There is a reason i haven’t posted much on Dogwood Girl lately. I have been heartbroken. I barely managed to brush my teeth and get the kids where they need to be and hold up my end of meaningless conversations.
I went for a run the other day. It was the worst one i have ever had. It was only supposed to be about 30 minutes and an easy run, but my heart wasn’t in it. Usually, when I run, it helps me de-stress. I think about the things that are bringing me down, or frustrating me, and I come away with a plan for fixing them, or put them in perspective and realize that they just aren’t that important. This problem? This problem just beat me down. I just wanted to cry and scream and lay down in the road. I was just so tired of feeling raw and angry and sad, that I just wanted to lay down and have someone come pick me up so i could sit on my couch, watch Joan of Arcadia (a world of order and obvious purpose), drink wine, and eat peanut butter Bowls of Shame all day.
The things that have been getting me down won’t be so easily put aside by a run.
I am hurt. I am angry. I am resentful and feeling betrayed. I don’t think this is what I was meant to feel in response to the actions of someone else, someone that I love very much. I don’t think that they set out to hurt me. They are just doing their thing, being themselves. But their actions have caused me no small amount of pain, anger, depression, and a very twisted feeling of shame – A sense of “How could i have let someone make me feel this way?” The only thing i can compare this feeling to is the first time you have your heart broken. There is a hopelessness and a sense that nothing will ever be the same again. You vow to yourself that you will never. let it. happen. again.
I should point out here, that this post has nothing to do with my marriage, or romantic love. Things are wonderful with me and Todd. He is everything I ever wanted in a husband (minus the snoring, and maybe could be improved if he enjoyed giving nightly back rubs). This post has to do with trusting someone to be honest, fair and sensitive to the feelings of other. It has to do with being able to put your heart in someone’s hands for years on end, and knowing that they will not crush you. It has to do with having faith in another person that they will do the right thing and then having them live up to that.
It has to do with giving someone your all for 30 + years, buying into something – an idea of honor and tradition and loyalty – because you thought you were some kind of team and you had the same values. It has to do with the fallout when that person turns out to not be who you thought they were, and does not have the same respect for you that you have always given them. It’s about what it feels like when the majority of your life feels like one big huge lie, perpetrated against you in some sick, sick cruel joke.
This is a post about what would have happened if Gone With the Wind had ended differently. What if Gerald O’Hara said, “Why, land is the only thing in the world worth workin’ for, worth fightin’ for, worth dyin’ for, because it’s the only thing that lasts,” to Scarlett her whole sixteen years, and then everyone went to the BBQ and found out the war had started and Gerald had pulled Scarlett aside and said, “Sweetie, I know you aren’t going to like this, but there’s a war comin’ and we better just go ahead and sell Tara now.”
The thing is, though, there is no way out of this situation that will end well. When you are 20 years old and a boy breaks your heart, you can move on. Cutting a person out of your life is not that hard. There is no collateral damage in that situation. You have no responsibilities and can spend every waking moment on a couch in a bar with friends, drinking until the pain is just a blur and then one day you sober up and realize the pain is only a distant memory, and you really didn’t need that person to give you an identity, to help make you who you are.
But what do you do if it’s your family? If you can’t just cut people out of your life like dead weight? This is a post about finding a place for yourself, and your relationships, that you can live with.
Mostly, it is a post about finding forgiveness. How do you find forgiveness when your heart is like a stone in your chest, and the thought of forgiving someone who has so grievously wronged you makes you feel physically ill? How do you heal a sorrow that feels like it will never, ever go away?
Have you ever forgiven someone when you thought you never could? How did you do it? Is there a roadmap for forgiveness? Is there a practical method for finding your way to a place where you don’t feel like a walking, gaping, open fucking wound?
Because I am so not there yet.