“Day 3: Something You Have to Forgive Yourself For”
Almost automatically, my mind rushes to my divorce. Of all “mistakes” I’ve made in my life, the fact that I blame myself for ALL of the problems leading to our fall-out, break-up, separation, and final divorce, is the hardest one I’ve yet to let go of. I didn’t have a good model (still don’t) of a healthy marriage growing up. Following a model of patriarchy (all due to the religion I was first exposed), my father made sure to put my mother in her “place” in our home- making every single decision for her and us kids, she never had a voice in the home. Whatever she did was never good enough. I learned, early on, that women weren’t to be valued or respected. We were here to, more or less, “take it.” (Take that however you like.) I made my own voice heard, not once, twice, or three times, but I’m counting seven distinct times that my ex-husband and I would return to our same issues that we needed to fix. He was all about fatalistic comments to our relationship, repetitive conditional statements, such as “unless you do X, I’ll…” and “well, I guess we’re over then.” I couldn’t find a safe place to hide in my marriage. It was the source of conflict I desired to hide from. Being the peacemaker I am, I would rush to the purpose of smoothing things over, doing as he said (as I bit my lip and became so resentful) and apologize through pursed lips. I didn’t see a way out- of either our problems or the nagging pain in my head and heart, urging me to get out. I tried to fix myself and my weight as a means to finally gain his attention. I bore all responsibility for our failing marriage. He used his gaming addiction to make our marriage seem slightly more bearable. To this day, I still blame myself for not being good enough to make things work. Like a broken record, these thoughts have run through my mind: “if only I’d been more _____.” I couldn’t make him love me. I couldn’t make him give me the attention I needed or naively felt I deserved. Cutting ties was the hardest and best decision I’ve made in my life so far. I now need to make amends with myself, perhaps through Heidi and inner reflection, to let the ghost go already.