Wednesday, November 21, 2012

My right to forgive or not to forgive...



It’s no secret that my ex-husband is a nightmare and I don’t like him.  Aside from the fact that I heard “forsake all others” and he heard “partake of all others”, he was abusive in every way one person can abuse another person.  The things that he did to me invoked a great deal of anger that I wrestled with for years.  I actively felt that the world did not owe him a single kindness and he should spend the rest of his life feeling as miserable as he made me feel. 

These days I feel that I don’t owe him a single kindness.  The rest of the world can make its own decisions.   If his life is going great, fantastic for him!  If his life is a train wreck, fantastic for him! I mean, his train wrecks are a source of entertainment for me much the same way Jerry Springer is for other people.  Overall, I really don’t believe I could care less one way or another.

So, when his first wife, wife 1.0, messaged me about needing to forgive him, I was taken aback.  I was wife 2.0 but sometimes I get confused because there was still a lot of anger there with 1.0.  Part of a workshop she is taking is about letting go of past hurts.  Fun stuff!:D  I gave her the requested information and went about my merry way.  But now my wheels are turning.  Looking back through some of my messages with her, neither one of us has any love for the guy.  Her dislike for him has been more passionate than mine but she is also a much more passionate person than I am.   Still,  I had to start asking myself “do I still hate him?” “am I sabotaging my future because of my past” “is there lingering bitterness that is poisoning my present”? And so on.

What I can say, for all of the hell that man put me through, “bygones”.  Seriously, “Bygones”!  I’ve stopped asking “why me”.  I’ve recognized that the demon nightmare forced me to be a stronger person than I ever imagined I could be.  I'll even thank him for that.  I don’t wish him any ill will, like I said “bygones”.   However, he is not the type of person I want for a “friend” or the type of person I want in my life.  And I see no reason to pretend otherwise.  I truly do not owe that man a single kindness.  As long as he stays out of my life and keeps his hands to himself, bygones.

Now, here is where my emotions get complex.  When I think about the trauma that man put my children through, I want to spit on him for the rest of his life.  I want the world to spit on him for the rest of his rotten life.  I’ve mulled it over and over in my head, I’ve twisted and turned it, I’ve tried to look at it from his perspective and I simply can not do it.  There is just no way I will ever forgive that man for the trauma he caused my children.  The images of my children’s tear stained faces the morning of October 1, 2010, are forever burned in my mind and on my heart. 

*long pause while I compose myself*
Even in writing this post.  Those first four paragraphs above, I felt nothing as I wrote them.  I chuckled over a few inappropriate jokes that passed through my mind, but I felt nothing.   In writing that fifth paragraph, my body got hot, my heart started racing, my emotions quickened.

He traumatized my children.  And he traumatized them simply because his life was not going the way he wanted.  I will never stop hating him for that.  I don’t let that feeling get in the way of my life now.  But I hate him, for the trauma he caused my babies I truly hate him.  And before everyone gets up on the “forgiveness” soap box, think about these few things:

1) part of what stemmed from that day was his court ordered enrollment in an 18 week Anger Management course.  At the end of which he wrote me an apology letter.  What I pointed out to his anger management coach is that in his “heartfelt apology letter” he eloquently apologized for a bunch of crap that he did while we were married.  The events that led to him being in that class, the trauma he caused my children, were not even alluded to in his “look at me, I’m sorry” letter; and

2) how would you feel about the person who caused unimaginable and irrevocable trauma to your child? Think about it, can you feel the anger?  Now explain to me why I should feel differently just because that person is their “dad”.

I don't hate my ex-husband. I do hate the father of my children.  Like so many other things that have grown from my experiences these past several years, that feeling is a part of me.  It doesn't define me.  And frankly, I’m good with it.



This amazing entry was chilling in our "Drafts" file.  I could not let it linger there as it proves what a strong, beyond awesome woman the Good Twin is!  She writes what I'm too chicken shit to say.  She's been a source of strength and laughter throughout my separation and divorce and even came to my divorce hearing and held my hand as I was shaking out of my skin.  Not only that, she's my best friend, emotional soul mate and wine sister extraordinaire! 
I so frigging love you!!!!

-

11 comments:

  1. I am sorry to hear that, hon. Would it make you feel better if I put my comments in French? :)

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    1. Everything sounds better in French! :)

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    2. You would make Good Twins existance if you par-la-vooed- your comments- however, you would have to translate them to me as Ms. Nosy does not speak french :/

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  2. To My Evil Twin - thank you for always believing in me. During the hardest time of my life, when my self-doubt was at an all time high, when I was just chilling in my own draft box, you believed in me. Thank you! You are awesome, wonderful and amazing! I love you!

    This post was "chilling" because I was trying to find the right words. I think I did. Please take another read! :)

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    1. You totally did!!! Rock on- my better half!!!!!

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  3. 2.0,

    Thank you so much for writing this! At first I thought I may as well have been the one who did the typing- your words are my own thoughts. Then you started talking about me and my actions last weekend and I realized how big my simple request had become. I am so touched that my act (that I did for myself) has changed not only my own life, but yours, his, hopefully your children’s, and this blog’s readers. I applaud your honesty and bravery in writing this and I have so much I want to say to you to encourage you.

    (I will have to write it in increments because the webpage won't accept such a big chunk all at once...)

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  4. Yes, the hEx has asked me to be friends. After 11 years of resentful distance, I called him for closure to remove him from my life, but he took that as an opportunity. I wanted to resist so badly, but it occurred to me that if I shut down the possibility of communication, I would stay in the same scenario I’ve been living with him all these years where angry conversations took place nowhere but in my head, with the same negative outcome instead of inspiring anything new.

    You’ve done a lot of work to understand what happened to you and why we have to forgive in order to be productive in life. You, like me, have tried to see things from his perspective in order to forgive ourselves for our own actions and reactions. When the bad things happened, what did you say to yourself about that? Did it become “I’m not a good mom because I couldn’t protect my kids” which is the resentment you hold on to now? (I think I said something like “I’m not lovable if my husband calls me horrible names and attacks me with knives and cheats on me”, but I think you know that I am very loving and lovable.) We all know that you are a great mom, so being angry and resentful and hurting over Oct 1, 2010 every day is like Groundhog Day letting it happen again and again, when it really happened 2 years ago and only repeats itself in your memory, not in reality. Have you thought about what A & A saw from their perspective? A & A had that bad experience too, and they may have had a reaction like “I’m not a good enough kid for Daddy to treat me this way” and they may even still think “Mommy’s angry at Daddy and it’s my fault because I wasn’t a good enough kid for Daddy to treat us this way”. Even if you try not to show it, they KNOW you’re still angry at him. Daddy made a lot of mistakes, but for A & A to not keep re-living Oct 1 every day, they need to know that their mom doesn’t keep living it out.

    I will never condone what he did. THE THINGS HE DID WERE BAD, WRONG, SELFISH, AND MEAN. The things he did to you and the kids were things that he perfected with me for over 8 years first. It’s about letting that stay in the past where it belongs so that the future is free and clear of those burdens. You obviously understand the importance of that and have been able to get to a zero place with yourself and understand the importance of “bygones”. I’m trying out a new idea that takes me beyond “feeling nothing” and being able to actively love and pay that forward. I’m opening the door to new possibilities that hadn’t occurred to me were possible while I was busy looking back being angry or numb. I didn’t forgive him because I was trying to be nice to him. I forgave him because I no longer want to be Reactive and think “I’m not lovable” because my husband mistreated me (back in the 1990s!). I want to be active, open and unafraid to love and bring new beautiful things into the world. And in reaching out and putting those new thoughts into action, so many more possibilities opened up than I expected.

    I’m overwhelmed that my simple request for a phone# has started so many conversations. The original one I had with him on Saturday has turned into several more with him (much to my chagrin at times) but has given me the courage to know that he can’t hurt me anymore and that I can start conversations with others. You know what else happened? YOU did. To discover the amount of thought you have put into it means the world has already been impacted. That is huge. I thank you for your help, your insight, your bravery, and… your friendship.

    Signed, 1.0+

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  5. ((((SABRA))))
    Again thank you for your courage and insight!!!
    While I agree with you wrote whole-heartedly- you and I both have the advantage where our relationship with the Evil Ex did not result in kids. That’s not to say that our pain is less- only that we’ve had the opportunity to go through the mourning experience on our own time- and if there were days when we needed a mental health break- a day to bury ourselves under the covers and not deal with anything- we could do so. The Good Twin has never had that luxury- her "in your face drama" with the Ex didn’t end with a court date. Her healing has always taken a back seat to the Minions’ healing. The fact that your Ex is an asshole and is incapable of being any kind of father- makes her role as mother, father, financial supporter- all the more dominant. Her healing has always been something to conquer when she has the time. And she has done so and then some!!!
    I appreciate you seeing her as the awesome force to be reckoned with :) And OMG she so is!!!!
    Plus, I appreciate your strength and insight like no tomorrow! No one should have to suffer abuse from someone they trust and love. The fact that you are able to get off the “bitter train” and embrace your monsters and your own healing is amazing beyond words!!!!

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  6. Wow!! Go out to the country for a Christmas tree and miss so much!!

    To 1.0 - During my marriage and even after the divorce when he would try to "win" me back (I honestly believe you EARN love and respect, but that's a whole other blog), I felt very unloveable when he would cheat or go into a drunkin tirade. I asked "why me?" and "what is so wrong with me". The entire time I should have been asking "what the fuck is wrong with him?" But that day he traumatized my children, something in me snapped. It became very much a "do what you will to me but NOT MY BABIES YOU SON OF A BITCH"

    Minion 1 remembers the good and bad, she wrestles with mixed feelings all the time. It is hard to watch her and guide her through that. Minion 2 has FINALLY stopped having night terrors. Not nightmares, night terrors. I've gotten more sleep in the last 3 months than I probably have in the last 5 years.

    As Minions 1 and 2 grow and mature, they are going to have to sort out their own relationships and feelings about their father. I've said it dozens of time and I'll say it again, 10 years from now I don't want them blaming me and I don't want them thanking me for whatever their relationship is with their dad.

    Part of my job as their mother is to protect them. As long as they are both safe, I'll never deny them their right to a healthy relationship with their father. But I am also a person and no one, not even my Minions 1 and 2, is going to deny me my right to not like that man for the things he did to us.

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    1. P.S. I apologize for any offense taking to my swearing. We're talking about the demon hEX and I needed some truth serum. Bygones!

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  7. In response to swearing and sons of bitches: meh, fuck him ;~)

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Thoughts?