Butterfly Wings

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brokenNot long ago, I had a conversation with Chef about my inability to just accept his blanket apology for all of the crap he did when he was on drugs and move on with our lives together as man and wife. As he likes to point out to me, that is what Christians are supposed to do. Personally, I get irritated when people who either aren’t Christians, or brand new ones, lecture me on what I am doing wrong as a Christian. Needless to say, that’s about as far as these kinds of conversations ever get. We rarely speak anymore, and the little contact we have had lately is proof enough that we are just completely toxic to one another.

I’m not entirely sure why, but it would seem that human beings have a deep need to confront those who have hurt them so badly. When Chef struck the first blow, followed by the myriads of others he’d eventually bombard me with, I went almost crazy with the need to talk to him, reason with him; somehow show him how much what he was doing was hurting me. Surely, he couldn’t be doing all of this on purpose. He was supposed to love me, right?  I cried a million tears, wrote thousands of letters, filled up journals, and was almost consumed completely by thoughts of his betrayal. Not a minute would go by that I wasn’t thinking about what he’d done. Sometimes it would hurt me; other times, it made me angry. Somehow, I had this belief that if I said the right words, or did the right things, or had the right attitude, I’d be able to reach his heart again. And for months, everything I said or did was somehow related to this horrific experience.

As emotions started to calm down, and the newness of my life settled more into a routine, the logical part of me would search for what scenario I’d ever be able to accept that would make all of what had happened forgettable, understandable, or just plain excusable. I have no problems forgiving him. My problems lie in forgetting just how quickly and venomously he turned on me and the kids. How do I forget the callous, cold words spoken to me when my heart was breaking right in front of his eyes? How do I forget the other woman wearing my clothes and accepting my jewelry as gifts from my own husband; sleeping in my bedroom in my own bed? What magic words can be spoken that would make any of this understandable? Fixable? The answer is there is none. It was all too much.

When Chef was right at the Beginning of The End back in 2011, we could have worked through this mess. Drugs; Infidelity; Abuse… I could have dealt with any of these alone. Together, it was too much to process. Each step of this relationship’s death, there was less and less I could tell myself that would allow me to excuse what he was putting me through. It seemed an eternity before an hour went by, and I could forget about Chef and how happy I once was with him. Days, and now, even weeks go by, and I don’t think about any of it at all. Where I once lived for the occasional text message or phone call from him, now I have his calls blocked. I don’t want to rehash our break-up, and I sure don’t feel nostalgic about our lives together before all of this happened anymore. I have my own life now, with my own problems and solutions, and I don’t have the patience or desire to hear, or help, with his life at all. I can’t feel pity for him when he feels so much of it for himself. I can’t feel sympathetic to his problems when he was so cold and uncaring about mine. I have stopped excusing his bad behavior, and while I’m not his judge, I am also not his lawyer. He’s a grown, intelligent man who made decisions that cost him something valuable, and that’s his burden to carry now, not mine.

I have made progress from that first vodka-soaked night without him. The true evidence, for me, is that I no longer feel the need to address how all of this felt. At one time, it seemed like I wouldn’t be able to heal without him understanding what he’d done, and hopefully, what he’d lost. We all want to believe that somehow that Certain Someone is regretting ever letting us go, and will forever be a tiny bit sad that they had broken our hearts. I’m just not sure that Chef thinks like that at all. I’ve never seen him regret past loves, and I’m not so arrogant to believe I’m the exception. The healing in me is that I don’t really care anymore.

I tried explaining the need to confront to Chef, with whom, as to this very day, I have not been able to share  how all of this felt from my point of view. Whatever his reasons are, he won’t allow me to refer to what happened, and I can’t pretend it never happened. We never progress in conversations past this point.

You may think this is an odd post. I wrote my thoughts out for me, and to share with you. Bur mainly, I write this for Chef.

If you had really wanted the answers, you always knew where to find them. 

Chef:

It isn’t that I can’t forgive. I most certainly can, and have, forgiven you. What I won’t do, though, is let you pretend that your actions didn’t have painful, damaging consequences, not only for me, but for the kids, your girlfriend, your friends, and even our pets. I couldn’t pretend to be the person I was before this all happened, even if I wanted to, and I don’t see you in the same light anymore either.

Whatever made our relationship work for over two decades, it was like butterfly wings…. you snatch them from the sky, stomp on them repeatedly, and then set them on fire, you can’t be surprised when the butterfly divorces you. 

I don’t hope for bad things for you. I agree you don’t deserve to “pay” for all this forever, and I’m sincerely not trying to hurt you, or to punish you in any way. I’m just trying to kindly tell you that what we had is over forever. I’ve lost that loving feeling, and it’s gone, gone, gone. I hope you fall in love again, and I hope you have an even better relationship than we ever dreamed of having. I hope you get a great job, and find a nice home. I would actually feel more peaceful knowing you were healthy and happy again. I’m trying for those things again in my own life now, and it’s time to sever even this last little bit of bond we’ve held on to. I believe it is the only way either of us will ever be able to find happiness in other relationships. 

I’m proud of you for getting help, and fixing your life. I wish you all the success in your recovery…but it is your recovery, and it’s your life. The success or failure belongs completely to you. I want no part of it. I’m sorry. You know Who to turn to if you need help.

It was never me….

Bird

24 thoughts on “Butterfly Wings

    • Thank you! I did learn a lot, and I’m definitely stronger.

      Had you asked me if I would even come out alive a year ago, I most assuredly would have doubted it.

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  1. There is much I can understand of what you wrote and truly believe that you have the peace you need..now.. to move on. I believe that you will find that which the Lord has planned for you and it will be “exceedingly abundant, more than you could ask or imagine” Diane xoxo

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  2. grammatteus

    I think you’ve sincerely addressed the differences between forgiveness, love, and TRUST: They are not the same! [wanted to insert a 'thumbs up' emoji here but don't have that facility on my Mac!]

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  3. I am in love with this post! So very close to my life. You phrased things beautifully. We share the similar 2011 betrayal timeline. I am always curious to see how others are healing that were broken the same time I was. I look forward to reading more of your posts

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    • Thank you! It’s going so much better these days without having any contact whatsoever. I’m positive I’m going to be just fine. Thank you for the encouragement!

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  4. Thank you for sharing this. I know it wasn’t easy because I been down that road before and learn that it was best for me to forgive and free my self so I could move on and received all the happiness, joy, and peace that was mines. I a happy and bless woman now and I sure that you are on your way toward that because you have learn to let go and free yourself. So, fly on Bird.

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  5. I can’t say much more than what is already written, but you have found God’s peace and are on the path to healing. I pray that also for Chef that he find the peace only God can give.

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