Disentangling Facts and “Truths”

This is something I have grappled with over the last year. When first confronted with the possibility that my ‘truth’ and Alex’s could be totally different I dismissed the idea out-of-hand.  In fact I couldn’t comprehend it was possible!

Now I view this in a totally new light. And doing so has helped me understand what happened / is happening.

My marriage is a fact. It happened.  20 April 1992.
Alex left.  Fact.  February 2009.

We also went on numerous holidays to Southern Africa.  Fact.   And If I take – say – a particular holiday perhaps I can explain what I think I am getting at regarding truths and facts.

In 2004 we went to Namibia and Botswana. We drove across the northern edge of the Makgadikgadi  (pronounced Ma-huddi-huddi) Pans in Botswana. We then turned off down a track which was virtually indistinguishable from the rest of the bush on either side of it. We travelled for several hours, through small hamlets where the ‘track’ vanished. We finally came out onto the salt pans themselves and drove across several small ones, finally arriving at Kubu Island.

Kubu Island is a rocky outcrop covered in baobab trees, surrounded by the salt pans. On one side you can look out to a completely white horizon. A sea of salt. We camped overnight. The wind got up in the evening and the tent almost buckled under it.

All these are FACTS.

Now for the ‘truths’ – these for me are different from facts.

Firstly if I engage with the Adventurer Me.

It was a brilliant day and evening. Slightly scary. We had to negotiate our way through small hamlets of people who didn’t speak English. We felt like intruders into their private space. When we finally found our way through and out on to the salt pans a new kind of ‘scary’ took over. You have to be careful where you drive as the salt crust can hide areas where the earth underneath is soft and can cave in. The trick is to stick with tracks made before you as you know these will be safe. After so many hours of driving it was hard to concentrate. Reaching Kubu Island gave us a sense of real achievement. The island is stunning. The baobab trees magnificent. We climbed to the top of the rocks and looked out at the view.   All that ‘nothing’!  Amazing. I just love these sort of adventures – really ticks all my boxes – Risk – Adventure – Significance (as in doing something different from most people!)

Now if I engage with the feminine Me:

Alex was amazing. He encouraged me to do the driving so he could ‘map’ read ( the map didn’t really exist!!) and check the GPS co-ordinates he had found. When we were faced with the salt he directed and congratulated me for getting us all the way to the Island. He told me about all the trees and the rocks and how the salt had been formed. He took charge of the fire so we could cook our supper and picked the best spot for the tent. When the wind blew up he staked out the tent so we wouldn’t blow away. I felt protected and cared for and special and significant in this life.

Now the ‘lover’ me:

When the sun went down. The salt turned the most wonderful pink, then red, before the sun vanished over the horizon and the pitch black took over and the temperature plummeted. The effect was spine-tingling. The multitude of stars above us magical. Alex helped me pick out the Southern Cross and told me all about the galaxies.

But. He didn’t hug me, he didn’t hold my hand, he didn’t cuddle up to me. We were two separate beings experiencing this event rather separately. We slept next to each other in our separate sleeping bags – which are actually designed to be zipped together. I think we may have had a brief hug.  Sad really. The night could have been so much more special.

Finally if I engage the ‘fearful’ – ‘masculine’  me – the one I really don’t like:

It was hard doing most of the driving – even though I think I’m the better driver.. I could have done with the occasional break. I felt insecure at times. But Alex prefers to read .  The tent nearly blew away. He could have chosen a better spot.

The point of all this is?   All the above are “true”. They’re all emotions I experienced at the time. By engaging different versions of me I can give myself a different perspective of the event.  Put the whole lot together and they become the total me.

I can’t ‘run’ the same event from Alex’s point of view but my guess it could be much the same as mine except for the Lover version:  I felt tired that evening – too much glaring at the map and anyway it was very cold.  I think she was hoping for more but I wasn’t in the mood and she didn’t do much to encourage me (come to think of it she rarely does – perhaps I don’t turn her on).  The failing Protector Version / weak man Version:  I don’t think I chose the best spot to camp, I should have taken us round to the other side of the rocks so we would have been in the lee of the wind.  I bet she thinks this is my fault and is secretly blaming me………  I feel I failed her.

So what happens when one version of ourselves takes over and ‘kills off’ all the others. The event – holiday – marriage –  gets skewed or distorted. I think this is how people ‘re-write history”.  What if Alex is only living in the fearful version of himself – the weak/inadequate version – or say the “non-lover” –  then all he will remember of the holiday and that magical evening was that it was OK but could have been better.

And we CAN “rewrite history”.  We all know people who suddenly sing the praises of someone who has recently died, having disliked them and found them a real pain when they were alive. They distort the past as suddenly they feel guilty for feeling the way they did so it’s more comfortable to do a quick rewrite – maybe to justify the deceased’s  behaviour  – as it makes themselves feel better – less guilty.

So I believe it is with Alex. To justify his actions, his adultery, the destruction of our marriage, he has “rewritten” or “blotted out”  vast swathes of the good times  so he feels less guilty. So he can justify what he’s done. But what if he has only managed to do this by living in a distorted version of himself? What if he has ‘killed off’ the lover, the seducer, the adventurer, the man, and has allowed a very destructive version of himself to rule him? What then? Will he ultimately be happy? Maybe for now.  But for how long?

That’s why I feel compassion for him.

It doesn’t change what’s happened.  It doesn’t change the facts.  But it helps my ‘truths’ – and keeps them true for me.

The Values re-ordering continues

I’ve become fascinated and almost obsessed by this!

I have my green plastic Values cards laid out on the table.  I have the yellow ones on which I’ve written a version name of me on one side and the applicable values list on the other.

I now have 28 that really matter.  Which is 2 more than yesterday and probably more than the other day!

At this rate I’ll reach the 50 I was asked for originally!

I suddenly realised this evening – after talking myself out of yet another stupid sobbing session – that the one Value I was missing was the one that’s my Goal:

Happiness

This one is clearly VITAL.

So is – wait for it Stephen(!)

Gratitude (or Thankfulness)

Which has finally taken on a calmer resonance – one that now means something to me.  Maybe I had to come through the horror first before I could admit to needing this value.  In the depths of the horror Gratitude took on a distorted meaning which I couldn’t handle and can now no longer explain.

So  – Currently – the Values which matter to me – for each of the versions of me –  are:

Default List:
Growth – Love – Courage – Communication – Intelligence – Trust – Respect – Strength – Security – Adventure – Significance – Making a difference

The Caring Me:
Love – Compassion – Forgiveness – Caring – Giving

The Fun  Me:
Outrageous – Spontaneity – Passion – Trust – Freedom  – Flexibility – Adventure – Giving

The Feminine Me:
Love – Freedom  – Trust – Femininity – Spontaneity – Significance – Safety – Security – Intimacy

The “Every Day”  Me:
The Default List + Happiness – Gratitude – Health – Fun – Pleasure

Now I need to be sure I have good Rules applied to each of them. For that I may need help.  I’ll see how I get on in the next 4 weeks.

So how does my new purpose fit in

Well this is how I saw it this afternoon – using the Goals list as I’ve shown under my Life Coaching pages and with my LCs guidance:

  1. What do you want to achieve and why?
    I want to achieve my idea. Why because it will be great and I will have a new purpose
  2. How will you know when you have it?
    The idea will have taken off
  3. What resources are needed?
    Skills – which I have
  4. Is the Goal Possible?
    Yes!
  5. When and where will you have the resources?
    I have a date in mind
  6. What are the advantages of making this change?
    Security.  Significance. Success
  7. What are the disadvantages of making this change?
    None!  Maybe loss of free time! Possible loss of money
  8. What will achieving this lose you?
    Nothing
  9. Which of your values will be fulfilled by achieving this outcome?
    Significance, respect, security, power, love, fun, confidence….
  10. What is important about getting this?
    Giving my life a purpose
  11. What will this outcome help you avoid experiencing?
    Focusing on Alex and my  / our past
  12. What is the benefit?
    Happiness, success and freedom

So now I have to get on and start DOING IT!!

Life Coaching – a view!

I’m sure you’ve spotted – dear reader – that today is Life Coaching day.  And as usual I trot out from my session full of  positive vibes and a determination to conquer the demon in me which finds comfort in the ‘pain’ thoughts!!

I feel a bit like a clockwork toy.  Stephen winds me up on a Wednesday and sets me  off running –  and off I go full of determination and buzz, enthusiasm and positive thoughts – and then – rather gently – over the next seven days I wind down!!  Only to be rewound the following week!

The good thing is that – hopefully – each time I don’t actually wind down to where I was before – I do take a step up!

I hope I’ve made you all smile!  And yes I am sitting in the pub again (2nd time today) so I can catch up on the blogging and my horrendous number of emails which I have to deal with!

BTW – Good post from Stephen today – Link

 

This Blog needs a kick!

And so do I!!

Clearly – dear reader – I’ve been rather stuck over recent weeks.  Not good!  And I’ve almost become a slave to this blog. And the blog has been a plod round a rather negative swamp – yes above ground level and out of the Chilean Mine but a rather heavy, muddy swamp nonetheless.  Well it’s about time I stopped wallowing in it.

I’ve always said I would be totally honest here.  So I am going to be – I’ve been running a pattern of  Anger/Frustration/Self-pity.  Which is basically not getting me anywhere and now is the day it stops.

I start respecting me.
I start loving me
I start treating myself better
I start looking and creating the fun future I want
I start telling everyone there is a route out and I’m the one to show me and everyone else who wants to know,  the way to do it.

This blog was always intended to be one of the tools I used to get me from my Chilean Mine to the top of the mountain where the view is going to be fantastic.  So now is the day I take the first steps up the hill!  Rather than pacing round and round the bottom!!

And the walk up my mountain is going to be fun and full of adventure and not difficult. The climb is going to be easy.

So join me on this new latest adventure in my life.  Each step will have it’s own resting place – which I can choose to use or walk on from and each step up can be as shallow or steep as I like.

You will notice I’ve introduced 3 new categories – Stages.  They speak for themselves.  I will update all the posts (which is rather too many) to categorise each and every one of them.  Some may fall into more than one Stage – demonstrating the the wobbles I’ve had.    I may add more stages.

I can do anything I like – it’s my blog and I’m in charge of it.  It isn’t in charge of me!!

Hugs to me and bon courage, bon voyage and bon chance.

Caroline

PS I will post more on this later – even if it means another drink in the pub opposite my new home (internet access being slightly non-existent where I am!)

New title for this blog

I felt the time had come to give it another boost into its positive future so today I’ve renamed this blog – yet again.  OK – dear reader – I know it’s confusing for you – but it’s my blog and I can do what I want to!!!  (as the song sort of goes!)

And for those of you who have only just arrived here you will need to click on This Blog to follow the history of the names this blog has had.

And if you really want to know more about me and my progress from a ripped-apart human being who totally believed she would NEVER recover from the hollow horror of being ‘dumped’ by her husband – to the person I am now – then you will have to go back through the archives and start at the beginning and work forward. It’s all there.

And for anyone who has arrived here because the same thing has happened to them then please do read what I’ve been through.  Comment if you want.  I hope this blog will give others hope and help.

I do go back on occasions – it’s a great boost to see the highs and – yes – to read the lows as they are a good reminder that I’ve come through those too.

You see the highs are getting more frequent and the lows are getting rarer and ‘less low’ and even the real plummets to the depths don’t last as long.  I’m so glad I wrote about  all of them as they are there to help me as I become more positive and happier – they act as a comfort and a reminder of how far I’ve come.

I am now really enjoying learning about me, who I am and why.  I am looking forward to learning and understanding more.  It is so fascinating – to be given the ‘tools for life’ is amazing and  such a valuable thing to have.

Even facing the major trauma that I’d hidden has been good – as knowing means I can do something about it in the future.  I no longer feel so scared or confused.  And I reckon I can overcome my ‘freezing’ problem  without the help of a sex counsellor – which is what I thought I might  have to face a couple of weeks ago!   (And to be quite frank – open and over honest as I have been – that did seem too daunting to be contemplated)!

Anyway enough of these ponderings – I’m off to get some sleep. And yes – dear reader – I’ve now spent the evening blogging rather than doing my homework!  I shall be in trouble with my LC!