Today in personal therapy, I brought up the affair from group therapy last week, and specifically how I couldn't seem to forgive myself for it. This of course meant I had to go back to when I was twenty-two and laying out the entire situation for the therapist. How I was angry and hurt and lonely, and the one person who became my friend and was there for me was Patric.
Lest he start feeling too guilty, I would like to reiterate I don't regret the relationship with him in the least bit, even for all the shit. But perhaps the execution could have been a tad bit better.
The crux of the guilt for me is ultimately disappointment in myself and an abiding fear of becoming my mother. My mother's actions during the divorce were essentially, "I will do what I want to do, and to hell with anyone else." She broke my father, she tore apart my family, we've never been the same. And I've always hated her in a small way for that and have never quite forgiven her.
And then no sooner does my mother do what she did to my father, then I move to California, and in my anger and frustration at her, at my lot in life, hell even at Jason, I did what I did. I was so very tired of hurting and feeling unwanted. All I wanted was someone to give a shit about me. And I didn't give a rats ass who it hurt. Which wasn't totally true, I did, else I wouldn't have gone to the great lengths I did to justify it to myself and keep it the secret that it was for so long. But a part of me knew it was wrong and I did it anyway because I wanted to. I didn't care that morally it was a bad thing.
But I did care, really, and that's why I felt guilt. I felt it at the time, but managed to successfully ignore it. But over the years, and with a bit more insight, the ability to ignore it has become less and less. And really, the biggest aspect of it is anger at myself. I am angry at myself for doing what my mother did, for acting as she had. I'm angry that I hurt someone I didn't need to because I was selfish about my own injured feelings.
The one thing I never want to be is my mother. My mother was never happy with life. The house wasn't nice enough, weren't well off enough, she had to work instead of stay home and play housewife and mom. She wanted a life that she never got with my father and us, and so she left it. In my mind it was the deepest sort of betrayal. My mother didn't just walk away from my family, in my mind she walked away from me. She left me to take care of a broken father and grieving brothers, and it wasn't my job. I had to give up everything for it, and she didn't care. She never even once said she was sorry.
I never, ever wanted to be that. The idea of having my future daughter having that sort of anger at me terrifies me. And yet there I was, twenty-two, making the same mistakes she made. And the thing is I always have that propensity. I will dig my heels in, say, "no, this is what I want, and I'm not giving in." And I've lost out because of it.
I'm scared of crossing that line between self-assertive and self-destructive.
In any case, I am disappointed in myself for being like Mom, for not being the better person there. Now, there are two sides to every coin in this. I wouldn't trade Patric and all the things we've been through, good and bad, for the world. He can be an asshat, yeah, and I'm still pissed as hell at him. And there are so many issues that I have to work through. But there's not a day that goes by that I don't think of the good things and the ways he has made me happy. And I have to remind myself of that when I beat myself up as being some Whore of Babylon for doing what I did. We may not have worked out the way I wanted and it sucks to think about, but I am glad he's in my life. In a way he's not the regret. The regret is that I didn't care as much as I perhaps should have.
Yes, I know I was twenty-two, and yes, I know I was broken, and yes, I know that my mother wasn't a great example, and everything my therapist is saying I know about. And maybe at the end of the day I should just confront my mother. Maybe that's what all of this is about. Maybe in doing so I can confront that part of me that I'm angry with, the part of me that is my mother's daughter. At the end of the day perhaps it has as much to do with my anger with her as it does with my anger with myself.
Wow...kinda deep there, yo!