- Then & Now Project: The journey from “I do” to “I don’t” to “what now” is complicated. This project shares snippets from my book – taken from my journal then. These posts reveal pieces of the journey in a “that was then, this is now” format with my posting days matching journal entry days. (Sort of a time-fusion.) I hope this project focus will offer food for thought in your own life – whether you do, don’t or might. XO
HOW DARE HE
Journal, March 6, 1994 • “I’m drinking a cup of valerian tea, hoping I can get back to sleep. Slept for two hours. The terrible burning that’s been in the pit of my stomach for the past couple of days has dissolved into a trembling between my stomach and my heart. The overlapping physical and emotional sensations are very strange. The burning feels like fear boring right through my stomach, while the trembling feels like mini-explosions threatening to shatter my heart. When I try to focus on calming my heart, fear races into a pure rage that merges so rapidly with pain, my heart feels as if it is being physically wrenched from my ribcage. I honestly feel as if it is breaking! Then the rage darts up and catches in my throat, choking me – telling me that I will soon have to find a way to give this anger, this fear a voice.”
2010: This is a tough read. I feel such compassion for the woman who wrote this … and for the man who was the catalyst. I remember this moment so clearly. I was wrestling with unadulterated rage for the first time in my life. I thought it was about Ray and the betrayal but it was about years of stuffing my anger. About my fear to feel it. About keeping busy, maintaining control, and staying one step ahead of situations that could invite it. (Not that I was ever successful.) About depression, unrecognized and expressed through starving my body anytime it got too close.
My heart was cracked open – so I could see the many ways I had betrayed myself. One of them being with my judgment on anger, a judgment that kept me from finding healthier ways to address it.
“Tonight I saw Ray in a different light. I saw how screwed up he really is and how I have placed him on a pedestal. I am so pissed off … He wanted her to be the one. He needed her to be the one, so he could stay numb to us and the dysfunction we’d shared for so many years … so he could keep score and justify his choice …”
“Damn! He’s anesthetized now! … He’ll leave and not feel the pain of separation because he has her to distract him … He’s running! … How dare he! How dare he say he has no feelings left for me! He wants no feelings! Damn!”
2010: How much pain that man was in – to do what he did. And how grateful I am to him for upsetting the status quo because I was too busy managing my fears to hear his pleas or see where we were heading. Today, I acknowledge “bad behavior” (his and mine) as some form of fear – and thus the painful reactions are not so hard to navigate through.
“Spirit says Ray has no forgiveness for himself and so cannot for me. That only forgiveness can bring the shift in perception needed to allow us to work through this, to allow him to see himself as he desires to be.”
2010: Ah … The Voice for sanity that loved us through the maze!
- Day Number Four: Find myself measuring my progress with anger today. I am certainly not afraid of expressing it now. (Sometimes, maybe, a bit too liberal and dramatic.) 🙂 But it never lasts for long and I (we) always manage to grow from what gets put out on the table. My fear was always, if I showed anyone my anger they would leave me. Today, I trust enough to know that the real love doesn’t leave.
- A Funny Thought: If I could go back in time, right now, I would tell her that it’s a crisp blue Saturday afternoon … And I would ask her to skip a day of writing so I could take a break. OH! Look there in the book. She does!
- About This Post: I’m attempting to merge the nine months recorded in Bernadette’s Pages with the present here – but still can’t figure out how to format it in a neat and tidy way. So, it’s probably going to be raw and choppy in places. I’ll throw in some quotes and bullets to guide you along. If I lose you somewhere, let me know. I’ll come back to get you.
- If you landed in the middle of this project: Click here to start at the beginning!
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Excerpts ©2006 from Bernadette’s Pages: An Intimate Crossroad
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