Thoughts on Compassion

thich nhat hanh compassion quotes

It seems that winter has hit the northeast USA today.  It is cold, but not unseasonably so.  It’s just hovering around freezing.  But that’s the problem, it’s precipitating, and it’s sleet, not snow.  Frozen pellets falling from the sky.

Thankfully, I don’t have to work.  Thankfully it’s supposed to change to rain by late morning.  However, I had a dental appointment at 8 AM for a crown, which I just canceled.  To get there I have to drive over a huge hill, in some places it would be called a small mountain.  And there are accidents galore on the highways this morning.  I’m guessing that getting out of my driveway would be challenging.  So, now I have to wait to get this crown done.  I hope the tooth does not fall apart in the meantime.

I still am waiting to hear from the vet for an appointment for Maggie.  I called them late last evening, so I’m guessing they will call back this morning.

So, I’m home for the morning anyway.  I think I may make some jewelry.  I have so many lovely stones I can wire-wrap.  I need to use that part of my brain for awhile.  It will refresh my outlook on things.  Give me some perspective. 

Tomorrow I’m going to see Joy  with Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, and Robert DeNiro with a few of my friends, and get a bite to eat.  Looking forward to it.  Although, I may have to take Maggie to the vet tomorrow also.  If I don’t get an appointment tomorrow, I’ll have to wait til next week, I doubt that it would get done New Year’s Eve. 

I did a guided meditation on Forgiveness this morning.  I chose that one, because I felt I was slipping backwards a bit.  I know from the experience with my ex-husband that the only way I can move forward and truly let go of the past is to forgive.  I see my ex now as the flawed damaged person he is, who is still seeking the unconditional love, though he doesn’t believe in it, and in his damaged psyche, doesn’t believe he deserves it.  Which is how, in my heart, I see Scott too. 

I know too much about both men, I know what their lives were like as children, I know the struggles they went through.  I know my ex’s from experience, from almost 40 years of living with his extended family and seeing the dysfunction in action.  I know Scott’s experience from what he told me.  I believe it to be true, because his actions, and his relationships with his sister and his mother bear the stories out. 

When I know this, and see this, I have to feel compassion.  I don’t have to feel love in the way that I did, I don’t have to want to be with them, but I have to feel compassion.  I am just more comfortable that way. 

I believed with Scott that if I loved him unconditionally, as he had never been, it would eventually bring him around.  That was my Pollyanna side, because one person’s unconditional love for that time was not going to be enough to undo years of conditioning.  It was my naivete.  I was coming off of the power it had to give my son strength, but my son had my unconditional love for his whole life, and had a frame of reference.  Scott had none, and so, had no reason to believe that it was real, that I was not just naive and stupid.  In hindsight, he had affection for me, but it was very mixed with his own self-centered self-absorbed desires, and needs.  He is a typical child of an abusive dysfunctional household. 

My ex’s childhood was similar, with different twists.  I know first hand how verbally and emotionally abusive his father could be, because I worked for him for 20 years, before we bought the business, and he visited it upon me a few times. I also know how his mother passively endorsed the abuse, while professing love for her children. It was not until I left that marriage that I learned about abuse, that I even realized there was a name for what I lived through.  I found an online community of over 8000 members, and I remember reading their posts, thinking “Oh My God!  There are OTHER people who have lived with this!  There’s  NAME for what he did to me!”  I remained very active in that community for at least 5 years.  I went in naive, I came out with an education.  The friends I made there are still some of my closest friends.  We still call on each other as our children deal with the repercussions of abuse.

Combine this education, with embarking on a spiritual path, to regain my sense of self, to rediscover who I was when I left my marriage.  Because when you live with abuse, you end up spending 24/7 just trying to keep the peace.  Just trying to stay a step ahead of the abuser, to protect yourself and your kids.  You try to become what they want, so they will be happy.  Of course, they always change what they want, the minute you achieve it, so that you never know what’s going to come at you.  A true honest mind-fuck of the first degree.

I began to recognize the same pattern with Scott, with his push pull game.  The same thing, in a different form. Which is why I kept trying to break up with him, but was unable to let go.  Until, it’s all I could do to save myself.

I cleansed my pendulums this morning with white sage and asked some very pointed questions.  I got what I believe are real answers, and I’m going to try to follow the path that they put me on. They were questions and answers about dealing with these issues with compassion.  Both men and the issues still come into my head way too much, and I don’t want to fear them, I don’t want to hate them, I don’t want to feel angry. 

There was something for me to learn in both situations, and I think, something for me to teach.  If the student refuses the lesson, that’s not my problem.  I think I’ve learned mine.  I’m open to them, and to any that are still hanging out there for me to learn.

I sense that my ex has been humbled.  Not completely, but he is sounding more like he’s reaching out, that he misses having some communication with someone who knows him.  That’s a good thing.  I won’t get caught in his web again, but it’s possible that now that he’s lost everything, and I mean everything….he can be a little vulnerable, because he has nothing to lose and everything to gain.  I’m not jumping in, but neither will I be afraid to communicate with him.

Scott, I don’t sense much from.  I think he’s closed whatever small opening he had in his heart that would have allowed love to enter and to extend from him.  I do sense though, that perhaps he’s doing what I suggested, and taking some time to re-evaluate the way he lives.  He’s not doing this because I suggested it, he’s doing it because in his mind he’s lost everything too.  He’s heading into his final years, when he should be retiring, and enjoying life with people he loves, but he’s all alone.  His ploy to keep people in his life based on deception didn’t work.  So I hope he’s going to go within, and try to find his own light.  I still can see that soul, I still can see his light. I have been on an emotional roller coaster with my feelings for him:  love, hate, anger, compassion, longing, repulsion….. 

At the end of the day, I have to go with compassion, because it’s my comfort zone.  It’s what I believe in my heart to be the only way to move forward.  My pendulums seem to concur with that. 

One thing I learned in the abuse community was that hurt people hurt people.  I am no exception.  When each of these men hurt me, I hurt them back.  My words with Scott, while true….were scathing. My actions with my ex, while necessary for my survival and my son’s, blindsided him.  I make no apologies, really, because Scott devastated me, I had to release that pain.  My ex was on a quest to steal my soul…my son…my breath.  If I didn’t leave him we both would have died, literally…because the dysfunction was truly affecting our health.  My son would have never seen that there is a different way to live, he would have been doomed to repeat what he did not understand.

Lord, I did not expect this blog to go here.  But it did, and that’s the reason I write mostly.  To work things out, to express things that I am trying to understand, and in the expression to find the understanding.  If you made it this far, thank you. 

Love and light.

 

 

 

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Rogue Waves

i have been trying to explain to A for over an hour why I have backed away.  Not because I don’t love him, but because I am healing.  Because I need to sort out my emotions, because I need answers as to why I set myself up for such a fall.  He doesn’t get it.  He’s one of those, snap-out-of-it kind of guys.  Oh man, if only it was so easy.  If only I didn’t have deep dark questions about myself.

I don’t know if I want to engage in a long distance relationship with him.  At all.  Let alone when my heart is still in pieces, my trust in myself is shot.  My understanding of what is has been flipped over, and upside down, and is still righting itself.

I told A I have a blog, all this time he didn’t know.  But I told him no one has the link to it, because it would cause me to censor what I write.  That was not true, S has the link.  I regret every day that he has it.  It caused so many problems in our relationship, and it prevented me, at times, from writing what I felt.  Now, I try to write imagining that he doesn’t read it, because I need this outlet for myself.  If he can’t contact me, then I won’t ever know if he read it or not.  I don’t care, as long as I don’t have to deal with his emotions over it. But I vowed no one else would ever get the link that knew me.  So I could keep the purity of what I write as coming from my heart.

Last I talked to S, on Monday, he was still reading them.  I shake my head….why would he?  Maybe he’s afraid I’ll tell some of his deep dark secrets.  I won’t.  Geezus.  I won’t.  I also know he misses me, and wants to know what I’m up to.  I hope that will go away if we never communicate.  I hope I will stop missing him too.

I feel bad that A is unsettled by me again.  I may lose him….that would be awful. I didn’t shut him out, I just don’t want to be intimate at the moment.  I have to heal, I have to get the connection with S out of my psyche.  I tried to explain about learning lessons from the hard things we go through. A said, “he has nothing to teach you.”  He doesn’t get it, what it is I need to do.  It was frustrating, to me, to have him try to get me to change how I feel.  Because he loves me.  He doesn’t want to lose me.  Again. He wants me to come see him, to stay with him.  To make love to him.  I’m not ready to do that with anyone.

I feel what I feel.  Geezus.  I’ve been on this journey for a long time.  I will honor what I feel, I will have the hard conversations.  But I won’t be deterred.

It was a hard day anyway.  My job is ridiculous, totally get stressed out there.  For the next 10 days I’m covering 2 desks, and my own desk is keeping me there at least 9 hrs every day.  Then I am dealing with the roller coaster of emotions still, from S.  They are like a stormy sea, they are calming.  I have been boating in some seas where when you look up, all you see around you is water, and a small patch of sky.  That’s where it was.  The patch of sky is bigger now, but the seas are still rough.  Every once in a while a 50 ft wave knocks me down and dismasts me.  Rogue waves. From a rogue.

From  Merriam-Webster:  Rogue.  A vagrant, a tramp . a dishonest or worthless person.  A scoundrel.

Rogue waves. Still riding them.

Disconnection

I saw S last night.  It was a kind of swan song, I guess, though not so graceful as a swan.  We got a take out pizza and took it up to a park and ate it outside, it was nice out, about 70.  He had been asking me to talk to me, so I finally relented, having things of my own to ask, and to say.

I wrote a blog last night, and then took it down.  I wrote another shorter one, and put it up, but it’s not here this morning, so I don’t know what happened to that one.  No big deal. I had just begun to process what happened anyway, and I felt confused, disjointed.  I still do, I will for some time.

He says he is not “with” her.  That he still does not want some intense loving relationship with anyone.  Ok, I can buy that.  But he’s spent part of the last two weekends with her, so he obviously would rather be with her than me.  I suppose, because I do feel intensely about him.  There is nothing about me that is not passionate.  The way I loved him, the way I love the ocean, the way I write, the way I feel about anything.  She and he don’t talk all week, they never did, he told me that when I met him. He likes that.  They would get together on the weekend, for some of the time.  I can’t even fathom, a 12 year relationship in which i didn’t communicate with my significant other all week, but got together on the weekend for some semblance of intimacy.  I could not even consider it a relationship, to bed someone that I was not involved with 5 days a week, and then suddenly saw on the weekend.  It would be like being with a stranger.

He always complained I talked too much.  I think he and she occupy the same space at times, but don’t have much to say. He buries his feelings, they are not up for discussion.  My feelings…well, my heart is on my sleeve.  No one ever has to wonder how i feel.  It’s the only way to be connected to the rest of the human race.  I know it is the only way to allow love into my life, and creativity, and joy, and trust.  I know now that not everyone deserves to hear my story, to have my trust.  But still, I will only temper the ease with which I lean into vulnerability, I won’t change it.  I think all humans crave connection, I agree with Brene Brown that it is basic to the human psyche.

To fall in love with a man who wished no real connection….well, it was not something I ever considered, that there are people who freely admit they don’t want that deep, rich, full connection with others. In this way, I understand that part of why he is “with” her, or not “with” her, as he says.  She wants no connection, nor does he.  They are acquaintances, who share some physical intimacy at times, but not really connection, because then they go their separate ways and have no interest in maintaining the tie for the next week.  No deepening of it, no reveling in it.  Just do it, enjoy it, and go home.  It’s a lifestyle I can’t fathom, and can walk away from, and leave it to them.

Personally I think she wanted more, which is why she cheated on him and left him.  Perhaps, in practicing disconnect all those year, she was unable to put herself out for someone else, and after the infatuation wore off, she couldn’t connect with her new husband.  She also went back to what she was comfortable with.  I would expect that she is a lot like S, with walls up to keep people out, and herself walled in.  The fact that she could leave him when he was dying, and take all she could from him, is another thing altogether.

I still don’t understand, why he would invite back into his life, someone who did what she did to him.  He said he wipes the slate clean, he doesn’t hold a grudge.  I said, I don’t hold one with my ex either, I have forgiven him for what he did to me.  But would I welcome him, and that, back into my life?  No, never.  I know what chaos he can cause…I know he hasn’t changed.  I know what he would bring.  It’s one thing to forgive, it’s quite another to ask to be taken down again by inviting it back in.  But it’s not my cross to bear, and I won’t be there to pick up the pieces for him when she does it again.

In the meantime, he has the relationship with which he is comfortable.  Physical need fulfilled when he needs it, and not to have to give anything up.

The whole thing makes it much easier to let go.  I can love the man, I will always love the time we spent together on my deck, in my bed, driving around on excursions, our funny flirty texts. But knowing that what drives him is an intense desire to be alone, even when he is with someone, just allows me to let go.  It is the opposite of what drives me.

I love connection. I love intimacy, emotional, spiritual and physical intimacy.  I know there are men out there who love it too.  I now look forward to finding one, and putting S into the “someone that I once loved” category.  It’s where he wants to be.

He said, “Can we still know each other, can’t I still call you and see how you’re doing in Florida?”  I suppose, maybe someday, his voice won’t hurt me, it won’t remind me how I loved a man who wanted no part of it.  Maybe someday we can be “friends”. The trouble is I will never be that disconnected.  The love I feel for him will always be there between us, even when it’s buried, and I have let a new love into my heart, and built a relationship with someone who wants to reciprocate, I’m not sure I can ever talk to him without remembering.

Right now, I am looking forward to moving on, but I’m not moved on yet.  I still feel wrecked, broken, confused, rejected.  I had hoped for some tenderness from him last night, I guess that’s why I went, hoping he’d at least own the fact that his actions devastated me.  But there was none.  There was more him telling me it was my own fault, that he was honest with me.  He was….but he knew how I felt, and did nothing to mitigate the pain that what he was doing caused me.  I can own the fact that I loved him without limit, knowing he didn’t want to, and didn’t feel the same. But so what, he knew.  He spent time with me knowing how I felt.  He pulled me back to him in every time I tried to leave. Why he did that I don’t know.  It was dishonest. There is something abusive about that, being pulled in, just to fulfill his ego, with no intention.  “I don’t want you to dump me” he said to me back then.  So, he wanted my adoration, he wanted what I did for him. And he used me, and threw me out.

Last night I realized that I am left by myself to find my way back.   He says he has feelings too.  And he’s all about what he’s feeling, making sure I understand what they are, but he’s not able to feel empathy for me.  Disconnect.  Walling oneself in, so no one can get in, and you can’t get out, and the only thing that matters is what you feel.  As I can’t comprehend the disconnect he has, he cannot fathom the love I felt.

He watched me cry and shake.  He made no move to comfort me.  He had no remorse, no empathy. Cold.

It was a little hard to take.

But he is who he is.  Like I said, I can much more easily let go.  I knew when I met with him, that if nothing else, I would get clarity.  And really, that’s all I got.  But it’s something. It is positive motion.  Pretty soon, I’ll stop writing about him.  This blog will anger him I’m sure, but that seems to be all he can feel with me anyway.  Anger because I wanted to be with him, anger that I loved him and wanted him to love me back.  Anger that I wasn’t satisfied with the non-loving relationship he’s been trying to push on me for 6 months now. Anger that I can write so openly about him and I.  Don’t worry S, no one will ever know who you are.  She walked back into his life, and he could suddenly have that disconnected, shallow relationship that he wants, where he doesn’t have to give anything of himself.  Oh, maybe money, maybe things, but not anything of himself.

It was me who finally said, “We really don’t have anything to talk about” and got up to walk to the car.  There was no hug and kiss goodbye, there was nothing said.  I gave him the pizza I’d bought, that i didn’t eat one piece of. We just each got in our car, and drove home, knowing that there really was no way back.

Disconnected. Over. Done.

Onward, as Liz Gilbert says.  Onward.

Add-on:  I just remembered, when I talked to him on that fateful Saturday, when he told me he was going to be with her, I asked  him if she knew that he texted me at 4 am, that he asked for pictures of me the night before.  He said, no.  I said “well tell her, she deserves to know the truth. ” When he objected, I said, you tell her, or I will do everything in my power to tell her myself.”  At that, he got furious, and threatened me, enough so that I screen-shot the text, for my own protection.  So, that he’s not “with” her seems to be her doing, not his.  He clearly thought he was “with” her when he spoke to me that morning, and didn’t want any interference of the truth to change it.  And now he rewrites history.

Better

I ate dinner tonight!  Like a real whole dinner.  First time in days and days.  And I don’t feel nauseous.  Not guessing it will last, but it feels good to feel kind of like myself again.  I got tons of stuff done today. I know I broke the rules with S, lol, but I think I followed my heart, and the end result was progress for me. I will never contact him just to cry, or to beg him for some attention.  What I did today brought me some clarity, and I’m glad to have it.  His lack of response speaks as loudly as a response would have.  And I only wanted a response, either a conversation or silence will answer what I wanted to know.  I got one the answer of silence. So, ok…nuff said.

I am sure that I will have rough days to come, but right now, I have a good understanding of where he’s at, and why the whole thing transpired.  I get better why he chose her, I understand what he needs and it’s not some direct speaking, assertive Aries woman who doesn’t let things go til they are resolved.

I got back on one dating site last week, but haven’t been able to drum up any interest.  Today, I forced myself.  And as it turned out, I got a message from a nice man who lives about a half hour from here.  Seems he and I have things in common.

I’m tired, really, emotionally exhausted.  I’ll be going to bed early tonight.  But It’s nice to write a blog where I’m not losing it.

Peace out.  Tough day, but worth it.

A Wave Just Washed Over Me

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What a beautiful New England autumn day.  Just gorgeous.  Tonight my Bff asked me over, to a bonfire, dinner and drinks.  I will be the only single person there, but I always am.  She’s gathering me in, wrapping me up in the love of good friends, protecting me from the thoughts that surely will come if I am alone.  She never met him….but she had him pegged from the beginning.

If you are bedding a man for 18 months who has never met your BFF, I would guess that’s a pretty blatant sign that this relationship is not all it’s cracked up to be in your head, isn’t it.  Only my son met him, and from the first day he told me S was weird.  LOl.

Weird is good in my book.  I’m a little weird.  But my son didn’t mean it that way, as in slightly eccentric like you Mom.  I should have listened to him.  Especially over the summer, when he disappeared for days.  My BFF has told me 100 times,  “A relationship that is that much work, from the beginning, is not a good one.”  And I didn’t listen. And it was work, right from the beginning.  Work with no reward, really.  Betty Boop is getting the reward.  I would have had to screw him over for him to treat me well.  Seriously, I mean that.

There was a story on FB this morning, of a little girl who was hit in the face with a rock by a boy. Her mother had to take her to the hospital for stitches.  A man at the hospital, checking them in, said, “I bet he likes you.”  What???  There it is, the warped idea that hurting someone shows that you like them.  Watered down, it falls under S’s old adage, “I only tease you if I like you.”  I think it’s the same mindset.  Perhaps he’s so used to being hurt by people that he actually believes that being hurt is part of loving someone.

If that’s the case…I gotta feel for him.

In that case, I also gotta stay way clear of him.

I always have to feel bad for anyone who didn’t go to bed every night in their life taking their parents love for granted. (Or at least one of them.)  If I believe him, (which I’m not sure of anymore) he never went to bed wondering if he wasn’t loved by them.  According to him (which, again, now I’m not sure how much of it was true, how much was manipulation of me) his parents had not left out any form of abuse of him as a child.  How could I possibly have expected him to get me, to have any idea what a normal relationship is, to even want one?  Not that there aren’t people who overcome that.  But he wasn’t one, and it was pretty clear to me, if I am honest.

It makes perfect sense of Betty Boop, and why she’s spending the weekends with him now.  And really….while there is still a small part of me that hurts from the way he did it, I am really blessed, not to have gotten in any deeper with someone who believes hurt is love.  That passionate fighting makes for passionate making up.  He told me that was what they did.  I remember saying, I only want to love passionately.  You can keep the fighting and making up.

Emotionally, really, he is about 14.  My son at 23 is 100 times more mature.  I mean, look at how he broke up with me, by text!!!  I want to scream, how old are you anyway?  Who does that, at 66?  He didn’t want to listen to me scream at him.  What did he expect, me to say,” Oh that’s ok S…” If you are hell bent on devastating someone, I think you have to be prepared also to deal with their pain.

I wish it hadn’t happened to me.  But if I stand outside and peer in, I am so glad to be out of such an immature relationship.

Anyway, enough of my analysis of him,and myself. .  We are all sick of it, lol.  As an adult we own our lives.  We make our choices.

Writing about this makes me stronger, and see what the work is that I have to do.  I’m sorry if I’m sound like a broken record.  The healing, and the growing comes in waves.  And I just got swept up in one, and now I’m landed on the beach and looking at where I came from.

Releasing

release-the-past-let-it-go

I managed to get through a 10 minute meditation this morning.  It was on releasing the past.  It reminded me to frame the past in such a way that I understand that what was done to me, was done from the level of consciousness that S was at when he did it.  It wasn’t done purposefully to hurt me, he is just unconscious of how his actions hurt, devastate people.  Because he fears vulnerability so much, and keeps so many walls around himself, he cannot possibly understand what it is like to have no walls up.

I always believed he had a higher level of consciousness, though I don’t know why I thought that.  Maybe because he is smart, it seemed something he would know.  He could discuss almost anything, intelligently.  I guess, the ability to speak about it, and have academic understanding, is a long ways from feeling it, and knowing it, and living from that level in your heart.

I was able to maybe release just a teeny bit of it.  There is still so much hurt, that if I think about it, I just fall apart.  Someone who is so smart, should be wise enough, compassionate enough not to willfully hurt someone who loves him.  Or so I thought.  But his level of consciousness is so wrapped up in his ego…I know it’s hard for him to even see me.

But I see him.  I wish I didn’t, but I always have, I always will.