Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Somebody I Used to Know

"I had tender feelings that you made hard
But it's your heart, not mine, that's scarred
So when I go home I'll be happy to go
You're just somebody that I used to know

I watched you deal in a dying day
And throw a living past away
So you can be sure that you're in control
You're just somebody that I used to know

I know you don't think you did me wrong
And I can't stay this mad for long
Keeping ahold of what you just let go
You're just somebody that I used to know"

The good news is, the world is filled with wiser people than I.  People who say smarter things than I think.  People who make me realize that I don't have all the answers.  Nor, perhaps, any of the right ones.

So while I have ranted and raved about vengeance in my heart and the bonfire of hatred I was going to keep stoking forever, wiser, braver people explained to me the error of my ways.

Talking in riddles, you say?  Allow me to explain.  I have shed my past - like a snake sheds its skin.  I have looked it in the eye, made my peace, taken a deep breath and let it go.  I know sometimes it doesn't seem that way, but for the most part I can look backwards at all the sins errors and crimes without the sense of shame ballooning in my heart and the heat flushing on the back of my neck.  It's over and done with.  It's gone into the great oblivion.  Gone.  All gone.

Except, of course, for dear old Mom. 

Mom always had a special place reserved in my hate box.  Hers, after all,  is an ongoing issue and less easily dispatched into the great unknown.  And besides, why should she get the same free pass given to ridiculous 18 year olds who did what they did (for the most part) with no malice in their minds, just lust in their hearts.

No, friends, deal old Mom gets a special, permanent, and ongoing spot of hatred, loathing and warfare.  And this special hatred would have no negative impact on the rest of the aspects of my life.  It would simply live in a world all to itself.

Or so I thought.  Or so I believed.

My therapist has been arguing with me on this point for two years.  But I refused to believe him.  I thought in this particular point he was wrong.

But someone backed him up.  Someone smarter than me.  Someone whose past experiences made my look like daily trips to the ice cream store.  You can't have hatred festering and expect that to NOT impact your relationship with your husband.  With your children. With yourself.

We didn't argue the point.  She explained to me the error of my ways.  And I studied on it. 

And you know what?  She's right.  And besides, what's the value of the hatred?  It's selfish.

So yes, I'm going to let it go. All the anger, all the hatred.  I will forgive her right after the wedding.  Right after she no longer has to be a permanent fixture in my life - planning, controlling, imposing her will.

Elliot Smith says it best.  Look at the lyrics. 

No matter the monster, we have the power to make them just somebody that we used to know.


  1. Not sure what forgiveness entails here... Maybe cold peace, with safety measures so you're not hurt again (such as limits on information sharing, etc). Maybe forgiveness as in "understanding her mental limitations and not holding a grudge"...

  2. Something like that - besties we shall never be...

  3. This kind of reminds me of that song, "Somebody that I used to Know" by Gotye, recently covered on Glee by (Darren Criss and) the AMAZING Matt Bomer. I thought it was cool how a song clearly about lovers could fit about a relationship between two brothers, and I think it fits here too.

    Aside from that, I found it strange how you decided to just let it go, forgive your mother- "after the wedding." It seems like you're attempting to take something really messy and complicated and fit into a nice, straight line. Like, okay, I will officially forgive her on this specific date, till then I won't, after then I will. Of course, I hope you succeed, I just don't know if forgiveness really works like that...? I feel like even once we make that decision, it's usually in the form of "I'm gonna try try try really hard to let this go because it was/is so horrible and seems unforgivable but I'm gonna try really hard..." It can take a long time, amidst setbacks and sometimes getting even angrier and sayingto yourself, "Um, actually, no, I can't possibly forgive her/him/them," until one day, you realize, "Hey, I think I actually forgive her/him/them. It feels good."

    (P.S. This is my first comment on your blog. I just discovered it yesterday (!), and spent an embarrassing amount of hours going through all your old posts. An embarrassing amount of time.

  4. Anon - welcome and thanks for commenting. I'm 99% sure thst you can't spend ENOUGH time on my blog (I jest, I jest).

    Honestly, there's no point in trying to forgiveness process before the wedding. Right no there's too much day to day crap that's going to create friction. I'd have to forgive her every single day. AFTER the wedding, though, I can just do it once and be done. That's my thinking anyway.

    As for the song - Elliot Smith's is my fave. The first time i heard it, I thought of her and knew that one day this would be my song to her.

  5. Good for you!
    May your life be ever drama-free.

  6. And the odds ever in my favor? DORK

  7. Very good attitude. Also, hi. :) (Email me!)

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