“I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes,
I am out of control and at times hard to handle.
But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best.”
~ Marilyn Monroe
I have a confession. I have to come clean. I can’t keep it a secret any longer. So here it is. Sometimes I don’t feel so very grateful and forgiving. Sometimes I am just really pissed off. And yes, sometimes “I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure.” And I don’t want to be grateful or forgiving. I want to be mad. I want to be angry and rage against assholes and mean people and the establishment. I want to stomp my feet, pound my fists against the bars of my self-made prison and raise some hell.Sometimes I want to tell my ex-husband to “go fuck himself.” Other times I’d really like to tell my boss to “kiss my ass.” At times I fantasize telling my dad “to shut the hell up” or asking my mom, “Why the hell are you such a bitch?”
Recently I found these really cool cards that instead of saying “Thank You” say “Fuck You.” I’m pretty sure these cards could come in quite handy. First, I could send a “Fuck You” card to my divorce attorneys whom I paid thousands of dollars for absolutely nothing. While I’m at it, I’d send a little note to the idiot bureaucrat at the Child Support Enforcement Office who lost my paperwork that fondly says, “Fuck You, Asshole.” Lastly, I’d make a list of all the men who have ever pretended to care about me but fucked me over and send them all “Fuck You. With love, Donna” cards.
Colin Powell tells us to “Get mad. Then get over it.” Maybe I don’t want to get over it. Maybe I want to be just plain mad.
It is okay to be angry. Anger is simply a feeling not a behavior. So while I like to fantasize about sending “Fuck You” cards, I won’t. As Melody Beattie says in The Language of Letting Go, “Feeling angry – and sometimes, the act of blaming – is a natural and necessary part of accepting loss and change – of grieving. We can allow ourselves and others to become angry as we move from denial toward acceptance.” Feeling our emotions is especially important to those of us who may have grown up in an environment where it wasn’t okay to express our emotions. We were told we were “too sensitive” or “overreacting.” So we squashed our emotions and lived in fear of feeling anything. Emotions are a part of living, and to suppress them is not healthy.
Recently I met a man at a friend’s Thanksgiving dinner. Over the course of the evening we talked about visiting other countries, our careers, and our sons who are both a little different. I could see behind his somewhat nerdy glasses and geeky exterior that he could actually be quite sexy. More importantly, I found him to be genuine. So I asked him to my office Christmas party, and he said, “Yes.”
Over the course of the next three weeks, we traded texts and talked on the phone. I invited him to dinner and sliced vegetables and prepared chili while we talked about our lives. We shared our pasts, our dreams, and our fears. We became fairly close in a relatively short period of time. He even read my blog and didn’t run away. Our relationship was sweet and innocent. We never even kissed. He was the wisest, kindest, most gentle man I had ever met. And he liked ME. Not the blond hair, blue-eyed, petite me. But the domestic violence survivor, twice-divorced, and still rough around the edges me. At least, so I thought. I am not even quite sure what happened, but he eventually did become scared and no longer wanted to pursue a relationship with me. He ran away.
I was hurt, angry, pissed off, and terribly disappointed. I wanted to stomp my feet and pound my fists. I wanted to scream “Why?! I don’t understand!” On the day he told me he didn’t want a relationship, I came home to find a package on my porch containing the stupid dress I had ordered to go to the party. I unpacked my suitcase and found the stupid scarf I bought at the airport shop to wear as a wrap around my shoulders. I cried. And then cried some more.
I hadn’t been looking for anyone. I was practicing the lesson of letting go - “Let go, and let God.” I had resigned myself that when the timing was right, the Universe would put the right person in front of me. So I thought this kind man was that person. What hurt most was thinking that if this kind and gentle man could not find it in his heart to care for me, who would?Melody Beattie continues, “We won’t stay angry forever. But we may need to get mad for a while as we search over what could have been, to finally accept what is.”
I know I won’t stay angry forever. But I’m allowing myself to be mad for a while longer as I come to terms with what I thought the relationship could have been and accept how it really is. I have a right to get mad. If a man does not have the courage to accept me with all my scars and broken pieces, to hell with him. I should get pissed off and stomp my feet and yell at the top of my lungs. Because “if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best.” I love, I laugh, and I cry. And if you allow me to care for you yet don’t have the guts to follow through, you deserve my anger and rage. And maybe I’ll consider sending you a “Fuck You” card in the mail along with the others.I am reminded of the poem by Veronica A. Shoffstall,
After a While
“After a while you learn
the subtle difference between
holding a hand and chaining a soul
and you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
and company doesn’t always mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
and presents aren’t promises
and you begin to accept your defeats
with your head up and your eyes ahead
with the grace of woman, not the grief of a child
and you learn to build all your roads on today
because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans
and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn that even sunshine burns
if you get too much
so you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure
you really are strong
you really do have worth
and you learn
and you learn
with every goodbye, you learn…”
I realize now that after almost two years of therapy and a multitude of self-help books, my heart is still too vulnerable to begin a relationship with a man no matter how kind and gentle he is. And while it may be tempting to have someone hold me and tell me everything will be okay, the task of healing my heart and becoming strong again must be accomplished alone. Happiness is an inside job, and healing is a solitary journey. So I’ll “get mad then get over it” and focus on me. I will plant my own garden and decorate my own soul. I’ll cultivate big, bright red gerbera daisies; soft, gentle lambs’ ear; and fragrant, calming lavender. I’ll plant aromatic Asiatic lilies, heirloom foxgloves, and whimsical hollyhocks.
After all that has happened in my past, I could evolve into a selfish, heartless bitch. I could harden my heart to caring about anyone ever again. At times I think I probably should. It would be easier. But that’s not who I am. For some reason, I still believe in the goodness of people. Even men. I still believe in love. I still have hope that somewhere, someday I will meet a man that truly cares for me. If not, at least I will have me – the blue-eyed, blond hair, broken but put back together with super glue and duct tape, authentic me.