Wednesday, January 30, 2019

On Being Divorced - The Thing About Anger

(You can find more thoughts and tips On Being Divorced, by clicking on the link to the right of the page. Thanks!)

woman on carousel, carousel, horses,

Sometimes I get angry.

I wonder if by nearly always taking the high road when going through my divorce proceedings, I shortchanged myself. I did try to respond calmly, with forethought and without animosity. Still do. Not easy for a naturally reactionary person such as myself. I hope I've grown in this area.

I had a couple people I could voice my deepest, most ugly outrage to at the time. Yet, I still edited my speech and emotions as I went along. Because who wants to be ugly? I didn't. I may have even pushed the "high road" envelope a bit because then it was perfectly acceptable to feel righteous in my "rightness." Gah. That's ugly enough right there.

Anyway, I'm not advocating not taking the high road. I think I am advocating the feeling all the feels route. Perhaps even saying all the ugly words to someone who will love you anyway. Or you may get stuck.

I feel stuck

I feel stuck in a perpetual merry-go-round of resentment. I can't seem to shake it.  I've given my anger over to God countless times. The fact that I have to keep on doing it frustrates me even.

Maybe I've regressed back to the anger stage. Not over the divorce itself, at least, I can't see where I am still angry over the details of the divorce (God has graciously erased many of the details from my mind, but I do remember being perpetually piqued. Maybe one day I will have to remember those and deal with them or maybe it's a gift He's given for eternity).

But I am angry over the continued ripple effects that my divorce has caused. Same old patterns of behavior from my former spouse has remained a constant and that makes me angry. New frustrations with him have arisen and that makes me angry. I often ask myself, "Hasn't he learned ANYTHING?"  Surely, he's matured and learned lessons from our divorce. I just can't see it from where I am standing four states away.

On the other hand

I do remember being frustrated with him quite often when we were married. There were so many things that I didn't understand about him or the choices he made. His timing was never my timing when it came to projects and making large purchases. He remained silent so often when a few words would have solved so much.

So, maybe he's the same guy I married, it's just more frustrating because now, I don't get the benefit or the chance of consideration when issues arise. When we were married, there was at least a chance of that happening.

Recently, I felt as though we were making great strides in co-parenting. Even though his normal MO is to be all talk and no action. Now that weighty issues have arisen with one of our children, he's MIA. Silent. Absent. No surprise.

Once again, I have to come to terms with his dropping in and out of the parenting circumstances as if that is an option. If he was willing to walk away from a 15 year marriage and three amazingly beautiful and talented kids in the first place . . . Why should I expect better of him now?

So, yeah. I'm angry

Angry that I fell for his "promises, but no delivery" routine. Again. Angry that I allowed the optimist in me hope for better from him. Again. Those couple of good moments that he was finally going to step up and parent, I let myself believe him. Again. But mostly, I'm angry that he's letting our children down, over and over. Again.

This is the part where I'm supposed to find the joy . . . The "But then, God" part of the post that wraps it all up and encourages. All I've got is a bunch of trite, pat, Sunday School answers that even I can't swallow. None of it seems authentic.

Maybe I need more time to process and feel before I commit to a silver lining. Maybe I need to pray more. Or read my Bible more. Maybe there's something to the fake it 'til you make it technique:  Keep on smiling until you actually feel like smiling.

Maybe I'll try that tomorrow. I know God will forgive my delay. Maybe I can eventually forgive myself too.

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