How Dare He?

Full Moon

Photo – Courtesy of Casa Dresden

  • 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



Journal, March 6, 1994I’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.

The Messy Room and my Facebook Page are two ways that I share the “HOW” of it! Please join me and SPREAD THE WORD. You CAN get here from there!

Excerpts ©2006 from Bernadette’s Pages: An Intimate Crossroad

If you like this then LIKE this and SHARE it. Together we grow!

Pin It
Spread the love

6 thoughts on “How Dare He?

  • March 7, 2010 at 9:03 am

    I can so relate to this because I stuffed anger and rage for many years. I had no idea how to deal with that emotion. I was taught to stuff it. When my relationship finally looked “over” is when it all came out and of course, the first place we go is to point the finger at the other person (with three fingers pointing back at you!) I wouldn’t have made it without my recovery program; it was through the support of others, those who had been on this path before that I finally figured out how to experience anger now that I had no other place to dump it all. I also figured out that even though I was angry as hell at the relationship, who I was really angry at was God and me.

    • March 7, 2010 at 10:44 pm

      Good point, Laura! Someone told me long ago to give my anger to God … that He could take it. I thought they meant that God WOULD take it and I wouldn’t have to deal with it. (And sometimes it does work that way.) But, I think what they saw in me at that time was the need to know that I could rage at God and that He would still Love and guide me. That there was no anger I had that COULD be bigger than God … or stronger than God and I working together. Kind of a paradox – and opposite of what I was taught growing up. If nice girls couldn’t get angry with regular folks they SURE didn’t want to get angry with the Guy that threw around lightning bolts! 🙂

  • March 9, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    … still grateful. Love the paper trail. Those who journal know what I mean.

  • March 12, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    Six years ago, my wife and I divorced after 23 years of marriage. Although some of the specific circumstances were different, the “process” you so eloquently described mirrored the “reaction” my wife had. In our situation, for her, it was the incident followed by the pain, anger then rage. For me, it was years of dysfunction, followed by…the pain, anger and rage at what I felt was someone who had become so involved in us… she didn’t see me. Both observations were incorrect. Had I read your book then, perhaps I would have understood more acutely her pain. If she had read your book, maybe she would have understood this about me… “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.” That should be written on every marriage certificate issued…

    • March 13, 2011 at 11:31 am

      I am deeply touched by your willingness to share your experience, Joseph. Thank you. And I know that there will be someone who will come along and read this post … and it will be YOUR words that they will be looking for … and your words will, perhaps, reach them at a time in their experience just before “that” moment and your heartache shared will lesson their need to enter that classroom and experience that pain.

      I also believe that nothing is truly lost for those who come to understand what it means to choose love … even in the “aftermath” … You are a compassionate spirit and a giant of a man to more than Antony Ant 🙂

Comments are closed.