Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sorting Out a Hot Mess

I don't even know where to begin.

Just when I felt like I was getting to that processing point in finding the words and discovering the reasons behind some very significant recent feelings, I am hit with a wall. Being in Columbus has allowed me to do some serious reflecting, for which I am thankful. But what the heck am I supposed to do with this information? Am I in some state of denial? Am I going to feel worse tomorrow morning, in the coming week or month? Will this tsunami of new information come back and test the strength and forgiveness that I have tried to build?

Enter the lovely Facebook...

My ex married the w----*.

Today as I happened across an old friend my ex and I shared, I noticed this friend looked happy and was dressed nicely in a suit. I was thinking, "He must have had a friend get married, how nice." I then thought I would see if his wife, also an old friend, was on his list of friends just to be nosey and to look at the profile pictures. (Honestly, I was curious to see if they were still together because it seemed like they might have been having relationship troubles around the time my relationship with my ex hit the fan. I am very happy they are still together.) As I was scrolling down the list, there popped up the wedding photo as her profile picture.

I was not expecting this. A few of the last words my ex said in my presence were, "I am NEVER getting married again."

I had never known what she had looked like. And I liked it that way.

Stupid, stupid, stupid. My intention was not to probe into his life. I was taking a walk down memory lane, just missing a few people who had been in my life for fourteen years.

It was weird. As I looked at the picture, they looked happy and had they been strangers to me I probably would have thought that they looked like two people who seemed to go together.

And it hurt because it is not easy to think of myself as so replaceable. My next thought was that he has definitely moved on with his life.

Argh! And just when I was getting to a place where I was not comparing the milestones in our lives as a measure of success in my life and letting go of feeling like it was less. I was (and am trying to hold onto) being better able to just let that all go. His life doesn't matter. Focus on myself and be thankful for all of the good in my life right now.

And despite all of the growth that I have made in the last few weeks**, I feel guilty for not being in a place to feel happy for him. I don't wish him harm or for bad things in his life. I have just been feeling at peace--just kind of neutral--you live your life and I will live mine. I don't know if I can feel happy for him. I'm not there yet. How could he have moved on so quickly? It's not about him. What's so wrong with me? And I don't want to hear that if this is what makes him happy that it was meant to be. Then why did I love him for all of those years?

Let it go.

(Important Note: When I originally created my Facebook page, I immediately blocked my ex. I wanted to minimize the chances of him knowing about my life and I had no interest in knowing about his. I knew her name and attempted to block her, but she did not have an account. Blocked a few other ex-in-laws and had not messed with the edits since.)

**Highlights from the previous weeks leading into learning this news...

So, in coming to Columbus for the summer, I have been reconnecting with some friends and getting back in touch with some old classmates. Feeling a bit nostalgic, I've been scoping out Facebook a bit more and it has been fun. And really, where it had sometimes been tough seeing people from my past with their families and children, in talking with them I am really happy for them. It is a very healthy thing.

Part of that I contribute to moving to a place where I can dream again--for myself and in my life. Last weekend, RJ and I went to a bunch of yard sales. I love roaming around a neighborhood yard sale with him. As we were out and about, we went into a couple of homes that were having open houses. RJ wanted to check one out to see how they were restoring the house, as it was in progress. It was fun to appreciate the workmanship. Then I was curious about another house, not wanting to lead the realtor on, but just a peek. It gave me a hint of what a house can cost in the area and how much home you can get and in what condition. It was the first time that I realized that I could really one day own a home again. I think given what I hope to have as an income when I get a job, I think I could one day swing getting a nice, little house. And I think it was important to view this as a possibility that I could potentially do on my own--in the way to know that I will be able to support myself and not rely on having to be with someone to do this. This is NOT a slight against RJ. If anything, I see this as me being able to have more to contribute if we consider more in sharing a future together.

It was refreshing to catch myself in that moment of dreaming and playfully considering the possibilities of my future, especially in such a positive way. It helps me to focus on me and to be thankful for what I have in my life and to not measure my life experiences with those of others. As my friend Karen said, "We each have to make our own happy." And that freedom to accept and appreciate my life allows me to enjoy more fully what others have in their lives for those who have meaning in my life. Again, a very good thing.

Then getting back to that nostalgic bug, Columbus has a lot of selection in music stations on the radio. There are several that play music that reminds me of high school and college. As much as I have tried to fight it, I have been thinking about my ex a bit more. Not in that way where I miss him or want to be with him, but just wandering thoughts of some of the good that we experienced together. I have felt very sad, but it has also been nice not to have vengeful or ugly thoughts related to him (*Oops, that one slipped.). In thinking about it, I wondered if I might be coming to a better place in reaching another level of forgiveness with him in letting go of the bad and the hurt. I am tired of feeling angry and maybe this was a sign that I am turning that corner or something has lifted. Many times I wondered if I could ever look back on the relationship with any kind of positive regard or if it had all been ruined in that my life during that period had been for nothing and a complete waste. But I decided that maybe how I was feeling recently was showing me that there was some good there and it was not all for naught, that there is meaning that I can positively take away for myself from that experience.

And with this new realization and acceptance I feel like I can better move forward in my life, especially in allowing my self to dream and in my relationship with RJ. Letting go helps me to be free and to have that space to enjoy more of life. It gives me better clarity as I work towards deeper resolve and acceptance. I am living my life for me! (Darn it!)

I just hope that I can hold onto that strength and level of forgiveness. I don't know how I will feel tomorrow or the coming days. I have a feeling that I may be in for experiencing a bit of an emotional hangover. Blughhhhh...


  1. Wow, Jamie- what a shocker! I can't imagine how hard that must have been to see. I think though, that no matter what else, it is a HUGE sign that you are on the right path for you right now, and that this path is much better than the one you would have taken had you and your ex stayed together. But by God woman- feeling guilty for not being happy for him after being caught off guard like that??? No ways should guilt enter your head! You can be at peace with everything but you don't need to hold yourself to saintlike standards, dear. :)

  2. Thanks, Katie, for posting. I know it can't be an easy one to read, let alone comment. And you are right that I have to be patient with myself. Forgiveness doesn't happen all at once, as much as I would like it to happen that way. And for some reason I don't think it will ever be completely done and gone. Somewhere along the line I think I need to come to a place of peace and acceptance that it will always be there somewhere, it is just a matter of deciding if I am going to let it hurt me any more. At least it hurts less and today is better than yesterday.