Went to a small-ish gathering this afternoon at my ex's home - I've mentioned my spending Christmas there and being friends below - anyway, I got into a conversation with a woman there who I'd not met before but she did know of me ( that semi-famous status I have in this town...snort) and in the "Who are/ who'd you know" thing that occurs during these social meetings, she found out the host was my "ex." Her reaction was amazement that I was actually there and professing a great love of him and his wife. Now, I get this reaction quite a lot when I reveal that I am fast friends with my ex and his wife and the whole shebang we encompass with kids (ours), step kids (his), relations (his, hers), etc etc etc -you need a flow chart; believe me! Anyway, what this reaction always seems to be when this revelation is made, is one of unbelieving amazement that we don't hate each other's guts AND how did we do it.
I'm more amazed that this is the reaction.
I know for many adults divorced or separated; hate, anger and general loathing of the former partner is well, Du rigour, and there is a tendency towards being proud of just how much you can revile each other.
Not my place to be 'holier-than-thou' here.
Suffice to say that, for me, this makes life SO much better for me. I can be assured that at any family gathering, I will be there. That there is a decided current of caring running between our families and, best of all, my sons are mighty glad they don't have to play stupid games with their Mom and Dad about each other.
Not that this happened overnight, mind you. But I was DETERMINED not to have a stupid angry hate filled relationship for my boys to suffer through and it's always the kids that suffer most.
Also I learned a mighty hard lesson about what hanging on to hate etc can do.
Many long years ago, when I was a younger woman, I had a very acrimonious relationship with my Mom. We talked rarely to each other and her comments at those times certainly underlined how disappointed she was with me. Really dumb stuff. So when she became ill, I did not find out until she was in hospital. I saw her 1/2 hour before she slipped into a coma that lasted 4 months before she died and she did not know me. That, my friends, is my last memory of my Mom.
Heavy lesson to learn.
But to this day, I refuse to carry 'crap' around. I refuse to dwell on 'he said/she said'. I refuse to not accept that I cannot swallow my (ridiculous) pride and apologise to someone when they feel angry at me; even if I feel I've not done anything to cause it.
It's just not worth it, believe me.
Life is so fragile for us all. We NEED our family around, whatever or whoever they may be. If someone irritates the crap out of you or makes disparaging remarks; well, you CAN be bigger than that. People act reprehensibly to those they really love - and it's generally because they feel inadequate or have low self esteem. And, if the damage is just too great, disconnect with love - let it go - let it go - let it go. Words do not have to justify your actions.
All that being said, I'd like to point out that I'm NOT a saint and many many times I can still say and do stupid things about or to people, but I hope and try to remember this and rectify or - just plain old forgive myself.
Then I go to my studio to paint another painting.