My therapist said something to me yesterday -- actually something that someone had said to her twenty-five years ago, when she was a newly-divorced woman of 40 (and so in a situation similar to mine) -- that touched a nerve.
Except I wasn't entirely sure why it touched a nerve. As supportive statements go, it was pretty standard: "You are a smart, strong, capable woman. You make good choices, and you will continue to make good choices. Sometimes, you'll make a choice that turns out to be bad, and you'll learn from it and move on."
This morning, Alex woke me up around 4am to let me know he'd overflowed his pullup. Again. (Note to self: need to make sure he's not sneaking drinks after dinner, and also verify he's going to the potty before bed.) I got him changed and re-settled and back to bed, then went back to bed myself.
But -- as seems to be the usual lately, once I was up, I couldn't go back to sleep. I tried for a while, and then I just lay there, thinking about the music that's been resonating with me lately. "Off the Hook" by the Barenaked Ladies, in particular, has been stuck in my head for a good week. And I thought about the writing assignment the therapist had given me and wondered if maybe I could use all that resonant music to at least kick it off (getting started is one of the hardest parts, so having a theme or a starting point is useful). And I started sort of head-writing what I would say about "Off the Hook".
He could get away with murder one
and you would clean the smoking gun
With every crime
you bought each line
That's the thing that bothers me most, I thought, laying there in that dim, grey light of pre-dawn. Not what happened, but how I willingly blinded myself to it.
I feel so stupid, I thought. I feel so foolish.
It was a mistake to stay quiet for so long, I thought.
You will make mistakes, said another voice. It's okay. Everyone makes mistakes.
And then there were tears, and an epiphany: This is what I keep falling apart over, in different incarnations, over and over. Allowing myself to make mistakes. Admitting -- not that I screwed up, because I did, and I can own that -- but that it's not the end of the world, and that it's okay to learn from my mistakes and forgive myself for them.
I know now, what the first step of my path to me is: to forgive myself for my mistakes, for failing to acknowledge and act during our years of drawing apart, and for allowing myself to hear what I wanted to hear instead of what was actually being said. I'm not sure how, because those feel like huge failures, but at least I can see the way forward, even if it's covered in brambles and mist.
So the pain is a little fresher this morning, but it feels cleaner, like a newly cleansed wound. I expect it will need to be cleansed again, but at least it feels like healing.
Sorry for dumping all this maundering on you, but I've been awake since 4am.