Recognition, Remorse, Repair = Resolution

I woke up at 1 AM last night, on the nose. And as so often happens, my mind tried to resolve unresolved issues. Like my ex, who I will have to deal with until he signs the quitclaim he has to sign. The thing is, with him, that I’m sickest of, is him trying to use me to manipulate my son into talking with him. I don’t do it, won’t do it, but I’m so tired of him going around and around in long, ridiculous circular conversations about it. I’ve said I was going to block him, when this last legal thing is done. I hope I can follow through on that.

The reason I say “hope” is because I don’t know if I have the heart to cut him off from his only access to even know how his son’s doing. However…..his actions have been, and probably always will be, about control. My problem is that I know his need to control things come from the shame he feels that he’s not worthy of unconditional love. He was brought up in a household where love was earned, and could be taken away, and often was, on top of being extremely abusive both physically and verbally. This was an upper middle-class family, he grew up in material wealth, and was taught that it was what was important. To understand that, is to feel sorry for him, because it so messed up his own life.

However, he was so abusive to both my son and I, I have to eliminate him from our lives. Just have to. My son has, for all intents and purposes. And I will too. My idea in the middle of the night was that I would send him a letter, so that he couldn’t talk over me, or pretend he didn’t hear me. And tell him that he is cut out of my life because of he has never acknowledged, owned, or apologized for what he did to us. I will list some of the things he did, so he has to look at them.  He apparently does not know that I know he physically abused my son as well as emotionally and verbally abused him. My son told me, when he came to live with me. I will tell him that I know. Then I will tell him that until he is able to accept responsibility for what he did, he needs to stay away from me. And I will suggest, that until he can do it for his son, he won’t be welcome in his life either.

This way, I can eliminate him but also give him a path back. I cannot deal with his absolute insanity. His re-writing of history. His tales he weaves to manipulate and draw me back in. The lies. So many lies. I am grateful my son has been able to just eliminate him, because he knows that’s all his dad will try to do to him. I’ve kept that door open out of compassion for my ex, but I think I need to put it in proper perspective, and hold him responsible for his behavior in a much stronger way.

I’m going to prepare the letter to him, and send it as soon as the sale of my slip is completed. I just have to do something to keep the dogs from barking on my phone (his ringer is dogs barking), blind-siding me, filling me with dread, triggering PTSD from all the years of abuse I suffered from him. I need to take my power back, and put the truth out on the table with him, again. It’s not the first time I’ve done it, but with the passage of time, he seems to think that the slate is wiped clean. I want to make it clear that until he can recognize, feel remorse, and attempt to repair the damage he did to our lives, and even moreso to his own, that the slate will remain engraved.

Once I figured out what I would do, I almost got up and wrote him the letter. Then, decided it didn’t need doing at that moment, and that I needed sleep more immediately, since a friend is coming over this morning, and because I have open mic night tonight, and I have to get to Walmart today too. I have probably a week until this sale is completed. Instead of getting up, I relaxed and fell back to sleep.

Resolution to issues is always a good thing. You can’t always get it with the other person, as in this case. But you can get it with yourself, and decide on a pathway that will give you peace of mind. You can eliminate toxic people from your life. It seems I’ve been doing a lot of that lately. All of them have a way back if they want to take it. Recognition, remorse, and repair. Real change. And if they don’t want to take it….well, love and light to them. I hope they are able to find peace with themselves and their actions but they are not welcome in my life, until they can do those three things. Recognition of what they did, real remorse for what they did, the kind of remorse that causes real change in behavior, and then, repair of the damage.

Resolution is a good thing. Love and light everyone.

Advertisements

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.