The Airing of Grievances

Buh-bye!

I enjoy the show, “Seinfeld” and the “Festivus for the Rest of Us” episode. I decided to take a line from that show and have my own “airing of grievances”.

I’ve been processing the end of my third (yes, third) marriage for the past several months. I tried, for so long, to keep it together. There were so many times I told my husband I felt there was “something” that kept him from being close to me; that I felt second-rate in his life. He constantly denied it. There were so many arguments. He always told me something worth having was worth fighting for – yet he didn’t put actions behind his words. In the end, he realized he prefers his own gender, yet to this day, cannot (or simply won’t) see how it affected our relationship and his inability to be the partner I thought I was getting when we married.

Since living on my own, I’ve done a great deal of reading. I realize now he is a narcissist. Every article I’ve read about narcissism should have his photo next to it. The more I read, the angrier I became – at him and myself. I knew I wanted to leave five years ago. I didn’t because: a) I’m stubborn and did not want to be divorced three times and b) I already disrupted my son’s family life once and I wasn’t going to do it again while he was in school. I felt robbed of those five years. The more I gave and tried to change things, the more he took and didn’t give anything back.

So, I decided I had enough. I’m done with trying to figure him out. I’m done with wondering “why”. I’m done with feeling angry. I’m done grieving for “what could’ve been”. I decided to “air my grievances”. I wrote out every sadness, hurt, anger, resentment about that man and the eleven years we spent together on strips of paper. There were over 120 strips by the time I finished. I wanted to get everything out so there’d be no more energy spent on him.

But, what to do with all these strips of paper? I burned them. I invited a friend to join me. She wrote out her grievances and, in her backyard, we set them on fire in a metal planter. I wanted to do it one-by-one, but quickly realized that’d take much too long! 🙂

It was satisfying to watch the paper curl as it burned. Once the grievances were ashes, I burned sweetgrass and sage to purify the air of negative energy. The grievances are now beneath a layer of “positive” ashes. I’m going to add topsoil and grow plants. New plant life for my new life. Every time I look at it, I’ll be reminded of the action I took to put the past hurts behind me and look towards the future. As my new plants grow and thrive, so will I.

The Next Chapter

I like the analogy of life as a book with chapters. Some chapters are long, others are short, some are exciting, some you can’t wait to end. Every day is an opportunity to add to your current chapter or start a new one.

I’ve started a new one. I moved into my new home a week ago. I have dreamed of this day for at least five years. If you’ve read my blogs, you know I wasn’t in a good marriage. I didn’t want to disrupt my son’s life as he has a great relationship with his step-dad, so I wanted to wait until he graduated from high school. I couldn’t leave then because my dad still lived with us. When Dad moved into assisted living, there was nothing to stop me.

This new chapter is a time of adjustment. I didn’t think I’d “leave the nest” before my son, but it happened. He’s decided to stay at the house with his step-dad. I get it. All his stuff is there, it’s where he’s comfortable, it’s his home. He visits nearly every second day because, as he’s learning, my ex isn’t much for grocery shopping. The first thing he does when he arrives is go to the fridge, and then the pantry. I don’t mind. Before he leaves, I always get a hug. I commented that he’s hugging me more. “It’s because I don’t get to see you everyday.”

He and I are very close. I think me moving out is a good for him. It helps give him independence from me. He and his step-dad live as roommates. He has a great relationship with his step-dad, but even my son acknowledges I’ve always been the parent. When the time comes for him to move out of the house, he will be better prepared emotionally. Truth be told, as much as I love and miss my son, I’m enjoying the quiet and having a space completely my own.

In this new chapter, I get to put myself first. Maybe it’s something I should have done years ago, but as a wife, mother, and caregiver, it was difficult. Now, there’s nothing to stop me.

I chose a home that suited me and my dog. I’m decorating it in a way that makes ME happy. I love that, eventually, everything will have a place and will be in it. My place will always be clean and tidy. It will be filled with plants. I will do things as they suit me and not have someone telling me I’m doing it wrong or how I could be doing it differently. The people I invite into my home will be those who add to my life, not detract from it. It will be filled with happiness and contentment.

As with any new chapter, I’ve reflected and “reread” previous ones. Those are lived and written; there’s nothing I can do to change them. I’m still processing some thoughts and feelings I have about those chapters, and I’m excited to see where this new one takes me. It’s an emotional time. I’m fortunate to have a supportive partner and wonderful friends.

New job, new home, new exercise program – there’s a huge shift in the energy around me.

It feels good.