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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

It 'tis Late At Night And I got To Thinking..

Night has never been that scary a time for a way I always kind of liked it but not always for positive reasons....I't easier to HIDE in the dark. But for the most part I took it for what it was, half my time here on the planet (more or less) was spent at night. I think what really almost ruined it for me was the nearly 5 years I spent in management at the company I worked for on 3rd shift. It was "supposed" to be a 1 year assignment...well you know how that can go! Over 5 years on Third shift nearly destroyed me....

That was the time in my life when everything began to bottom out...I felt zero support from home for the long hours and sacrifice of working what I still consider to be a completely unhealthy shift and really resented it. Today there is no resentment for what happened and I've made my amends with M (my X), but I still believe my working that shift, if it didn't ultimately "cause" the destruction of my marriage it certainly accelerated the inevitable. I believe now my X took advantage of the time I was away in the evening or sleeping during the day to establish her new life. I can't say blame her, my alcoholism was obvious and getting worse.

But instead of supporting me, of even making a weak attempt to help an obviously bad situation that kept getting worse...she turned inward to protect herself instead of reaching out to nurture, love and support. Never once did I ever sense her fighting FOR the marriage or me for that survive. That was a hard thing to believe and accept when it started to become obvious to me long after we split and I sobered up.

In her defense she probably figured it wasn't worth it...that it wouldn't have made a difference. Whatever her justification, it felt like she wrote me off at the time and even looking back on it, it still does. It is easy to hide behind the "I have to take care of me": attitude so well promoted in therapy circles today. Where I now strongly believe the opposite: that I actually take care of "me" by reaching out and helping others not by retreating into a defensive, protective mode. As far as my experience (and that of many people in recovery who I personally know) shows, it works much more effectively then relying on self-oriented, self reflection and the "circling the wagons" therapy philosophy so well promoted today. It is our society's philosophy as well "I should always take care of ME first"...The reason it's so successful is that it tells people what they really want to hear in the first place: " You're a victim, ignore the other person and put yourself first for a change and at the expense of everything else". Because YOU ARE WORTH IT!

I have had very little contact with her since we separated and the divorce was final. The last time being a couple of years ago when we met by chance and I asked for some of her time to make amends. We met a few days later for 90 minutes or so and it was a very positive experience...for me it was, I suspect for her too. I am very grateful she was willing to meet me...she had no obligation to do so and it was widely known by then I had tried to kill myself so she could have written me off as a nut...she didn't.

But in reality, it's all spilled milk now and interestingly enough, I feel no longing or even sadness for those days clearly was not meant to be. We were not compatible, that much is clear and I think in many ways it was an obligation for both of us. Even recently I have said how much I loved her and how it hurt when she left. There certainly was pain but I now I have to admit that I am not so sure any more about how much love there truly was for her because I realize now I was not capable of actually feeling love, receiving or giving it...we were both going through the motions. I've often felt, going back to when we were together that for her own reasons, she was incapable of giving and receiving love either.

Realizing that I wasn't capable of love has now deflated my defense throughout the divorce that I loved her and she let "the LOVE" down by not reciprocating. It's obvious to me today that isn't what happened. And it does bother me to realize now that I realize that I was not the innocent one that loved her and got let down. No once again I cannot take credit for something I was not...

That realization hurts because I liked to think that I tried my best to make it work...I really did not. I just wasn't capable of giving my best and my self centered, selfish orientation got in the way...I was just trying to survive day to wonder she wanted out...that isn't the way to live and enjoy life to the fullest.

It does make me sad thinking back on how lost I truly was in those days. I had no idea that there could be a much better way to live...I am however extremely grateful that my life didn't end that way...that I was given the gift of another redemption.

I will come clean here. This is a post that I have been waiting for a long time to write. Why? Because it does finally place some direct responsibility for hurtful behavior and for the divorce on my X-Wife. I know you are all thinking "huh?!". Well, unlike a lot (most if not all?!) of people going through a split, I never really have criticized her, certainly not in public and though there were times I shouted accusations directly at her during arguments, etc, I never said that stuff to anyone else. I took all the responsibility for the divorce because I really believed in my heart that I screwed it all up and it was all my fault. That I was solely to blame...

I drove my family and friends absolutely crazy by defending her. The ironic and sad part of all that, well one of the many ironically sad parts was she felt threatened by me and wouldn't even let me know where she lived as if I'd stalk her or something. She had no idea how much that really damaged me and it just goes to show how mis-guided some of that therapy philosophy really is. That behavior undoubtedly contributed to the well of self-hatred building up inside of me that ultimately ended in near tragedy-suicide. So here she was doing this extremely hurtful thing that everyone except me could see...and I was still defending her. I know my buddy Jim wanted to bash me across the head to knock some sense into me...

Honestly, today...If I had to come up with the one thing that hurt me, damaged me the most from our's not even close, it was that specific behavior of emotionally crucified me and was so completely mean-spirited and unnecessary. I have forgiven it, but I definitely can't EVER forget it. Perhaps it has served as an object lesson so I think before I do and say things that may really hurt somebody...

Today is another chance to live the kind of life I always wanted to live but thought I was incapable of it because I was too flawed...and yes, I felt like a bad person...almost evil. That notion is laughable to me today but I really felt evil, mean and hurtful back then and couldn't see the TRUTH. Today I know what the TRUTH is...and HE has made all the difference.

It's a good thing too or I'd still be buying into the lies....                                                                                                                                                                                                          


  1. In my years of dating (after the divorce) I heard so many stories of anger; so much pent up hate. Life is so much better when you let go of the past. I'm so glad that you're not a wallower

  2. I think that kind of thing destroys people...bit by tiny bit. I was hurt by what happened but it was better to wait until I could honestly express the hurt, not trying to "get back" at anyone jut share my experience and let it go.

    Thanks for your comment...

  3. Wow. I really do think you and my S have led very similar lives; not the same, but quite similar. I hope he continues along the path to a place like you seem to be heading. Thanks,as always, for sharing your thoughts and insight. ~hugs~

  4. B..Thank you as always for your thoughtful and insightful comment. Now I'm curious because I don't know the specifics of S's story other then he's a Combat Vet, several times over but I do think you've mentioned something about how relationships from the past had impacted his life.This post was a much BIGGER deal then it probably appears to people and represents a real break through for me.

    The timing is odd and rather late in the game. I didn't want to suddenly come across like I blame her suddenly and I do respect her and her right to live her life as she chooses. It was just plain hard but I too had to realize that I needed honest release then closure too.

    This has happened to me before but just when it seems like I am running out of "growth type stuff" to say...BOOM. Something like this comes never ends.

    On a personal note B...I am still thinking and praying for the two of you each and every day. I know how hard this is for you...and I'm sure for him.

    Peace Always and Big HUGS TOO!!

  5. The easiest thing to do is to say "it was all her fault", or even to take on the martyr stance "OK I'll take all the blame, you are free to go and live your life".

    But marriage is a two-way street, and chances are both parties contributed to the break-up. I am finding that the only way to grow after such an experience is to recognize and own one's own share in the dissolution of the relationship, as well as let the other person carry their own rightful burden. That is a true challenge, and one that can take years or even decades to figure out. It is difficult picking your own strands out of the fabric that you wove together.

    Good luck and peace to you.

  6. Chris, you are absolutely just took nearly 7 years for me to get least publicly. Personally I came to terms with this a couple of years ago.

    As I have said in other comments...divorce is just HARD, it hurts and no one really wins...everyone loses...SOMETHING in the process.

    Some people try to defend their "Turf" (dignity, pride, whatever) to the last's a total waste of time. unfortunately 6 years after the fact K's X is still doing it and it is pathetic because he uses their child to get revenge, or make his point, get his way, control's one of the sickest situations I have ever personally witnessed and it's hurtful to be a (fringe) part of it, I hate it.

    As far as I know you have no children and if that is the case it's a blessing.

    Miss you Kiddo, thinking of you and was glad to see your comment.

    Peace Always and the strength to persevere...