Lighthouses and Dark Waters

Posted: December 29, 2010 in Life
Tags: , , , , , ,

 

There would be dark moments, and each one seemed logical.  As far as he knew, everyone had moments like these.  Everyone.  So what if others managed those moments better than he did?  It just meant he had to try a little harder, that’s all.

Like the time he stood at the entrance of a shopping mall, frowning.  He watched the shoppers all scurrying to get their shopping done.  They seemed frantic, out of control.  There was little joy in their hungry demand for merchandise – or at least, that’s what he saw, perceived.  He felt a rage bubbling up deep inside.  He wanted to bellow at them in anger.  Tell them to stop and remember the reason for Christmas.  He was beyond frustrated.  Shaking his head, he turned around and left the mall.  He would do his shopping another day.  And from that point onward, for a period of five years, he decided he would not celebrate Christmas.  He wouldn’t put up lights or a tree.  He no longer believed in it.   His mind told him this was reasonable.  He couldn’t reconcile his distaste for commercialism with the celebration.  Not at all. He believed fully in his own cynicism.

The depths of darkness weren’t always as radical.  Sometimes, he sensed a slow slide into them, grateful that there seemed a limit.  Always, his mind found logical reasons for them.   He was bored with his job, so it seemed only right that he should interpret some of the darkness as depression over the job.

At other times – rare occasions – he couldn’t quite see a safe boundary.   Like the time he was driving home and felt a strong impulse to drive the car off of the road and into a tree.  He managed to curb the thought, but it scared him so much that he wisely sought out counselling.  This time, he was entirely convinced this destructive impulse stemmed from his faltering marriage.  They stayed together because of religion.  The bonds of dogma – specifically the stricture against divorce – felt more like emotional slavery.  So of course it was logical that he should feel such despair.  The thing that bothered him about it was that he hadn’t told anyone about it before having the impulse.  He knew, from everything he read, that this was dangerous.  People who talk about this sort of thing rarely do it – they talk because they want help.  He knew he wasn’t crying out for assistance.

So he sought out therapy, and in so doing, discovered much about himself that he never knew before.

Like the fact that, though he was so agreeable to people in general, and so pleasant to be around, in fact he was masking a great deal.  Hiding in plain sight.  He genuinely thought he enjoyed being around people, even though he knew there was a limit and he had on occasion just needed to be away from them.

This included his wife.  There were many days when he worked late into the night when he didn’t need to.  Long enough to miss the last train back to his home in the next town.  So many nights he called his wife and told her he needed to stay in a hotel in town.

“But why you?  Why can’t some of your employees take on some of the work?  Why do you have to work so late all the time?”

“I just do”, he said.   “It’s my job, and no one else can do it.”

He was lying through his teeth, and he didn’t care.  The idea of going home to her was so abhorrent that he felt physically repulsed by the thought.  He didn’t hate her; he just couldn’t be around her.  The constant questions ate him like slow burning acid.   “Do you love me?  Why don’t we do things together?  Why?  Why? Why?”

It was so weird.  There were times when he felt like he was on top of the world, and everything would be fine.  He was right with his God so what could hold him back?

And there were other times when he was adamant that it was all shit.  There was nothing that could be salvaged.

It was in those dark times when he knew he had to get away.  So he would take impromptu vacations.  He would book a cottage on a lake during the summer, and he would take off.  He determined to go there, rent a boat, and go row out in the lake to somewhere where he could have solitude, away from the maddening horde.  He did all that, and then was surprised when he got there, and realized he still wasn’t at peace.  He was almost shocked by that realization.  And disappointed.  He had brought the darkness with him.

It never occurred to him that the “maddening horde” might be his own thoughts.

One of those amazing light times happened when his marriage was finally over and he moved out.   He got the call from his new landlord, who said “your credit check passed.  You can move in on Monday.”

The day he got the keys and moved in, he looked around at his new oasis and wept in joy. He knew finally he had done the right thing with his marriage.  All of his life he had been the chameleon, changing emotional colour to make everyone, including his bride-to-be, happy.  He listened for clues to their desires, and then did his level best to match them.

It never occurred to him that he was damaging himself in the process.  He truly thought he had no real desires of his own.   Occasionally a slightly selfish thought would occur, which he discounted as un-Christian.  So he would mostly ignore them, and secretly chastised himself for having them.

One such thought happened six months before his marriage, when he suggested to his fiancé that they postpone the wedding for a little bit.

She, an eighteen-year-old girl, immediately (and correctly) interpreted this as rejection.   She burst into tears, and all of her insecurities rose to the surface.  She accused him:  “you don’t love me; you don’t want to get married.   No one loves me”.

He felt like the lowest rat.  Even though she was right about his feelings, the religious-shaped chameleon exerted itself.  He changed colour and assured her he did love her and wanted to get married.

So, despite some deep warning feelings in his gut, he bit the Christian bullet and got married.

It took him many years before he discovered the value and necessity of being true to one’s self.

He blamed almost all of his dark moments on this one rather major bad decision.  This farce of a marriage.  And those moments were exacerbated by his continual attempts to love her as she deserved to be loved.  A piece of his heart held back though.  It took him a long time to acknowledge it.  To be fair, she too had a lot of issues to deal with; reasons she latched onto him.  He was her emotional life raft.

But this story isn’t about her.  It’s about him.

It was only a few years after they had exited the marriage that he realized those intermittent dark occasions had nothing to do with her, or with his bad decision.  It had nothing to do with commercialism at Christmas.

Sometimes the darkness crowded him at almost predictable times.  So many times when he was flying high, he remembered saying to himself “I wonder when the dark time will come again”.  Because he knew it would.  That this high wasn’t sustainable.

There are times when he enjoys being around people and he becomes the life of the party.  He can joke and make people laugh, and they shine and open up to him.  He has learned not to be the chameleon anymore, and this is something that has liberated him; allowed him to be the person he truly is.  He has dropped the chains of religious dogma as well.  This helps, too.

There are other times though, dark times, when he can’t wait to get away from people.  Times when he feels ugly, when he truly wonders how anyone can stand to be around him.

He knows there’s hope though.  He’s counting on it, and is seeking it out.

And he knows there are others rowing their boats in the same waters as he is.

Which is why he’s talking about it, I suppose.

Comments
  1. Douleur says:

    I wonder at time – how many people are “guilted” into going ahead with a marriage…just to make the other person happy, because if you don’t do it, then you don’t love them, you don’t want to be with them.

    Cause and effect. Personally for me, I was that 18 year old girl, but on the other side – let’s wait a year…”You don’t love me, if you don’t do this now, I won’t do it.” Ultimatiums.

    Truly, one can not be happy if all they do is lie to themselves and make others happy. If we don’t take care of our own, then really what do we have?

    Like

    • wolfshades says:

      I think that at 18 years of age, there are very few people who should be making such major decisions as marriage. Very few of us are mature enough or know ourselves well enough to figure out whether we’ll be right for the other person – or whether that person will be right for us.

      You’re right – we have to take care of ourselves first before we can commit to caring for someone else.

      Like

  2. I read this holding my breath even though I know this story, not exactly the way you told it here, but I know the substance of it.

    I am rowing in the same water, holding onto a hope that I don’t always feel, albeit there are times I soar with it.

    Reading this, knowing you, having the conversations that we do makes me feel so much less alone in the world; I think it’s important that we speak our truth, talk about where we think we’re going and where we’ve been, what goes on inside our head.

    I love that you wrote this and posted it here. It’s been a hell of a journey and still is, but I like what it’s wrought in you. I don’t see a guy who’s riding unicorns over rainbows. I see someone REAL who is struggling well with life, living in moments of bliss, occasionally dancing with darkness. I’m right there with you.

    Like

    • wolfshades says:

      I’m glad you commented, Kate. It means a lot to me, and I really think I wouldn’t have shared all of this had me not first met. I’m kind of amazed how things like this turn up and get revealed in us, in methods we couldn’t possibly have planned out. Do you ever wonder what your life would have been like had you not come to a somewhat clearer understanding of yourself? I think about it sometimes. It’s like an alternate universe where self-discovery never happened – and I think it would be a bit of a hellish nightmare. Like walking around in a dark room, with mousetraps all opened and primed for any missteps.

      Like

      • The way I look at it, Shades (I’m digging calling you that:)), we were meant to be friends. You’re one of my favorite people to think with. You challenge me and you’re not afraid of being challenged back. You kinda sorta need it, like me. I dig that too. :) I’m thankful that I get to walk awhile alongside of you.

        I needed to say that.

        When I bump into people who just don’t get it, people who tell me I think and question too much or, God forbid, CHANGE my mind too frequently, I often stop and remember when I was living on auto-pilot, not really awake, even. Because that’s how they seem to me, to be sleep-living. And I do wonder how it would be to be stuck in that place. I wonder if it would be less painful, less joyful, less bright and sharp in every way. Actually, I don’t wonder. I know it would be. It would be like living underwater with everything slow motion and dulled. It makes me grateful for the life I’m living, for this incredible, often painful process of becoming that I’m actively engaged in.

        Once upon a time, we slept. We slept restlessly. Then we awoke, gradually, and we were afraid. I think that’s true of all of us who have stepped outside of what’s comfortable, of what we once nearly blindly accepted as truth. But once wakefulness comes it’s… well, I can’t imagine closing my eyes again.

        I don’t know if I’m making any sense to anyone other than myself. This is a wonderful, thought-provoking blog, Shades. I love the title you chose. It’s brilliant.

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        • wolfshades says:

          You’re making a lot of sense to me, Pandora.

          :)

          (The box is open, and there’s just no closing it)

          I’ve said the same thing as you (about being less joyful and less bright), when it comes to ADD. I know those shiny balls in my head are having a good time (and me with them) and would rather not be without them. Even if they take my attention away at the entirely wrong times.

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  3. My Wolf —

    So much to say.

    First, it’s brilliant that you wrote this. I was waiting on the “funny” or the “mischievious” and realized that it wasn’t going there — so deep, so powerful, so very personal. Thank you for sharing it.

    I’m afraid to say this to you — since I only know what I know from your written words, but I can’t help it: I don’t think you made a mistake getting married. I think when we call things a mistake, it makes it such a negative burden that it only adds more devasting weight to carry. Again, without knowing more, but becuase I can’t resist sharing my thoughts, I have to tell you, that you didn’t make a mistake. No. I think you did the best you could at the time. You made a decision with all the information you had available. You were young, guilt ridden with religious values, maybe you had family pressures, definitely societal pressures to get married… Continuing to BLAME yourself for choices you made when you didn’t know better is useless and burdensome.

    What I would offer as an alternative is the possibility to understand that when you know better, you do better. That part of the journey we’re all on is to grow and move onward. There is no doubt you feel bad about how unfair you might have been to your lovely spouse, but you didn’t intentionally set out to hurt anyone. So stop feeling bad or guilty. When we know better, we do better. And I’m pretty sure you’d never set out to hurt someone on purpose. That much I know for sure.

    Part of being on the journey you’re on is learning to see the light even when you think there isn’t any. This blog post is pure evidence that you see light. One of my favorite qoutes is by Winston Churchill: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” In other words, don’t stay in hell — keep finding your way out. And by mulling over and blaming yourself for past choices — you will continue to stay in hell.

    The alternative? It might seem hard to do, but instead of thinking the same thoughts over and over again, why not try something different like: What good came from this experience? Why am I better person now because of that part of the journey? What are the positive points in my life right now? Yes, I know, dorky, but looking at the positive things — seeking out the good, not falling for the old true blue GUILT and NEGATIVE crap. And it’s hard to do especially when you’re brought up Catholic like I was — that’s like embedded in you from day one: TO FEEL GUILT all the time. So, give yourself a break and stop feeling bad — try and feel GOOD. You are good. You are brilliant. And my friend, I know what I’m talking about! *wink*

    Ooopppss.. too long of a reply post. My apologies WOLFIE. I got a bit too “IN-TO” it. Eeeeh, please know that I care. I care a lot.

    Beautiful post. Stay strong.

    XO,
    Carmen
    Here’s what you don’t know: http://www.carmensconsulting.com

    Like

    • wolfshades says:

      Hey Carmen. Something else we share – I was brought up Catholic as well. :)

      I honestly don’t feel regretful about my marriage. I’m kind of through with the whole ideas of regret and guilt. You’re right – it was what it was, and it happened at a time when I did the best I could, with the skills and tools I had available to me then. Which I’ve since added to. I know that if the same circumstances were presented to me, I wouldn’t have made the same choices, and that’s a good thing.

      It’s difficult to write any of the above without adopting a perspective from the moment the events took place. There is darkness present right now, sometimes, but it’s something that doesn’t leave me self-destructive or anything. There’s too much self-awareness for that.

      I tend to look at this blog as a kind of a painting, with different hues of thought, meant to evidence the sometimes light, sometimes grey and dark imaginings provoked by experience.

      You know what? I’m sounding just like some of those people on Facebook who, in wanting to explain their status, choose “it’s complicated”. *grin* The fact is, though, it is complicated, at least to me. Although I don’t have answers, I can tell you that I know the answers that *don’t* occur to me, and among them would be guilt and regret. I wouldn’t be who I am today without those experiences. (Though I daydream sometimes what it would have been like to have entered adulthood with the wisdom of these experiences already – I’d have made some awesome choices. Doesn’t prevent me from making some now though).

      The hope that I’m seeking (mentioned near the end of the blog) involves the topsy-turvy stuff that goes on when I least expect it. For me, there’s some light still to be found, and I’m actively pursuing it.

      Glad you commented. And please – don’t apologize *ever* for writing too much. It’s one of the things I appreciate about you. :)

      Like

  4. Dave says:

    Wolf, great post. Don’t be down on yourself. Due to economics I was forced to accept employment far-removed from the family domicile. The wife perceived that move to be an attempt, on my part, to escape the matrimonial vows. She imagined every scenario possible as to why I chose to return to TO in an effort to make ends meet as to our financial obligations in El Paso. Of course, at the time there was no indication, whatsoever, that EP might become a ‘boom economy’ courtesy of the expansion of Ft. Bliss. It is now. She found a “boyfriend” in the interim who has long since disappeared yet managed to manipulate her into divorcing me, roughly 15 years ago, promising her ‘who know’s what’. Good sex, maybe. To this day I still pay her bills and am laden with guilt that the collapse of our marriage is entirely my fault. I’m not sure. Carmen may have some insight here. Great blog, Wolf.

    Like

    • wolfshades says:

      Hi Dave. Trust me – I’m not down at myself, not at all. Although it’s easy to see how the blog came across that way, for sure.

      The situation you described must have really sucked badly. Ah well. You did your best, right? All anyone can ask – even if it wasn’t enough for her.

      Like

      • For what it’s worth, it never occurred to me that you were beating yourself up. That’s not what this blog speaks to me, at all. At all. You speak of blame in the PAST TENSE. You move forward from that and say that there are times when you walk in darkness and wonder how other people can stand you. It’s an incredibly honest and brave thing to say. I think the same things about myself but I’m not beating myself up, I’m just being real.

        I can be very dark, very inside myself. And the truth is that it’s very hard for some people to deal with that. They need more than I can give when the darkness hits. I’m thankful that I married a man who isn’t threatened by the times I need mental space. He knows that’s how I roll and he loves me through it, even when I’m not that lovable.

        It’s not like he got a raw deal though (I’m grinning here). Because there are times when I make him laugh in a way that no one else can. There are times when I jump on him the minute he walks in the door and wrap myself around him. I love him well. And honestly, I think it might drive him nuts if I was like that all the time. We have our rhythm and it works.

        I would like to walk in less shadow. That’s true. But there’s this tidal pull inside of me and I’m often helpless in the face of it. It’s my biological rhythm. It’s who I am. I’m always engaged in the process of becoming, working to be better, but it’s not a linear process. Sometimes I get pulled off my feet for a bit. That’s when I need the hope.

        Wow, I’m really writing a lot here. I’m going to bite back the apology before it reaches my lips.

        Like

        • I hate to apologize again Wolfie, but it’s at the tip of my lips… My confustion in how your post came across I think to me and maybe Dave had more to do with these particular lines:

          “So, despite some deep warning feelings in his gut, he bit the Christian bullet and got married.It took him many years before he discovered the value and necessity of being true to one’s self. He blamed almost all of his dark moments on this one rather major bad decision. This farce of a marriage…”

          That’s pretty deep and to the core for me. Sounds like regret and pain, but I see now I may have been mistaken. But, if this is all in past tense and just part of a character or story and you’ve moved on and were just painting on the canvas (I love that by the way — great analogy!) then that’s pretty brilliant! The last line in the post, made it seem more pertinent to today and the NOW, but I totally get it completely now!

          As you might have guessed by the link above, I continue working as the “ANTIcounselor” counseling folk — some business, some individuals even though I moved on from corporate life years ago. I don’t advertise and just recently put up a blog that I UN-PRIVATIZED today for you to check out. I’m shocked really by how it came about — but my point is, sometimes, I may accidentally see MORE between the lines than need be. But this was a pretty powerful and sad but heartfelt post. And I thought you were seeking some answers/perspective. So, my apologies (yup, I said it again! Hee! Hee!).

          Anyways, if you ever need to chat — or want an objective ear, or a different ear — I wouldn’t charge you a thing (Eeeeh, I like making my money by working creatively actually — I’m just good at this other “thang” so I keep a small clientele). You know how to reach me.

          Oh, and Kate (Hi Kate!) – I guess I would say that the need for mental space seems very different to me than being in a dark place. Again, it’s possible that I’m misunderstanding your thoughts here. But darkness seems to imply sadness, depression — but mental space, to me means something akin to needing quiet time, alone time, space to be who you are, to grow — and there’s no doubt we all need that more often than not (especially in this crazed technological world) but it’s not negative like “dark” place seems to imply.

          There is no doubt that life is a weaving of ups and downs, pain and joy, light and darkness.. there’s a balance to achieve — but I personally never want to be in darkness for too long — and if I am, I try to get out as quickly as possible, or hope someone helps get me through. Maybe our definitions of darkness differ? Possibly that’s it?

          Lastly, Dave — the collapse of any relationship by mere definition takes two people. Don’t take on mentally more than your own share of the burden. I’m so sorry for what you’re going through — it truly does sound tough. Sending you good thoughts.

          Hugs to you my sweet Wolfie. You do post a great blog and make people think! That’s what I love about you! XXOO!
          Carm~

          Like

          • Hey Carmen. :)

            I’ll try to explain what I meant.

            I need mental space, especially when I am in a dark place. When I speak of darkness, I am speaking of a kind of depression, yes, but depression isn’t the right word for it. “Darkness” is the best fit. When I land in that dark space as I am wont to do, I tend to back up hard, withdraw.

            I never want to go there. I never want to stay there. It’s just a part of my natural rhythm, which is why I likened it to a tidal pull. In the past, there were times I wanted to give up. It took courage to live through the darkness.

            Now, I remind myself when it comes that the darkness will pass and as surely as it will pass it will also come again. I am learning, as I said before, that this is my rhythm. I am finding peace with myself.

            This may or may not make sense. I don’t want to get too personal on a public blog. *wry smile* I’m hesitant about even attempting to explain myself as much as I have in this comment. Sometimes when I’m responding to a blog I forget that I’m speaking in a public forum. (I hate it when I do that!)

            Anyway, I am drawn by your wisdom, Carmen, and by the fact that you are a critical thinker and, clearly, a very good soul. I nodded my head as I was reading your original comment and I smiled. You were saying things that I have said myself, things that I’ve heard Shades say, too. I think we’re very much on the same page, even though we don’t know one another.

            Did that make sense? :)

            Like

            • Dave says:

              Yes Kate, it makes perfect sense. Kudos to the Wolf in that respect. I’ve a certain ‘kinetic’ relationship with him that I nor he are able to comprehend. I subscribe to numerous sites which provide volumes of commentary on a daily basis. I respond, often daily, to the issues at hand, but very few carry the ‘gravitas’ Wolf is able to convey, relative to the human condition, in a few short paragraphs he chooses to publish on occasion. Monthly, at most. Good show Wolf, you say what needs to be said as you feel it. No publishing deadlines required. :-) PS… you could subscribe to whatever service allows you to turn those type-y things into yellow smiley-faces, dude! :-D

              Like

              • wolfshades says:

                Your thoughts are generous, Dave. Thank you. You know what I dig about the comments here? The fact that none of them – NONE – are what I would call “fripherie”. Stuff that is just said to be social. I like that. It’s why I often don’t write a lot of blogs. When you have nothing to say, it’s important to say nothing.

                (I probably spelt “fripherie” wrong. On the other hand, I think it’s a word I made up myself, so how could that be?)

                As for smilies. Heh. I used to have the smiley face graphics on here. Decided I hated them so I went back to the old-school smilies instead.

                Like

          • wolfshades says:

            The thing about those dark moments is that, throughout my life my brain had found what it thought were valid reasons. A bad marriage, work that I don’t like, Christmas consumerism, whatever. But in the end, it had nothing to do with any of those things. It existed(s) as a thing in itself, and needed to be further examined. To be sure, the marriage was traumatic, so it made sense (at the time) that dark thoughts were related to it. But…..the evidence just didn’t bear out.

            And no – *smiles* – I wasn’t really looking for answers here, though I greatly appreciate your thoughtfulness and willingness to step out of your comfort zone and offer up some wise thoughts that could have only have come out of your experience. Just writing out something that is true to me.

            I’m aware of my darkness but….well it’s really hard to explain, frankly. I’m not sure I can, really.

            Like

            • Totally understand Wolfie — believe me, I do!

              And Kate — oh, I am so drawn to you! I completely get what you mean now. Thank you!

              I know blogs maybe shouldn’t get so personal — but sometimes, it just kinda makes me feel like the world is a better place when “friends” CAN be deep, real and wisdom-esque! I have learned so much from you and Wolfie.

              Sweet night my good friends. And thank you for the brain fuel!

              Hugs, love and much joy!
              Carmen

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              • Dave says:

                “When you have nothing to say, it’s important to say nothing.”

                Wolf wisdom at it’s best. Looking forward to commentary from Wolf, Kate, Carmen, et al, in the new year. Bear in mind the world is ending on May 21st, so get your comments in early. :-)

                Like

  5. Dave says:

    Yeah, it sucked and still does. Keep up your good thoughts, Wolf. You’ve a knack for making a point though you occasionally resort to excessive verbiage in doing so. :-) Not entirely sure as to your position on matters religious. There are a number of websites which would benefit from your commentary.

    Like

    • wolfshades says:

      Interesting constructive criticism there, Dave. Thank you. I think maybe many words are used in order to ensure meaning is understood. Comes, I guess, from working in a place where you have to almost over-explain things so that you don’t get a thousand emails all asking the same questions. I need to look at that.

      As for religion – I’m not a fan. I believe in God but have no truck with the man-made institutions that try to build boxes around Him, with structures and rules for behaviour. Ugh. If you ever want to figure out if a particular religious institution has started to rot, take a look at their reaction to the word “sex”. Says a lot – so many religions have managed to fuck that one up. *grin*

      Like

  6. Damn, fella…you kill me. Tune into a blog, get a mini-novel. Quite an accomplishment. I’m ignoring the “excessive verbiage” comment…even if there is a smile-emoticon beside it. Keep it up! And Happy New Year.

    Like

    • wolfshades says:

      Happy New Year to you too Lynn. And thanks very much for your comment, too!

      It seems to me I could probably make a full-fledged novel out of this. What you’re seeing is entirely condensed.

      Like

    • Dave says:

      Lynn, “emoticon”, new word for me. The Wolf does quite well in the “emoticon” department. He’s suppressing a mini-novel and should he ever acquire the huevos to publish a full-fledged version, I, for one, will read it and promote his efforts 100%, on this or any other forum. Seems the web is an invaluable tool for those talented enough to write history. Accurately. Humankind has failed itself miserably thus far. Whole different topic. ( Smiley-face here.)

      Like

  7. Abe's Blog says:

    Wolfman. I have to say that this is a great blog. I can see your thought process here and watch your transformation throughout. It’s painful and beautiful.

    I know all too well how 18 year-old’s end up getting married…and divorced. It’s waaaaaay too young to know who you are.

    I don’t think that deciding to get married anyway was a “Christian” decision, necessarily. I know plenty on non-Christians that make the same mistakes. I think it is the emotional immaturity that does it. But I think I know what you are saying with that: It’s the thinking that we must care for someone and not allow anyone to feel pain if we think we can help them. When we mature, we realize that sometimes pain is exactly what they need in order to grow out of the problems that they have!

    I’m glad you wrote the blog, friend.

    Like

    • wolfshades says:

      You know – when I made the decision to get married, I truly thought I was doing “the Christian thing” by not being so selfish. The notion that there was something “Christian” (ie. “bit the Christian bullet”) about it was something that came about, partly through the dogma I had taken in from various churches. You know the one I mean – where we are taught to “deny ourselves”.

      I’m not blaming the church, you understand. We all make our choices based upon the information we have at the time. The information I had was riddled with unwarranted guilt. And it was ultimately the wrong decision.

      So….in the context of what passed for “Christian” thought back then, I stand by what I said. This, in my mind, is what happens when circular dogma takes a back seat to what is natural and right.

      Like

      • Abe's Blog says:

        Just read this again and… I changed my mind (I can do that. It’s allowed). I am remembering my own failed marriage and, although my choice to get married was NOT influenced by my Christian upbringing, my choice to STAY in an abusive relationship most definitely WAS. I distinctly remember thinking about how I must be a “martyr”, until I finally got tired of being one and decided that I could no longer be a martyr, therefore I could no longer be married, and therefore, I could no longer be a Christian. Stupid religion. Mucking up my brain. I think I’ve got it all figured out now. Yep. I sure do. :)

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        • wolfshades says:

          Absolutely you’re allowed to change your mind.:). Evidently we have very similar histories when it comes to our first marriages. Mine was abusive too, although as a red blooded man, it would have been embarrassing (at the time) to acknowledge that even to myself, never mind anyone else.

          Interesting to see the divergent paths we took too, in ending those abusive relationships. In my case, I struggled with the “God hates divorce” passage that the pastors inflicted on their congregations; a passage I took to heart. Eventually, it dawned on me (and you’ve heard this before): I asked “so when, in God’s eyes, does divorce happen? Is He bound by the jidge’s gavel, or does it happen in the heart?”. Logically, I figured out that MY divorce had already happened. The damage was done. It was only then that I felt free to leave.

          But that struggle caused me to re-examine all of the dogma that I labored under. The freedom I found was intoxicating, and a whole new world opened up. May have to blog this one.

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          • Abe's Blog says:

            Very interesting, indeed. As a fellow red-blooded man, I didn’t tell anybody during, and very few people after the divorce. Too embarrassing…but I certainly would do things differently if I could live my life again.

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  8. I think we’ve all been there. On the edge, ready to jump, or dazed and confused in a cloud of gray stuff, not knowing how to find our way out. That’s partly why I started blogging – I wanted to share experiences with people. I guess I have my way of doing it – I sex it up and add my sense of humor, but truly I think it’s important we do share. We do let people know there is light in the end of the tunnel. In fact, I was just blogging about it in a post for the coming days. Two posts actually. Anyway, good on you for sharing and for continuing your journey!!! I wish you all the best to come!!! :)

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    • wolfshades says:

      You know – this was an interesting thing to blog about. What was in my mind and what some folk saw seemed to vary quite a bit. In this instance, I didn’t intend to portray someone (me) who was at the end of his rope, or depressed or anything, but that’s what came across. Perhaps it’s only possible to interpret such thoughts through the lens of one’s own experience. Not sure – but that’s my best guess anyway.

      For me, there are days when everything is astoundingly bright, and I’m in love with the world. There are other days when a darkness kind of covers everything, like ash from a volcano. It’s not depression, or anything like that. It just is.

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      • I guess I assumed that during the part with the car and driving off the road there was depression involved, or an extremely bad day, or what have you…but I also assumed that this was a very long time ago!!!!

        I think most of us have good days and bad days, not that that means they are good or bad…what I mean is there are days when we are in a good mood and days we are in a bad mood. Sometimes the bad mood days are just because one has to deal with less pleasant stuff or feel an inner stress about something. I’m not sure. Although I definitively have a ton more sunny days now than I did ten years ago and it seems easier to control my own mood. Anyway, that’s my interpretation of life :)

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        • wolfshades says:

          You’re right – it was long ago. At the time, I thought it was depression too, and my brain found logical reasons for it. So, even in the writing of this, it’s difficult to write it as it really was. Depression is, by definition I think, not something that appears and disappears almost in the blink of an eye (without meds, I mean). So that isn’t it. Even now, I can have some amazing days, but there’s that knowledge that right around the corner, the darkness waits.

          The joyful times are just amazing. The darker times – not so much.

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