As time passes I've gained a new perspective on myself, my marriage, and my former "husband". There was a day, almost 4 years ago, when I made a discovery that forced me to ask myself a very hard question. "How is it possible," I wondered "for the man who says he loves me and calls me his wife to have told me this lie, and having told it, to continue to lie, deny, minimize, and avoid." It's a complicated answer which I don't believe I have fully discovered yet. As part of this process I've had to be brave, to recognize and face the fear and pain which have prevented me from discovering certain truths, to take the leap of faith that I will be okay, and to push myself forward. Sometimes I've needed to re-experience past trauma to learn a lesson. I needed to learn how to grieve, how to cry, and how to discover the peace which follows. I needed to learn to see, and to know what I had seen. I have learned that survival meant the deliberate burial of my self and disconnecting from truth and emotion. Even the fact that I spent almost 20 years in ever deepening survival mode, and that I saw that as "normal" and believed I was "happy" has been a discovery.
With each step I've experienced an incremental nudge towards anger. It's an emotion which I rarely, if ever, experience anymore. I don't rant and rave over things. I don't yell at people, or flip the bird at bad drivers. Anger, like grief, requires a huge investment of energy. I find that even when I experience a flash of anger, I can't maintain it. In my view, anger isn't worth the effort. I don't see the pay-off. With one, very notable, exception. I am capable of sustained self-directed anger. It's like being completely blind on one side. I have become so adept at letting go of anger that I can no longer perceive that which is another person's responsibility; so dedicated to being non-judgemental that I will not hold another person to account for their behaviour even when it has resulted in profound harm to me. Clearly I need to remove those blinders and to learn to experience anger again. I am not looking forward to it. "Brave" means being scared, and going ahead anyway, and it's not fun at all.
While I've spent the last few weeks turned quite inward, I have managed this