One of the best skills I’ve mastered in recent years after beginning my EMDR is the ability to compartmentalize my emotions. Instead of having everything explode and fester indefinitely, I’m able to feel them and then pack them up and put them away.
Fighting with my ex or his wife is entirely pointless. I’m aware of how pointless it actually is, and yet I choose to engage with them at certain intervals to keep them away from my family. It seems a bit counter intuitive to engage with their bullshit to keep them away, yes, I know but this is just what I’ve learned over the course of this 12/13ish year battle.
When they can take my blog and parade it around for their own validation it satisfies them for the moment. I might look foolish, but that’s really what they want. They want to use my emotions and reactions against me. Sometimes I give them what they want. In the past it was indefinite, now it lasts only for a moment before packing it away and living the rest of my life.
Even Hubs has noticed how much of a change I’ve made recently. Even just two years ago if I had a pissing contest with my ex it would have sent me into a dark emotional spiral for several days if not weeks and required an appointment with my therapist. It would have triggered flashbacks and intrusive thoughts and I would have had to really try to crawl out of it.
This time? I wrote my response to appease him in five minutes after I got home from work, took a deep breath, shook it off and spent the rest of the evening outside playing with my kids. I got to watch my daughter ride her bike without training wheels for the first time, play ball with my son, and enjoy a hotdog on a blanket in the grass with all of the kiddos for an impromptu back yard picnic.
Hubs and I watched a movie, laughed together about my ex and his antics; and went to bed. This is the first time I’ve really revisited the entire thing. My usual allotted “free writing time” in between work, school, kids and everything else.
It’s a huge personal victory in all honesty, and I’m damn proud of myself for reaching this point. There is a little bit of guilt/uncertainty about engaging with my ex at all. Right now it seems like the best solution, even though I’m aware that in most ways it contributes to the overall problem. It’s like a choosing between a bullet or poison. Both of them will kill you, but one is faster than the other. Right now I’m opting for poison until I can find another solution that doesn’t require me giving in to his demands, or sacrificing the safety of my family.
It is what it is for now, and I’m putting it back in the box until we fight again. Surely there is some other gullible rube out there he can swoon with his bullshit who’s reactions will have a sweeter taste than my own.