Tuesday, February 16, 2010

i'm interested in your stories. "i regret."

i'm stealing this idea from another blog that poppa showed me.
this blog was asking for people's biggest regrets and fears and other things....

you can post anonymously, but i'm curious as to other people's regrets.... i'll post more in due time....
i guess mine won't be anonymous, being that i'm the writer of this blog, but here goes one of mine anyway....

a regret of mine is this....
i regret not learning how to FORGIVE sooner.
I regret not truly accepting people as they were, sooner.
i'm not entirely sure i could have done this any other way....
but it took me a very long time to learn how to forgive people, and to accept people just the way they were.....

there was a time in my life when i had been cheated on, horribly. horribly to the point it made me vomit at the thought of it. i'm not talking just gagging... i'm talking full on running to the toilet and puking my brains out, vomit. JUST THE THOUGHT OF IT made me sick. the amount of betrayal that is behind that. the amount of stupidity you feel on your own behalf. you feel stupid. you feel like you were SO incredibly naive. how did you not see that one coming? how could you have picked someone so poor for yourself? i think the disgust was more on my own behalf than on the person who did the cheating. i just felt stupid. i wondered what was wrong with me, but only for a brief moment.... i don't know what it was about this time in my life, but i didn't blame myself for long.... i KNEW it wasn't me or my lack of anything. i knew the cheating was the other person's emptiness and dysfunctions and lack of self esteem.... i knew that they needed to be needed by someone other than me.... i had a lot of hate in my heart for some time. Although, looking back, it didn't really last as long as it probably could have. This was the time in my life, when I learned to LET GO.... I learned that you don't have to HATE the person who did wrong.... you have to look at how you are treated and ask yourself "is this how i allow myself to be treated?" i wasn't okay with that treatment. For the first time in my life, i wasn't going to allow myself to be treated this way. i wasn't going to make excuses for this person. i wasn't going to "remember the good times," because i had a dream of my ideal relationship. i had a dream about my ideal person out there. i didn't know if such a man really existed, but i dreamt about him.... i did.... and i made a promise to myself that i wouldn't stop searching until i found him, and even if that meant i'd be alone forever, I wasn't going to settle. I wasn't going to hold on to something thinking and hoping that it would be the best thing i would ever get. i wasn't going to believe that "this is how all relationships would be." i wasn't going to do it!

anyway.... my dad was really sick during this time. he was weaker than i'd ever seen him. all of this weighed on my heart at the same time. i'd gone out to help take care of my dad for a little bit of time, and during this time, i felt like a little girl all over again. i rushed out to help my stepmom care for my dad, and i think that in some part of my heart, i was hoping that he'd see the goodness in my heart. maybe i was secretly hoping that he would see what a "good" girl i was.... now looking back, i didn't think those things consciously at the time.... i had spent much of my life wanting him to "see the goodness in me." THEN there came this time when I KNEW the goodness in me.... i don't think i ever got the response i'd hoped for from my dad, but i did have an epiphany while i was there with him. I remember him saying something to me, that i'm almost certain he didn't mean, but it hurt my feelings so much. i remember thinking to myself, "i'm NEVER going to be good enough for him." i remember walking outside onto the front porch and crying and laughing a little at the same time. i had kept hoping that he would suddenly see me as this "good girl," that he'd somehow magically say he loved me and was so proud of me and that he wished he'd spent more time with me. i don't know what i was really wishing or hoping for, but i think it was something along those lines.... and then it dawned on me.... THIS is my dad. THIS is the way he is. THIS is the way he feels. THIS is the way he thinks.... THIS, ladies and gentlemen, is my dad.... AS-IS.... he is grumpy, happy, funny, silly, outgoing, stern, negative, helpful, strong.... THIS is my dad.... he wasn't that man that was going to constantly tell you what a great job you were doing, although he would every now and again, he'd likely tell you how you could improve before he'd tell you how fantastic you were doing.... he was always looking ahead at how it could be better.... right now, in the now wasn't ever good enough, and NOW.... NOW i can appreciate that because it constantly kept me striving to be better.... but there came this point where i felt like i was tapped out. i was maxed out and i was all that i could be. that was when i was there taking care of him. i was a full time employee, and i left my job at the drop of a dime to be there with him. i was a single mother to a beautiful little girl, that i left to come take care of him. i was building a relationship with the Lord, and I was learning to forgive. I was learning to accept people AS-IS.... that was beyond difficult for me.... but it was that moment, that i was knelt down next to his bedside, looking up at his face, that it hit me.... THIS IS MY DAD!!!! And I love him. i love his grumpy grumbles. I love his insults. I love his love for sweets. i love his kind heart. i love his wit and his sense of humor. i love him. and as much as i could have disagreed with some of the decisions he had made, it didn't matter right now.... i REGRET that i didn't know that sooner.... now, i'm not entirely sure i COULD have known that sooner, but i somehow wish i did. i think it would have allowed me to enjoy things (and life) a lot more, sooner....

i guess this story is still so incomplete.... there are so many other feelings that go into these two separate yet very connected stories.... i learned to let go, and i learned to accept what just was.... it was all out of my control.... both of the stories were out of my control.... but i accepted them both.... i let go of both.... i just regret that i didn't learn this sooner....

2 comments:

buymebarbies said...

Ashley, I know for a fact, that is when you had your epiphanies. You came home, made some changes, and accepted people for who they were from that point forward. What a joy to get that weight off of your shoulders!!!!

mrscolombo@yahoo.com said...

Ashley: I love your blog! You are amazing and I can see the transformation the Lord has made. Thank be to God. I had such similar experiences! When I found out my father had lung cancer, he was living in Ohio and I was in Mahattan Beach, CA. I was working for the L.A. Rams football club and married to who I thought was "The love of my life". I picked up and flew to Ohio to be with my dad. My father was so much like your dad....I never remember hearing him say, "I love you". I was never sure he did. Sitting next to his chair, with him in his bathrobe and very sick...somehow I thought facing the end of his life, he would change and become more affectionate. He didn't change....but I did. I was pregnant with Christopher when he died. Christopher looks so much like my dad. When Christopher hugs me, I always feel like my dad is hugging me as well. Honestly, there is something so strange about it....but so comforting.
BTW: The "love of my life" cheated the "first" time when Christopher was only 9 months old. We divorced when Christopher was 11 years old. It took me that many years and about 6 other women before I accepted that it wasn't about me and how thin I was or how nice I was or how much sex in our lives, etc.... it wasn't about me at all! You are so much smarter than I was at your age! Ha...took me a long time to say, ENOUGH! But through it all, I have the most amazing, honorable, kind, loving, and "evolved" man for a son. Christopher will be 32 this April...my dad has been gone 32 years now. I can still remember my dad saying to me at dinner, "Are you going to eat that slop?" talking about the dinner my mother had just made for the family....it was a joke of course, but I always thought it was mean, and I never thought it was funny...although other people did. Now I know, it was just my dad being my dad. I would love to have him come to dinner at my house tonight and say to my kids, "Are you going to eat that slop?" Today, I would be able to smile and say, "Dad, I love you!"