Missing him, loving him, being angry at him, and being sad about it – sad that we have landed here. It all came up as I read his words today.
Allowing each one of those emotions to exist on its own would be a challenge for me, but the coexistence of them all, swirls of simultaneous yet seemingly opposing feelings, it’s even harder. I am getting better at feeling, on my own, exploring them, letting them be, being curious. Allowing them to peek out from the rock they live in. But under A’s careful gaze I’m silent and I choke any emotion back down, almost automatically, even as she tells me it’s okay, and safe, and tries to soothe that part of me that is so afraid of being seen and rejected. She is so observant, and I both love and hate her for it (although I am no longer purposefully resistant, which is huge). As soon as she vocalizes that she has seen the emotion, I shut down (side note – I think my biggest fear here is being told ‘enough, you’ve cried enough’. My parents let me cry, but only until they decided they had had enough. But that’s for another post). Around anybody other than A, I’m basically a robot with two or three settings – actively mimicking the mood of the room around me so as not to be given away.
And as I work through the stages of feeling today’s situation out – the knowledge I checked that which I should not have have checked, the hot searing burst of anger followed by sadness and tears burning behind my eyes – eventually I reach this place of “this is proof. This is proof I’m better off without you.” But that doesn’t change the pain or betrayal or sadness or desire to erase his existence from my life and pretend he never existed.
I tell myself his internet insults don’t resonate. I wish I had my husbands “it doesn’t matter what he does” attitude that comes so easily to him. He’s never been codependent in his life, to the point where he can see my sadness and provide comfort but he doesn’t understand it. He is so tired of him hurting me, he’s losing his patience. “You’re a sucker for punishment” he says gently, knowing I went seeking out what I found and that it didn’t come to me.
Its true, I can’t let it go. I check up on him, out of curiosity, because I feel left out, because my desire to protect him still exists, because I selfishly want to know if I am doing better, if I am still ‘winning at life’ (A’s voice in my head ‘there are no winners here‘. She’s right.)
But even though finding what I did threw me off, it’s amazing what almost five months of no contact and hard work has done.
I didn’t collapse into a crying heap on the floor.
I didn’t seek out approval or revenge.
I was able to identify four or five different simultaneous emotions.
Is it easy? No, and I can’t let those emotions out necessarily and I don’t settle anywhere and an hour later I’m still thinking about it and it’s so important I am writing about it (and I’ll be thinking about it until Thursday when I’ll broach the subject with A).
My first instinct is to tattle to my parents, as always. ‘Look, look at what your perfect little angel did. How is this right? How do you ignore this? This hurts me and you don’t care you don’t see it but RIGHT HERE is an example of his blatant disrespect and shittiness towards me’. But I know that won’t do anything now. It didn’t do anything when I had the right to put them in the middle. Now, my relationships with them are mending – they’re brittle and easily snapped, but they’re mending. I’m not going to bring it up, not like it got me far anyways when I did. ‘Ever think that what you did was worthy of that response?’ or ‘don’t overreact he didn’t mean it that way.’ Or ‘you’re older/smarter/in control”
“I didn’t mean it” or “he didn’t mean it” – the greatest get out of jail free card in the book (unless you are my husband, who has taught me the emptiness behind those words, and that when they are applied to situations like “I didn’t mean to <insert serious crime here> they wouldn’t work so why do they work at this level?). My mother and brothers go to. “He didn’t think you’d see it/find out” as if the level of secrecy makes it okay.
I’m stronger now. I honestly spent a lot of the past few weeks missing him, and my first session back was full of grief, and some regret. But there is no more regret. It was the right choice. There will always be sadness and grief, there is a lot of that, but these things will hurt me less and less because I have so much good to lean on.
And I’ll hold on to that.