I Hate It When Theyâ€™re Right
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree of Separation.
Early into keeping a journal and sharing it with other women in Â the same starting-over situationâ€”Iâ€™d say about two monthsâ€”someone convinced me to turn my little essays on life, coping, and healing into a book at yearâ€™s end. That seemed simple enough…until I started to format the book and realized I had written Â 200,000 Â words Â in Â my Â rebirth. Â Thatâ€™s Â roughly Â three booksâ€™ worth of novels. And way too many pages for one book of this type.
â€œSo split it into three books,â€ one of my big-name author Â friends told me. Sheâ€™s also a gifted intuitive. â€œYouâ€™ve got two natural breaks in the book. One at a third through the page count and the other at two-thirds through the page count.â€
She was right. The first one ends with an emotional bang, Â though more like a gunshot. The second ends with the echo of the gunshot from the first one (so to speak) and with yet another emotional bang. The third book ends with a sort of resolution and understanding beginning to take place.
â€œBut I really wanted to make it all one book so you see the journey through the entire year,â€ I protest to my friend. â€œI could just cut out a lot of the minor entries.â€
Sheâ€™s been reading my journal since the beginning and shakes her head. â€œNo, you need to break it up. Your material is too heavy to read the whole year at once. And the healing is in the details.â€
Yeah. Sheâ€™s right. In reading the edits, Iâ€™ve discovered something Â I really hate to admit: that â€œtheyâ€ were right. The guides. The advisors. The intuition.
When I first came out of my divorce, I was ready to be loved again. Iâ€™d done a lot of working-through in the last legal year of my marriage and I felt ready to be in a relationship again. At least, my heart was ready.
But in looking back, I wasnâ€™t ready. I could have gotten into a lovely man-woman physical relationship then and it would have been pretty good, but I think one or both of us would have screwed it up because there was so much re-programming to do.
There were so many patterns I was unaware of that I had to un-do after twenty years of learning. Little things. Like the expectation that if I disagreed, the other person would say something hurtful to me or stomp off, refusing to talk. Like the expectation that if I didnâ€™t get a Â response right away, then I must have said something wrong. Like Â somehow if life wasnâ€™t perfect, then it had to be my fault.
There are other patterns Iâ€™m still unlearning. Like that I can be Â loved without having to earn it through good works, â€œselflessâ€ acts, or Â beaten submission. Like feeling an emotion without guilt or defense. Like Â how not to be surprised when someone is truly open with me. Like believing without expecting.
I know many people come out of long-term relation- ships and immediately immerse themselves in a â€œreboundâ€ rela- tionship. Iâ€™m not talking about people who had lovers waiting in the wings for the divorce to Â be final. Rebounders tend to go right back into relationships that echo Â their marriage partner. Right back into the same patterns, the same mistakes, the same lessons yet to be learned. Or, if they donâ€™t settle on one person, they date a series of partners, all identical to the ex. Theyâ€™re still looking for what they lost instead of for themselves. And Iâ€™ve seen way Â too many men remarry a new person in their lives within a year of their wivesâ€™ walking out the door, all trying to recapture former joys and just Â setting themselves up for even harder lessons.
I suppose this goes back to being told to â€œgive it a little whileâ€ and â€œbe friends first for a long timeâ€ and â€œget rid of your baggage now and Â then later there can be so very much more between you and the man you connect with.â€ Iâ€™ve let go of a lot since keeping my journals, and while Iâ€™m not necessarily a different person, I do feel Iâ€™ve let myself out of the Â box. Maybe thereâ€™s one toe still in there….
Am I ready now for a long-term relationship? I donâ€™t know. I think so. I thought so a year ago, too, though. So only time will tell. I do Â know that what Iâ€™m learning now isnâ€™t so much in the area of letting go Â of the past but in discovering whatâ€™s possible for the future. Iâ€™m being prepared for the good stuff thatâ€™s out there so it wonâ€™t be such a Â surprise Â when it shows up.