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Saturday, March 16, 2013

"A SELF-INFLICTED SHOT TO MY BUM"




I need to forgive myself and forgiving myself has proven to be a challenge. Last month I became upset again. I thought I was pissed off at my ex after having fresh news surface resulting in stirring up the resentment pot.

I've recently realized it’s me I've been pissed off at.

I truly thought I had let go of the experience with him and moved on but I hadn't. The residual anger was just hibernating because of the bubble I placed myself in. Having news of him enter my life last month burst that bubble and exposed lingering emotions. It triggered old feelings dressed up like a fire-breathing dragon.
Yes, forgiving ourselves can be tricky.

When I first heard about my ex getting remarried, my initial reaction was to laugh at the details, which is unlike me. I’m far from mean-spirited, but I am human. He was a mean drunk. I had a moment of gloating, but then I felt guilty because it’s not my nature to act that way. I became ashamed of myself and reacted by becoming defensive via the angry route. I was like a stick of dynamite walking around with my fuse lit.

Experiencing that hot-blooded reaction last month opened the door to explore my lingering feelings. What exactly was I feeling? Emotionally, I was surprised to feel nothing towards him. I realized my anger wasn’t directed at him. It was anger at myself for making a bad choice. Fury was hanging out with my subconscious mind, but I’m starting to feel the fire within me finally burn out.

This is what I’ve realized: It’s okay that I messed up. It’s okay that I believed in another human being. Yes, I made a bad choice, but my heart was in the right place and being compassionate is a beautiful quality.

This is why I’ve been angry towards myself: Looking back, the handwriting was on the walls that I needed to exit the relationship way before the wedding bells rang. Why didn’t I? Because things then were not as clear now looking over my shoulder. I believed I could fix whatever was going on inside of him. My intentions were pure. I had faith in him. I had faith in us.

People ask me why I stayed for so long. All I can respond to that question is the cycle of abuse is wacky. It’s a slow process where an insecure, unhealthy person breaks you down to control you, and it can take years to get back on track emotionally/mentally. I'm the poster child on that one! In that situation, you start to doubt your capabilities and become needy and feel crazy. These feelings take you by the hand and help you make bad choices. Plus, I have a history growing up with alcoholism and that contributed a lot to my thinking that I could fix something that wasn't fixable.

These are the conclusions I’ve come to: We cannot change back the clock. We cannot undo the past. We can just make better choices and forgive ourselves for past mistakes. Sometimes allowing yourself to be human isn’t so easy, and I’ve hated myself for being so gullible and naive.  

I’m realizing being angry doesn’t change the past. It also doesn’t wipe out the painful memories, and it doesn’t nurture your spirit. Being angry and withholding self-forgiveness is just a personal destruction. We have to forgive ourselves, allow ourselves to make mistakes, trust that we'll make better choices in the future, let go and move on. Making mistakes is a part of the human experience.

Since I walked out on him I have felt like a red balloon up in the sky fighting with the bitter wind while riding the stormy waves of anger.  And all of a sudden, the balloon has lost its hot air, and I’ve drifted away from the stormy wind and settled in a calmer neighborhood.

Yeah, I made a bad choice, but I finally made the right choice. And I take responsibility for putting myself in this bad situation but guess what? It won't ever happen again. There’s no room for lingering anger in my life because the experience made me a stronger person. The experience forced me to look within and become a better version of myself.

And that’s not something to be angry about; that’s something to be celebrated.

So goodbye lingering angry feelings and hello happy forgiveness. I love who I am, and my mistakes are a part of my journey.