. Forgiveness is a decision to release a debt regardless of how you feel.   Tony Evans

Can I forgive M for leaving me the way he did?

Can I forgive M for leaving this world the way he did?

and even moreso, will I forgive M for leaving me the way he did and will I forgive him for leaving this world the way he did?

Right now I feel a bit like Susan in Miracle on 34th Street as she repeated, I believe, I believe, it’s silly, but I believe. I just keep repeating I forgive, I forgive, it’s hard, but I forgive. I now realize that one day it won’t be hard and that’s when I will truly be able to say Yes, I can and do forgive M for everything, and it will be a miracle on my street when that happens but until then… I forgive, I forgive, it’s hard, but I forgive.

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A Rocky, Stinky, Sweet State of Normal


My therapist told me to keep writing. I haven’t been faithful to that request. I have been doing a lot of stuff outside of the blog. I’ve been living. Living a new (another) life and finding what has proven to be a rocky state of normalcy for me. In hindsight, perhaps keeping up with the writing would make it feel less rocky.

I have started attending a divorce support group. Last year, I went to one meeting right after M left–it was the week they talked about anger.  I left that class and told the facilitator that it wasn’t the right time for me.  I didn’t “act” like what they showed angry to look like. I had anger in me and wrote about it, but I wasn’t fired-up angry, if that makes any sense. I certainly wanted with everything in me to hate M, to hate her and I didn’t, I couldn’t and I still don’t. I wondered and still do- what’s wrong with me that I don’t have any feelings of hate toward them? Wouldn’t THAT be normal? Don’t normal people lash out and break things and scream at  the top of their lungs until their face is red. Don’t they start fires and burn pictures of past memories and toss belongings onto the lawn, don’t they try to retaliate? And yet, I had none of those feelings. I would share that with folks and they told me I was numb, they told me it was because I understood the love of God for me and therefore could show compassion to those that hurt me. It didn’t make me feel normal to hear any of those things.

In one of my question and answer sessions with A, he came out and asked me one night, Do you blame God? I paused. I cried. I said yes.

I’m a “good, Christian girl” so of course I’m supposed to believe that nothing slips through the fingers of God without Him knowing or allowing. I’m to believe that God is sovereign and that nothing catches Him by surprise. And yet I couldn’t wrap my mind around how five years ago the Lord allowed me (and M) to lose our worldly belongings and have nothing but our family to cling to. Yes, my “family” was quirky but weird as it was to others, it was mine. It consisted of me, M, and our two dogs. Then in a matter of 13 months I lost one dog, then the other dog, and finally M. I lost all of “my” family. I remember saying to God, I don’t understand. What’s next? What else am I going to lose? What’s left to be taken from me?
I was scared to know the answer.

After a pause, A replied Yes, God allows everything but don’t confuse that with Him being the author of it.  And I realized that was an answer my soul could accept. I didn’t want to hear it but I needed to and I didn’t like hearing it anymore than I liked that M and her had an affair and continued to spread lies about me even after they got what they wanted.

I’ve realized I was angry but that my anger was misplaced and the reason it didn’t “look” like what anger should look like, is because how do you “show” anger at the Creator of the Universe when He is the one that I desperately needed comfort from? It’s like biting the hand that feeds you… you may not like what is being served for dinner, but if you’re hungry enough you will eat.  In all of this, I was still counting on the Lord to be my source of strength and to live up to the promises His Word says about having a hope and a plan for my future (Jer 29:11) and that I would have a table in the presence of my enemies and MY cup would overflow (Psalm 23:5).

In my support group, we are in week two of the “trifecta” (anger, depression, lonliness) and I realize that I’m never going to be able to slap or punch M, (and it’s not prudent to do that to her either) but I can be angry at M even though he isn’t here anymore. I have things I would like to say to him, things I want him to know but there are all sorts of ways to work through that. My display of anger isn’t so unusual–anger takes many different forms. Television’s depiction of anger in divorce was what was guiding me to believe I wasn’t handling this normally but I’m handling it as normally as I would handle things.

So my new sense of normal has currently got me in a raw state–like an onion–all my layers are being peeled back and I’m learning a lot about myself. I just hope that it’s not so stinky that I offend anyone, but rather, maybe I will be like a Vidalia onion… sweet and bloomin’!

I See Your True Colors


I haven’t heard this many uses for the F-word in over a month. Sadly some of them are mine.

Looking back to even just 8 days after D-Day. Your voicemail message went something like this, “yeah, I need you to text me Ms. X’s phone number.” She called about the job at the U and I need to call her back.” I remember thinking to myself… well, I needed you to not have an affair, I needed you to be a man and keep your pants zipped.

This time the conversation started with a text from you. “Do you know where my GPS is?” I responded that I believed it to be in the rental, that’s where I last saw it. You simply replied Ok. I thought you were at the rental and couldn’t locate it, but you weren’t even there. You had not even made an effort to look for it, you were just asking me to do your work. I texted you about the cancellation of the cable that I wanted done by a certain date and you didn’t respond. I also asked you for the cancellation number that you said you had when you called to cancel our remote email accounts from Arizona. This was my third request for that number since the accounts are still active.

I called you after you didn’t respond.  Well, my goodness, the heavens opened and the F-word started flying when I asked where you were with canceling the cable. There were so many excuses in just one sentence about why you had not taken the modem to the cable company yet. And when you stopped with your excuses you started with the blame. When I said that you were fully aware that I didn’t want to start the new month with the bill, you said that it was my fault that I gave the modem to you two days before the end of the month. You were reminded that at the very first meeting with the lawyer, I had stated that I did not want the cable to continue after the first of the month. I reminded you that YOU had chosen that day to pick it up even though it was two days before the end of the month. That still did not stop you from trying to deflect and I could write a 1500 word essay on this two-minute conversation and only get through your excuses.

You started moving stuff out of the rental. I had a voicemail telling me that you were missing your HDMI cable and that if I gave it to Mr. A when returning the roku that someone owes you an $80 cable. And then an hour later a text that said you were still waiting to hear about your cable. Really? Really!? You couldn’t simply call and say, hey, I think you might have given my HDMI cable to Mr. A. and could you see if he has it.

Over the past 41 days there has been a lot of excuses and a lot of blame and no responsibility. In fact, on D-day, that is how you opened the conversation. The first words out of your mouth were “because you... and it went from there to your story of how you “stepped out” on me. And when you were done talking and it was my turn, I told you that you didn’t get to just tell me you “stepped out.” You needed to explain exactly what that meant and with whom. After you told me, I said to you specifically, “I will forgive you and I will forgive her and I will not be mean to her or speak ill of her and that you needed to decide if this was over or if you wanted out.” I’m not sure why you asked me to wait for an answer until you got back from your visit to see your family.  It’s not like we were purchasing a car, this was our marriage and you needed time to think about whether you wanted in or out?!?

I see that now, but not that night as I was numb with the news so I said yes to your request of time and I left the rental—again, why I was the one to leave I have no idea. I texted you late that night to say that I forgot a house key and to find out when a good time would be to come back and get one you didn’t respond. I used the spare key that my parents had to get back into the rental, you weren’t there. It was 6:30 am, the car was there, the scooter was there but you were not. I returned to the rental at 10 am and asked you where you were knowing full well that you were with her. You offered me another excuse saying that her daughter had called you, upset because her mom was such a wreck and that you needed to come over, so you did. YOUR WIFE WAS A WRECK but you didn’t feel you needed to see how I was doing, instead you went to see how your girlfriend was coping with the news that you told me about the affair. You are an asshole.

You owe me too… you owe me a new heart. You owe me a refund on the time that you stole from me, both past and future. If you want to make it about money and possessions, you owe me seven years of supporting us and working three jobs to try to keep what we had in Arizona, you have to get a 10×10 storage unit to store all the stuff that you are keeping from this marriage. But then again, your girlfriends house, pardon me, your new place, is already furnished. You are fortunate that I am not asking for spousal support. Let’s not start playing the You Owe Me game because I assure you, that one, I will win.

You need to know that I’m not yours to bully anymore. You can’t control me with your anger any longer. You cannot cut me down with your words or your attitude. I don’t plan my day around whether or not we might encounter an unfamiliar situation that might cause you to panic or where you might be out of your element. I look back and realize that I ran a lot of interference not only with strangers, but also your friends and our families.

Again, I ask myself… Am I angry with you or am I angry at the time I feel I was cheated out of?  The answer is F-yeah.