Following on from what others have posted about bitterness recently, I thought I’d add my two cents worth. My biggest fear – even on the night I found out about the affair – was bitterness. I have never been a bitter person. I have had a few challenges in my life, some of which I own, some of which I had no say in, but I have never experienced bitterness. I was determined that this was NOT going to be my life. I was NOT going to be defined by this event. If I had to wear it – and I knew I had no choice, of course I had to wear it – I was NOT going to be sad, or worse, BITTER about what happened. I had survived a few “bad things” in my life, and I felt confident that I could do the work here and get to this “better place” that everyone talked about, that I read about.
Five years later, I think there is a degree of bitterness. It is not welcome, I don’t want to feel pissed off at what happened, I want to be happy, strong and emotionally “successful.” I have willed it, I have chased it, I have pretended it. But I haven’t got there, not fully. There is a lot of knowledge, a lot of self understanding. I cut myself a lot more breaks than I did in the beginning. But bitterness might just be an inevitability? How is that when I have survived violent rape by a friend, at worst, and unjust behaviour at other stages of my life? Why do I struggle with – what I think is a reasonable level, not excessive amount of – bitterness?
I also read a post about a betrayed who never even entertained the thought of leaving. That floored me. Not because I judge that woman. Not at all. But because I was so confused by that? How can you not think about leaving when your heart has been ripped out of your chest, still beating, squeezed of all its blood, crushed, then stomped on, then shredded, then burnt, then stuffed back into the cavity it came from, with the expectation that you would be okay now? I kicked him out three times, for eight months. I know I didn’t immediately, but I immediately THOUGHT about life without him. I think I have a strong fight or flight instinct, and it seems to flip from one to the other regularly, almost randomly. I wish I was one of those who was completely sure I had done “the right thing” in staying, in keeping him around, in attempting to rebuild. Instead, I doubt my motives, I doubt my strength, I doubt who I am anymore. It goes without saying, I doubt he CAN love like I did.