The words I swore I never wanted to hear again. The words that pissed me off, and confused me, and made me think people just didn’t get what I was going through. The words that made me want to scream. Now I’m saying them too. I hear those words coming out of my mouth, and I see those words, those beliefs, in my comments to other people. Those very same words people said to me, to try and comfort me, to let me know I was going to be okay… now I believe them. I guess that means I’m actually really truly healing. Healing to a place others have been before me. Many many others.
So what exactly am I talking about? This shit, this shit with my husband… it isn’t about me. Those were his wounds, and his lies, and his baggage. All the stuff he did, it hurt like hell, but it wasn’t ever about me. I internalized it. I bled out of every orifice. I cried millions of wet, salty tears and now I know for sure, it was never about me. What was about me? My healing. It was all on me. Fear abso-fucking-lutely overwhelmed me. I didn’t want to give up what I thought I had. I didn’t want my past tainted with lies and betrayal. I didn’t want to write a new future.
I have finally figured out… I don’t have to. I don’t have to be afraid, I don’t have to give up my amazing memories. I don’t have to give up the good of what I had, and I GET to write a new future. This new future includes a healthier me with a set of dark brown eyes that are WIDE OPEN now. A me that is wiser. There was a truth I didn’t know I needed to know, but I am actually glad now that I know it. So what exactly are those words I have been hearing all along, but for a very long time was not really able to absorb?
It’s not about you. How many times did I scream inside my head to myself and scream outside my head to others, how could it not be about me? Well, it wasn’t. In the process of what he was doing, to HIS life, with HIS life, he hurt me. I HURT and I wanted what he did to be about my hurt, but the only way I could heal was to let go of the hurt, for me and my sanity, and let him deal with what was really going on inside him, which had nothing to do with me.
You need to detach from your husband’s recovery. And in that process of distancing myself from his figuring out what was really going on inside him, where it all came from, and why he felt like he could hurt people, I learned a lot about myself. How he rationalized doling out pain on others instead of dealing with his own hurt… well, not my problem. I gave myself permission to let it ALL be his problem. No matter how I looked at it, there was nothing I could do to help him. It took me a while to recognize I was trying to do things for him, and it took me a while to realize not only was it not my responsibility, it was not my place, and it would never work anyway. I stayed. I set boundaries. I let him know I believed in him. I let him know I still wanted to be his partner. That was all I could do. I could have left at any time. I could have moved on. It was always my choice based on the facts in front of me.
Whether he heals, or not, you will be okay. I heard this, mostly from trauma therapy, but it took me a very long time to believe it. And when I finally did believe, I knew everything was going to be okay for me, I mean I really knew it, it my soul.
Be kind to yourself. In the end, I had to let the trauma envelop me before I was ready to come out from it. I couldn’t ignore it or pretend it wasn’t there. The trauma hit me like a tsunami and it left in it’s wake a slow realization that I had been permanently damaged in some ways, but the greatest parts of me, were totally salvageable. I had a strong foundation and everything else, well as I re-build, I know I can weather any storm now. I gave myself permission to grieve, and heal, and move forward knowing I have always held myself accountable for my own behavior, and I have loved being a caregiver, and I still cherish my ability to feel deeply and forgive in a way that allows me to move forward. But most of all, I have learned to really look deeply inside myself, and love what I find there.