Getting Through Betrayal, A Personal Story

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.

From Anger to Acceptance. Surrender, and Let the Shift Happen

I was angry, from Sunday night until last night. It was coming out in all my interactions, with my son, with my co-workers. Was not a pretty thing. Wrote a whole journal about it, thought about turning it into a blog, decided to do the “wait until morning and see how you feel” thing. In the morning after a very difficult night, tossed and turned for hours….I didn’t feel it.

In fact, at the moment I’m not angry at all. I think I am getting enough distance from the whole breakup with S. Today I can look back at the fun cool things we did and be happy for them, I can look at the betrayal and know he’s a messed up guy when it comes to that area. He’s not a bad guy. Like I said when I was trying to remain friends, he’s smart, really smart, funny, really funny, and very interesting. He’s got, as he called them on a dating site, piercing blue eyes.

But he’s messed up too. He does things he can’t really explain, he doesn’t know how to be accountable for the damage he does. He will apologize. Usually followed by “but….” He will try to find something wrong with you, if he has hurt you, to justify his behavior.

Childish, immature.

But not hateful. Egocentric, yes. Terrified of being at fault. But just messed up. He doesn’t set out to do the damage. He just doesn’t know how to stop himself.

He’s still that little boy, who couldn’t do anything right enough to earn the love of those who were supposed to just love him because he was. But it’s his journey to figure that out, not mine.

The biggest thing is, that the sting has gone out of what he did. I don’t see it as directed at me, to hurt me. I see it as a careless act, and the best he could do at the time in the place his head was. So, the hurt that was so raw, now I just shrug it off. He’s a hot mess. But he no longer has the power to make me into one.

Now, not sayin’ I want to set myself up for it again. Still haven’t talked to him, in 5 days, don’t intend to. I have had some opportunities to talk to men who don’t seem to be inclined to have sex with the first strange 31 year old headed for prison they encounter. Or anyone else for that matter. I hope he can raise his sights a little higher, for his own good. So he’s not paying for an STD test every time he has sex.

So enough of him. I’m not angry anymore. One reason is because I had a gathering of some of my closest friends at my house last night. We started a book club, focusing on spiritual books. We’re all into spirit, energy, journey back to source. So, the thing was, I was able to connect, and raise my level of consciousness out of the level of pain and hurt, and low self esteem and questioning myself. Discussion with my friends brought me back to who I am, who I want to be. Which is not someone who is in a relationship with a man who will fuck anyone he can. I get why I did it. I also get why I no longer want anything to do with it.

I had a long talk with my guy-friend, who I went out to dinner with a couple weeks ago. We text, we don’t talk on the phone much, but he asked me to call tonight on the way home, and I did. It was so pleasant, he is such a nice guy. He’s widowed, recently, he hadn’t told me that. Another reason why he isn’t looking for a relationship. He’s still raw. But he misses the friendship and companionship of a woman. Which is fine with me, because I miss male energy, but don’t want to find myself jumping into a new relationship. So we keep each other company, without all that heated energy to get into bed together.

I’m going to go to bed early tonight, and hope to make it through the night. I don’t know what I’m running on, my sleeping has been awful this week. A shift, I think I’m undergoing a shift. I was straying from my path, in my anger and my pain. Coming back to center now. Was a pretty hellacious ride.

I let it go, surrender. There are wonderful things ahead for me, I am sure of it.

Insomnia, Struggles, and Strength

Last night I kinda wanted to stay up and watch the Oscars. I didn’t watch them for years, but have tried to the last couple of years. Partly just to see the dresses, lol. Partly to figure out what movies are worth seeing.

But, after vacuuming the house, doing laundry, swiffering the floors, cleaning off my kitchen counters, cleaning bathrooms,making a snack for my new book club that has it’s first meeting here tomorrow, making a full dinner for my son and I, which is rare these days, I couldn’t keep my eyes open past 9:30.

So, I headed for bed, and was sound asleep by 10. I woke up at midnight, with a start. I realized I was angry. Angry at S for Saturday’s conversation, which didn’t need to take place. It changed nothing except to strengthen my resolve. I was angry that he couldn’t just let it be, that he had to question me as if I was the one who had sex with a stranger. Anger that he seemed to think I owed it to him to tell him that I was going out on a date AFTER his betrayal of me. As I explained to him, he threw the boulder in the pond. Everything that happen­ed after that was just what rippled out and washed up on the shore. In the words of Elizabeth Gilbert in a post she had on FB, I told him to “Own your shit S. It’s all yours, every bit of this.” Angry at myself for making poor choices, when the truth was staring me in the face.

That conversation took place on Saturday, by text, and culminated in me blocking him and I’m pretty sure I will never unblock him. I was fine Saturday night. And really, for awhile now I have thought I was past the anger. But there it was, in the middle of the night, Sunday night.

I tried all the tricks that usually work.  I tried meditation, I tried reading. I tried going on FB on my phone, I got up and took a Unisom. I lay there, and realized my stomach was upset. Solar Plexus chakra. I’m a reiki master. So I know that’s where we store our emotions. I immediately switched my meditation music and did self-reiki, focusing on the solar plexus. After about 10 or 15 minutes I felt the emotion move down to my lower chakras, and my stomach no longer hurt. But I still wasn’t sleeping. I finally dozed off to the meditation music for a little while. But I’m not sure I dozed.

When I regained consciousness, I remembered this vision. Was it a dream? I don’t know. I was standing looking upward. I held out one hand, reaching up,

and in that hand was a green ball, about the size of an old glass fishing float, if you’ve ever seen one. Maybe 6” in diameter. It was green but clear, hollow, which I guess is why I thought of the old fishing floats. In it was all my anger, and pain, and any other negative emotion I had at the time. And I was offering it up, to the universe, to take from me.

It wasn’t like I was asking. It was like the universe was offering. “Give it to me, let it go,” it was saying. Gently, sweetly, lovingly. “Surrender. Let it go.” I began to say out loud, “God is great” And then began chanting the silent mantra “So Hum.” I am. I am loveable. I am beautiful. I am happy. I am healthy. I am strong.

And so at about 4:15 I fell sound asleep, for 3 hours.

And today, I’m not angry at him. I’m indifferent. I don’t care. I’m not as angry at myself. I think it is the hardest to forgive ourselves. I knew better, but ignored it. But that’s where I was at the time. I wanted to be in love and love this man, so I did, even though he told me not to, even though my friends told me not to, my son told me not to. I wanted to.

And now I don’t. I don’t really even want to know him. Now I see who he really is, unclouded by eyes that have not seen a man care for them in a decade. Back facing reality. And quite content to be doing so, really.

I guess the anger, the pain, is still in layers there. I am peeling them away. I guess last night’s insomnia got a few of them peeled away.

In the dark of the night, in my lovely bed, I faced some truth and came through some dark ugly stuff. Stuff, truth I had to face about myself. In the end, I was more disgusted with S than angry. I was more angry with myself. And disgusted.

Healing. Not an easy road. But as they say, I’m grateful for my struggles. Because without them I wouldn’t have stumbled upon my strength.

In the Beginning, and In the End

I write, that’s what I do, it’s how I work things out.  So when I am in a relationship I write about it.  I wrote this first poem in the beginning, about S.  But the end, so far, does not seem poetic to me.  It has not inspired me to write poetry to get through it.  I am through it and happy about it, but it doesn’t seem to deserve poetry to me. It was an ugly betrayal.  It shook me to the very core to find out who he really was.

Still, I thought, I would publish these two poems.  The second is not about the ending but was about another moment in the relationship when I thought it was over.   Just a beginning and an ending.

I Would Be Happier

For the first time in many many years
Decades maybe.
Decades definitely.
I think,
I would be happier if he were here.

That scares me.
It scares him.
But it’s true, all the same.
Scared or not.
I would be happier if he were here.

In the morning having my coffee.
I sit outside
I listen as the world wakes up.
I am happy.
I feel the connection to all the earth.
I close my eyes.
I breathe in the scent of the early morning.
I contemplate.
I clear my mind.
I am happy.

Yet,
I would be happier if he were here.

I go through my day.
He calls.
I am happy.
That he called
That I am having a good, easy day.
That he is thinking of me.
Because I cannot stop thinking of him.
We talk, we both flirt a little.
I am happy.

Yet,
I would be happier if he were here.

I get home.
I clean up my kitchen.
I idly check my phone
To see if I missed a message.
I did not.
I go outside.
I sip a glass of wine.
A cool breeze blows through my hair.
I am happy.
My life is wonderful.
Yet,
I would be happier if he were here.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`

And then, an ending.  Not THE ending, just an ending. In hindsight, I wish I had let it be the ending. Would have saved me a lot of heartache.  But the result is the same….Surrender.

Surrender

It’s fascinating, really,
how happiness can come
and go,
so silently, so fleetingly.
One minute you can be happy, sure of your life
and the next minute
some new piece of truth comes your way
and completely undoes the happiness you were so sure of
only seconds before..

It feels obscene, it feels like a violation.
Of my person. Of my psyche.

I asked the question.
I hoped beyond hope
for a different outcome.
Knowing I might not get it,
hoping I would.

I did not.

Now, I can’t change the answer.
I can’t change our hearts.
I can’t go back
to the moment before I knew the answer.
The moment, the time, the place
where I could bury it
and ignore what I knew.
What the voices kept repeating.

The question kept rearing it’s head.
“What about this???” the voices called.
Are you happy?? Despite this??
Enough times they called to me as I slept
As I woke
As I showered
As I dressed
As I drove
As I made love.

They wouldn’t be ignored.

I surrendered.
I asked the dreaded question.
I got the dreaded answer.

Now…my task is to accept.
To surrender yet again, to what is.
And to place my hope outward
Forward.
To a time and place as yet unknown
Where I can dream the dream again
And laugh in it’s fulfillment.

Right now
in this time and this space
I sit with my sadness.
Knowing that it will pass.
That all things are possible.

Islands in my Dreams, A Little Tease from the Universe

I was on a dating site last night. I don’t know how else to meet men my age. There are scammers, and crazies, but every once in a while there is someone real. I think I was on the site, just to take my mind off of the ugly way in which the relationship with S ended. And end it did. I am relieved, glad, happy not to hear from him again. Glad to feel free to move on, with no left over emotions, no regrets, but with real recognition that it was a toxic relationship for me.

But I digress.

I was on the quickmatch thing, where you see a person’s pictures and profile, and click yes or no. Generally, this site gives me a few that are geographically acceptable and a lot that are over 100 miles away. A little too far to say, catch a movie at the last minute. I don’t understand why they show me those profiles, when my parameters are set to 50 miles from my home. (As a friend says, they are GUD – geographically undesirable, lol.) This site also rates their compatibility by percentage, based on your and their answers to what could be 100’s of questions.

But whatever. Last night I was just kind of future tripping, sitting in front of the TV, while it snowed yet again here in CT. It was just fun, reading profiles, checking out answers, etc. Just getting back into the dating mood.

Then, like a joke, it showed me two men back to back, that were perfect. 94% and 98% compatibility. Both were creative types, grounded, laid back, happy. And why shouldn’t they be. 94% lived in Vineyard Haven on Martha’s Vineyard. It’s one of my favorite places.

I should interject here, that I used to cruise the New England coast with my ex in our 41′ boat. The Vineyard was a regular destination each summer. It’s just beautiful. I have a print of Menemsha, a fishing village on the Vineyard, on my family room wall, beside one of New London Harbor which is my home port.

Needless to say, I stopped on that profile. Now…the Vineyard is a good 4 hours from here, by car and ferry. Absolutely not a possibility for a relationship in reality. But I did a bit of daydreaming about this man and being on the Vineyard with him. One of my best friends husbands grew up on the Vineyard, (he is also a close friend) and one year we met them up there, and they drove us around the island, to Gay Head, Menemsha, other beautiful spots.

He was definitely my type. Nice looking, laid back, creative, a warm smile. Looked quite capable of loving a woman. I sent him a message and told him I wished the Vineyard was closer, and that I was sure he was going to make some woman quite happy.

Then I sadly clicked no….

The next match popped up and it was the 98% match.  Another creative laid back type, and he lived in Siasconset, on Nantucket. If there is anywhere I love more than the Vineyard, it’s Nantucket. At first I was like, WTF, dating site?? Why are you teasing me with these profiles, so perfect and so far away. But I did a little remembering and daydreaming again.

Nantucket was another place we visited fairly regularly in the boat. The village of Nantucket is quaint, with cobblestone streets and gas lamps. One year when we went we rented a jeep and drove all over the island, to the villages of Madaket, Surfside, Miacomet and Siasconset, which is better known as ‘Sconset. Sconset is where Ahab’s wife lived, in Sena Jeter Naslund’s book “Ahab’s Wife”, my all-time favorite book. Probably my favorite because a lot of it takes place there. ‘Sconset looks east, to the vast Atlantic. It’s like another world. I sent 98% a message similar to the one I sent 94%, how lucky he was to live there, and I hoped he found a wonderful woman to share his life with.

I don’t know why I sent the messages, but it was lovely to have a small daydream about some of my favorite places on earth. I call them “places of my dreams”. I hunger to go back there some day. To be out in the middle of the ocean, on solid ground, and breathe the salt air, feel the sea breezes. God, I miss it.

Sigh. Back in reality, here in CT, sitting comfortably cozy while another snowstorm makes it’s mark, I was happy. Just to be reminded that there is beauty out there, waiting for me.

The universe was teasing me, for sure. Teasing me into remembering all the possibilities, as ugly memories fade away into oblivion. I am grateful.

A Comfy Cozy Blanket of Snow

It’s snowing again. I live in New England, Connecticut to be exact. And it’s snowed a lot this winter, like well in excess of 4 ft. And been cold. And most of us, even those who usually like a little snow…are sick of dealing with it. But I’m glad this one is on a weekend. I was out with a friend, drove home in it. It wasn’t too bad. But when I got home, I sat down with a glass of wine, found a movie on TV, booted up the computer, and made some popcorn.

It seems a little weird, but I’m one of the people who bitches the most loudly about how much I hate winter. Right now…I feel all comfy cozy, happy, relaxed, relieved to be home. Happy to be happy.

All the stuff with the old relationship is somehow unimportant today. That’s a huge relief. Really. I’m very ready to be done with it and moving on.

I’m about to make myself some spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. I will have another glass of wine with it. I will worry slightly about my son driving home from work in this, but it’s not going to be that bad, I’m sure he will be ok. Maybe I’ll watch last week’s episode of Downton Abbey or State of Affairs, or something else. I look forward to getting into a bed with clean sheets, reading a little.

Glad to have the drama over with. Glad to be moving on. Relieved to know I won’t be getting middle-of-the-night texts telling me he hates me or is sorry or whatever. Glad for the silence. The sanity. Not missing the mind-fuck.

Sleep will be nice. I will wake up fresh, and free and happy and grateful for the constant warmth and love of friends and family. Life is good.