Phoenix Here I Come

People say hindsight is 20/20 and looking back over the “end times” I can see more clearly now. I couldn’t see it then, mostly because I never imagined divorce as an option for us. And because he is a good liar. He had me snowed. And I believed him. I believed that even under what ever the “issues” were, he was a good man, who was honorable and would live up to his vows. And, though that may have been true of who he was (because, if it’s not, then he’s an amazing actor) it is most certainly not true of who he is.

And, of course, there are the points I see clearly now that I can say I “should have” done something…pushed more, pulled less, spoken up. But the fact remains, I loved him and trusted him and ultimately that love and trust didn’t save our marriage. It couldn’t. Because, as I’ve finally accepted, I could not. I just could not. He wouldn’t let me.

No, he wouldn’t let me. He didn’t want me to. He failed me hugely. I most certainly have my portion of the blame up until the point he decided to become a cheater, as anyone would in a relationship; however, the ending, the failing to fix, the ultimate betrayal is squarely his. No matter how much he lies to himself or others about what happened.

No matter how many Bible verses he and his girlfriend post on their Facebook walls, no matter how many times they stand in a church together, the firm fact that cannot be argued is that they, not me, are at fault. We are still married. They are committing adultery. Repeatedly. Because they chose to be dishonest and dishonorable. They chose to do this to me without thought or care of what the outcome would be in my world.

And his family is standing by him, not me, not the “sister” and “daughter” they claimed to love for 20 years. They are welcoming her into their homes. Including her in their functions. Supporting his choice to live without honor or regard for honesty.

How nice. How beautiful for all of them. Look at the big, happy family, who claims to love the Word of God. Aren’t they amazing? Isn’t it wonderful how they read the Bible and apply it?

Can you tell my favorite thing is hypocrisy?

Watch this…this is where the meat is. All that came before this point in this post does. not. matter. All of these things have happened to me. All of them. And they suck.

This is the strength my friends keep talking about:

Those things DO NOT define who I am. I refuse to let those things be my truth. Those things can be their truth. I’m better than that.

And, while I appreciate how people say Karma is a bitch and they will get theirs eventually, here is the thing, that does not help me in any way, shape or form. I cannot heal and move forward if I am looking back to see if Karma catches up with them. Any of them. I cannot care.

And I won’t.

I don’t want revenge. I want the peace of knowing they don’t matter to me. Nor does anything they do or say. I want the peace of knowing they are each getting what they deserve because they are getting each other. And that is the truth. My husband and his girlfriend are both liars who broke up two marriages. What a prize the other is getting! My “family” of 20 years is supporting that. If that is what they are willing to settle for, have at it!

I know I’m better than to have to settle for any of THAT!

This is where I get to walk away and redefine my life. This is where I get to be in charge of what I will and will not accept. This is where the pain and victim collide and I get to move on. This is where I get to decide WHAT I WANT.

This is where I get to be a phoenix.

Look at me rise up!

I am going to rise up and not look back. Because it’s not even worth the effort to try. That life is dead and gone. And, in a strange way, it’s a blessing. Because I’m not settling for ANY OF THAT in my life. I don’t need to and I simply won’t.

Karma, you’ll have to do your work without me watching. I’ve got better things to do with my time.

Vulnerability is the New Strong

Have you ever had someone tell you something…or many someones tell you the same thing, and you just don’t see it?

I have recently recognized a pattern. Many time when I talk to people, or reach out on Facebook, or in a support group, people always (yes, it is that absolute) remark at how strong I am.

It astounds me for a moment and then I brush it off. I feel as if I am anything but strong. I feel as if I am simply surviving. I feel as if I have one foot in the loony bin and one foot in quicksand. I feel as if my nose is constantly going under the water and I’m not able to breathe.

And, today, I really stopped to think about all of that. The only thing certain in my life is the uncertainty of my life. And it scares me. It is painful. I don’t like it.

So then, I started to think about what I’m doing. And, while I did have my fetal-position-rocking-in-the-corner-because-my-husband-cheated-on-me-and-left period of time, I do assert that I am fairly past that point (a few backslides are to be expected…sorry Adrienne & Linds) because on a daily basis I get up and do what needs to be done.

And I don’t hate all men. I don’t even hate my husband. I feel sorry for him. But, I’m not going to let his poor choices dictate the rest of my life. And, while I don’t know where I’ll be in 6 months or 20 years, can anyone actually truly say with 100% certainty that they know where they will be? Even if their marriage is solid? Or they are “happy” with their life?

It got me thinking about what people are really saying when they say I’m strong. I think they are saying that they look at my circumstances and don’t know for certain how they would respond. Maybe they are afraid their rocking-in-the-corner-fetal-position would last twice as long. Or forever. Maybe they would hate men (or women). Maybe they would let it dictate the rest of their life.

And I understand that completely. Because until it happened to me, I used to look at others and think the same thoughts.

Well, here is the thing. I don’t feel strong…I feel vulnerable. For years, YEARS, I was the giver. And I still try to be at times. It is SO easy to give. So, so easy to be the savior of a situation. It made me feel important. Look! There’s Meg saving the day! She is giving her time or her talents to make things better! What a great gal! And, during those years of giving, it was so, so hard to receive. I never asked for help. I was THE helper.

It is really unsettling to need and receive. And, it is really hard to be vulnerable. What if I’m not important enough to be worthy of receiving help. Or, what if I end up owing someone something that I can’t repay? By always giving, I never gave anyone the opportunity to let me down. I was in control. Being out of control is like having a never-ending ticket on a ride to crazy town. Receiving is humbling. It is saying that I trust you to love me enough to see to my needs. And to help me.

So, I guess if I have developed strength, it is the strength to allow myself to show my vulnerability. The strength to let my guard down and receive. The irony is, of course, the one person I should have been able to count on to support my vulnerability let me down and it was through that act that I found the ability to be vulnerable. And, in doing so, I found the gift of unconditional love from people I never expected it from. I found comfort on the other side of fear.

I don’t know why the lessons we learn in life come about this way, but they do. I guess I found that it takes strength to be vulnerable. And I guess I have that in spades now…so maybe I AM strong 🙂

Structure Is As Structure Does

In this chaotic mess of an existence I’ve had for the past year, the one thing I have craved is structure. Order is the name of the game.

It isn’t as if whether the dishes are done and stacked properly will create world peace. Or the laundry being properly sorted will affect orphans in Afghanistan; however, both of those items, checked off my “to do” list make me slightly more peaceful.

Here is the rub.

I can’t seem to get most of my list done.

Ever.

And then I spiral down that rabbit hole of dread…

“Well, if you can’t even get this done, it’s no wonder you’re where you are!”

My inner voice is a jerk sometimes.

I bet you can relate. So, you know what I did. I told it to shut up.

And I gave myself permission to let the laundry pile up and the dishes sit in the sink.

And, I gave myself permission to believe, to truly believe and understand that my husband didn’t leave me because of the fact that I was a bad housekeeper. Or the perfect housekeeper. He didn’t leave me for any reason I could control. That is the truth.

So, I let it go. (That’s the key.) I let the stress of not checking things off my list go.

I’m not saying I’m turning into a Hoarder or anything. But, I am being a ton more gentle with myself and I’m taking control of the places I can keep structure with a new attitude. I’ve decided to look at “to do” lists as my friend and not my foe. And now, I feel so accomplished when I can cross off the items and toss the list.

Because I did it for me.

And, if it doesn’t get crossed off…well, there is always tomorrow 🙂