Glutton for Punishment?
Strength isn't always easy to see.
As I sit here about to embark on another foray up to the house my ex-husband and I bought together to put it on the market again, and this time it will be to take a loss on it, I'm left thinking of our 12 years together.
Ours didn't start out as a horrible union. The circumstances of life caused us to grow in two different directions, which led to the armed truce that is in place currently. If there weren't children involved, we would have gladly gone our separate ways without further contact, more than likely to never cross paths again.
The marriage disintegrated slowly over time, to the point where I almost ended up taking my life, due to the almost daily verbal assault on everything about me. I'm no angel, but I could never bring myself to fight back as dirty as he was doing. It's not who I am as a person, it's not how I was raised.
I am still nice to my ex-husband, I allow him to come and see our kids any time he wishes, I allow him to use my computer and other things since he doesn't have them at his house, due to being out in the middle of nowhere, and I guess for lack of a better word, being friendly.
All around me, friends and loved ones, get angry with me because I do this. They say why are you so nice to him after the way he has treated you? They tell me I should be just as mean, he doesn't deserve your kindness. Over and over, I get various statements along those same lines. I know my friends and family care about me, and it frustrates them that I still allow my ex-husband in my life on any sort of basis after what I've been put through, but I just can't be mean to him, or anyone actually.
This morning as I was doing some little things about the house, I let my mind wander through the myriad of thoughts that have taken up residence in my brain. It dawned on me that even though my friends may think I'm being a glutton for punishment, because the ex will still say mean things sometimes and will still try to control what I say or do. Sometimes maybe I am, but they all seem to forget that when I've had enough from anyone, I will say something to end the transgression.
I got to thinking about the values all who are Christian are raised with, for example, turn the other cheek, forgive those who trespass against you, even your enemies deserve kindness, treat others as you would want to be treated, and so on and so forth, and I realized I'm doing those things to everyone no matter who they are. But because I'm doing those things, I'm the one in the wrong and I get what I deserve? I know that Christ didn't condone abuse and violence, which I'm not accepting anymore, I will tell the ex to leave or I will end the conversation once things cross that line.
Maybe I am a glutton for punishment, but to me, those thought processes are all subjective and in the eye of the beholder. We all have our own tolerance levels, our own thoughts on what constitutes being a good person, and how we are to achieve that goal. I can't be cruel to someone, even though they have been cruel to me. It is one of the things my dad told me he had always worried about me. That because I am such a gentle person that the world is going to chew me up and make me bitter. Daddy said he then later realized after seeing some of the things I went through and how I dealt with those things, that the strength I have comes from that place of gentleness, and he had seen that I know when I've had enough and I will stand up for myself and those I love without a care of the consequences. Something else he said I needed to watch out for and that I needed to learn balance. I'm still working on that balance part. But I'm learning to not be afraid of saying no, and that my limits have moved closer so that in the end, I don't get hurt as easily.
For me, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that everything that happens, whether good or bad, does so for a reason, to teach me something I need to know. The reason is not always immediately revealed, and sometimes there are a series of things that I have had to go through to know the whys. But each time I've discovered the reason or what I think is the reason, I've felt blessed at the revelation. So I know there is a reason. One day the reasons will be revealed and if I don't get it, I will have to repeat the lessons, not something I want to do in this case, so I'm paying attention fully. In the end it will all work out as it should.