Unexpected Epiphanies: Emotional stretch marks
Okay, this is a rarity: Two pieces of nonsense from me in one day. Just in case you didn’t get enough of my bullshit in one 24-hour span…
After 2.5 years, and that is a great deal longer than it sounds in some ways (and a great deal shorter in others), I have forgiven my ex. I heard from him randomly last night – ironic that I’d just included a mention of him in my blog yesterday, huh? Reading his note I realized that his brain injuries and 40-plus medication cocktail work together to wipe out a great deal of his memories. He asked me how long I was going to continue living in a past he barely remembers.
He’s right. I’m wrong. If I was expecting a confession, or an act of sincere contrition after deep periods of meditation on his sins against me… Well… That just ain’t gonna happen. I have to accept that I will never get the honest, heart-felt “I’m sorry” that I’ve been wanting from him. He isn’t capable of giving it to me. That doesn’t excuse him in any way, but what it does do is force me to recognize something: I have been making the choice to be miserably afraid of people.
Putting down the weight of “The Scott” isn’t a relief. Without him as a scapegoat I now have to be responsible for all my faults. Everything I don’t like about me I can no longer put on “The Scott.” I’m not sure yet that any of this makes life easier, but it does make all my shortcomings that much more stinging. Especially since I know what all my faults are.
Wait. Isn’t that a bit presumptuous? Can we ever know all of our own faults? Could we ever live long enough to consciously scourge them away? Is it enough to know that we have them (so many of them), without having to quantify or identify each one? Wouldn’t we then forget to be thankful for our many strengths and gifts? Do we not have failure, so that we can appreciate success?
Perhaps I’m self-flagellating too much. But this is part of my process: I have to flay the skin down to the bone. At UCLA one of my professors told me that I was begrudgingly brilliant in my own time. He meant that although I resist journeys that I don’t like (offering all sorts of alternatives and detours along the way), and that although I may take longer to arrive at what others discover quickly, that I get more out of the pilgrimage as a result.
Come what may in the upcoming days, at least I know that I am now living with the conscious choice to no longer live in fear of repeating “The Scott.” I learn. I grow. I get stretchmarks. I use aloe. I’m thinking that it will be very nice to once again expect the best from people, rather than looking out constantly for the worst. People give you what you want, after all.
I told Joe yesterday that the Golden Rule states, “Do unto others, as you would have others do unto you,” but that the Platinum Rule might sound more like, “Do unto yourself, as you would have others do unto you.”
(Update, 7/20/13: To know more about what “The Scott” did specifically, see “Revelation 13:1” in the collection “The Gospel According to Anteros.”)