It has been two years since my life seemed to fall apart. Actually, it is more like the day I freed myself from a spouse who was not good (that’s putting it the nice way). It has been two years of researching and trying to understand what happened and why it happened so that I never fall prey again like that, and so I can protect my children. It has been two years of focused healing and learning how to protect myself.
Today, or rather yesterday as I am writing at 3am, I entertained a phone call with my former husband. This was something I refused to do since shortly after our split as I realized he would only lie to me and tell me everything I knew was just a misunderstanding. It was pointless to talk to him, and I was not yet strong enough to talk- as any conversation would cause me to get frazzled or respond to him without thinking. This conversation marked a turning point for my healing.
I held my ground, I kept calm, I had to hold back laughing at the sheer amount of lying and justification he was doing, and I said everything that needed to be said. I called him out on lying to our three year old the other day in which he immediately denied and said I heard (they were face timing) him wrong. In fact, he attempted to tell me I was misunderstanding everything and that I should seek out the facts from him first. Sadly, I had to remind him the story about the boy who cried wolf. In this conversation he remarked about how people shouldn’t judge. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
I hear it all of the time and often from religious people. I am very religious, however we get the “not judging” part completely wrong. We need to judge. We have to judge otherwise we put ourselves in danger. There will be people who tell us they changed but they didn’t, but we will give them the benefit of the doubt because we think we should not judge. I am here to tell you that we need to judge. It does not mean we are mean or hateful to others. It does not mean we cannot give certain people the opportunity to do right, we just shouldn’t give free reign of ourselves to everybody. I made that mistake and I paid dearly.
We have to judge others in this life. Call it making a judgement call or whatnot. It is good to love and be kind to others but that does not mean throwing out common sense in the name of religion or anything else.
I have learned a great deal about myself in my healing process which is why I know the cost of dismissive forgiveness and of not “judging”.
The conversation today with the man I used to call husband taught me that I am strong enough to hold my ground, judge appropriately, and not fall for his lies. It was surprisingly healing to say all the things I did and get it all off my chest and to tell him I did not care about what he says about me to others. I even told him that I know he believes he has done no wrong because he has created different definitions of things that are wrong, and as long as he can do that he lives rightly in his newly created definitions, but I know the truth.
A person may redefine what is right and wrong, or to move that line which separates the two in order to make themselves believe they have done nothing wrong. However, inventing your own definitions to justify bad behavior does not dismiss the consequences of bad behavior.
Surprisingly the conversation did cause me to feel sorry for the man. I can only imagine how miserable of a life someone must have when almost everything they say is a total lie or laced with a lie. A life where everything is made up, where you have to pretend your past is something difference, where your energy is constantly spent on remembering what lies have been told or concocting new ones. A life without truth or integrity is a life that is sad no matter how much it appears happy on the outside. Not the type of life I would want. What part of it I did live, or experienced while married to him was stressful and full of much upheaval and chaos. I may be a single parent now but I am happy and free. I am able to live with integrity and stand tall against a person who brought me great pain.
For anyone in a similar situation or path: healing is possible. It takes time and patience. It takes learning. I will likely never heal fully as the scars will always be there, but they can fade and I can grow in moving forward.