Through the wave of postpartum hormones and the loss of an old identity my brain forced me to reconcile old baggage as I transitioned into a new chapter of my life. Rinse the sin. I contemplated the type of human example I wanted to be to this innocent life whom I haphazardly brought into the world. I wanted to identify as someone who represented and abided by my core beliefs. Since I am an extremely relational person, step one for me – a basic core belief of mine, simply stated in kindergarten lingo, is to treat people how you want to be treated.
In the first 16 months after my daughter was born I struggled so badly, that I can’t even conjure up the words to express it. I have no words to describe how difficult it has been for me to adapt and change; to find acceptance.
Bryan and I had been married for a few years and we were enjoying life. I got pregnant.
This became my motive in making amends.
I have been so fortunate to love deeply a handful of times. Some deeper than others. But still, my relational life has been full of love and disappointment. Yet, when I look to my past, my feelings regarding my actions are littered with guilt, shame and sadness. A longing to fix the unfixable. I loved deeply, but didn’t always act with love. I blame myself for not knowing myself better and making wiser decisions. I made decisions that were blind and rooted in fear. I blame myself because I should’ve known better.
During this self-flagellation, is when I began to feel the pull to make contact with my relational foul-ups of the past. I had all this guilt I put on myself about the way I treated others – ones that I loved – that I needed to step up and take personal responsibility for my fuck ups. I needed to dig myself out of the hole that I put myself in. I needed to address the effect I had on the ones that I loved. I needed to find personal peace and acceptance and forgiveness.
I was experiencing invasive uncontrollable thoughts and feelings for months. Trying to sort them out and make sense of them was agonizing. My ex, Jerry was the person who came up all the time. Not in a romantic way, but he just kept coming into my thoughts randomly. I’d wake up thinking about him, he’d pop in my head during the day and by night, I had been pushing out the thoughts about him all day that after I’d fall asleep I’d dream about him and then start the cycle all over again. I was conscious of my thoughts, but I could not control them. It became so invasive that his name started to escape my lips more regularly. It was awful, consuming and I needed it to stop. I am married and have a child and I have so much shit on my plate, it didn’t make sense why all of this was coming up. I talked to friends at length (god bless you all) trying to sort this out and make sense of it. What were my options? What could I do to address this and fix it? Stop it. My friends suggested I try writing a letter, first, to see if that would help. It didn’t. I drank. Wrote. Got rid of everything. Prayed. Read books. Used crystals. Meditated. Exercised. Nothing made the incessant thoughts stop.
So at the end of my exhausted rope I decided I was going to reach out to him to see if we could meet up and talk.
For those of you concerned about my husband: I am so beyond grateful and lucky that I have a supportive husband. I communicated, honestly, every step of the way. So, there was no freak out or any jealousy. I was able to walk my individual journey as I needed to, without projected fear from my husband. Lord knows, I had plenty of my own fear. He supported me and told me “to do whatever I needed to do to be happy.”
(Side Note: Marry this person. The one who walks alongside you. You are a couple, but you are still forever you).
So here we are. Amends.