Editor’s note: The following article was written by the Lovefraud reader who posts as “Adelade.” She previously wrote, “Lessons from Jurassic Park: Sociopaths simply are.”
When I first realized that my marriage was over, I was literally overwhelmed with the ensuing emotions that followed my initial discovery. After the exspath left and I had an opportunity to do some in-depth financial research, the emotions centered around fear and despair. Fear with regard to my immediate and foreseeable future, and despair with regard to the gravity of the obvious marriage-for-money-only.
I’ve been grappling with fear and despair for a good while, now. Sometimes, I have fits of one (or, both) that seem almost paralyzing – I don’t want to speak to people, I don’t want to hear from people, and I don’t want to leave the room that I’m staying in. I can’t make other people “get it” about the severity of my situation, and I’ve stopped trying. I don’t even want to hear a vague reference to the exspath or what a rat-turd he is. What I want is for the fear and despair to evaporate and leave me clean, fresh, new, and redeemed. Well, that’s just not going to happen. So, how can I get through these fits?
Lately, I’ve the fits have been getting shorter in duration and intensity. Yippee. But, what I’m finding in their wake is this hollow feeling of just being absent. I’m feeling as hollow as an empty soup can, and I’m having a hard time filling that void up with something positive. The soup was tainted, and some remnants are still sticking to the sides of that can. But, what’s left is this toxic void.
Last week, I picked up a paintbrush and put pigment on a canvas for the first time in a long, long time. I began painting something dark and menacing – a particular scene from a well-known fantasy novel that had always been in my imagination. This was a departure from my typical subject matter, and I finished a sketch that I was satisfied with. I’ll be starting on a better version of the initial sketch and put all of my fears and disquiet onto the canvas.
What I’ve discovered is that I had found a tiny bit of my soul that the exspath had cut away and left lying around. I picked that wee bit of myself up, and stuffed it back where it came from. Yeah, it had a lot of dirt and grime on it, and it’s quite misshapen from having been trampled upon, but it’s still mine and I took it back rather than stepping over it or sweeping it up and tossing it out.
And, the relevance of this find to my issues of fear, despair, and hollow soup can? In spite of my fits of fear and despair, I’m still alive. I’m still breathing. I’m still a flipping viable human being with something important to do. I don’t know what that “something” might be, but I have “A Reason” for being here, and that fact diminishes the power of the both fear and despair. I’m not as hollow as I think I am and a good, cleansing rainstorm can fill that empty soup can up in minutes. I don’t have to feel this way and no matter what happens, I’m going to be okay.
Power of “Doing Something”
I am changed, to be sure. I no longer trust, easily. I don’t tolerate bullshit well, anymore. I make tough decisions that aren’t always warm and fuzzy. And, I am okay with all of this, I think.
No matter what stage of recovery I’m in, I want to convey the incredible power of “Doing Something,” even if it’s just an attempt to seize back some part of my soul that was taken and damaged. There is true power in this and there is self-validation in this. And, whenever I begin to feel fear about the exspath and what he might say/do in Court, I picture him standing in front of the Judge, naked, and covered in mayonnaise. If I can laugh, I’m alive and I am moving away from the carnage.
No, none of us will ever be “the same” person we were before our experiences with a sociopath. But, I intend to snatch every little piece of my soul that I find laying around, no matter what condition it’s in. And, I’m going to fill up my soup can with ME. My experiences were just that: dreadful experiences. I’m a survivor, now. I’m recovering, now. I am not a victim, nor will I behave like one. My whining will be confined to venues where I can do it, quickly, and get it out of my system. The Truths of my experiences are reserved for those who “get it.”
Everything, from this point onward, is pure gravy.