Today, while having a brainstorming of sorts, I revisited a pivotal moment in my past. I reflected on a moment in my life when I had to swallow a bitter pill of truth.
Let me explain. Some years ago, right after I separated from my husband I found myself as bitter as wormwood. I was elated to be free from a 13-year relationship that was not healthy, but I was full of judgement, resentment and self-pity. How could he do me this way? Why was he so controlling? Why didn’t he accept me and love me as me? The list of accusatory questions was long, I admit.
Deep inside, I wanted my new start in life (post-husband) to be fresh, and I knew that I didn’t want to become a bitter, old ‘hag”. I had to find ways to avert that outcome. I just didn’t know how. I am sure that I bought a few self-help books that I never finished reading. I had many self-talks with myself as well. But, the one thing I did that I can truly say started to set me free of my self-imposed prison was writing. Writing, somehow, allowed me to dig within myself and find the truth. Not the so-called truth that I had fed myself during the years of marriage, but the truth that only I could admit to myself, at first.
I had to peel back layer after layer of myself like an onion. I didn’t like what I began to realize about myself. I formed my thoughts into poems and prose. It was amazing how it was more palpable that way, but at the same time it was gritty and gut-level honesty. I began to answer why he could do me that way, because I “allowed” it. I answered why he couldn’t accept and love me as I was, because I “couldn’t” accept me or love me for me. I answered why he was so controlling, because in the beginning it was easier to let him drive the relationship while I sat in the passenger seat. In essence, I set him up for how I was to be treated. Now, I am not saying that he was without any blame. What I am saying is that I had to find myself in each instance where I wanted to nail him to the cross, and find the one “constant”. That constant was me. I was there through it all, in every situation and I allowed myself to stay longer than I should have. I didn’t love myself enough to leave the relationship. I allowed FEAR to rule my life. Fear of being alone, fear of being a failure, fear that no one else would have me or love me, fear, fear, fear!!!! That was a bitter pill to swallow, but once I did and allowed its effect to take place I began to set myself free of resentment, judgment, condemnation and distrust.
Seeking, finding, exposing and facing my fears is how I must handle them. Otherwise, I am paralyzed and unable to move forward. Now, it didn’t happen over night, and believe me, there are still some remnants left from that relationship that I continue to work on. But, I am happy to acknowledge that he and I are very cordial and have learned how to care for one another in a different way. I feel good that I don’t have to carry that around with me. I have worked through it and today I am free.