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What's next....?

kairos posted 12/30/2019 14:24 PM

It helps to write these thoughts out sometimes, so here's my state of mind 17 months post-dday, and with the new year coming up. Divorce papers are nearly signed. On my side, there are brief moments of raw emotion, but there is also a sense of seeing things the way they are/were (from the outside). I sense on her side the pain has grown lately. For a while, I sensed that her pain was tapering. But I really can't tell. As I think about the process of moving forward, I want to evolve and also crystallize the lessons. I donít want to forget the past or her experience. I donít want to pretend that suddenly Iím a changed person. Iím still me, dealing with my issues, but my eyes are more open, my mind more aware. I donít think change is instantaneous, but I do hope it can be measured someday. I donít know if I trust myself (and Iím not referring to infidelity) sometimes. I want to be tested so I can see the incremental growth. But what does that mean? And how?

After we are divorced, routines will continue to normalize, our children will be supported by healthy co-parents, therapy will continue. But whatís next from a personal development standpoint? How do I move forward? How do I not forget the past? How do I make sense of this terrible thing I created? And most importantly, how do I ensure I never become that monster again? Will I become complacent? Maybe the hardest part of the hard work is just the long game. True change will be proven once Iím faced with and have overcome the old barriers/patterns. And, will there ever be closure?

I remind myself: I acted selfishly and hurt the person I was supposed to care for until death do us part. I broke her heart into a million pieces. She suffers because of my actions. The pain I caused cannot be overstated. I committed betrayal, but I will not let that define me anymore, but I will let it change me. For this reason, I donít want to forget. If I could indelibly memorialize this experience in/on me somehow, sort of wear this reminder around my neck, I would do it. I want to stand in front of the reality mirror and continue to see myself for who I am, what I did.

My biggest fear is that I will lie to myself and not see things for the way they really are over over the long term. I think this is a risk for anyone. So I continue to read these posts, finding little nuggets of wisdom and viewing myself through these similar experiences. I continue to journal and look in the mirror. My other biggest fear is that I will not see inside myself, not live in authenticity to myself (i.e., the self-lie). And my third biggest fear: that I will fail to love myself, the root of all my failings. Maybe having these fears keeps me vigilant... Maybe they aren't fear but rather reminders.

A few themes linger in my mind these daysÖ.

-Continue to remind myself of what happened so that the past does not repeat itself, so that I gain strength from facing the worst of myself
-Take ownership, always
-Lean into the consequences
-Salvage what remains, and build on the good stuff
-Accept that there is a new leaf, but never forget
-Remember her (even though the relationship is gone) and her pain
-Practice my new personal vows so that I do not betray myself
-Keep processing: FOO, marital issues
-AndÖ..imagine a brighter future. Iím cautiously optimistic.

After all the pieces have settled, the change plan is set, some progress achieved, you're really only on your own, choosing day-by-day to be the person you want/need to be. Every single day is a choice. I guess, when I think about, what's next is the long, long journey to the future, wherever that may be.

EvolvingSoul posted 12/31/2019 21:24 PM

Hi there PDXguy,

You really have come a long way from the panicking, flailing, gotta-control-the-outcome way you were when you first arrived here.

I know that things have not unfolded in the way that you wanted but you have done pretty darned good in using the difficult circumstances you have found yourself in to wake yourself up. That is a thing of value and I hope you will continue to evolve in a wholesome direction.

The terrible choices you made will always be part of your story, but they certainly will not be your entire story. Better days are ahead. Stay the course, friend.

See you on the path,

A fellow EvolvingSoul.

kairos posted 1/2/2020 12:53 PM

I appreciate the sentiment, EvolvingSoul. I'm peering over the horizon, trying to glean some distant arrival, when I know the real change is in the here and now, the daily wins/losses and the choices to learn from my poor choices.

I still wonder: what is next? But I guess no one can know. It literally is a process of getting out of bed each day, and choosing that future on a daily basis. So maybe the answer to my question is.... patience grasshopper, patience. Just take what you've learned and grow... I can't control the future. I can only make a choice now.

I have completely let go of the outcome. I honestly couldn't say that a month or two ago because I still had this lingering thought (at moments). In embracing the outcome, I embrace my divorce and the consequences of my past choices. I embrace my failings. But take the bad with the good. I embrace my strengths too.

I'm going to stick around this site for a while. I'm learning so much from everyone's experiences, mess-ups, successes, questions, rants.

17 months out from Dday, and every new post, every new Dday teaches me something. How can I truly continue to carry these lessons forward? There are no excuses when we humans treat each other so poorly. No excuses. At the same time, I'm not sure most of us could have changed the outcome without experience (or doing what we did) it.

When I wrote this post, I was looking for someone to poke holes in my thinking. And I'm sure someone can find the flaws. But what has become so apparent is that I have to look into that mirror every single day, on my own. I have to see the truth and face it and grapple with it. No one else can.

I'm ranting. Thanks again EvolvingSoul. I feel so lucky to be evolving.

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