I’ve decided that when I can’t think up a clever title for a blog post, I’m just going to use a random quote from “The Tick.” It’s all good.
So, somewhere around here is the One Year Anniversary of the day Steve and I first separated. I didn’t write down the date or anything, but it was during the week before Elizabeth’s tenth birthday and she’ll be turning eleven on Sunday.
This has been far and away the most educational and transformational year of my life. There has been so much new information crammed almost nonstop into my brain in the past twelve months that I wake up most mornings feeling like a slightly different person than the person I was the morning before. The last eight months have been especially eye-opening. The last TWO months have been…well, you get the idea: the more I learn, the more doors open around me to reveal even more stuff to learn. It’s dizzying and liberating and at times remarkably painful.
I do wish to clarify that this hast NOT been the most painful year of my life. Not even in the top five. Possibly not in the top ten, because I’m pretty sure all the “winners” in that category fall before 1996. Truth be told, every year since I first moved in with Steve has been a Disney-themed cakewalk compared to the soul-crushing horror that my mother delighted in inflicting upon her offspring at every opportunity. Just want to be clear on that, in case anyone is wondering why I stayed in what was obviously a dysfunctional marriage for nearly twelve years: it was better than where I’d come from, and it’s not like I had a point of reference for what a healthy home life was supposed to look like. (And I suppose in Steve’s defense neither did he. Bummer for both of us.)
Whoops, little digression into Bitter Country there. I’d meant for this to be an upbeat, cheerful post, because that’s my prevailing mood these days. As overwhelming as the unrelenting flow of Here’s Something ELSE You Didn’t Know! has been at times, I remain grateful for the ever-broadening perspective on life, the universe and everything that the past year has offered me.
Here’s to clarity. Here’s to moving forward.
And while I’m on the subject, here is the most brilliantly useful bit of wisdom that I’ve acquired this year. I’m going to share it because I wish someone had told me this decades ago:
The only people who demand forgiveness for the harm they’ve done, who go on and on about how good Christians are supposed to be infinitely forgiving of all transgressions, are the people who have NO INTENTION of ever changing their harmful behavior. They NEED to be forgiven by their victims so that they can go right on victimizing them.
People who have genuinely repented of their selfish, destructive ways and want to change do not demand forgiveness from the folks they’ve hurt. They just STOP HURTING THEM and start being productive, compassionate human beings and let nature take its course. They offer selfless love instead of abuse or neglect, and they understand that healing takes time and patience.
Believe it. Jesus never meant for you to spend your life suffering so that some self-absorbed manipulator can feel powerful.