Will we ever learn?


For the last few weeks I have been going over something in my head. As you will know, each week brings me closer to my final settlement with the Ex. Over the past 16 months since we broke up I have faced some dark moments. I've had to, for the most part, keep my head down and bitten my tongue when abuse and insults have been hurled at me. For the sake of negotiation and getting things sorted, I have just been 'teflon-girl' and tried to let the pain and hurt wash over me. But with the end in sight, is it time to say what has been on my mind?

It's a tough call. Part of me thinks I'll just be so relieved it's all over I won't care any more. But there is also part of me that has wanted to argue back - and point out things from my perspective. A dear friend Kate, once said to me 'that revenge is a dish best eaten cold' and reminded me many, many years ago that 'living well is the best revenge'. I have lived by these words up until this point. I know that I am happier now, even with all the stress of legal wrangles etc, than I have ever been. But is there also a point in your life when you need to stand up for yourself?

Peter and I have talked about this A LOT lately. We've thrown around the idea that perhaps if I write a letter, the writing part might be cathartic enough. I may or may not decide to post it. As I sit here thinking about it all, there are so many things I have wanted to say. To point out that the person I left him for wasn't Peter...it was me. His anger, and over-reactions to things when something went wrong, made me anxious on an ever-increasing scale. His paranoia about others, and always looking for the worst in people dragged me down and made me see the world this way. The fact that he always saw himself as the victim, and how things were always being done to him. His social awkwardness that meant he was withdrawing from social situations was isolating me from my friends. His reluctance to be responsible and leaving me the joy of filling out things like home loan applications on my own made me feel stressed. The fact that all these things made me feel too anxious to talk to him about things, big things, important things that mattered.

I also believed that there was too much damage done in our relationship to come back from, from my perspective. I suppose I didn't honestly think he could change to become the type of person I needed to be with. And frankly how he has responded since the break up has done nothing but reinforce this. There were good times and I hope that one day I can look back on our time together and remember some of the adventures we had. I can't block out those 13 years, and I can't taint them all with the awfulness of how it ended. I am currently wondering what it will take to get me to that point.

A friend, Kat, posted something on facebook the other day. I have looked at it many times and keep smiling. I've attached a copy to share with you. This flowchart sums up simply the hardest lesson to learn in life. So many of us want to be happy, but we keep ourselves in the loop of doing the same thing. Acting the same, doing the same, being the same will only accomplish that...the same. Breaking that cycle is fucking hard. It's damn scary. But as someone talking to you from the 'change something' stream of the chart - I can confirm that the outcome is indeed different. The internet tells me that Albert Einstein said "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results". I guess I can see that the Ex is stuck in that loop, and to some degree I keep wondering if not saying something to him is part of that for me. Should I break the cycle and speak up? I certainly feel stronger and that I have a voice. But I think I will still be considering what to do for a little while yet. In the meantime, I'd love to hear anyone else's thoughts on the subject. Is it time to do things differently?

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