Aren’t we all just trying to figure out our lives as best we can? I mean, I’ve fucked up in my past, but I don’t live there. Amanda and I just had a great talk about this very thing, as she is having a hard time letting go of concern for her ex husband. Personally, I related the story of my own struggle in letting go of my past. I think it would be best to approach things without the confusion of volatile emotions. When I look back on my last marriage, I see it for what it was. We were foolish and acting impulsively. There were a lot of things I didn’t know about her, and many more that I never even tried to find out about or understand. We never really got to know each other very well before committing. I can’t say that I sympathized with her very well, and she never showed much interest in me. Was any one person at fault? Life doesn’t work that way. There is no perpetrator and there is no victim. Everyone in a complex relationship must realize that they each take on those roles at different times, for different reasons.
I have had a long time to really think over that difficult time in my life. I don’t have any animosity for Jax anymore. I don’t blame her for mistakes she made. Who am I to judge? I made just as many mistakes as she did. I told Amanda that I have truly let her go in my mind. I’m not expecting to ever talk to her again, or think about her at all. There is nothing left there. We are never going to be friends. Amanda still hangs on to the thought that she will still be friends with her ex, and she wants him to care about her. But he doesn’t. That tie is severed, forever. Amanda has to let go of her ex, like I have with mine. I can honestly say that I have no concern for Jax, wherever she is in the world now. I mean, I don’t wish he ill; I just don’t care anymore, one way or the other. Amanda must, eventually, do the same, or she will continue to suffer from an unrequited concern. It’s kinda like forgiveness, but it is internal and unacknowedged. She won’t get any response from her ex, and neither will I. But that’s not why we forgive. I forgave because I don’t want to hold on to my feelings anymore. They just hurt me. So I let them go. And I hope Jax has done the same, so her life can move forward. As mine has.
Amanda will need a lot of time to detach from her 14 year marriage, and all of the things that happened during it. She has much more weight to unload than I did. But we must move forward and let go of the past. There is no going back. She really does want to move on, but there is a lot of work to do. She has to take a step every day, and go that for many consecutive days. It’s a long road out of the hole, but there is a way out.
I am going to be right there with her. Every step, we take together.
It takes time to come to the realization that it’s time to let go, not out of wanting to push someone out of their life, but for the toxic damage it causes by holding on. It’s going to take her time to come that point in her life. Where you are more logical in your acceptance of letting go-probably due to the length and non-depth of your marriage/relationship w/Jax, it is a pretty complex and emotional tangles string that must be worked on and delicately for her. Just support her the best you can by letting her know you’re there for her and you only want her to have peace and calm in her life and heart where the hurt is.
I totally agree. I am going to be there for her through this whole process, and I know it will take a long time. But we have a lot of time. And I lover her so much; I know she can use my insight, in key moments. But I can’t get her out of it, she has to do that. And I support her.
That is the best thing you can do-for each other: you being there for her through the process, loving her through it, and knowing she has to walk the journey-but not alone. A lot of people don’t realize or understand that letting go is a process and we each do it in our own way. Having support while it’s done is critical. I haven’t really had emotional support while going through my shit, but I’ve been in a safe place so that has helped. Keep on being there for each other and you’ll both grow in strength and independence and love :)
I totally agree. I would be much worse off if I didn’t have her there to reflect back to me things she observed in my behavior and in our relationship. I think I have helped her in the same way. This is really the first time my partner and I have been allies helping each other get through mental illness, as opposed to abandoning the relationship when things got hard. I’m lucky in that way. But I’ve also struck out a few times trying to find this.
Sometimes we gotta go through a few stinkers until we find one that’s really worth it. It sounds like you two are both really working in tandem-which a lot of people don’t do anymore. And you are right about abandoning when things get hard. No one knows how to fight and work for relationships anymore, or to support our partners when things are tough. So many people have the “I can walk away if it’s too hard” mentality and I honestly believe it’s because of society’s pressure to be perfect. Fuck perfect, I want real and truth and honesty. Seems like you and Amanda have that and I find that beautiful!! You two are very lucky/blessed/special to have found each other <3
Thanks, you are very kind. I have always gone into my relationships knowing I was mentally ill, and hoping my partner would hold on to me when things got tough. But both times I tried to kill myself, they took it as an insult or a personal attack. I mean, it IS an inconsiderate act, but also the result of a destructive pattern taking over. I didn’t WANT to end up there, but I did. When I needed help the most, both my ex wives just got angry with me and cut me loose. I know now that I would NEVER do that to anyone. It’s a lesson I had to learn through exposure.
Education for the ally is IMPERATIVE, and I think the only one’s that really get it are the one’s that are IN it. Then there are those true Angels that are partners and allies and supports for us when we are in those darkest moments. The one’s we thought were those were really just weak and cowards to not educate themselves, nor were they strong enough to help themselves to help us. No matter how shitty life gets, I still fight-for myself, my kids and still (probably stupidly) my marriage. That’s the one thing I have learned on my life journey-if I give up on myself, I’m giving up on everyone else. But I also put others before me and my needs, so I’m kind of a contradiction. LOL
It’s a tough balancing act. But we should be concerned (primarily) with surrounding ourselves with healthy, aware and sympathetic individuals. Anyone who takes the time to understand is a friend. Everyone else can stay the fuck away. My boat is full.
It’s hard to discern who is healthy and who is toxic when our judgement is clouded-but we do try so hard. Yeah, I ain’t got time to takers-away of my new-found positivity and peace. Don’t want or need that shit in my bubble. Ppl gimme crap about not having “friends”. I just tell em I keep my circle small because I’ve been hurt and burned too many times. Plus it’s too exhausting to keep up with it/them. Fuck that. It already takes a lot of work to function as it is. My best friend lives in Alaska and some days I talk to her more than my parents-and I live with them!! LOL
When you are in a position such as we are, you MUST be choosy with friends. Our environments are potentially volatile, and if we surround ourselves with people for the sake of sheer numbers, then the poison of normalcy will destroy us. People who swim in the mainstream don’t waste time understanding what they don’t want; their minds are closed to the world in a way that cannot be reversed with curiosity or pity. I have learned to cut people off who don’t “get it.” Like my exes, for example. People who can’t be bothered to open their awareness to other possibilities. I find most people are clinging to an understanding of the world that pleases them, but has nothing to do with reality or common sense. Religion still pervades because people like to have something simple that explains everything. This makes for a happy brain, if not a blissfully ignorant one. Just try challenging someone’s core beliefs and witness an atomic explosion of fury and hatred (instead of a discussion). People want the world to make sense, and they accomplish this through delusion and mental masturbation. The “real” world is truly random and unforgiving. I can see why people fool themselves into an alternate reality; the place we currently reside in is harsh, sometimes inexplicable, and chaotic. Since I am already on the fringes of society, I don’t pander to the common beliefs. I see life for what it is, and I have learned how to survive in it with lots of unanswered questions floating around. This is not depressing, or scary, but wondrous… if not awe inspiring. The mystery of the unknown makes me yearn for every single new day. What will we learn about ourselves today? What new thing will I come to understand? So people who don’t get mental illness are content to believe that life has no gray area, where people live between clarity and darkness. There is no want for understanding, just disregard for our alien plight. So I have learned to be confident in myself, and press on into the fathomless abyss of the future. So I have few friends… so what? At least I’m really HERE.
I’m glad you are in a safe place, and I know I must have been tough to go through your struggle alone. I have been there too. It hurts even more when your ally is the one who left. It seems like most people either don’t understand or are repulsed by people struggling with mental illness and that is a shame. We are such brilliant people, trapped in unimaginable torment. All we want is to breathe fresh air, like everyone else can. It’s hard. I think you are great Sassafras. Keep stepping forward.
Thanks. It is a shame that we are judged based on our “disabilities” when we see them as a different way to view the world. And it sucks even more that since our “disabilities” can’t be seen, we are held to an unobtainable standard. I just keep doing me and my thing, although this stuck in marriage/separation limbo land has gotten REALLY old… I think you’re a brilliant person and I’m so honored to follow your journey :)
I’ve found only frustration in my hope that people will understand my disability. I used to tell people, but then they would stop talking to me or I would be forced to quit a job because of it. So now I just make something up if I have a mental health day. It saves me the pain of stigma. What the world doesn’t know, it can’t judge.
Your words are kind, and I thank you for them. I’m Westin, and I hope we can help each other through our parallel journeys.
Me too. I found one employer that gave me a second chance to work at a very big health care company-and that was because her daughter is Bipolar so she understood and could sympathize and empathize with my spotty work history. I can honestly say that was the first job I hardly called into or found reasons not to work hard. It’s such a frustrating shame that there’s so much ignorance surrounding mental health issues that feeds the stigma.
And you’re very welcome. I’m Shannon-but please just call me Sass. You look like a Wes/Westin. Can’t say that I’ve talked to many people whose name fits their face an personality :D I’m always looking for more support and to give as much as I can :)
Haha, thanks Sass… I appreciate the compliment. I have always been so dedicated to my job that it is especially painful to be reduced to a substandard wage or have hours cut down to 10 a week in order to force me to quit, or even promote everyone else on the staff except me… that ind of thing has been the featured response to my stark honesty. So now I’m a lair, but it is for my own protection. I had someone on this blog berate me for lying about my diagnosis, but that comes from the head of someone who has not lived the stigma; someone who has not lost their livelihood because of a disability hated by most people. Hated, and feared, and totally misunderstood. So I don’t really pay much mind to people who don’t get it, I’d rather just avoid the conversation and let them think I’m just a regular person. A bit eccentric, yes, but not observably insane. It is in this way that I have protected myself from judgement, and ensured that this current run at stability is not interrupted by misconceptions. It would be awesome to work in a place that “got” me, but I don’t have anything riding on that.