When my friend from Canada sent me Reiki, she told me I gotta let the anger fire burn out. She said it was a purification fire, and that I couldn’t deal with the hurt and pain until the fire was done burning.
What I’ve learned is that the anger, and subsequent pain, are like concentric circles. There is the outer wave of anger, the initial one, when you find out about the betrayal. You rage, you scream. You want to hit something. Your anger is visceral, it comes from so deep within you, you didn’t think you were capable of that much anger.
And then it subsides, amazingly. You don’t know if you’re not angry anymore, or sick of being angry, or just numb. In between each circle is a no-man’s land, a neutral space, where you have a moment to try to collect yourself. It might last a few hours, or a few days. But it doesn’t last.
Then you deal with the furthest out circle of pain. You might wake up in pain. You might lay down in your bed, and feel the knot in your stomach unravel and release the flood of tears. You might just be sitting on the couch with the tv on some show you are not watching, and the anguished cries just come from somewhere in your chest, unbidden. You cry. You sob, in giant heaves, that wrack your body. You can’t sleep. Every single thing that happens to you makes you think of him. And that makes you think of what he did, oblivious to what it would do to you. You think of his hands on someone else, you think about them being intimate, the way you were, and you sob again and again. You try to numb yourself somehow so you won’t keep seeing it, feeling it. You might drink 4 large glasses of wine that first night, you might take a sleeping pill and still barely sleep. You can’t talk about it in this phase, you can’t even say what he did to you. To name it is to make it real, to give it form. You cannot. You can’t tell anyone, you can’t say out loud what he did.
Then whenever you have sat with that for long enough you find yourself back in that thin line of the neutral place between the circles. You think you might be ok, You realize you will live. It will be painful, you think, but you can get out of bed, you can go to work, you can take care of things that need taking care of. When you go to bed, it’s the hardest to face. In bed alone, remembering what it felt like when wrapped his arms around you, when he woke you in the middle of the night. But you know you can’t share him. So you take the pain, you feel the pain, you live with the pain. And thankfully it dulls over time. In the meantime, you purge him from your life. You don’t want to look at any corner of your life and be reminded of what was, and what wasn’t.
This cycle happens a number of times. You are angry, then hurt, then angry, then hurt. You want answers. You want to know why. You want to know how he could say he cares, and then do this. Not getting answers angers you. Then it hurts you. Each time the level of hurt is a little less. Because he has no answers You have to deal with it alone, and you are beginning to get sick of it. Sick of having your head spin. Sick of wondering what was really going on between you and he, sick of trying to understand.
You might talk to him, over and over. You might want to be with him so bad, you do it. You don’t think you can stop the pain if you don’t. You see him, you are with him, you have some relief from the pain, but then you realize you are just setting yourself up to go through this all over again. That thought is terrifying. So you slow down on the talking. You don’t allow the flirting anymore, it’s like a knife cutting the wound open again. You tell him…he might stop. He might get mad. He might not understand why you came to him, and then were done with him. It gets ugly, then it gets better, but it’s a downward trend. Pretty soon, it’s just ugly. You stop talking altogether.
It’s ok, you think. I’ll get over this, I’ll move on. And it is. For awhile. For a day, for a week, it’s ok. Then one night you’re driving home and you miss him. Geezus you think, why am I missing him??? But you are. You imagine calling him. You imagine him calling you. Or showing up at your house unexpectedly. But every time, now, you imagine it ends badly. You never imagine that it ends well. How can it end well? How can you undo what has been done? You can’t. So you know…you can’t go back there. And he can’t tell you why he did it. He cant tell you why he was willing to devastate you. So you know that eventually, until he can speak to those things, that being with him just sets you up to repeat it.
You have to sit with your sadness. Again. And again. Then your anger. Again and again. Until you are finally in that circle in the center. The one that is so small that you can’t stay in it for too long.
You get asked out on a date. You accept. You try to look forward to it. You DO look forward to it. The man is nice, kind, he opens the doors for you, helps you with your coat. He is easy-going, not pushing any agenda, just enjoys your company. Somewhere in your head something nags at you, because it won’t be with him. You tell the nagging to shut up, because he will only hurt you again.
Unbelievably, the nagging shuts up.
So, you sit with your sadness, until it has dissipated. Until your soul emerges, and you begin to remember who you were before. Before him, before the betrayal, before your world was turned upside down.
The sun comes out, you focus on your new life. All the possibilities. You would like to say goodbye to him, but you don’t want to start anything up. You want to say, I’m ok. You want him to know you’re ok, that he didn’t kill you, even though you thought for awhile he did. You know that the possibilities are endless. Life is good again.