Mind if I use my blog to do so?
I've been having a conversation about anger, and how anger is really feeling a lack of control, and how the only way really to get past it is by feeling empowered.
There's so much anger out there. The men who responded to my article are clearly very angry. And yes, I'm still angry at my X. (I posted a response, btw.) I'm not angry every minute of every day or anything, but it doesn't take me long to get angry if I think about it for too long.
My first conversation with X didn't go so well. HE was angry. I actually didn't even think I was going to be talking to him at that moment, so I was more confused than anything. He called back and apologized, and eventually, we just had a conversation.
I told him that I wasn't punishing him or the girls, just trying to do what's best for them. I explained to him (very calmly) what it's been like for Sylvia lately, and the chain of events that led us to where we are today. And he seemed to understand.
The thing about X - he's not all bad. I don't really believe that pure evil exists, and even if it does, he's not pure evil. When I say that I tell my girls the truth, the truth I tell them is that he's just not capable of taking care of them. Sylvia pointed out the other day that he's not even capable of taking care of himself. And she's right.
He hurts everyone that cares about him. But in the process, he's hurting himself. I tried everything I know to get him to heal himself, but I had no control over that. And sure, that lack of control can still make me angry, but I've just truly given up.
He never learned how to deal with the disappointments, with the obstacles that life throws us. I think he still believes that someday, there will be some sort of happily ever after. And there just isn't.
I think one of the reasons that I've been able to enjoy my own life more this past year or so is because I've come to terms with that. My life is by no means perfect, and there are still things that frustrate me every day.
But I also revel in every time I laugh, every time my kids make me smile, every time there's a successful moment in my own life.
And yet, I still don't ask myself if I'm "happy." My mom always says that she just wants me to be happy. As a mother, sure, I can understand that. But here's a cliche that X taught me: "happiness is an unnatural state of mind."
I don't really believe that, but I believe that happiness is like any other emotion: with a beginning, a middle, and an end until you get to experience it again. A good day today doesn't mean tomorrow isn't going to suck, so what the hell, I'm going to enjoy today. And when tomorrow sucks, I'm going to be angry or sad or frustrated, and may even cry about it. But even on my best or worst day, I know that there are good and bad moments within it.
The worst feeling in the world (at least, that I've felt) is NOT believing that another moment of happiness is going to come. X's way of coping with that is to get high. My way of coping with it is to cry, and to reach out for help.
I spoke with Kori until my phone died on Thursday night. I was traveling alone and didn't yet know anyone at the conference. So I clung to her for dear life and she held on to me. And the next morning, I met someone else from my district, and we clicked immediately. And then I met more and more, and that night, I reached out again when I needed to. And one of them held onto me (figuratively) until I was okay again.
In the first few years following my divorce, my greatest fear was no one would hold me again. I didn't know yet that it didn't have to be a spouse. I was afraid I'd never be able to hold onto someone for support ever again.
In the years since, I've met these amazing people, these awesome friends that I have. I text them, I email them, I talk to them however possible. And then I can move forward, knowing that there's support there.
And that support was what allowed me to finally have a calm conversation with my X. And when he showed up the next day, it wasn't comfortable, but it wasn't terrible. We talked enough that I know that he still hasn't found a way to hold himself up, or ask for the right kind of support, but those are his demons. As long as I can protect the girls from them, it's okay.
And really sad for him. He's missing out on so many great moments of happiness. But I will not, under any circumstances, let him drag the girls down with him.
And thus ends today's processing.