About a year after my separation I was talking things over with my Mum and something she said really stopped me dead in my tracks. She said she that she was convinced that if I could just let go of the bitterness I had for my ex and the woman he had the affair with I would feel much better. I was shocked because it just hadn’t occurred to me that it was bitterness that I was feeling.
That might sound a bit ridiculous – to not realise how you feel – but the whole process of separation and divorce was a totally new experience for me, it was outside my frame of reference and generated an intensity and mixture of feelings I just hadn’t encountered before.
That conversation was a real turning point for me. Suddenly a few words from Mum helped me to connect a whole lot of dots. The seemingly irrational angry reactions to simple things going wrong – like the shower curtain pole which kept falling down – was caused by my bitterness. I felt angry because things like errant shower curtain poles are the sorts of day-to-day trivial annoyances that I suddenly had to contend with alone.
Identifying how I felt enabled me to process the feeling and start to heal. Talking about how you feel is such an important tool in the recovery process – however tree-huggy and hippy it sounds having someone to open up to is really vital.