I am beyond excited for my upcoming and long awaited appointment to finish my back-piece tattoo, a sprawling octopus which we began more than a year ago. I am hoping that time will permit another tattoo of the word mercy on my left inner arm. Mercy is a thing, to which I am dedicating much thought as I seek to make peace in my heart, peace, which does not require this elusive thing called forgiveness- for people who are not sorry for doing and saying the unforgivable, and who show no sign of intent to stop. I want to be merciful. To extend mercy seems the most wholesome badass thing I can imagine, at this moment. In this dynamic, it remains unclear how I may do this while insulating myself from the merciless? To be merciful with them, feels impossible. Maybe I surrender the hope of working together with a man who has no mercy for his own children- a man who has always placed his ego and emotional needs before those of our young sons.
For my birthday, I think I experienced a glimpse of mercy. Mercy, by definition, is “unmerited by the wrongdoer”. Having mercy means I accept that hurt people hurt people and then, just maybe loosen my grip on the proverbial nooses which I hold around their necks— as it is not possible for me to hold a noose and to remain spiritually clean and free. It is hurtful to me, to even indulge in noosey thoughts and attitudes–Doing so, makes me merciless. Since it is not possible to hurt myself without also negatively affecting those who love and count on me, I must change.
When my ex reported to me loss of his job this week, amazingly, my first instinct was one of compassion/concern, because he is nothing, if not proud AND this will affect our boys. I am keenly aware that hardship for him translates to hardship for our children, therefore I can and do not want that for him/them. I briefly contemplated sharing with him, how my Sweet Greg was recently let go and that Bestie’s husband was also cut loose from his job. Both were shocked but managed to move forward with ease and grace. Clearly–it happens to the best. But– I did not offer this information. I was kind and civil and stopped there–telling him only that I was sorry and would do what I could to help. Old me would wanted to say something cutting and spiteful–to be merciless and punitive— “serves you right, asshole”. I did not. Miracle: that this was my second thought, and not my first.
Our sons’ happiest moments are those in which their parents worked and ate together as a family, post divorce. I feel that mercy is our only hope for a return to that. I want nothing to do with him, for so long as he triangulates with my sister and willingly involves our boys. It’ll be interesting to see how my striving to behave mercifully will be challenged by holiday antics, which leave my children unnecessarily in the midst of complicated and painful bullshit. I told the boys that I would like for them to to be with me for Thanksgiving at Bestie’s with Greg, BUT that– if their father has no known plans, they must offer to cook and eat and celebrate with him—as nobody deserves to feel alone and without family, especially during the holidays. This shift is nothing short of miraculous. Truly.
I long for the day, when it might be appropriate, prudent, and good to invite my ex to join in our precious framily traditions. Bestie and Greg support this inspite of what they have witnessed. They support healing and our family– unselfishly and unconditionally. Does having mercy for my ex and our boys require placing myself in a position to be hurt by one who knowingly chooses behaviors which result in harm to US? If so, I am not there, yet. I am a work in progress.Much Love,
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