This blog is part of my recovery, and I would like it to remain a safe place for me to share parts of myself and my life that people close to me may or may not know. As a result, while I'm not going crazy with privacy settings, I do ask that if you find this on your own and suspect you may know me, please respect my privacy by checking with us before reading any further. This obviously doesn't apply if one of us has given you the link!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Moth To A Flame (Lunch With The Ex-Husband)

Sometimes I get too caught up in trying to write well and don't end up writing at all. For days I've been puzzling at a few things I've wanted to write, but perfectionism has reared its ugly head so much that everything has been deleted instead of posted.

Have I thought a lot about why I made the choices I have, lately, in regard to my ex-husband and my father? Yes. Have I come to any helpful conclusions? Not so much.

I knew, from the moment I arranged to see my ex and meet his daughter that I was going to do this. I knew, also, that it was probably not in the realms of the smartest idea I'd ever had. I remember saying to a friend what my plans were and she told me straight up, "cancel it". I rationalised all the ways it could be good - and I think we both knew that's all it was. Rationalisations. Cancelling just wasn't on the cards.

So why not? Why, when I know the kind of person he is, when I know that the situation is a tricky one for me, did I do it?

Curiosity certainly played a part. I wanted to know what his child was like. I wanted to see for myself whether she was cute (she is), what kind of a father he made (a good one). I have a lot of unanswered questions about the way things ended up - part of me hoped that if I asked my questions (I didn't), he'd give me those answers (he couldn't).

He treated me much the same as always, though I admit he was quite toned down. For my part, DBT has obviously influenced me as I called the shots a bit: I chose the area we met in and when I didn't like the restaurant he chose, I asked for us to go somewhere else. Otherwise, I slipped fairly well back into my old role (I'm working on it).

What did I get out of the experience? A heightened sense of guilt. I'm not pretty enough, not smart enough, not thin enough, not good enough... and I never was. Sadness for what was, what could have been... what has been lost. Anger. He has re-written our history in his mind so that he doesn't have to feel bad about what he did. He repeatedly tells me that I left him, and while this is technically true, he ignores the fact that I seriously contemplated staying, after everything, until he left me stranded in the middle of a breakdown and lied about why. His staunchest supporter took me home to her place that night and told me that I was an idiot if I so much as thought about staying with him.

Did I get anything good out of it? I'm sure I must have. I believe that there is good to be found in every situation, but sometimes it's very hard to see. I haven't seen it yet in this one. I wish I could say that, at the very least, what I got out of it is a renewed determination to stay away from him, but it would be a lie. Like a moth to a flame, I am drawn to him.

Still, perhaps next time I will be able to stand more in wise mind. Even the moth has a choice...

Cheer-leading statements:
I am not a bad person.
Every day is a new chance, new beginning.
Criticisms levelled at me without constructive intent say a lot more about the other person than they do about me.
It's okay to feel whatever I feel.
The world doesn't have to be divided into black & white.

Take care of yourselves until next time, and may we all find our own small fences along the way.

1 comment:

  1. "Criticisms levelled at me without constructive intent say a lot more about the other person than they do about me."
    i think i've said this here before, but i would edit this to say that anyone's opinions of you mean everything about the other person and nothing about you.