Yep, That Was Me, Stuck in Stupid
In Search of The Mad Hatter.
I can’t tell you how many times my friends said to me, “When are you finally going to get mad at that sorry, no-good, so-and-so.?!” [expletives deleted].
No matter how many times they asked me this, my response was always the same. I either had no response at all, or I helplessly shrugged my shoulders.
That’s because I had no idea when or if I’d ever get to the anger stage over my husband’s ghosting.
Let me assure you; it wasn’t because I was an unflappable saint.
It was because I was ‘stuck in stupid.’
Vengeance Isn’t Mine Saith The Jilted
I wasn’t looking to exact a pound of flesh from anyone; I just wanted to stop hurting all the time.
I found myself paralyzed and unable to move on.
No matter how far I backed up, no matter how many running tries I made, no matter how many afterburners I turned on, I couldn’t get enough lift to propel myself over the fence that was blocking my path to freedom.
Again, I was stuck in stupid — up to my eyeballs.
Anger Where Art Thou?
I would have loved a healthy dose of anger. Anger motivates us; it gives us the push we need to do something about our situation.
In my case, any anger I was able to muster up, I turned inward — on myself.
I’d always considered myself an intelligent woman, so how could I have no clue that my husband was thinking of leaving? How could I have been so duped?
The All-Call to the Board Room
The Committee Inside My Head eagerly answered that question. Committee members in the front row pointed out how I’d (obviously!) been a textbook chump.
Members in the cheap seats lobbed spitballs as they reminded me how easy it was for him to condescendingly thumb his nose at me and not even say why he was leaving.
With friends in your head like that, who needs enemies?
Into The Abyss (No, Not The Sci-Fi Movie From 1989)
I never knew that I could form such deep attachments or that I could stay so offended for so long. I thought I’d mastered the suck-it-up-and-drive-on- maneuver decades earlier in my bizarre childhood.
I learned to be hyper-vigilant and honed the fine art of scanning my environment for threats and neutralizing them quickly. My gregarious people-pleaser persona was an effective shield, or so I thought.
No matter how cheerful and funny I appeared to be on the outside, I was always painfully aware that I was standing on the outside looking through the window into someone else’s life — not mine.
This was a shameful secret I guarded like the gold at Fort Knox.
The Mortal Blow
Hubby dumping me via ghosting — and the public rejection and shunning of me afterward — shattered my sense of love, belonging, and worthiness.
The overarching truth is that there had been an uncontested coup decades before when I fell madly in love with Gorgeous Guy From College. I willingly handed over the keys to my identity, thinking — finally! — I was ‘home.’
So, when my husband abandoned me, and everyone around me canceled my entire existence, I became offended (not mad) on a cellular level.
Soon, I lost all will to live.
The lesson here is never to derive our self-esteem and worthiness from another person. Thankfully, we live and learn. And, if we’re lucky, we come out on the other side, stronger and wiser.
In Support of Fair Trade
I need to change gears here because My Inner Erma Bombeck (or is Erma Bombsback?) is a little antsy. She doesn’t like for me to wax serious for too long. She says I should weave humor in every story before I leave.
Okay, give me a second … thinking … yes! … here’s something:
- So the other woman gloated initially, thinking she won, right?
- Well, here’s the kicker: she now has him.
- And equally humorous: he now has her.
How is This Humorous?
Let’s think for a moment and connect the dots. Two people (who both dumped current spouses for each other) have now entered into yet another ‘committed’ relationship. To ‘have’? To ‘hold’? and To ‘trust?’
To quote Larry The Cable Guy: “Now that’s funny, I don’t care who you are.”
See? You can look at just about anything from a new perspective if you try.
And, if you happen to be a tad bit creative, you might be able to mine a few chuckles out of even the darkest dramas.
In my case, one such chuckle is seeing myself as the poor cow above — stuck on the Stupid Fence.
So if you find yourself sniffling over a love loss, I suggest you go back to the closet and check the pockets of your old jackets and jeans from the period around your breakup.
You might find more than a wad of lint. You might discover some really good humor nuggets there.
Or — as is my case — you might discover what a fool believes.
Before you go:
If you prefer more serious non-fiction narratives, you might like my story:
If you prefer more light-hearted humor, you might enjoy reading this: