Instead it comes to you in little glimpses. Little moments of clarity, insightful thoughts and realisations.
I am not wise. But I have wisdom when it comes to some things.
I understand how important a close support network is when having children. Family on the other side of town or country, friends you go away with for weekends, are probably not very useful when you are a brand new parent. You need help right then and there and it needs to be calm, practical and unconditional.
I have wisdom about psychological abuse. I can spot it a mile away, with the smallest glimpse into somebody’s life. It glares at me like a big bright beacon. I could sail a ship by its light.
Sometimes I get glimpses into myself and I am surprised. Surprised (not really) by the glut of anger I carry around with me. Anger at my parents, at my sister, at my ex – mostly at my ex. I can feel the weight of it on my soul, pulling me down when I want to lift myself up. Anger at what’s been done to me. What I’d allowed to be done to me. This anger sits on and in my shoulders, it twists my gut and stunts my breath.
Sometimes I have doubts about what really happened in my relationship and I start to second guess my own experiences. I can see how my ex can appear to other people, how different a picture he can paint about what went down four years ago, what different a picture he can paint about himself. And me.
I sometimes wonder what will happen if my children want to meet their father one day. For a time, I will be able to say “No”, but what about when they get older? Will he fool them the way he fooled me for eighteen years? Will they suddenly hate me based on his story? How much are my feelings coloured by my anger?
When I start questioning my perceptions and memories, I remind myself that two counsellors and a GP, all told me that he was unsafe for us to be around. That he was abusing me with words and actions. That my anger was justified.
But is it still? How can I let it go? I know it’s not healthy to be carrying it around everywhere, like a big bag of coal. Even less so because it’s inside me, eating away at my mental health, my self-belief. It clouds my judgement at times, as I look at things through a cloud of red. Yet I don’t know how to let go.
Forgiveness is a process, not an event, but when will it end?
Image by Abby Lane.