Here’s one for us all: how to tell a new story about the REALLY HARD things?
That is, how on earth do we find a new framework, a new jumping-off point, a new reframing of a narrative in our life that is just… unjustifiable, inexcusable?
In my case, husband lied to me and cheated on me for years.YEARS. He was gaslighting me for years. YEARS. Do you know how crazy-making, soul-shredding that is?! It’s huge. I can’t look back at anything cordial, funny or nice that happened with him and wonder if that was just his way of making nice after he had been having sex with someone else. All that time that I spent caring for the kids, solo, so isolated, and struggling while he was ostensibly “working” – ?
Added to that, his family.
I have had a difficult time absorbing the fact that my husband’s entire Vietnamese family turned their backs on me and my children. I mean, it’s just mind-blowing to me. I remember what I felt at the time to be love and kindness and wonder what – if any? – of it was real.
Added to that, they welcomed his new girlfriend with open arms only weeks after I asked him to leave our home that he had been living in with her. I repeat: MY HUSBAND had his girlfriend (the one that I found out about and left him over) living in MY HOUSE up there on the Lost Coast. When I found out about it and asked them to leave, they went to HIS FAMILY, who welcomed her. This was less than two months after I left him.
That to me is just… I can’t even. I can’t wrap any part of my head or heart around their actions.
There is another thing that is impossible for me: the death of my brother.
4 guys walked up to Dana and his son while they were on Dana’s farm. They had guns. They were there to take whatever material means Dana had on him at the time. They told Dana and his son to get down – Dana tried reaching for the gun and they shot him.
How on earth can I tell a new story about this?!
I mean, HOW do I tell a new story about things that break my heart?
I can’t. But I did try.
I kind of, sort of, tentatively tried, and within a half-step of a mental surge, I fell flat.
I can’t. I absolutely can NOT reframe this story, I can’t understand why my husband did what he did or make excuses for his actions. I can’t understand how his Grandma and his Auntie – both of whom I truly love – could possible turn their backs on me and the kids and welcome his girlfriend in my stead.
I mean, I can’t even write about that, let alone talk about reasons to understand any of it.
It has slowly dawned on me that telling a new story does not always mean that it needs to reframed or understood.
It also does not mean that it needs to be told.
Sometimes, I think, telling a new story means silence.
There can be no justification for the unjustifiable
I can’t justify these things. And it’s not my job to.
These are threads of older stories that I place where they are. I will not attempt to re-weave them into something more pleasing to me. They end in actions that are inexcusable, unjustifiable, unfathomable to me and so I won’t try to make sense of them.
I just let them be.
I pivot from them, setting my feet squarely upon my own path, and look where I am going right here, right now, in this moment, which is where time has any real meaning.
There may be a point in the future in which the why’s and how’s might become clear, and I might understand the actions of my husband, his family and the killers of my brother. But unless and until that is revealed to me, I think that I will tell these stories best by not trying to understand them.
Silence is sometimes the best answer – Dalai Lama
Silence isn’t inherentaly comfortable for me. Sitting still and letting silence be what is heard isn’t easy for me. I like understanding, I like reasons. I like to talk and dissect things out.
But silence can speak when words can’t. God doesn’t speak through noise – the voice of the Spirit and of the Universe is small, still, quiet. Connection in any of that cannot happen unless I am silent and the noise subsides and I let that little incessant talker in my head shut up.
In that stillness and quiet, the silence leads to peace, and in that peace, there is connection. I don’t know yet, but perhaps that will be my new story. I’m still listening.