Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The High Road

This one is going to be a little disjointed..... and it starts with Oprah, of all things.

I like Oprah. I'm not a superfan by any stretch of the imagination and I probably catch her show a half dozen times a year, usually when I'm sick or I happened to catch the repeats at night. That said, I once saw a show where she said (probably related to weight management) that discipline was not "doing it every day" but rather "doing it when you would rather do anything but." That catchy bit of wisdom resonated with me and, although I don't believe I am a model of discipline, I think there is truth in that sentiment.

Segue to the high road. I think there is a corollary to the whole discipline mantra. I haven't fully developed this theory, as I really, really understand the desire to take a cruise on lower grounds. Rage and revenge are powerful emotions that give a person a false sense of control. When you feel as though you have been betrayed and discarded and wronged, feelings of rage and revenge can make you feel like you are reclaiming the situation on your terms.

However, I do think it is a false sense of control. Getting angry or even isn't going to make you whole. That doesn't get you back what you (think you) lost. It doesn't move you forward, it doesn't help you heal. It gives you something really negative to focus on to take your attention and energy away from the pain and hurt you need to experience, deal with, and move past and move on. But make no mistake about it, rage and revenge are very tempting friends.

B asked me today about some of our personal effects, including artwork, wanting to know "which ones I wanted." It was on the telephone, which, at the moment, is a vulnerable medium for me. I told him to tell me what he wanted and he asked me the same thing. In a hurry to get off the phone, I told him I would take an inventory tonight and check off what I wanted. That was me trying to stay on the high road. When I hung up, my brain shouted "fuck you and your unmitigated gall on even assuming that you are entitled to any of our things. How dare you even think about it!" I felt that way for a few hours, then went for a very long walk.

When I came home, I looked around, specifically at the artwork. Most of it has serious sentimental value, some of it I just plain love, and other pieces I could do without. All of it is from "then" -- that time when I had an abiding trust and faith in our relationship, no matter the obstacles and pitfalls. It would probably be healthy for me to let some of those go, and, as crazy as this seems, my lawyer side always leans towards fairness and equity. Yes, I am shattered and wrecked, but we acquired all of these pieces because of B. I didn't pick a thing out -- B was the collector. Yes, they enrich my home, but, notwithstanding all of the hurt and anger, I want to be fair. I need to be fair and reasonable. I won't win any prizes for it and I really doubt B will ever fully appreciate it (especially given the circumstances), but I don't want to be the kind of person that exacts her revenge and pain by being punitive. I don't gain anything from that, not even in the short term.

I have decided that I am going to email him (this is my preferred means of communication with him right now) and tell him that I am not in the right state of mind to make this decision. I am going to do an inventory of the artwork and tell him that if there is something he has to have right now, I'll probably agree, but in actuality, I don't want to give anything up right now. I can list a few things that I can part with, but the majority of it? Not ready to make that decision. I know that when the worst of this is over, I will probably give him anything he wants, aside from a few pieces. But for now? I think it is fair for me to say that unless there is something he can't live without, assume that it is all mine. And he has reason to believe in my character and my word when I say that when this is all over, I won't be an asshole for asshole's sake.

Even if it is the thing I want to be the most.

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