Happy Tyr’s Day
I just don’t have time this week to do a proper Of Wolves and Ravens. School is starting to have the potential to kick my ass and I am having to bear down a bit. It’s OK though, because it gives me a chance to do an update on my constant battle with depression aka The Grey. I could just write and say things are cool, but that would be a lie. I would assess myself as functional but struggling.
I never realized how much betrayal would be a depression trigger. The pain of loss of friendship I think does it. We all objectify people from time to time. It’s the main philosophical problem of our age brought to life. We no longer see people as people like ourselves but rather as problems to be moved aside or dealt with. I work hard every day to see people as people. Even more so since I failed at that with my wife in particular. But my greater motivation is now I very much know what it feels like to be treated as an object as well. Once you have been treated that way, you never forget it and you either work hard not to make others feel that way in return or….you fade into The Grey.
As a warning here at this point. What follows is a discussion of the three things I would be talking to my counselor about if I could afford one. Some of these are sensitive in the sense they can invoke strong feelings. Particularly, if you are family in some sense or another either through blood, long association as my friend or even through my church ties some way, this warning is for you to stop reading at this point, unless you feel you can take the sensitive emotions of the issues presented. I am going to try to be as transparent as possible without being hurtful, but I don’t know how people will react all the time, so the warning is for you.
On a practical note, the reason I am doing this is these issues are making it difficult to concentrate on work or school because they are the closure issues I have been mentioning. It should be noted that on all of these, other people have different views of the events and have called me cowardly and a lair for my viewpoint. I can only present things from my perspective and based on my own conversations with others. The problem still remains that others are telling my story and I want to tell it myself to set a more complete account. I don’t care if you believe me. This is me getting things off my heart and mind for my sake.
I want to say that even with all the strength and love I have gained from restoring my relationship with my wife, I still have residual pain over loving another and the breakup that followed. I don’t think that should be surprising or shocking as you can’t emotionally invest in someone and not have that happen. What I find hard is not walking away from this relationship as any romantic love I had for her is gone, but mostly how it came apart and the reason why it came about. This is one I think I am just going to have to learn to live with and pretty much learn to do it on my own. I have had a hard time hating people for hurting me like this, but I know I can’t trust them and that makes me sad. Mostly I get mad at both of us for taking this relationship too far. Oddly enough, I still miss the friendship and I learned a valuable lesson on boundaries being important.
I think though this is one of those wounds that will get better with time. I also think it will never heal completely. Mostly I have found healing here in turning my attention to my relationship with my wife and building that.
The second issue is I had a long time friend with my last church. We did a lot of things together and sat next to each other for well over nine years. We were in a small group together for the same length of time. We knew each other very well. Or I thought I did. The one thing I felt I could do with this person was trust them with something important and in this case my resignation.
My plan was to have my resignation read the one Sunday and then come in the next when I wasn’t feeling so emotional distraught and explain things. That never got to happen. This person set me up.
a) They convinced me to remove all references to the reasons I was resigning – I had been involved in an inappropriate relationship. The reasons for removal given to me were not wanting to start gossip in the church and not dragging the girl into all this. I felt the reasons he gave were solid, so I removed the references to the affair, figuring I could go in the church the next week and deal with that issue.
b) I now know the very day that I gave my ‘friend’ my revised resignation, with all references to the affair removed, he called the woman I had been involved with up and asked her permission in using her name for him to tell the story to the church. He did that after reading my resignation. This made it very much look like I was hiding something, and he was being the noble guy telling everyone the truth.
c) On the Monday that followed the story of what happened came to me though my mother and several others who called me. There was even a plan in place already of how the vote would take place in a few weeks to decide things. None of this was ever shared with me during the months that followed in any official capacity. If it hadn’t been for a few members of my flock who disagreed with how things were being handled and kept me informed, I would never have known anything.
d) I texted this person and asked very simply what was going on. That was June 5th, 2018. I still have the text I sent. It has never been responded to. This person has made no effort to contact me since. Ever.
The sad thing is that I would not have handled things this way had the roles been reversed. I would have given him two things he obviously didn’t give me.
Love – I would have given him the benefit of the doubt and certainly would have allowed him to tell his own side of things and not take it upon myself to do that. The story that followed that I heard had definitely been blown up far bigger than it was and had obvious falsehoods. I would have made sure only established facts were told and crushed any rumors that couldn’t be verified.
Time – I would have given him time to think over things. In retrospect what I should have done is taken a week off to think things over and then resigned the following week myself in person. That’s the time factor I am speaking of. I would have given him these two things because that’s what friends do.
I am not sure what bothers me the most, but one thing I wrestle with is whether this truly is a friendship lost or did I really have a friend there to begin with? I am beginning to think I was nothing more to this guy than an object, that when no longer usable to him and his agenda, I was discarded. That pisses me off. The problem is no matter how many times I pay over the scenario, I keep running into the later conclusion. I know forgiveness is a powerful tool in recovery from things like this, but this one I haven’t forgiven yet. At least fully.
I want to make it clear, I am not looking for vengeance and I would never hurt him physically. That is just not me. What is me is being patient and waiting for the wheel of time to keep turning. If someday I get to balance the scales of justice thanks to fate, providence or karma, I will take it without hesitation. The difference will be I will stab him in the chest while looking him in the eye. Metaphorically speaking, not literally – I hope the man lives a long but miserable life.
Now before everyone lectures me about Christian forgiveness, I will remind people I am not longer religious or a Christian. One thing I do feel is that justice should be served. I may be a former adulterer, but I at least tried to confess it to my flock and would have if not for this man’s interference. I know he is a two-faced, backstabbing liar and that is enough for me. I doubt he will ever admit it, so he continues to lie to cover things up. Maybe he lies to himself more than anyone else.
On thing I do think is such a thing should come to an end as he has no honor or sense of fidelity. I just hope I am around to see it; so I can smile as the fall takes place. There is an old proverb – “Meditate on the bank of the river long enough, and you will see the body of your enemy floating by.” Hopefully it is true. If you hear the sound of clapping when it happens, it will be me applauding as the body floats by.
Perhaps you are also saying I am going back on my treating people was people with this one. I would say I am simply following Christianity here seeing he is a Christian. I am treating him like he treated me. That’s apparently how he wants to be treated, because that how he treated me. As a pagan with a pagan sense of justice, I just want to see the scale balanced.
Oddly enough this is not the toughest thing. It’s the lack of the ability to say goodbye to my flock that hurts the most sometimes. Despite my struggles with faith and the affair, I still loved and cared for them like a shepherd. Because of how this was handled by my ‘friend’, I knew there would be a lynch mob waiting for me after that if I went back. I have been left with people contacting me and that has been few in number. Each time it has happened though, I have had a measure of healing come into my life.
I don’t really blame them. I know they were misinformed and tricked by someone they trust. It’s why I was fired and denied severance as well. I let a lot of that go and because they were my sheep I loved very much; I forgive them. The treacherous ram in the middle of them? Well, he just showed his true colors. I never should have turned my back to him. Live and learn.
Maybe in a year or so I can go back and say goodbye to those who are still there. By then perhaps people will have different thoughts on the whole thing. I don’t know. My daughter has always joked with me that she was going to throw an over the hill party when I turned 50. I guess the invite list could have a few select people from the church on it if she does. I definitely wouldn’t mind seeing some of them again. They are good people and I miss many of them.
I don’t know if this has done anything but help me get through the fog a little and see clearly my path. You don’t get very far glancing over shoulder or looking back. My whole thing is to identify what is weighing me down and find a way to deal with it. Either to cast it off, change it so it isn’t so heavy or learn how to cope with it. I think writing this out and having it out there has been good for my soul. I need that right now and this has definitely helped as I have written it. It’s good to know your enemy and even better when part of that enemy is yourself.
Once again, my purpose here is not to stir up feelings. If I have, I do apologize. But I have been struggling with this for a little while now. I have talked with my wife about it and that has helped but I needed to clear my head. One thing that has always helped has blogging about stuff.
The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.