31 January 2007


Okay, okay... I know. You're not too happy with my last posting. I've heard from several of you that you didn't much care for it very much and had some concerns... So here you go:

Why are you still angry / hateful? Can't you get over it?
I'm sure I will, one day. And I'm not angry all the time... it's not a seething, never ending feeling of loathing. It happens in unexpected spurts, between feelings of contentment, independence, strength and optimism. But yes, sometimes I am angry because my life changed in the last year in many painful, unexpected ways. I've turned into a person that I really don't want to be: Single at 34 with an ex-husband who left me with no explanation to be with another woman. A year ago, I was married to a man that I'd been with for 12 years. And while in hindsight it certainly wasn't a perfect marriage, I was committed to it. I loathe that the feeling was not mutual. I loathe that my marriage failed. And all of this happened and changed at the same time that I was laid off from my job. It's been an entire life-upheaving change in a single year. But I'm making progress... and I'm making salmon. That's one small step that is just the beginning of a long journey into real happiness. But for now, I need to be angry and hurt and upset sometimes, and I need to write about them. (I also need to have adventures, have fun, and live out my dreams, which I am also doing... but the blogs about those aren't the ones that people get upset about.)

Yes, all of this happened for a reason, and yes, all of it will turn out for the better for me. But for now, it is what it is.

Aren't you tired of being angry?
Yes. It's exhausting. It sucks. I wish I wasn't angry. But I'm human. And I'm not nearly as angry as I was a year ago... so that's progress...

Am I the one you're wanting to punch?
Probably not. In the last year, I've learned that things take you by surprise, and what you think your reaction will be is not necessarily the reality. So if you think that I'm talking about you, you're probably wrong. It's like that song, You're So Vain... you probably think this song is about you.

Hate is not a very nice thing to feel. I don't like reading about it.
True... it's definitely not a pleasant emotion, and to be honest, I wish I could live without it. But as with most human emotions, I have 'em, and they're valid, and if you don't like reading about them, then... well... you can change the channel. I am writing this blog - as I warned most of you - without editing for my audience. No, it's not quite as fun to read about 'hate' as it is to read about skydiving, but this is my life.

Why can't you just forgive (him/her/everyone) and move on?
Ooh, that's a big one... I want to first debunk the prevailing myth that "forgiving" someone is a one-time shot that is "required" of the offended party in order to make the world right. I don't feel like it is necessary to forgive someone in order to move forward... it is, however, necessary to forgive oneself. It seems that people think that "forgiving" someone is something very easy to do: Either you do, or you don't, and "forgiving someone" happens in one big flash of enlightenment and then afterwards you can skip all the way through the forest to grandma's house eating cookies and living happily ever after. Anyone who has ever been wronged will tell you that this is as realistic as a fairy tale itself.

And I also very much despair at the idea that if you do not forgive someone who has wronged you, then you're a bad person. To be blunt... that's F'd up. First of all, this puts the responsibility on the one wronged to make it 'right' by 'forgiving', which is a lot of responsibility to put on someone's shoulders who has been seriously wronged. Second, it also negates the fact that the person who is wronged can go through the ups-and-downs of life and if they feel forgiving one day and not the next - that this flip-flop makes them a "bad person". I prefer to think of things on an hour-to-hour basis: Sometimes I have forgiven some people for some things for an hour, and then something will bring that back to being angry and 'unforgiving.'

That's not very Christian of you.
Yes, it sounds positively un-Christian and against everything you're 'supposed to do' according to what society says is 'right'. Without getting into religious debates, I argue that society often promotes behavior that is unrealistic in its expectations and counter-intuitive in it's execution.

I also recommend that if you want to read more on how I feel about 'forgiveness', there's a much more articulate and eye-opening version in Janice Spring's book: How Can I Forgive You?: The Courage To Forgive, the Freedom Not To. To quote, "We have been taught that forgiveness is the only healthy, morally sound response to violation, and that it must be granted without conditions, even when the person who hurt us is unremorseful.... Dr. Spring proposes a new alternative that lets us overcome the corrosive effects of hate and get on with our lives -- without forgiving. She also offers a powerful and unconventional model for genuine forgiveness -- one that asks as much of the offender as it asks of us. Forgiveness is no gratuitous gift, she argues. We can heal ourselves, but forgiveness must be earned."

At this point, I can honestly say that forgiveness is fleeting, and I don't feel has properly been earned. Yes, that's my opinion. Yes, that may not jive with what people think I 'should' do... but it is what it is, and yes, I'm still moving on with my life.

Okay, enough of that for now. I promise more frivolous musings later.



Anonymous said...

Why don't you confront them?

Beth said...

I did. I confronted, and tried to understand things that were taken away from me with no explanation. I begged for understanding for months. My efforts were ignored, insulted, belittled, and eventually completely rebuffed by the parties involved. Now it's time to stop trying to "confront" and instead look forward. But that's easier said than done.

Anonymous said...

So what will allow you to move forward? Somehow I don't think hitting someone on the subway will work, but who knows?

Beth said...

Now that is the million dollar question, isn't it?

And no, getting arrested for assault on the NYC Subway will undoubtedly *not* bring me any type of closure. But thanks for your support. ;-)

Anonymous said...

What about confronting her?

Beth said...

Why bother?

She obviously has serious problems in her life if she needs the affections of a married man. That's pathetic, sad and a statment on her low moral values and self esteem... but there's nothing I can do about that.

Ultimately, it's the married man's choice on whether or not to take up the "other woman" on her attentions... and *that* is where I got screwed.