"Healing is letting go of assumptions and expectations. It is letting go of the fearful child so many of us carry inside, and awakening to the innocent child who has always been within us. Healing is the rediscovery of who we have always been." ~Gerald Jampolsky
For so long I clung to the hope that Pete would change his mind; that he'd realize he couldn't live without me. I did this during our second year of marriage, when we first crossed the line from disagreement into argument; when I first felt the destitution of loss--that maybe it just hurt too much to do this anymore; when he "needed space" and moved to the basement; and when he so casually said that he wanted a divorce.
And during the next 4 months of living together, getting the house ready to sell, and another 3 months as I lived in a separate apartment, we talked rationally, logically about what had gone wrong--laughed and spent time together, talking and sharing everything. After my move to Sarnia, I still had hope. We talked every day or two--knowing nearly every detail of each other's lives; still knowing the other better than anyone else (or at least I'd like to think so).
But my hope was false, without the empty promises of my back and forth relationship with Craig, but with the actions that I and everyone else saw as him being confused; still caring; perhaps not really being sure about the decision he'd made; maybe even ready to come back if he could just have the chance to miss me and see all the changes I'd made.
After the fiasco of his visit to Sarnia, I discovered just how wrong I'd been--how wrong all of us had been. Everything about our afternoon together screamed "I like spending time with you; I value your advice; I want to keep your friendship." In the end, when I read the truth he'd typed himself, I discovered it was just his way of trying to show me the good side of where I lived--to make me feel happy here. Everything he'd been doing for 8 entire months: each action I'd misinterpreted as confusion or caring boiled down to this--until he knew I'd be okay, he couldn't move on with his life.
Four years of learning to trust and let myself love and be loved, of comfort and security in togetherness; 3 years of struggle to make it work, to work on myself, hurting beyond hope, yet never guessing he'd leave; then 8 months of believing a lie. It's hard not to see it all as a waste.
And until I learn to let go of the expectation that maybe, just maybe, he'll prove me wrong, the wounds will never heal. I'll be at constant risk of once again being torn open. The child inside me is fearful indeed, and she often wears her face on the outside. Is the innocent child--the one who expects neither to have nor to hurt--still somewhere inside me?
I'd like to say that on my Growing up Jenny journey I've been healing all along. But I never let the lessons last. I'd allow a gaping wound to be (ever so gently) sewn closed; then tear off the bandages and break the skin again. When all you know is hurt, you no longer need an attacker--your own hands, your thoughts, they do the job just as well.
This time I have to let wisdom I learn fill me; to keep my fingernails safely away from raw stitches. I'm hoping against hope that nothing's been wasted--not a month, a year, a feeling of betrayal, hurt or love.
I need to rediscover myself. I sense a flash of dark hair, glimpse sparkling blue eyes alive with life and adventure. A child who smiles and knows without a doubt that the recipient will smile back. I sense bravery and confidence--a strength, joy and surety that I long now to possess.