This is one of my weekends without the small people that make my world go around. I’m supposed to be grateful and relax and all that, and for short periods of time I do that. I am grateful and I relax. Then 10 minutes later I want the kids back.
I was contemplating the idea of forgiveness today since I had to teach this idea (with a lead teacher) at UU today to some 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders. The kids were rowdy today with the addition of 3 new students and a new lead teacher, so it was hard to get it across to them, but lots of things sunk in with me. I have been separated very close to a year now, and I still haven’t gotten to the point where I can say, “I forgive him”. I just don’t yet.
The pain and hurt he caused me through his actions still hurts sometimes. Granted, they don’t hurt as much, and I realized a lot of things about who I am thanks to his leaving. The first thing I realized was that I had made Tom into my fantasy man. The second thing I realized was I was very codependent in my personality and ways of coping with hard things.
So I have spent the last year coming to terms and changing who I am. I went to an excellent class called Rebuilding: When Your Relationship Ends. and did some therapy and have driving many of my friends crazy talking to them, etc. Even my sister helped by giving me some work to do at home that was relative to why men cheat. All of these things have helped me grow, but none of them have helped me forgive.
I am guessing forgiveness will have to come from within me somewhere, and I’m hoping that once I can really and truly and honestly forgive, I will feel better about myself and where I’m going in my life. As for my part in this, mostly it’s seeing Tom as a person he was not. He was not the ideal man of my dreams, he was not the perfect partner for me. I actually still have trouble with this concept, but I’m glad I don’t feel like I have to be normal and perfect as soon as possible anymore. I am allowed to be a mess, I’m allowed to feel how I feel and it’s all mine and all my responsibility.
So, I don’t blame him anymore. I simply don’t even know a lot of him. I only know that’s he is a really good father, though at times he screws up because he’s human, but who doesn’t as a parent? I don’t know the essential person though, because we never built the proper intimacy. I think he wanted to live up to my fantasy world, but couldn’t do it. I think he made some mistakes not talking to me about his feelings. I made many mistakes not talking about mine and really becoming intimate. I know what my problems are, but I can’t fix other people! I can only fix me.
Now, this doesn’t bring me to feeling like I can forgive, either. I did some things badly, I am not good at relationships of this kind right now. I don’t really know how to be. All of this is totally OK. I have found new ways to cope with loneliness and feeling like I need a man. I don’t really think I’m prepared to have a real relationship at this time, but I want to date every so often, so I do. I’ve made a few male friends out of that, but no one special has come along, and I believe that they can’t come along until I am in a better place emotionally. I believe I won’t attract what I need in a man until I am right with myself.
So, I am working on forgiveness. (A song pops into my head, “Forgiveness, Forgiveness, even if, even if, you don’t love me anymore”) I don’t really know how I’m going to get there. I’m angry, I’m bitter, I’m disappointed. I still wonder now and then if we can find a way to work things out. Yes, even a year later! I never said the journey was easy. It’s NOT. But it’s my journey and for the first time in my life, I’m granting myself the time to take it, rather than automatically finding a new man to escape into.
And so I grow. And so my weekends become times for contemplation, but also times to find enjoyment. I found out this weekend that I really enjoy working at the Humane Society, so I filled out a volunteer application so I can do more of that. Life surprises us and takes us in unexpected ways, when we finally take the time to pay attention to it instead of living inside of bubbles.
Forgiveness. Working on it.