Friday, November 30, 2012

Remorse Redux

After my ex and I bought our house nearly ten years ago, I remember getting a case of 'buyer's remorse;' "What have we done?","Are we ready for this step?", "Can we afford this?" I remember thinking this throughout the relationship, especially when finances were low.

Now, that the library is pretty much finished, except for some artwork and one small repair, I am experiencing it all over again. When I finished the library per my own decorating decision, I realized I am now alone. I am in this house by myself. I am solely responsible for its decor, its repairs and its bills. I can depend on no one. It all hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks square on in my heart. And while on one hand it is quite liberating, on the other hand, it is quite frightening and intimidating.

And then more of it hit me; the anger of being in this position against my will resurfaced, the anger of how he ended the relationship, the anger that I am the one with our two remaining four-legged children watching them age, and being the one responsible for their health and well-being. Other evidently long-repressed anger joined the anger directed at him, anger at the people in my life who have hurt me in the past, willingly or not; my father, for not being around post-divorce as much as I would have liked; my stepfather, for the emotional abuse he hurled at my mother the instability of our family life; The Man I Met; The User; the Politicians who are blaming teachers for ALL the maladies of public education and those public figures who make such idiotic denigrating remarks against the LGBTQ community.

While there is very little I can do about what happened in the past, I can do a lot about how I react in the present, in the moment. I can confront the individuals involved and unburden myself. I can let them know how I feel, but in a positive and constructive, non-threatening way. (Well, I can present the information in a non-threatening way, I can't control how they interpret my delivery.)

But, how much will this help me?

I had conversations with The Ex over my feelings in the past while we were together, and history taught me he didn't know how to react to my feelings. We even spoke after our divorce, and I came away from each conversation feeling relieved I expressed myself, but feeling like he still didn't understand why I was angry with him. I spoke with my father when we first reconnected and he shared he didn't always have our newest address and phone number whenever we moved, and we moved QUITE frequently. And across state lines, three times. My stepfather may have not been aware of his abuse, but I doubt it. The Man I Met explained his case quite clearly; I said I wasn't looking for a relationship. But, that doesn't explain the mixed messages he was sending me, causing me to rethink the idea of a relationship with him. And would the User really care that I am angry that he wanted to use me for his own pleasure? More than likely not. Well, maybe I can let that one go. At least I stopped that one before it got going. As for the Politicians, what can I say? They all seem to have their own agenda anyway. And we do have some allies in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. Those public figures are just plain idiots.

So, I feel I have tried in all cases, but not succeeded to the level of satisfaction I may need. Maybe those are the responses the individuals may be prepared to give and nothing more. So, I'm looking for alternatives to alleviate this anger and frustration.

Perhaps, it just takes time.

So, for seven years, this room was his office. Now that I have painted out the tangerine color and begun to make it into my library, it will take a while to adjust to the difference. I haven't gone in there to read and relax, yet. In time I will. In time, the anger will subside. All of it will.

To paraphrase Christopher Robin,  "I'm braver than I believe, and stronger than I seem, and smarter than I think."

After all, I have survived two years on my own. And I have survived a lot worse before this.

I just need to remember it.

All of it.


  1. Jeff, it doesn't help one heal to recall the hurt and mistreatment from others. You have to shed it somehow, if even through prayer. Or, take a nice hot shower, curl up with Muff, take time to read a good book, appreciate YOUR new room, and say to yourself, "Ha, life is so good now." If you know it's good now, you must believe it can only get better.

    1. Nancy, you are so right in all your comments. These feelings surprised me as I was working on the room. Obviously, something is not settled with me in all these past hurts. I have never been one to just be able to let go. That is what I must work on. Life is good, and will get better, in time. And in time, it will be FABULOUS!