While there is no right way to do a wrong thing, there are countless wrong ways to do a right thing. Today, I am keenly aware of the value of frequent, immediate, and detailed apologies. I find consistently, that only people in recovery are as into this, as I am.
Holidays and birthdays are emotionally challenging for me. Historically (in my family of origin and then similar marriage) special occasions were entirely stressful, guaranteed sources for shame and heartache. And here we are— in the 2022 holiday- birthday season. One day at a time, I will get through it.
My grief and anxiety during this time make me more brittle and likely to snap, over things which even just remind me of old pain and betrayals (This is trauma–PTSD- reacting to things from the past rather than the present). As a human, I inevitably get things wrong. In recovery, I get to practice making things right, when I have fallen short. Acknowledging unfair or unreasonable behaviors or words by me and requesting a chance to begin again and do better. I ask questions to understand the thing which I have said or done which caused another pain. I am now clear: Our intention matters far less than our actual impact on others.
People get so caught up in their illusion of perfection, rightness, unfailing goodness, unable to acknowledge their own toxic/injurious reactions and decisions. Rather than self reflecting and adjusting they cling mightily to their intention or justification and double tf down- just to keep feeling right. Jilan Catherine ghoneim Whitney Frank Whitney Annie Whitney Hunter Whitney
Making things right is something Greg and I practiced brilliantly in our 7 years together. Our misunderstandings and conflicts were small, infrequent, and quickly resolved. Greg and I have now parted ways and I feel blessed to say that I believe that we left one another better than we found each other. Much healing and growth, growth which did, for me, lead to the need to say good bye and wish each other the very best.
I treasure the relationships with bestie, my boys, colleagues, a brilliant sponsor and others, which allow me to grow along spirtual lines. Even my relationship with my dogs benefits from my recovery. Things which they do or need could otherwise vex me– feeling (at times): encroached upon, resentful, hostagey, financially exploited (lol–laughing but not jk). I look forward to sharing about my relationships with others, when it is suitable to do so.
I am a work in progress, seeking and seizing opportunities to practice making things right.
I wonder if the other girl (born to the woman who also gave birth to me) will justify spending time with the person I divorced, affirming their unwholesome bond, during this holiday season. The unforgivable thing is that my sons’ father will either try to wrangle them to join or burden them with a report of the visit, never minding how much this compromises them. As I fretted this aloud, my son asked me: “Mom, why must you always imagine the worst?” I told him: “I am not imagining… but remembering. A painful damaging betrayal– carried out, repeatedly.” I cannot spare them that grim reality, but I can work to minimize my commentary on their father’s choices.
I believe that as parents, it is our duty(and privelege) to help our children carry and hold things which feel too big and heavy for them. AND not hand them emotionally dark and complex matters, – and then judge them for their ability to manage or deny the pain of IT.
We are breaking/disrupting these cycles. One day at a time. Frank D Whitney Charlotte NCMuch Love,
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