When Is An Apology Real?

I just got home from a long day trying to prepare the art center for the grand opening tomorrow. Hanging more art, and cataloging all of it, organizing the spreadsheets so that the we can know which gallery each piece of art hangs in. I am just amazed at the scope of this project, how much participation they have received, the volumes of art that is on display. I felt guilty leaving tonight, but my feet and ankles were just done after 8 or 9 hours of continuously being on them. So I went home, and hopefully will be of more use to them tomorrow than I could be if I stayed later tonight.

Most of the work I did today was fairly mindless, really, though. So I had a lot of time to think. I heard from the nameless one again….I know, I know. Ridiculous. I just kept thinking about how he keeps behaving in ways for which he has to apologize.  Why he can’t change his behavior, but he can’t. An apology which says, “I agree with everything you said” doesn’t mean a whole lot when you’ve heard it so many times. The behavior stays the same….I’ve begged him to leave me alone, and maybe he will now. I also actually feel genuine compassion for B. My anger with him had nothing to do with her, because I knew what he was up to.  He just managed to piss me off royally just by his arrogance, and his narcissism, and I just am so sick of it.  I was sick of it in December.  Didn’t talk to him for a couple months, but then the damn smoke alarm thing, geezus.   However, B didn’t know, apparently (even though I’d mentioned it before in my blog)…and he was telling her something else, from what I gather. I don’t know exactly what he was telling her, and I don’t want to know=. I was told he was not with her, but I guess she believed he was trying to turn over a new leaf. While he was not, while he was continuing with the same behavior he did 18 months ago, and it’s been pretty much on-going since I moved.  The only saving grace was that I am now 1500 miles away, and none of our conversations could be acted on.

Oh, I’m running on, just trying to think my way through the tangled web of lies, that somehow caught my leg and pulled me in. I just feel for her, to be blindsided yet again. But I’m so happy to be out of that triangle, and game that he plays. I feel bad for him, to not be able to change such self destructive behavior.

And I’m so happy to be having such a cool guy as L make me dinner next week. Such a big difference.

So tomorrow will be busy, and fun. Gonna get some dinner and rest. Love and light, everyone.

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Just Wondering

This morning for some reason, when I was making my coffee, I wondered if my ex ever thinks about the times he would rage, and break dishes, and throw food all over the floor, and walk away from it, leaving me crying, scared and having to clean up. I wonder if he remembers ever, when he broke our whole set of 12 Norman Rockwell plates, which we’d purchased at $40 each from Franklin Mint. I wonder if he thinks about what he put me through ever. Or if he just pretends it never happened. I wonder if he ever regrets making us drive hours to and from my son’s hockey games, the whole time verbally assaulting my son.

I’d like to think he does, and regrets all the things he did to me and my son. But, I don’t think so. Most people would feel so bad, once they realized how out of control they had become, and how much they’d hurt people that loved them, that they’d have to make at least an effort to apologize. He’s never apologized to me, except once. He had started a fight with me the day before I was scheduled to have labor induced for my son. Big fight, almost physical, yelling, stomping. I went to my sister-in-laws house for the night and she came with me to the hospital, not him. He finally showed up at the hospital after I’d been in labor all day because his sister shamed him into it. After my son was born by c-section in the middle of the night, he apologized. It was the only time in our 40 years together.

Even S repeatedly apologized for what he did to me. Of course, it didn’t change him, so the apology was only sincere in the moment. But at least there was a moment when he could see what he’d done. And of course, then he went on to spew lies about me to his girlfriend,and tell her intimate things about us, which was very painful for me. Having to listen to the lies come out of her mouth and having him back them up was heartbreaking. But he knew it was wrong. He knew he was doing it to make her secure.

I have forgiven them both for all of it. Their own behavior is something they have to live with. My heart, my psyche has healed from it all. It was all a good lesson for me. One drawback to growing up in a loving family is that you are unaware that there are people out there who would do those things. The reason they do them is because of a flaw they perceive in themselves, not in you. But a loving family of origin also gives you a base of love to fall back on, a way to find your own worth again, and allows you to move forward. I was blessed beyond words to have that.

It’s coincidental, (if you believe in coincidences) that when I came out on the deck this morning in the still dark, and opened my email, the first one I clicked on, by mistake (I actually wanted to open the email above this one), was an email from the Daily Om. It was a lesson from the book A Course In Miracles about forgiveness, and how it is really our only function.

I’m an Aries, and one of my traits is I cannot hold a grudge. For me to be angry for a week over something is really stretching it. Luckily, I am also aggressive and persistent, and know what’s good for me and what’s not. Although with both the men I’ve loved, I accepted the bad behavior for far too long, and kept them in my life far too long. Even if it was just on the periphery. I can still say I love them both, which is important for me, not to hate those I loved intensely. I feel sorry for my ex, because even if he doesn’t face it consciously, he lives a life that demonstrates the effects his behavior had on him, being broke and all alone, and having no relationship with his son. S—I don’t know what effect his behavior has had on him because we don’t talk.  He’s disappeared. But I feel for him anyway, because the games he plays over and over keep away the people who love him.

It’s been a weird morning, thinking about this stuff. Funny what bubbles up. Maybe it’s because I had a date last night with a man who doesn’t seem to be a game player, or manipulative, or controlling. But I can’t say for sure yet, I’ll have to get to know him better to know that. But I think maybe it’s the contrast between him and my old loves that brought this stuff around this morning.

Anyway, it promises to be an extraordinary day today. It was 63 when I came out on the deck before the sunrise. It’s going to get up in the 80’s. People are saying it’s unusual to be so warm in December. I’m more than happy about it. I might be able to wear shorts to the artwalk tonight.

Love and light, everyone.

Staightening Out the Mess I Created

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I had a rough day yesterday.  Feelings of being taken for granted permeated my brain, my being, from the people at work, to S.  I was angry by the afternoon.

At work, the lead admin is on vacation.  Her desk is deemed the most important admin job because she supports the sales of our biggest, main product. When she is gone, I cover her desk.  I have always done this, no one else knows how to do it.  Of course, no one covers mine while I cover hers, and my work generally gets behind.  This time, it has fallen way behind because we are all unbelievably busy.  My boss seems to be oblivious to it all, and just keeps piling tasks on me, which someone else could do but he’s afraid they will get mucked up.  I’m  afraid they won’t get done at all.  Anyway, the pressure got to me yesterday of expectations and realistic capabilities and I began to fold.

I heard from S, in his ever to be playful way.  He felt better yesterday, but not great.  I asked something of him that my ego wanted, just to feel like I mattered in a certain way.  I ended up in angry with him, because he doesn’t do on-demand things, ever, and I wanted, needed it.

Last night I had a dream, that I was at a table, maybe a luncheon, in a house where my sis lives in Florida.  And all these wonderful spiritual teachers were there.  We were talking and walking outside with each other, it was amazing.  Lots of crystal jewelry, I remember especially one woman’s beautiful fluorite broach.  Fluorite is one of the most healing of stones.  And someone came and gave me a card, and it was from S, and all I remember it saying was that he loved me, in his own handwriting.  Which he has never said to me, and which I suspect from time to time, but then he will say he doesn’t want to be in love.  And when he backs off I am sure he doesn’t love me, and when he pulls me back, I think he must or why would he do this?

This morning, I did my Byron Katie thing on my thought about him.

1. Do I know it’s true?  Yes.

2. Do I know absolutely that it’s true.  No.  I can never ever know for sure what goes on in his  head. (or anyone’s for that matter.)

3.  How do I feel when I think that thought?  Bereft, lonely, sad, unloved, uncared for, used, abused, broken hearted.

4.  And how would I feel without that thought?  Happy, content, most likely still crazy about him.

So, all that angst over something that may or may not be true.  I went to see my best friend’s daughter in West Side Story last night, S called me on the way there, and I was mean, I was still angry.  Yet when I got out of the play, there was a text asking me to call him when I got home.  So do I believe I don’t matter to him, when he is able to get through my angst and still want to talk to me?  It seems like I should let him speak for himself, and stop imposing my belief, which is not coming from my best self, on him.

As it was, when I called  him I woke him, and just told him to go back to sleep, we could talk today.  Because it was late, he’s been so sick, and I was tired.  It was nice to hear his voice.

I think that loving someone I see so sporadically is playing with me.  I need to either shit or get off the pot with this relationship.  Either we have one or not, I want to be done questioning where we stand with each other.  If I’m gonna miss him so much, either let me miss him and get over it and move on, or let the longing be fulfilled by seeing him on a regular basis.  For me there is no in between.

So, S, if you read this, I’m sorry for spiraling into the stratosphere yesterday.  There may have been underlying reasons that were valid, but I didn’t need to go where I went.

It’s going to be a perfect beach weekend.  I hope, maybe, dream, maybe that I’ll finally get to spend a perfect summer beach day with him at one of the beautiful places he took me in the winter.  I suppose it will depend on a lot of things.  In the end, my heart aches to be with him.

Now if I can just get through today at work, without a meltdown, I think I will be ok.  The picture is from one of the beautiful beaches we went to in the winter.  I will end with Ho’oponopono.

I’m sorry.

Please forgive me

Thank you.

I love you.

The Value of Being Able to Say “I’m Sorry”

Hoʻoponopono

The Polynesian method for reconciliation and forgiveness

This poster is something I learned in Reiki.  A method, and words, when heartfelt, to resolve the damage we do to each other through our actions and words.

So many people are unable to apologize, and to make amends.  My ex, for example, was never able to acknowledge damage he did to me, or our relationship.  I have often thought since that he had borderline personality disorder, as he was unable to feel empathy at all.  He could never understand anyone’s pain except his own.  and he could not apologize.  It was a large contributor to our subsequent divorce.

A long time ago i heard about the 4-R method for dealing with having hurt someone, intentionally or not. It is quite similar to the Polynesian method of Hoʻoponopono.

1. The first R is for Recognition.  One has to recognize that their actions, or words, have caused another pain.

2. The second R is for Remorse.  Remorse is sincerely feeling bad that you caused someone pain.

3. The third R is or Regret.  Regretting your actions, or words, that caused the pain.  It is different from remorse.  Remorse is about the pain caused.  Regret is about the thing that caused the pain.

4. The fourth R is Repair.  Repair of the damage done.  It starts with an apology, a heart felt, unconditional apology. One that doesn’t involve excuses, buts, or extenuating circumstances.  Just a straight-forward, “I’m so sorry I hurt you.”

One night when my ex falsely accused our son of something heinous, he apologized the next day…but he apologized for being tired.  He didn’t apologize for his words and actions that had us all up all night.  I simply told him, “Tired is not what you did wrong.”  But he couldn’t apologize for his words that devastated my son, or kept me up all  night trying to calm my son down, who couldn’t believe that his father accused him.

He knew he had done wrong.  But he couldn’t face it.  I suppose it went back to his childhood, where if he did something wrong he got the crap beaten out of him.  And often it wasn’t he that did the wrong thing, but he got the beating anyway.  That’s regrettable, that’s sad for him…but until it’s acknowledged, and that baggage worked through, it is just a cycle that continues.  Even if he didn’t beat our son, he was teaching him, by his own actions, not to be accountable for his actions.  Teaching him that other’s feelings didn’t matter.  Teaching him that the only thing that mattered was that his own ego was in tact, and not bruised by his actions, or words that came out of  his mouth.

The saddest part is that his inability to feel my son’s pain, or mine, or anyone else’s, has isolated him.  He is alone, no one in his family wants to be around him, because it is a trait that carries to every one, no one feels safe around him . He has no relationship with his son.  My son feels he has no father.  I used to tell my ex, “You’re going to die old, sick and all alone, because you push away the people that love you.”  And that’s what has happened.

“I’m sorry” are two beautiful words.  They build a bridge between two people, a bridge that can be crossed to find common ground.  It comes from love…from the soul, not the ego.  An ego given free reign, without the soul’s love and compassion, is really, in my estimation, the cause of all ill in the world.  People’s egos make them believe that their emotions, their beliefs, their pain, is far deeper than anyone else’s, and that everyone else’s is secondary to theirs.

So, I’ve tried to live by the 4 R’s.  It’s one reason I wrote yesterday’s blog, Lucky 7’s.  I realized I had been unfair to S, and wanted to repair that.  Not that anything I said before was not true, just that it was unbalanced, and putting it on here hurt him.  It’s what I have taught my son in the years since we both left his father, and I think he gets it now.

But we are still done, I don’t expect to be writing much more about him.  We just can’t find common ground on many important subjects.  Apologies being one of them.

Apologies are good for the soul.  I wish my ex had been able to see that.