Saturday, July 05, 2008

Yes, I'm still here.

As you all know, I’ve been pretty quiet lately. This has been a hard time for me, particularly as I try to come to grips with the betrayal of having been cheated on. It’s made me question so many things, and at times I have wished for that old faith I used to have… somehow I feel like a cosmic hug or a divine promise that everything will be okay would help. Which is quite a reversal from the initial relief I felt at not trying to figure out why God had allowed (or caused) yet another heartbreak to occur.

But I feel so far removed from that old faith, that old belief in god, that I am left with “only” a very human-level coming-to-grips process to help me get through this.

Sure, I have plenty on that plane to help. In retrospect, I had been suppressing a lot of my own doubts in the relationship: namely, I had a persistent feeling of loneliness in being with someone who not only couldn’t relate to my faith struggles (my biochemist ex is an atheist and is fairly antagonistic toward religion) but made no efforts to understand or support me. I sent him the link to this blog but he never read it. I needed him for comfort when dealing with my mom and he couldn’t provide it. He saw no value or relevance in anything spiritual – the entirety of his life is in the material world, and to be honest, even though part of me is drawn to materialist/secular/scientific understandings of the world, there is simultaneously, for me, a bit of emptiness in a completely secular life. Or at least the version of it that my ex lived and represented. He saw no value or use in discussing morality and ethics – he thought it all to be “self-evident” and that people inherently know the right thing to do. He felt no drive or impetus to give back to the world, to use our tremendous material blessings to help others. He had no independent interest in connecting with others and be part of a real community. Perhaps this secular emptiness is most clearly evident in his decision to cheat on me, and subsequently cover it up and minimize it when I finally confronted him.

Perhaps the biggest struggle I'm having is with that sense of unfairness that he is waltzing forward with his shiny, happy, new relationship. It really, deeply hurts that he could throw me away so carelessly and prance away with no repercussions, no consequences, no pain and evidently, no regret. This is when I could really use a cosmic skydaddy to comfort me, to assure me that somehow, some way, justice will be done.

Edited to add: I know the above sounds like I am bloodthirsty or something. I don't think I'm that bad, but it really hurts to think about him "getting away" with such hurtful behavior. I do know that, in the grand scheme of things, others have suffered much greater injustices than me. But this still hurts.

8 comments:

jennypo said...

Slapdash,

I'd love to tell you about a God that is not a "cosmic skydaddy" who exists to keep me from being hurt, but I guess that's probably not what you want to listen to right now.

Whether or not we attribute it to God, there is an inherent justice in the very design of the universe. However things might appear, a person who can cavalierly deliver pain is either in so much pain themselves that the misery of passing it on is offset by the relief of communicating it, or so messed up that they are headed for a disaster anyway. Beyond this, we really do reap what we sow. Mad Cow disease is a perfect example of this - greedy humans screwing nature to get ahead, and it looked for a while like it might work - but in the end, nature came back to bite us in the bum. Nature has its own balance that, while it can't be explained secularly, can certainly be observed without any notion of God.

A person who is whole and at peace on the inside wants to share that. It is easy to be merciful when we have received mercy. The people who hurt others without remorse do it because they hurt themselves. I've never seen an exception to this. I've seen people who stepped on others and were successful, but I've never seen anyone who stepped on others and was happy and at peace.

Take comfort - there IS justice, even without the "cosmic hugs". Maybe you should be feeling sorry for him...

Zeke said...

A very difficult thing to contend with, dear... I'm very sorry that this kind of experience came upon you. But I have to agree with Jenny: what goes around comes around, and when we act without integrity it has cosmic consequences that can't be avoided. We just don't know what they will look like.

Take comfort that this had nothing to do with you, and everything to do with another person's lack of courage and integrity.

Maria said...

I have no cosmic hug, but here's a cyber hug - a good tight one with squeezes.

OneSmallStep said...

Slapdash,

** It really, deeply hurts that he could throw me away so carelessly and prance away with no repercussions, no consequences, no pain and evidently, no regret. **

How are you defining the evidence here? I understand what's driving this -- you were in a relationship with him for quite some time, and would like to know that it at least had some affect on him, that it was worth something to both of you. And the fact that he's in a new relationship, and doesn't even seem to acknowledge his actions is demonstrating the exact opposite.

I just wonder if maybe there are unforseen repercussions. You mentioned that he found it self-evident that people inherently knew the right thing to do, and yet in this circumstance, he not only didn't do the right thing, he doesn't seem to say, "This is wrong, but here it is."

I don't think the two ideas can exist in harmony forever for him. At some point, something might break.

You don't sound bloodthirsty here, or that you even want revenge on him. Rather, the justice I see you wanting is acknowledgement that he did screw up, that he did hurt you, and that his actions had huge consequences. It sounds like you might be handling this "better" if he had been upfront from the get-go. Perhaps the justice is you knowing you deserved better than what he did -- at least you deserved the honesty. You deserve the regret he should be feeling that this chapter in his life is over.

Slapdash said...

Thank you all. As I was reflecting on your comments, I started thinking that it's kind of an empty comfort to think about karma/nature coming full circle in his life... especially if it is so diffuse or distant from his actions with respect to me that he doesn't recognize the 'karmic' thing as being 'payback' for having treated me poorly.

Which is why OSS's comment really nails on the head what it is I long for:

"Rather, the justice I see you wanting is acknowledgement that he did screw up, that he did hurt you, and that his actions had huge consequences. It sounds like you might be handling this "better" if he had been upfront from the get-go. Perhaps the justice is you knowing you deserved better than what he did -- at least you deserved the honesty. You deserve the regret he should be feeling that this chapter in his life is over."

Yet this is the thing I will never have. :(

lowendaction said...

Slaphischeatingass,

I would just like to thank you for the courage and streangth to share this painful chapter with us. Honestly, there is nothing better than what you're doing right here and now to begin the healing process.

I couldn't help but draw some parallels to my own life when you talked about wanting some of that 'good ol' spiritual stuff'...but without all the churchiness. It was during an increadibly dark time in my life that I stripped away everything I had known/experienced of the church-god I had grown up with, and found something quite different.

Please allow me to share these words of what I believe love is really all about:

1 If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. 3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. I Cor. 13


Love by any other name/definition...isn't really love at all (IMO). If God is love, which He claims to be, than that is the kind of love I want to be all about. I think if we get this right, all that other stuff...

Zoe said...

(((Slapdash)))

steph said...

no words. i just wish your computer would grow arms and give you a big hug from me. i know this is hard.