Oh! Boy! I Owe An Apology, And Here It Is.
I owe an apology.
Especially to my ex, with whom my relationship ended on December of 2018.
Well, I had the best Pina Colada I have ever had yesterday night. Yesterday around 4.30 pm or so, I get a message from a friend (I think she is a friend, no longer sure) about my paintings being with her and wanting to drop them off to me. I knew how they must have gotten to her. But, my ego, my expectation of being treated with respect, took a hit. I couldn't talk myself out of it. I let my monkey brain go into a reactive mode.
Then I did something I swore a while ago that I won't do. I went and read a post written by my ex on his FaceBook page about U-turns. Now, it could be about anyone. I assumed it's about my relationship with him. It was the most logical deduction I can make.
I reacted. Tit for tat.
I shared his post along with a foreword or afterword (is that a word?).
I reacted instead of responding. And I went down to a level that I no longer want to be.
Our relationship ended in October of 2018. We tried to reconcile. But, all the frustrations from all the months before had added up. Infatuation had worn out. On Dec 10, 2018, I knew for sure that we are done. I would bend over backward to be what he wanted for three more months, realizing I am losing myself, and he is chronically unhappy.
To write this with proper data, I went through my journals from 2018.
I can see both of us trying. I can see both of madly in love with each other.
I can see the struggles that having three small children, and full time jobs, and different temperaments created.
I see both of us through out the year requesting each other to be patient, for space, for understanding.
I can also see that we made a lot of assumptions instead of sitting down and talking to each other. We wanted to be perfect to the other person.
This is the first time I had looked back in the year that passed.
When I think of the year of 2018, what comes to mind is music and dancing. Our kids used to say that we are crazy. We were. I cherish those moments. But those moments are gone. They served its purpose and gone.
The one thing I see over and over is our inability to communicate what we felt. And we were influenced by external entities that didn't help. The perfect storm, if I may name it now.
Okay. Let me go back to where I started. Apology for reacting instead of responding. When I think of us, the first thing that comes to mind is being kicked in my ribs on the ER floor by an orderly. Being dragged into a room by a few people. Another male nurse telling me that he can do this all day. I was taken there because my ex texted m y therapist saying I texted him that "his problem, me, is going away." A couple of hours prior to that I had taken my regular medication plus Zquill to sleep. My therapist is an exceptionally kind man. He called me, and from here onwards I only have narratives from others. According to him I was incoherent. So he called 911.
I was taken to the ER, stripped naked in front of god knows how many. Later my doctor explained to me that they see people who actually tried to kill themselves a lot in a day. What happened to me was that I took two medicine that didn't mix well, which I did not know at that time. One of them was for sleep. The longer they kept me awake, the more delirious I got. It was equated to torture methods where you sleep deprive the person. I do not remember how long I was kept there. I remember finally being able to lie down and falling asleep immediately.
If I had not send that text, I would have fallen asleep and woke up the next day refreshed. Instead, I went through and experienced how a patient with mental illness is treated. I had the bruise of a shoe kick on my side for weeks.
What helped me that day was that when they tested me, they came up with the presence of a medication component that was never even prescribed to me. Thank god for that. As an engineer, I wanted to know why a test like that would come up and why would they not check it properly. Again, according to doctor, most of the meds and sleep aids share similar chemicals. And if the staff is not well trained, they will come up with stuff that you probably never even heard of.
Silver lining. I got to experience what it is like to be a patient with no family or friends or support system thrown into the hands of overworked, underpaid human beings. I don't blame them. They did what they thought was in my best interest. So did my therapist. What that ER lacked was a proper doctor who could actually see that I was getting worse by not letting me sleep.
(This incident, would cost me losing my children for 9 days and my job. Thats for a different day.)
The next I visited my doctor, I asked him all my questions. And he said a sentence that struck me like a lightning.
"Sajatha, you got lucky. Most people in this country, let alone the world, with mental illness that can be fixed by therapy or simple medicines do not get the help they need. Now the few that do get help, get them in prisons and prison hospitals. By then it is too late."
I was angry when I got outside first. Till I hear my doctor say that. I started speaking up about depression very openly. I wanted to put the pain to good use.
When we finally went separate ways, my mind couldn't handle it for months. Slowly I started accepting what it was, is and will be. I still wanted a few minutes to clarify certain things. I approached it wrong. He reacted. Got worse. We almost became enemies. I think we did become enemies.
Now that is the backstory.
Taking you back to the beginning. I need to apologize to my ex.
My choice to read what he wrote knowing it will trigger me was a poor one to begin with. Once I did, it did exactly what I, as I sit here now with rational mind would anticipate. I reacted.
I felt righteous and angry. How could this be?
"Why would people who know me for a decade jump into a wagon without even considering asking me what happened?"
That single thought, combined with a few triggers, resulted in writing a passage that was nothing but reaction. It did contain valid points. But it did not deserve to be said as I said yesterday.
A few minutes ago is the first chance I was able to take it down. And I apologize from the bottom of my heart.
Triggers. Gotta love them.
I was upset that the same pattern repeated. I was disappointed. In myself and others. And instead of acknowledging what is really behind how I feel, I reacted.
No. I refuse. I refuse to be that person. The darkness is as much as part of as light is. That doesn't mean I have to unleash it.
Was I wronged? I feel yes. But that's just my feeling. Others may not see that way. The values I live by are mine. I have no right to instill or get upset that someone else is not following it. I forgot that yesterday in the moments of frustration. I have into my cavewoman's brain.
When you know you made a mistake, if you can correct it, correct it. You apologize if you can. Then move on with your life.
I know my trigger points are reducing in their number. I know from my life experience that one day, nothing will affect me with regards to this.
My friend asked me yesterday.
"Was I that reactive because I have leftover feelings?"
I thought about it for a while, as I did not know right on top of my mind.
That was the key.
If it were feelings, I would have said yes right away. It was more. I had to acknowledge, accept, and make peace with that history of the past 7 years might repeat, and I can do nothing about it.
Dehumanizing is not just used to justify what we do. It is also used to make sure that we convince ourselves that we are right. I have experienced it many times. And I am sure I have been the cause of that to some.
I finally found why I was so upset.
I couldn't understand, still can't, why do we have to discredit the good that we lived to be able to move forward? Why can't we accept the reasons, real reasons behind things we do, even if it is the silliest thing in others' eyes? Why does it matter what others think of your intentions?
That's where we seemed to feel compelled to discredit and invalidate the time, energy, love, care, and the good moments we have shared with others.
I did the exact same thing yesterday.
Thanks to my dear, his question was all I needed to start thinking again.
I have seen life at its best, and it's worst and everywhere in between. It still is beautiful, and I would not give up a second of everything I lived and everything I will live. I realized, for me, fear of the unknown, fear of past repeating, is what keeps me chained.
If past repeats, great.
I know how to handle it better this time.
The unknowns, oh my goodness, I can't imagine if I know everything from now till I die. What kind of boring life that would be?
To me, life is an adventure. The ups, downs, plateaus, the void, then the moments where you want to not breathe so that you disturb the beauty of life at that moment.
So, I made a mistake yesterday by reacting. I am giving permission to myself to make mistakes in this life. And learn and grow from them. Try to use what I learn to help people like me.
To you: I apologize and ask for your forgiveness if you can give.
I wish you the best life has to offer.
Like a sunrise on a lake.
A swim in the ocean.
A hug from your loved one.
And the adventures you crave.
I, with all my heart, pray that you find what you are looking for.
I remind myself,
"To take responsibility for my actions and inactions,
Choices and consequences,
With the knowledge that at all times,
I have the power to choose how I act or react or respond to what is around me.
This is on me, me alone."
With that I say good night,
With heartfelt apology and gratitude.