The one we love the most we also give the most power to hurt us the most. We know this from all the stories and for some of us, from our own experience. This is the wee short version of mine.
Late in my second marriage, my true self was trying desperately to shed its chameleon nature I had adapted to get the acceptance I never previously had in my life. Aiding my efforts were a year and a half of psychologist counseling, university studies with a psychology major focus and a lot of self-help reading to free years of internal and external oppression and suppression that allowed me to be the unhealthy creature, the chameleon, I had become.
And then there was him.
Though still married, almost twenty years by then, my husband would not budge. I asked nicely and then pushed fervently for us to make changes so I could stop being the chameleon he had always known, but of course, he did not want things to change because he liked what I had made myself into. Well, most of it. Or at least he was comfortable with who I had made myself be for him and my family.
He stood back and watched with caution and trepidation, while a man I met at a souvenir company where I took a key account merchandising job after I had quit both my corporate job and university, watched with fascination. Instinctively I knew I was in trouble when I first saw him, but in my naivety, I had no clue the trouble he would bring into my life.
Within months the marriage that was on its last legs long before we met at work was thrust into oblivion because I knew I could not longer live with someone who refused to let me grow and to adapt to those changes in me as I had adapted to the changes in him. Four months later, I moved out and a year later we were divorced. But, by then, my now ex-husband became involved with a friend of mine, whom he later married and kick started a whole new life of his own.
But as for him, the gentle soul I loved so much, for his own non-conveyed reasons, turned on me when I clung too tenaciously. Severing our connection, pressured by a one-time friend of mine, he denied our connection and turned away.
For years, I blamed the one-time friend who turned me into the hands of someone she knew I feared and over the years the list of people I blamed for betrayal grew over the years. Finally though, enough time went by and my Respect Level started to grow and I finally started to heal. Though the wounds from the betrayals were healing, they also created tough scar tissue that hardened my heart and prevented trust of the same kind to enter again. The hardness also prevented forgiveness from softening my heart for many years.
It was only after years of wandering, somewhat aimless it seemed, adrift in a sea of unfamiliar faces and temporary jobs, where ports were visited but never stayed to avoid attachments of the deeper kind did I finally start to feel a pull which I thought was to settle down in one place, but which has turned out to mean my internal state needed to settle down … to finally forgive and to open my heart to love and trust again … starting with loving and trusting myself again … and others … and one day to love again so unconditionally as I first did him.
I thought it was the list of many whom I thought had betrayed me, yet today I realized it was him I felt was the one who given me the “Judas Kiss” … but what I had not been able to acknowledge all these years till tonight is that I realize … it was me I needed to forgive for betraying my self … for not taking the best care of me … for becoming who I was not to get the approval I had hungered for all my life and for putting my life into the hands of people who did not have my best interests at heart, but their own, and into the hands of a man who had not committed to me, but for his own reasons, instead turned me over to those I most feared.
A long sojourn these almost twenty years have been, but finally my chameleon nature is shed, I stand now comfortable in my own skin that I am still learning much about, and peace fills my heart because the forgiveness is complete. I forgive all for all have done their best in this world as it is. And as for him and me, now all the pain lies in the dust and what is left is the love.
October 20, 2013
Kaitlin A. Trepanier
All Rights Reserved by DARK HORSES PRODUCTIONS/KAITLIN A. TREPANIER, Connecting the Dots … with The RESPECT PRINCIPLE Developer, Author, Speaker, Playwright, Altruistic Entrepreneur, and Human Rights Activist … because every child should know, by their own experience, they are valued … RESPECTED