Saturday, March 27, 2021

Fast Forward: Four Years Later


Greetings everyone! The Unleashed One here. How's everyone doing? You haven't seen much of me around, not even on Facebook or Instagram. Most of that has been attributed to the surge in work upon my return. The other part is desiring the quiet from #AllThingsSocial.

In my last entry, I spoke about an impromptu but very important revelation that became part of my Shadow Work, even though it wasn't part of the suggested prompts in my exercise. 

Today, I am moved to speak on this topic, more on a reflective aspect and how I've been since the event happened. The post has less to do with any type of blasting and more so about my growth and my development since everything has occurred.

First off, the narrative has to cease that just because someone is speaking the truth of her experience with someone that it's an automatic lie simply because one doesn't like what is said or that's not your experience with a person.

Also, one also has to quit trying to convince another person that she didn't have the experience. The whole, "There's no way she could have had that happen because he didn't do it to me". Or "she must have done a,b, and c for him to do d,e,f".

Amazingly, it's not the men that put that type of onus on women, but it comes from other women, the tribe that should be the most empathetic and sympathetic when one of us goes through emotional, mental, spiritual, and/or sexual trauma.

Okay, now that the P.S.A. is out of the way, let's get down to the boogie-down.

Today is the four-year anniversary of my divorce. It isn't one of those things where I was popping bottles and celebrating, like some may feel once an arrangement that wasn't working for you was over. Honestly, I felt like a failure, like, "Damn, I can't get happily ever after right, even when doing things the right way."

For me, the right way was:

(1) Education

(2) Career

(3) Achieving a strong foundation through achieving 1 & 2

(4) Relationship leading to marriage

(5) Children

There was a huge sense of mourning. This extended beyond the legal contract. I lost someone who initially started off as a friend. Heck, when we would have conversations during the time we were dating, he gave his word that he'd never leave my side, no matter what. But he also said he'd never intentionally hurt me, no matter what, either.

What I said back then remains true. I had accepted that he and I (as a romantic couple) did not work but held on to hope there could still be a friendship because that was our origin. Yet, through the volatility which followed, that got destroyed. So, I lost more than my romantic life companion. I lost a friend, and that cut the deepest.

Even as I went through therapy, I still pondered his well-being. Not from a "how was he doing without me". More from "how he was doing" in general.

I know some of you reading this may not understand how I could be concerned for someone who didn't the unthinkable in the end. The easy short answer is "it's complicated". The better, more authentic answer is when dealing with him, I always saw him as a friend first, life partner second. So, in the interim, it didn't feel off to wonder how a friend would fare because I believed he too was feeling a sense of loss but was unsure how to process. 

My therapist asked me if that was indeed the truth or was it what I wanted to believe? Was the man I knew from the beginning the truth or did I fall for the presentation?

The process of therapy is not designed to be easy. It is not a situation where one person is right and the other person is wrong. I believe it is designed to act as a reflection—to make one see clearly situations that may be distorted or invisible. Many intangibles can taint or thwart a lens. Anger, denial, avoidance, even mechanisms meant to protect, such as nostalgia and detachment.

I realized through my sessions with my therapist that I would always fall back on the nostalgia or the better days when she would inquire if our relationship was deteriorating, even prior to the major event which led me to seek her counsel. I would detach and do damage control or try to put logic to the highly irrational.

In reality, there were cracks in us prior to our getting married. Knowing those cracks were present, we made vows anyway because he swore he'd do any and everything possible to not re-offend.

When I wanted to discuss my concerns, such as my dislike of his lady friends calling and texting him all times of the day and night, he would fire back about how I had male friends. My male friends knew I was married and respected my marriage. None of his lady friends seemed to have gotten the memo. 

This was just the start to other matters that made our romantic dealings less "smooth sailing" and "more erratic roller coaster" where you were unsure if it was going to fall off the rails.

In hindsight, I was unable to provide the constant attention he sought. He wanted to constantly be needed and sought after without having to put in any work to maintain the upkeep. My love language was different from his and we couldn't achieve that medium.

I was under the impression he would continue wanting to go out and do different activities once we got married. It wasn't until later that I realized his preference was to be holed up in the apartment for many hours at a time playing video games.

I didn't realize the video games were an obsession. Heck, I would play video games on occasion but not to the point where I would use alternate means to use the bathroom for fear of not getting to a certain level on what I was playing.

Yet, when I would ask him if he wanted to end things, the answer he always gave was "no". That is, until the summer of 2015. The "yes" only lasted for a few hours because that is when he stated that he wanted things to work and that he was willing to go to therapy. That willingness did not last for long.

After my therapist and I completed our work, it was this sensation of "what's next". In the early stages, I did date, and at one point had a relationship that didn't pan out. 

I decided to take a rest, to go on a retreat from it all. I was going through so many personal changes, and I believe the breakup gave me confirmation that it was time to traverse alone for a while.

I needed to travel on a journey of self. Not just awareness ... I have plenty of that. Even more than accountability. Adaptation. Unlearning the old and getting rid of behaviors that were part of and contributed to toxicity. Being open to seeing and learning in a new way. Getting healthy in all the corners of my life.

The hardest part was not forgiving him. Honestly, I forgave my ex-husband years ago for everything. I talk about this from a "these are events and circumstances which happened". I wish him no ill will. I pray that wherever he is and whatever he is doing is bringing joy and peace into his life and that if he does have a special someone, that it is a positive union.

I even wish that for the ex I had a relationship with after my marriage.

The hardest part was forgiving myself.

Could I have gotten to where I'm at currently ... the rock bottom where I had to get gutted? Whose to say. All I know is the people who entered my life got me to the stasis sooner.

Anger is an understandable emotion, and trust me, I had bouts in the early going where I was pissed the entire hell off, but the anger serves no purpose unless it's transformed into a productive weapon. Otherwise, anger and resentment give the person or people you swear "you are over" or "don't give a damn" about dominion over you. 

And ... as someone who can be a bonafide control freak, I couldn't have that!

Okay ... dusting off hands ... that about does it. Will there be a Shadow Work Sunday to follow? Only time will tell. If you've been reading this far, thanks for sticking around.

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