Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Does the past ever come and bite you on the butt?

I have been stewing, chewing, re-living old hurts and lies that were told more than 13 years ago. I was in the shower this morning and i found myself feeling angry. I have to shake myself to STOP THAT. Let it go.

It's been happening with more frequency the past week or so. I need to think about whether or not this time of year, or something else, is the trigger.

It is not healthy for me to be doing this. I think it damages the progress we've worked so hard to achieve. Why can't i let go? Is my anger so precious to me?

My thoughts drift off into some remembered humiliation, which is how being lied to makes me feel, humiliated, and my heart rate goes up and i think "i HATE you." Am i so unforgiving that i can't see the sacrifices and the heart ache that he has lived through to try and become a better person and to make us a better family? Is it fair that he should have to wonder why i am glaring at him?

I need the flashy thingie from Men In Black that erases memory. In lieu of that, i really wish i knew how to let go of the past. I mean, i'm still pissed at my mother, but she's never made any attempt to apologize or make amends.

Sorry for the arcane nature of this post. I don't want to go into it all for my own sake. Suffice it to say that something completely typical happened to me. And i was lied to.

The atypical part is that he apologized, many times, and has spent years working to try and understand why he did what he did.

The nature of trust is that you believe what someone tells you. I wonder if it ever grows back.


TTQ said...

Trust does come back not through time but through actions, if the mistake has never been repeated. it's time to forgive and learn from the experience. For your own sanity not theirs, think about all the time you waste in negative energy stewing over stuff that other people don't even think about any more... You never want to forget the past just learn from it so that you don't keep repeating it.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, Meno. I wish you weren't having these feelings. I hope you figure out what the provocation is and can thrash it once and for all.

Special K ~Toni said...

Sorry you are having such a rough time. Hope you are able to come out of this even better and stronger. Don't let your anger control you!

thailandchani said...

I believe the same as your first commenter. Behavior and words have to match. That is what constitutes trust.

As far as past things, I can only speak to my own experience. I had to accept at a very fundamental level that those things that happened in the past were not going to be made right within my view. The question as to whether it is made right on a higher metaphysical level is up for individual interpretation. Still, for me and my own well-being, I had to let it go.

And the biggest question I had to overcome and resolve is what I was getting by hanging on to it.



meno said...

ttq, i know you are right. And most of the time i am fine. I just need to figure out what set me off such that these memories are burbling to the top.

de, i'm a working on it. Life, why is it so damned complicated?

toni, my temper has been a problem for me always. I work and work at keeping it at bay, but every so often i fail.

chani, that is why i asked if my anger is so precious to me. What am i getting out of it. I am scared to think about that.

amusing said...

Oh, crap. I have an idea what you are going through. And know that I have admired you for working through it and believing and continuing.

Look hard. Is it him? Or is it you? Is there something you wish/want/hope he will do or say? Or are you afraid or angry? If you could change anything now, what would you want different? Does that help you get at it? Do you need to check in with him about it?

I do consider it scar tissue and sometimes, you know, when it rains or something, the scar aches a bit. Maybe you need to go out for a long walk or drive or a wine-filled meal and talk about it just to check in. We have anniversaries to celebrate good things; maybe we need anniversaries just to check in on bad things from time to time as well.

I'm sending you the support vibes.

Anonymous said...

i think you can only suppress things for so long before they bubble back up to the surface.

just because another has made the right amends doesn't mean it's healed the wound inside of you.

you don't have to keep squashing it deep inside.

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said...

Sigh. This post totally hit home with me, but in a different vein. I have so many latent issues with my mother that will never be resolved. I've accepted her for the disappointment that she is, but still - the anger and resentment still flare up at odd times. And weirdly, it's only gotten worse since I become a mother myself.

Anyway, back to you......I'm wondering if something about this time of year is bringing it all up again. I don't believe in "forgive and forget" - it's too trite. Sure, you can forgive, but really - how the HELL does one forget??

lu said...

Sometimes my anger gets me through the day. Sometimes it fucks everything up. I think it's some power/control thing. As long as I'm angry at him, I don't have to be quite so hard on myself.

Anonymous said...

Write it, if you haven't already. Or even if you have, write it again. You don't have to let another soul read it. Probably best if you don't. You'll feel better.

The beginning of the month, I wrote about something that happened 22 years ago, something that bubbled back up and wouldn't let me get out of my depression. I didn't think it would be enough, but writing about it really did free me.

I hope you feel better.

Princess in Galoshes said...

I think this is a (darkly) beautiful line:
"Is my anger so precious to me?"

There is something very compelling about that level of emotion, isn't it? It's almost like an addiction, you just want, "NEED" more, even though you know it's not healthy.

And like an addiction, I don't think you ever forget. But I do think you can train yourself to let go of what you know is not healthy.

Liv said...

damn the feelings. they haven't all soaked in for long enough that they bubble up for me yet. all i can say is that i have no apology, never will get one, and having been humiliated, i have decided to move on.

i long for an explanation beyond that which details what a cold and unloving person i am. oh well, i've really become a drag now.... ciao!

Anonymous said...

oh, meno... ((( )))

Does trust ever grow back? I think it certainly does if you let it. Yes, you were lied to. And it is so hard to forgive that. And to trust again. But if someone has spent years trying to regain that trust, it seems like it ought to be worth trying to believe again. That doesn't mean that the scar of that lie won't always hurt you when you think about it. It will. The trick is letting the scar completely heal, keeping it in some sort of perspective so that when you think about it, you see the scar and not the wound. Someone who is trying that hard really must want your trust again.

Lynn said...

I think that trust once lost is difficult (though not impossible) to earn back. I believe that anger, pain, hurt are all normal feelings brought on by being lied to...and that there is no time limit on healing.

meno said...

amusing, i love you. It could be the wine talking, but i don't think so. I know what it is, now that i think more about it. You are so smart.

jen, i don't have to keep squashing it. Most of the time i don't have to. Just sometimes, rising out of the mists of past pain, comes the serpent.

cagey, you know, my mother can make me bitter, but i just don't care that much about her. She has no way to hurt me any more. Okay, back to you.... being a mother makes you think about how you were mothered. It hurts. Sometimes i feel jealous of Em because she is so loved and understood. By me. of all people. What a surprise. How did i know how do do that? How will you? Beacuse you are a thinking caring person. It's very healing to raise a child ho wyou wish you were raised.

lu, i hesitate to say that you are right. But, to quote Freud, when you encounter resistence, you've hit pay dirt. Power/control..not wanting to be at fault. Hmmm.

nancy, i will write it. And i may publish parts of it. Because you don't know who i am. But you will. But i know you will not "out" me. Because i trust you. Weird.

princess, i think of you as so young and sweet and funny. But listen to how wise you are too. I saw this movie once, and one of the questions that has stuck with me is "What emotions are you addicted to?"

liv, the thing you have to know, whatever happened, it's him, not you. i know that for a fact. I have an old post from November called "Recovery" that i want you to read. That's how i know.

ortizzle, the trick for me is understanding the situations that cause me to "relapse". Thank you for the hugs. Never enough of those. Yes, he does try hard. But he is still that little boy looking for love too.

lynn, the odd thing is that i do trust him. But me, being me, will NEVER be able to understand how he could do what he did. I have flashes of understanding, but i am so loyal.

Bob said...

There could be two things at work here. One is - have you forgiven your husband for his infidelity? Maybe you thought you did, but haven't worked it all out yet. You are hurt deepest by those you are closest to. Trust, once lost, is so hard to regain.

The second is (and this is my demon) - depression. I have recurrent bouts where I do exactly as you - I dig up past hurts or humiliations and relive them. I've tried counselling and didn't get much out of it, but at the bottom of what they tried to teach me was that I had to learn to like myself. The reason I relive the past is that I am reminding myself why I shouldn't. Maybe one day I will figure out why I should, instead.

Both of these indicate that you have some unresolved feelings. As painful as they may be, you should try to work through them. Maybe as was suggested above, writing it out will help you work through them.. It could be a journal that, once done, is burned or similarly disposed of. Or, if you prefer typing, you could start a private blog that could be deleted once you're finished with it.

I hope you find a path to peace with yourself, and your husband.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry this happened to you.

For me, the infidelity was my father's. I was 12, my mother drank herself to death for 7 years after he left - the capsule version of a very painful time. I think I've forgiven him, he's been married to my stepmother for longer than he was married to my mother. Cheating never really goes away. It keeps coming back up. Some years, it's okay, some years, not so much. It has to do with how I'm feeling about myself, probably.

Your pain has probably has to do with your own vulnerability quotient too. Sometimes it's high, sometimes it's low. Sometimes you can believe you're lovable, sometimes you can't.

You're lovable. He chose you.

Anonymous said...

meno, other than your blog I know nothing about you. I always wonder if anger isn't fear disguised. I wonder, too, if it is easier to become angry than to admit to being afraid. These are the questions I ask myself.

egan said...

The arcane nature of the post is what makes it, and life, all the more gripping. I'm sure it's very tough to forget about this incident. Bon courage.

Anonymous said...

I can painfully, very painfully, relate to the kind of lie you refer to in your post. Most of the time, I am fine as well. Honestly Meno, I think the trust never completely grows back. And that these these kamikaze attacks from the past, are par for the course. I was going to e-mail you with questions about the very same thing, as I've been dealing with demons of my own lately; so maybe it is something in the air... Have a great day Meno.

Lucia said...

This is the time when someone always tells me that I CHOOSE to feel this way, and I want to kick them in the ass.

The past has definitely bitten me on the ass.

Hugs, L.

jaded said...

Reading your post is a lot like catching a glimpse of my reflection. I have a hard time forgiving people and letting go of transgressions. I have difficulty forgiving myself for my own transgressions, mostly, because I know better than to do things that harm others in the first place....I have a tendency to return to the memory of transgressions when I'm not engaged. In other words I think too damn much when, I have free time. The Mister has found himself in the dog house, more than once, without any instigation of action or word, and all because I had a little free time.

For my personal recovery, I write more, draw more, hike more, and otherwise try to engage myself more. May peace be with you and the Mister, and may you find a way that works for you.

QT said...

All I have to say is YUCK! I so wish I could be there for you.

I don't know what your specific situation is, but I have been on both sides of the trust issue. Being betrayed sucks, but so does being the betrayer. You replay the scene in your head and think "WHY" and wish for the ability to go back to that day and make a different choice.

Don't think that the other half of your trust issue hasn't kicked themselves repeatedly for what happened.

Maybe none of that helps you, but I just thought I would throw that in there.

Tink said...

This post hits me right here *points to chest*. My heart, not my boob. If they ever invent those flashy things from MIB, I'll be first in line to test them out. I try to be forgiving. For the most part, it works. And then all of a sudden it comes back one day and it feels just as vicious as it did the first day.

Lynnea said...

I have no wisdom to offer. Other people here gave ten fold what I could have even hoped to give. But, I do send you my arms around your shoulders, my attempts at understanding what you've gone through and my eternal hope that it will heal for you. I offer what I can.

meno said...

bob, long story. The wound has been re-opened a few times, not with actual infidelity, but boundary violations. I am always vigilant about depression. Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

capacious, "Infidelity, the gift that keeps on giving," she said sarcastically. That's one hell of a story. If you have forgiven your father, i admire you greatly.

sally, these memory bombs are always accompanied by anxiety, which is fear, so yes, you are spot on.

egan, whomever invents the flashy thingie will make a mint, 'cause forgetting is not my strong suit. Sigh.

caro, "kamikaze attacks from the past" that's brilliant. It's good to know that i am not the only one who does this to myself, but i am sorry that you can relate. if you know what i mean.

lucia, just like i chose my parents. As if! Thanks for your kind words.

patches, exactly. Too much free time to engage in morbid introspection. Damn these brain cells. Thank you for your wishes.

qt, in a way, you are here for me by stopping and telling me so. I appreciate you insight, from both sides of the issue. It all helps.

tink, i wasn't looking at your boob, i swear. You would think that the viciousness wold be tomed down by time. Maybe it will, but how much time i wonder.

maggie, i just appreciate the nice thoughts. They're all that's needed. :)

urban-urchin said...

sorry you're having a shitty day. someone told me this once and it's helped me. forgiveness isn't about feeling it. it's about choosing it. choose to forgive and when the i hate you's rise up recognize them and then let them know that you've decided to move past that. it sounded crazy to me until i tried it.

just a thought.

karmic said...

I am sorry Meno. It can be hard letting go. Trust does grow back bit tis darn slow.

Mother of Invention said...

I hope you let it go soon but not until it's processed in some way...perhaps sharing it with him, dissect it until it dies another death and bury it again. I agree that trust is gained through actions and hopefully, the last few years have been filled with actions that prove this. Then you know that it is the newer pattern that is presently at work, not the old hurtful one. The best predicter of future behavior is past behaviour, but don't think of the old, old past, think of the newest pattern...the most recent past. If something's lacking trust in the most recent actions, then you need to deal with that, but I suspect that this is just old "gunk" haunting you a little for some reason.

Andrea Frazer said...

I can't add anything new to this thread but to remind you that YOU have no reason to feel bad for feeling bad. You were hurt. That sucks. I understand because, while I haven't been cheated on, I have been cheated out of my own sorrow by always taking the other side. "Oooh, a knife in my back? Perhaps it's because you were simply chopping an oinion and it slipped... or your mother used to stab you, so you couldn't help yourself and I simply must be the better person." No, Meno. You are upset. And that's okay. But can you heal? I think so, if the marriage is more important to you than the man himself.

Andrea Frazer said...

Also, when my husband has hurt me to the core, and I've still chosen to work it out (for reasons other than feeling indebted or shame - simply chosen because that's what is best for me) I always remember this one thing: while a man might let me down, or a child, or a career, I will never let myself down. I will never cheat myself out of my dreams. I will never allow depression or self-deprication to get the best of Andrea. I WIN. FUCK EVERYTHING ELSE. FUCK FUCK FUCK EVERYONE ELSE! And then I'm happier. Try it, sister. Don't let yourself down. We're here to boost you back up if you start to fall. (And we better be strong... you are tall... that's a long fall. At 6'1, I should know.)

SuperP. said...

It grows back in the acceptance that people are fallible, after the rain of forgiveness, to be quite trite and cliche.

But, it's true.