Post
Experience Project iOS Android Apps | Download EP for your Mobile Device

When You Sit With Pain

When you sit with pain, and let yourself feel it move over you, it is not so bad. The trick is, if you try to sit with your pain while it is too great, it will utterly consume you, and you will see nothing else. Instead, you must change your life, until you can bear to sit with the pain. It may come only in short bursts, just a moment. You watch a movie and there is a scene where someone is being emotionally abused when they are taking care of someone (example: Marie in Breaking Bad), and it reminds you just how incredibly similar it is to your life. Or maybe something else, I don't know.

You alternate between happiness and grief, great motivation and laziness, excitement for your new life, and grief at the loss of the old one. When you put yourself in your former (or soon to be former) spouse's shoes, you cannot imagine how they said the things they did, or how they choose the path they did. And you move on.

Then, you think of the hopes you had, and that thy are gone. If you have healed enough, it is just a brief moment, where your heart aches for a second, and it is gone.

You may have built a new life, one full of promise, but you have a hard time connecting with many people, because you can't quite tell your story, because that will push them away. But if they don't know your story, they don't really know you. And so you feel a little stuck.

But then you move on, a little at a time.

Finally settled into a new life - have my own apartment, which is nice, going to school full time, and applying for a Ph.D. program - because I want to be able to provide, really provide for a family in the future. The extreme stress is gone, and replaced with the baby stresses of school and work.

Opening all the boxes when I moved in was hard, as I still have alot of her stuff. I put it in one of my closets. Some things, though, I can't part with - a few wedding gifts. One is a nice wind up wall clock, which had an engraved plate in it with our names in it. I took out the plate and bent it up, and put it in the trash. Now, I guess, it is just a clock. I do have her paintings, which, strangely enough, do not seem as good as I used to think they were. I hung one up, but I will probably replace it when I find something else with a similar color. It reminds me of when we first met. On the one hand, I want to put it away, so that I don't think about it. On the other, I think it reminds me of what I've overcome, and of the times when things were good between us.

Funny though, when I think about her darkness and light, there was much more darkness, and most of her light was a happiness in indulging in my youth (12 years younger). But I'm not a kid anymore, and starting to not look like a kid anymore either.

But back to sitting with pain. In one way, I think that you can't really sit with it until it is simply emotionally painful. In one month, it will be a year since I have seen her. Now, even when the pain hits me hard, it seems to last about one minute or so. When it happens, I just let it happen, and then it stops. Still, when I think about her face, I seem to have forgotten all the wicked things she would say, and even the witholding of sex. I guess it is easy to forget, as in my current relationship there is essentially an unlimited supply. Still, while I do feel love for my lover, deep down I know that it is finite - she will, at some point, go back to her home. Last night I found myself thinking about the light she brings, yet she has darkness as well.

I've talked to my ex now a few times on the phone. She seems like a different person, and says as much too. About our marriage, she says 'I don't know what was wrong with me. I started with good intentions, I really did. I'm just don't have the skills, I was just a terrible spouse.' While I agree, with her, I know I played my part as well - I really should have more backbone, and NOT have given her the freedoms I did. Either way, I know it will still be some time before I want to marry again. In the meantime, I'm studying my *** off and, yes, having more sex than I ever have in my life. Funny, it is almost a role reversal, I now actually know what it feels like when someone wants more sex than you want to give out. Not the best feeling, but I go with it. Sure could use a little more sleep though!

If you are on the fence, and trying to decide what to do, and looking to others to know what you can, know this: there is no loss of honor when you leave a ****** marriage. No one looks down on you, not really. And if they do? **** them. It is not hard to make new friends, and sometimes they are stronger and more positive than the old ones you had.

I'm not sure of the point of this article, other than to serve as another light post for those of you wondering if you should leave. I can't make that decision for you, but I will say this: No woman will ever again have the emotional power over me that my ex did - I simply will not give it out. No more teeth chipped in frustration, or anger. Now I know that, even if I have to start all over, #1 Finding someone to want you is not hard. Just put yourself in the places where other single people are likely to be. Grad school is such a place. #2 You biggest fears and judgements are internal. Really, very few people actually care what you do. #3 Especially if you don't have kids, and do have a stable job - Don't sweat it. Yes, you love them, but no, they don't love you. Stop breaking yourself over it. If you are a good person (especially if you are a man), it is not hard to find someone that is at least as good a partner as your ex or soon to be ex.

Just be sure to spend some time, sitting with the pain, and letting is wash away.
FilteringMachine FilteringMachine 31-35, M 3 Responses Jan 26, 2013

Your Response

Cancel

Your post gave me some hope. I am contemplating getting out, just don't have the courage yet. I have given going back to college a thought though. Every time my husband ****** me off now, I calm down by telling myself -"not for long". Still working on the plan, the truth is : I don't know where to start. Anyway, good luck to you.

Really liked your post. So many things in it I identify with by I appreciate most your earthy, practical attitude that embraces the dark side of things without being cynical. It is a lightpost for the rest of us, as you say.

"Just be sure to spend some time, sitting with the pain, and letting is wash away." I especially liked this. It has to be done. Once I walked miles when it hit, letting it hit and hit. Every time my brain tried to push it out, I yanked it back and let it hit and hit some more, and I've never been at that low again. Knocked a lot of nonsense out of my head so I could focus on what was real and what I needed to do.

Best of luck to you--sounds like things are on the upswing.

"you have a hard time connecting with many people, because you can't quite tell your story, because that will push them away. But if they don't know your story, they don't really know you."

...I've called this the life-sized hamster-ball effect. Makes me feel profoundly alienated from most people.
...My current GF is tolerant enough to hear me ***** and ***** and ***** about the ex and about my horrid childhood.
...I feel like I'm just a gaping wound sometimes. I kinda am a gaping wound.
I can't seem to move past the venting over and over to anybody who'll listen...

...I'm annoying even myself at this point.