Last night my really nasty side came out and it was messy and ugly and all over someone so sweet, that it really was a violation on my part. I was in a place that was so uncomfortable that in noticing where I was, I noticed what I was doing, and the guilt and shame are still all over me. This is about releasing offenses so I don’t arm myself with them to injure another person.
There are some things in life that feel huge and out of control and I find ways in which to feel like I have some control because that makes it easier for me to accept and navigate messy feelings. When I was a surrogate, it was my control over my contracts and records that helped the out of control areas. I agreed to everything in the contracts, so when IVF cycles and hormones made me feel crazy, I had something concrete to focus on. There is so much that intended parents have to release in terms of pride and trust and I wanted to reciprocate that in having them choose obstetric doctors. When my ex left, he took all of my contracts because of some imagined support battle in the divorce that hasn’t happened. In that moment when all of my records and photocopied checks were gone, I felt powerless and violated. I felt like the signatures that held so much trust and hope were taken from me. I have to release that.
In the last year I have gotten several text messages from my ex that looked like screenshots of our conversations that he was sending to someone else. Very likely he was sharing my worst side with the woman that replaced me in his life. What it felt like was a huge betrayal of trust, and it was done repeatedly. It’s still done, but I’ve gotten to a place where I ignore it because there is nothing I can do about it. It’s a violation, but I’m powerless and so I release the idea that I should have power over it.
Yesterday we were together to go over child support. I was in a room full of people that were forced to share a room with their ex-lovers. It was tense and comforting all at once. We started discussing our incomes and it became clear to me that I take a lot better care of myself than he did. He noticed the ways in which I was doing well, and I thanked him for reading my blog. He insisted people from the church family we shared will send him text messages to show him what I’m up to. I stepped over that betrayal in that moment. I appreciated the fact that I have no idea of what he’s up to unless our sons complain about something, and I was grateful that I no longer feel the need to spy on him. I’m usually busy being happy with the epic things that fall in my path.
When the calculations were made, the child support payments he would have had to make were so small I decided to let it go. In that moment I felt peace and saw it as extending grace. I looked out the window and could see the building I worked at in January. I remembered a few happy encounters in the kitchen with a slow smile and amazing pectorals and the view that so much peace was found in. I asked if the attorney could see the ocean from there and he said he could on some days and it was a moment of respite from the tension of the morning. I was smiling. I glanced over and saw my ex had angled his phone and was recording me. I smiled and said hello to his camera, and I was amused for a while. It’s not the first time I’ve been an unaware subject for someone’s private viewing and I’m sure it won’t be a last time. I have caught enough camera phones directed at me that it doesn’t bother me for the most part. This age of smartphones brings out the particularly creepy. I didn’t feel violated by this at first.
I was on my way to work and singing happily and even caught the food truck at lunch for my usual breakfast (2 eggs over medium, bacon, avocado and tomatoes, with cheese sometimes). It was a good moment. As the day wore on, Facebook reminded me it was 16 years to the day that he proposed to me. My internal harpie started reminding me of the ways I was promised growing old together. I started thinking about our trust and how utterly it was destroyed. It was so much emotion, I couldn’t keep it off of my face, and people I work with noticed. I felt so violated in the picture or video that was taken of me. I became a sideshow of someone else’s design and the peace I felt was taken and mocked.
After work I saw a smile. It was beautiful and carefree. It followed me home and I later used the beauty of that smile to reflect on my pain and sorrow and it became a source of frustration and highlighted a rare lonely moment. I wanted to hurt the beautiful thing I saw and when I realized what I was doing and why, the guilt and shame tortured me through sleep and disquieted dreams. This morning I’ve been searching for self compassion because there’s not much more to offer outside of an apology to make up for what I did.
Old patterns emerge when I’m feeling especially low and I’ve had it suggested enough recently that the idea of getting lost in someone else’s happy trail made me consider online dating again. I’m not sure how fully I’m jumping into this. I went over my dating tips and the dating tips from my friends, and it doesn’t sound as amazing a distraction anymore. I’m releasing these offenses and broken agreements that keep suckerpunching me at random times. I will find grace when I’m not expecting it and look for beauty because I always find it. But there should definitely be some shenanigans tonight. There will be stretching out of my comfort zone. There may even be another dress involved.