Monday, July 19, 2010

Forgiven

As I lay in bed running through my to-do list for tomorrow, the list of things I didn't get done today, and things I wished I hadn't done, my mind wandered off to my general list of "Things I Wish I Never Did".  I thought of things I should've, could've, and would've... Of course, as you might have already guessed, there's one big name on that list. But then I thought about how true that thought really was. Is it true? Do I really regret it?

So I hopped out of bed and stumbled down the stairs to my computer to blog about this because it is something important to me and it needs to be said (written/typed). I need to get it out of my head and heart and onto something readable. I need to make it more tangible. [...and then I will go happily back to bed...]

The answer to the above question? No. Not entirely. A huge part of me keeps beating its figurative head against a wall and repeating "Why? why? WHY didn't you just walk away after the first date? Red flag, Ashley!! Big, HUGE RED FLAG!!" (Ray...got...arrested. On our first date. Arrested. Hauled off to jail. He made an illegal right hand turn, got pulled over, and the next thing I knew a cop was patting him down by the trunk of the car. He was cuffed and thrown in the back of the police car and I was left sitting on the curb in ghetto Pensacola waiting for my sister and her then boyfriend to come pick me up at two o'clock in the morning...) I keep thinking, "I should have just walked away and never talked to him after that. No one would blame me. Shoot, HE probably wouldn't have blamed me..." Duh. (I know that's what you're thinking. Don't judge. I liked him for some crazy reason and I justified it with the thought "You know, it's not my place to judge. Sometimes we all just hit a patch of bad luck. He's only in jail for traffic violations anyway..." believe me--I know I was stupid for answering the phone three days later when he was out of jail)

The truth is, though, we did have some good times. I experienced a lot of things that I otherwise probably wouldn't have (some that I am not super proud of, but I have grown and been educated because of them). Plus, I learned a LOT from my mostly crappy relationship with him. I learned so much about myself and what love is and most certainly ISN'T. I learned that I sometimes trust too easily and people aren't always as honest as you hope they are. I learned that "love" isn't always enough. I learned that relationships are a lot of work, but it doesn't have to always be hard or difficult work, and if it is really difficult the vast majority of the time you should probably reassess your feelings for that person. I learned to always be honest with myself - to always be true to myself. Dishonesty--especially with yourself--does nothing but cause a lot of heartache and pain. I learned that you can't (and shouldn't) trick yourself into loving someone just because you see a glimmer of hope for what they could possibly turn into "if only". A difficult past does not excuse bad behavior in the present--and that is something I learned the hard way. Never make excuses--not for yourself or for others. The second you find yourself justifying an action or situation, step away because you know deep down that it's not right.

I tricked myself--a LOT. I justified. I lied to myself about who he really was and who he had the potential to be. I can sit and make excuses about how our whole relationship was based on lies and deceit and twisted truth about his real past--which is true--but there was no escaping what was right in front of my face. He didn't treat me the way I deserved to be treated - with love and respect and honor. So yes. I lied. I tricked myself into thinking that he really loved me and the reason why he treated me the way he did was because of his past relationships and PTSD, but he could change. I could help him fix his life and morph into a kind, respectful man who loved and respected me. What a load! I can't do that! Especially since it wasn't something he even cared about! So really in the end, I only have myself to blame for letting things get to the point they did. It is my fault because I allowed myself to stay in a relationship that should have ended before it started.

For a long time I didn't feel this way. I felt used and abused and discarded and hurt. I was angry. And then I remembered what I always preach: Anger is a secondary emotion. It is not "pure" or "primary". It is orange or green or brown or purple--the only way you can get those colors is by combining two or more primary colors. Anger comes from denial of sadness, frustration and/or a number of other root emotions. It is a lot easier to just be angry than it is to just face the truth, which is (most of the time) that you are just plain hurt. Admitting that puts you in a rather vulnerable place, though, and I think it's fair to say that most people are uncomfortable living in that space. So there it was. I was hurt. By him. I let him hurt me. Takes two to tango. I finally decided that it was really ridiculous of me to let him have that kind of power. Why should I bother myself with the immature and disrespectful actions of someone who is too selfish to even give a crap about me or how I feel? I shouldn't! So how do I let it all go? I mean REALLY let it go--forever. ?

Forgive.
And FORGET.

So I did. I have. But to solidify it even further, here it is:

Ray, if you're reading this or if you ever do, I forgive you. Really--I do. (yes--there are things that happened and were said that gave me grounds to be upset with you, whether you will admit that to yourself or not) That is not to say that the things you did and said and DIDN'T say are okay or excused in any way. Because they're not. But I'm done. Done with you. Done with caring. Completely detaching myself emotionally from our past and our relationship (well, that kind of already happened a while ago) and everything that has anything to do with you. Except for Gabriel. And he is the reason why I forgive you, so thank him for that. He is the only good thing that came from our relationship. The ONLY good thing. And he is amazing. He is wonderful and beautiful and heavenly. He has turned me into ten million times a better person than I ever knew I could be. He is also the one big huge reason why I don't completely regret ever knowing you. (That, and your military service, which I will never deny I am so immensely grateful for and proud of--proud that I know someone who sacrificed and worked and bled for our country--even if that person is lost somewhere inside you.) If I had never met you, I wouldn't have Gabriel. So thank you for that. I got the very best parts of you. I hope, for your sake, that they weren't the only good parts left. Also, it is not my place to judge or be angry or disappointed with the person that you are or have become. So I'll let it go and let God deal with it. Life is too short to worry about things that you wish were different. And worrying about you is a load that I don't care to bear. It's not my burden anyway--it's yours. What happens from here on out is what it is. I wish you good luck in your endeavors. 


There. Forgiven. Soon forgotten.


Ash

So I know I can't just gloss over everything like a bad OrangeGlo commercial and expect wounds to be healed quickly and easily, without effort or replaced parts and settings. But I know that time and patience and real love does the job eventually. I am nearing the end of a long, hard season in my life and preparing for a whole new show! I have a wonderful man who loves and cherishes and respects me. He thinks I'm adorable in a hoodie and pajama pants. He sends me flowers from thousands of miles away. He always goes the extra mile to make me happy and I do the same for him. What a contrast he is to my previous relationship! It is really astounding to experience the difference in such a profound way. Like going from night to day without a dawn. The happiness and love and respect and thoughtfulness were...shocking at first. Blinding. I haven't had that in so long! I am still surprised sometimes at how amazing he is. He totally spoils me and, holy crap, it is awesome!!

I will leave you with this song now:

According To You
by Orianthi

According to you
I'm stupid, I'm useless
I can't do anything right 
According to you
I'm difficult, hard to please 
Forever changing my mind
I'm a mess in a dress
Can't show up on time-
Even if it would save my life 
According to you
According to you

But according to him
I'm beautiful, incredible
He can't get me outta his head
According to him 
I'm funny, irresistible
Everything he ever wanted
Everything is opposite 
I don't feel like stopping it
So baby tell me what I've got to lose
He's into me for everything I'm not-
According to you

According to you
I'm boring, I'm moody
And you can't take me any place
According to you
I suck at telling jokes
Cuz I always give it away
I'm the girl with the worst attention span
You're the boy who puts up with that
According to you
According to you


But according to him
I'm beautiful, incredible
He can't get me outta his head
According to him 
I'm funny, irresistible
Everything he ever wanted
Everything is opposite 
I don't feel like stopping it
So baby tell me what I've got to lose
He's into me for everything I'm not-
According to you


I need to feel appreciated
Like I'm not hated -oh no
Why can't you see me through his eyes?
It's too bad your making me decide 

But according to me
You're stupid, you're useless
You can't do anything right


But according to him
I'm beautiful, incredible
He can't get me outta his head
According to him 
I'm funny, irresistible
Everything he ever wanted
Everything is opposite 
I don't feel like stopping it
Babe I'll tell you what you've got to lose...
He's into me for everything I'm not-
According to you

You, you
According to you
You, you

According to you
I'm stupid, I'm useless
I can't do anything right

(Not the situation to a 'T', obviously. For example: I show up on time, I have a great attention span, I can tell a joke, and I certainly don't have to "decide" LOL - but the basic spirit and message are applicable)   ;0)






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1 comment:

  1. SSSSOOOO....since I'm a sap, I want you to talk about McKay more now. Mm-kay? Yup. Happy sounds much better. :)

    ReplyDelete