I Can Forgive – But Cannot Go Back

Seeing him threw me into a whirlpool of confusion. He wanted to reconcile.

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As I approached the table I was struck by the look on his face; he looked like the young man I met on a blind date – 20 years earlier.  It was startling and I had to look away; his eyes were trying to draw me in- I know those eyes and what they say better than anyone. He looked eager, relieved, delighted.
His eyes absorbed me, swept over me in approval; he wanted me.  He missed me. I knew his heart was racing. He tried to look calm…but in his heart, it was Christmas morning…and the prized package sat right across from him.
He watched my every move, reminders of what he left behind and evidence of what he wanted. I felt like he was taking mental inventory; oh, I like the way she orders food, drinks her water, relates to the wait staff. I tried to look calm, even aloof, put together. But I struggled.

I was in an emotional laboratory and every breath I took was under evaluation.

Some part of me relished these moments; months of rejection and neglect turned into heightened connection and attention.  My heart contracted with conflict. Other parts of me recoiled at his confidence – how dare he own me with his eyes and activate his charms to reclaim me.  My soul screamed… I’m not yours anymore!
After a few awkward moments and small talk, he bluntly admitted his flaws (selfish, immature, narcissistic, thoughtless). He told me he couldn’t stop thinking and dreaming about me.  I was the answer to his prayers. He apologized for his reckless behavior. He went to church, prayed, said he needed counseling. He professed his love and admitted his loneliness ‘out there’.  Life on the other side is hollow. The grass is not greener.
He said he broke ties with “Michelle” and he’s known her for years. I hid my shock at that confession but inside it took my breath away. He admitted their physical relationship started when I was abroad on a business trip, a year prior. I knew he was telling the truth- the corner of his mouth was crooked and eyes ashamed… I’ve seen that face before. He looked like a child, caught in a lie. He said it was over with her; he wanted to come home…to his family.

He said being with her was a big mistake. He had deep regrets.

I cautiously listened and struggled to believe. He admitted his “girlfriend” persuaded him to tell me he’d been with many women over the past year.  She wanted cover and not to be seen as a home wrecker or suffer a potential deposition in our divorce proceedings; she’d been through that before. She didn’t know want to be cast as the other woman.  She asked him to lie to me.

He obliged her…and devastated me.

The day he shared this made up story was my rock bottom day; about 6 weeks earlier.  My truth, my hopes, my story and life were shattered in one phone call.  All the ‘other’ women had names, interludes had places, scenarios were created; his accounts were believable and horrifying.  He confessed and confirmed what I thought to be true.  I damned myself for denying my inner voice, my intuition.  I wanted to die. I sat on the side of a busy highway, in my car, in a full blown panic attack. I didn’t know how to go on….how to live. My life was a lie. I was in agony on every level of my being to the cellular level.
I sat across the dinner table struggling to stay in the NOW.  Our old gestures of reconciliation, private nuances and knowing quips to ease the tension no longer applied. I was not available to his charm and terms of endearment.
His eyes softened and reached through me, “I could leap across this table and gobble you up” he admitted.

I was astonished…he gave up “gobbling” rights long ago.  Fuck Him!

I was UNAVAILABLE.

I felt like I was watching from the outside looking into a heartbreaking scenario – one that would have played out very differently a few weeks earlier.  I didn’t feel angry anymore.  I was more sad and even pitied him.  He built a house of cards he calls ‘life’ and I’m the only one who really knows it’s just an optical illusion. He and everything he knows is fake. His life is void of meaning.
In the scheme of things, a few weeks is a blink of a cosmic eye.  Before that blink, my soul was hurting, raw and yearning for him. My heart begged for answers ignorantly thinking KNOWING would ease my pain. Yet, now- I was different, he was no longer my source of oxygen.

I was off life-support. Off of him.

I reached into my heart and remembered sage words from Marianne Williamson:
“Often we see a couple who has separated or divorced and look with sadness at the ‘failure’ of their relationship. But if both people learned what they were meant to learn, then that relationship was a success.” — Marianne Williamson
His efforts and words were admirable but insufficient.  My gut said no…and that was that. I knew I learned, I grew and I was not going back. This was likely the first time in his blessed, walk-on-water, everything looks perfect life that HE was rejected.  What a difference a cosmic blink makes!
I shared, in broad terms, my interlude with Ken.  He was surprised to hear I’d slept with another man, that it was great, and that I felt adored and cherished…and satiated. He underestimated me and overestimated himself! I shared my feelings peacefully, without malice or anger. I just wanted him to know.
When we left the restaurant, We walked side by side.  I wanted to hold his arm to safe guard my steps and steady myself…as I did for 20 years.  He felt my pull and desire to reach out.  But I didn’t. We walked side by side in separate worlds.

He told me he couldn’t be alone.

I said, I know, but that’s where peace, healing and wisdom grow.
In the parking garage, our hug goodbye was his last attempt to sway me.  He was back in HIS position, towering over me, dominating. His eyes told me- just kiss me deeply and we’ll be together again.  Our passion will reignite.  His heart said, LET ME IN. I looked away and gave him a peck on the lips…my emotional door was shut.
I stepped back, said goodbye and steadily walked away, stifling the inevitable sobs the would come.  My heart ached and felt soft for him. My soul was strong and resolute. My true self prevailed. My head was in an emotional whirlpool of confusion; I was trying to negotiate any way to trust him again. I mentally begged and searched for a sign that we should be together.
I asked God, am I making a mistake?!
Is the door slightly open??
Can people change?!
Will I ever feel safe with him?!
Would letting him back into my life be the most monumental sin against myself and my universe???!
What do I believe, my head, my heart, my history or my undetermined future????
Was this meeting a setback or a liberation?

The universe and my source answered in short order….

Read on – Divine Intervention to follow…

Namaste,
Kirby

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