It’s a word I’ve toyed with the past few days in my mind. Quietly. Thoughtfully. Examining, holding myself accountable to the truths I don’t want to acknowledge, facing them anyway. I have come to the notion that maybe I am … capable.

Maybe the struggle has been, all along, that I doubted whether I was. A grandiose case of imposter syndrome; I could do everything I promised I would do, so long as nobody was watching.

So, now, I’m at a major, quite-literally life altering crossroads.

Smack dab in the middle between life’s greatest malevolence, manifested outwardly “against me”, and, my own internal battle of shame (I am bad, and bad things happen to me), and I am unlovable (I am not worthy).

Where the HELL does one expect they go from here?

I see two options, or mindsets – funny how that is in lock step with the first two potential outcomes – two, and two. One, or the other. And the way they intersect, in turn, is part of this analysis: It’s a mess, I know, but I’m going to try and make some sense of it, my emotions be damned.

I could revel in being right. God knows I could. Most of the instinct, that showed itself as fear and anger, was right. It just – was. In one way or another. I could relish that fact, and find significant indignation to support it, “I wasn’t crazy, but you told me I was. But, I wasn’t. Now, what do you have to say for yourself to make THAT better?”

I’ve done it.

It doesn’t feel good later on, though in the moment my ego has a field day.

It’s the easiest option. Short term. So, what if I know that, and I choose this option anyway? Whose fault is that?

Being right suddenly, without flinching, loses its power when you act upon it, it only serves to drive home your own crappy behavior, and pushes the other person away. Yet, we, I – could do it all the time. Knee-jerk reaction, defensiveness, impatience, get your one-up. But. How do you feel that night when you lay your head on your pillow?

I could go for hours, and his decisions, and how they align with having to now re-write history. “When you said you were doing this, you were actually doing that – yes? “Yes”. Immediate: Ha! I fucking knew it, how dare you!

In the moment, it’s tempting. Almost feels necessary, if even for your own preservation of finally aligning your truth with reality. “I wasn’t crazy, I knew I wasn’t crazy”, is a thing I’ve said a lot to myself over the past several months. But feeling that doesn’t justify wrong behavior, or making it all about being “right”, especially when I experience, later, it actually didn’t bring us closer to each other at all.

He’s not going to suddenly hold me and affirm I was right, because he has his own shame and damaged self-worth to contend with, and how can he even access that part, that necessary healing, when all I’m doing is ecstatically, emphatically boasting that I was right?

If he’s a good person who did a bad thing, he already knows he was “wrong”, and me shouting for my own preservation isn’t a recipe for intimacy.

But what about the part where I have to look inward, regardless of his actions, and admit to my fault, beyond reactions to his malevolence, and face my own bullshit?

Feeling shame, and feeling unlovable.
Those began well before I ever met this man I’ve spent almost the last 11 years with.

Can I even look at that, when I’m still hung up on blaming him – should I?

The truth is, there are two of us.
We chose for there to be two. We united and entangled our lives financially, spiritually, emotionally, and practically. We chose two. Him and me. Us. We chose this.

So it can’t just be him.

What did I bring to this? What self-limiting beliefs? What baggage? What history? What family of origin? What trauma?

I cannot escape the mirror, for if I am so eager to hold it up to him, eventually my hands will tire and I’ll set it on my lap, and without even meaning to, I will catch a glimpse of myself.

There are two.
We chose this.


What did he bring to me initially that attracted me to him, as a potential life partner? What did he awaken inside of me, or show me about myself, that I wanted to see, feel, have affirmed?

And when did the breakdown occur, when I stopped seeing him as my ally and started viewing him as the enemy? I realize there was no segue to that, so I just went ahead and got on with the meat of the thing.

I came into this feeling unworthy of love, and I felt shame, about my family, about my own history, about being divorced twice and having these two daughters from different dads. Not having a career, not feeling good enough, and simultaneously hyper aware of my own shortcomings – my self esteem was shit, as they say, and the shame I carried, it wore itself into my skin. And it manifested itself as deep mistrust of others.

Instead of see why I’m afraid, I’ll just keep you way out there. Not ever close enough to me to really understand that I’m just a scared, isolated little girl, and all I really want is to be really known and loved, but I cannot let you because I know you’ll hurt me, too.

I came into this some version of her, holding tightly in a death grip to the hand of the adult woman I wanted so desperately to become. We came together, she and I. And I’m not sure I’ve understood until now the significance of acknowledging that.

So, which road do I take? Which path is easiest, and which one is most meaningful? I could blame, and accuse, and excuse my own shit as a response to his poor behavior.

Or, I could accept, and understand, and acknowledge that little girl and take her hand, and say, I get it, but you’re safe now.

We don’t have to be victims to our circumstances, no matter how dire they feel at times.

We don’t have to stay in the mire of others bad behavior and choices, we can stand up, brush off, and move forward, better. Choosing something different. And that’s just the key – I could analyze this all I want, and believe me I’ve done ample research over the past several months. I know some insights, I’m naturally curious about human relationships and people anyway, but the shit show I’ve called life recently has given me a more intense passion for understanding why we are the way we are, and why we do the things we do. Still, none of “knowing” means jack shit unless you apply it.

I’ve admired my husband for that. For becoming passionate about a subject, he then learns all he can about it, and he tries to master that thing, or come close to it, before he gets bored and moves on to the next. My hope is, he’s applying that same passion to our restoration. At least, if anything, his own, but my hope is, too, for us. I’m still his wife so even though he was a total idiot, I still get to root for us.

I am rooting for me, too.

I am capable. Of change. Of growth. Of love. Of trust. Of moving forward, differently, even if I know it’ll take a long while to implement a new way of being, at least I’m open to that. Even, … even knowing it’s the harder path.

I could just blame and go back to righteousness. I could settle in the fact that I was right, and allow myself to fester there. Or. I could own up to my own soul, face THAT part of myself, and grow it despite knowing my marriage still might fail and it’ll hurt like hell, but at least I didn’t just sit around and whine about it.

I’ve said a lot the past few months, I’m tired of being strong. I hate it some days, to even have to get out of bed. It’s been … a lot. And it will continue to be a lot. And I’m taking on more than my fair share – just functioning and being a mother – but also using this time to willingly tackle my own shit. It’d be so much easier just to wallow, and trust me I have done my fair share of that it’s true, but I’m tired of feeling stuck here, and it’s time I recognize the potential that this season offers.

I am capable of rising, so I have no fucking choice but to do it. Damn it. But, still, bring it on.

Please, I welcome your thoughts, perspective, and new ideas on anything I have written here!

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