4/16/12 – part II
When last we left our girl-hero-type-person (can’t say heroine – sounds like I’m on drugs) she was headed into a seminar geared toward making less-good things in her world somehow more-good or, at least, helping her figure out the difference between the things and determine what possible solutions there could be. She feared spontaneous tears, over-sharing about the super-recent break-up and the potential group-hugs that lay ahead, but still she biked in and arrived on the first day of seminar. Mind open, butt-cheeks clenched.
I’m not going to do a play-by-play of the entire four days. In short: many of the people got their epiphanies, some got their revelations, and the hugs flowed like wine over togas. There were hours spent in audience to the woman who owns the company and runs this particular seminar – she’s a very impressive woman, completely unflappable with the sharpest fashion sense and impossible balance on Mt. Everest-inspired heels. The supportive, earthy, “I’m ok, you’re ok, fish and mice and rocks are ok” music flowed like Helium at a party store (and even gave some folks the high, squeaky voices!) And everybody reflected on stuff. A lot. One big room of funhouse mirrors all reflecting all over the place.
I didn’t epiphanize. Nor did I revelatorize. Oh, I had a few moments where I either confirmed something I’d kind of already suspected about myself or figured out a couple of connections between things I’ve long since known. But don’t get me wrong: I’m certainly not saying that I got nothing from the experience.
I got a room of 39 new people to whom I’d never whined about my relationship with and break-up from T.E. By the time the seminar started I’d been a veritable fountain of sorrow, second-guessing, “why did’s…” and “how could I’s…” all over my family and friends and they were already done. But here was a whole new group of people who hadn’t heard any of my shit yet. A group who had to, HAD TO, be sympathetic to my whining because they were doing their own whining and I was being sympathetic to them. It was why we were all there. Tit for tat and other such interesting exchange rates. What’s more, I could spread the pain out around the entire group – one story per participant so nobody got a clear shot at how pathetic I was right then.
I got a 4-day break from my real life, which I didn’t even think about as I went in, but which may have been the single most valuable aspect. Trying to juggle my grieving with all the rest of my life was exhausting, but somehow I could take great, big breaks from wallowing in my life to help folks wallowing in theirs, and when my shit did splash back all over me it was just that. Just the shit. Not the shit and my job and my bills and my social obligations and all the rest of it. Things were much simpler for those four days, and that was just a bonus.
And probably the closest thing to an “Aha!” moment for me: I got to confirm something I’d already started to figure out: I had no “self esteem issues” I needed to work through. Not on my own. No, my only “self esteem issues” were due to being in a relationship with a partner who made doing other women more important than protecting my heart. My “self esteem issues” started the day T.E.’s extra-curricular sex did, and that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with me. It means I’m sane. That I expect my partner to respect and value me and my feelings. That when I keep being told (in deeds if not in words) that I’m not enough to satisfy him it makes me feel less important. (also? DUH!!! Big, fat, dumb DUH!!!) I can avoid this little glitch in the future – when someone asks for an “open relationship” my answer will be the only sane one: NO.
If you’re looking for some help in figuring out stuff that isn’t working in your life I highly recommend finding an event like this one. All around me people gave teary testimonials about their life-changing decisions and lessons learned and sudden bursts of clarity. They came in and got exactly what they were looking for, and I sure hope that they all went home and made the changes in their lives that they realized they needed to make. I think the Queen was disappointed that I didn’t have the magical betterment offered, but I know I got all I was ever going to get from it and I have no regrets about the experience.
But come Monday I had to go back to real life. That was the hard part.