just below the surface

The divorce group/class is a good thing.  Right now I’m thinking it’s a good thing like going to the dentist is good when you have a cavity, but maybe I’ll think it’s good in a more enjoyable way by the end of it.  First night was a bit more emotional than I had expected.  It was basically an overview of the seminar, and was conducted differently than the next nine weeks will go.  Former group members who are serving as volunteers in my group presented on some of the different topics that we’ll cover.  One guy got to me when he talked about his divorce as losing his best friend.  Well, it was either him or the woman sobbing in the row in front of me.  I teared up a bit and realized I was among my people.

The thing is, it kind of stirred up some stuff, I think.  I started thinking about things I hadn’t thought about in a while, and haven’t gotten much sleep the last two nights.

Last night the thought that was haunting me was the image of X holding hands with her.  For some reason that image bothers me so much more than the thought of them having sex.  The holding hands, the best friend…

This sucks.

I know I am just “looping” (a term used in the class to describe cycling through some feelings—there’s a chart to explain it but I’m not that talented with this here internet thing).  I’m not in the pits of despair.  I just get used to feeling really happy for a couple of days and it’s hard to find the willingness to touch the hot stove again.

I was worried that I would be the person in the group who had been out of their relationship the longest.  I’m not.  A little on the long side, but there are several people right about where I am, and at least one who’s been out significantly longer.  And then there’s the woman who was sobbing in the row in front of me.  Her husband told her last month that he had been having an affair and he wanted a divorce.  Nice.

Her emotions were so raw and in your face.  I remember being there, when I first left, before I left.  Now mine are mostly just below the surface, though they do come up for air every so often—often just after I’ve gone to bed and turned out the lights.

Today I was at a work thing, and for some long and complicated reasons, I was in a “less stress” session in which part of the time was used for guided breathing/relaxation.  Just the act of breathing slowly and imagining I was a tree…I didn’t cry or anything like that, but it was very achy in my chest.  Oh, hi, feelings.  That’s where you’ve been hiding.

I am trying to be more present, even to the hard stuff, even to the uncomfortable stuff, even to the ache that wants to cover up it’s head and hide somewhere.  Presence is not easy, especially when so much of my energy has been spent trying to be somewhere else, anywhere else, for the past few months years.

So for future classes we will met at members’ homes and share a meal.  We’re also supposed to call three other people in the class each week.  Um, no, I haven’t done that yet.  There’s some other homework, which I’ll talk about if it gets interesting.

In other news, I have just committed to (paid my money and everything) a few sessions with a personal trainer with two of my friends from work.  The group training is to help with the kick-start (accountability), and to make it cheaper.  We start on Saturday.  I’m sore already, in anticipation.

In other other news, it’s gorgeously spring here.  Just heart-breakingly beautiful.  It’s kind of hard not to feel hopeful in the face of such greenness against blue skies, with warm spring winds and blooming flowers for a bonus.

The other thing that makes me feel hopeful?  Knowing that, at least sometimes, I am able to hold both pain and hope at the same time.


6 responses to “just below the surface

  1. I’m so glad it went well. I think your feelings will bubble up to the surface some more, but you’ll have more tools as to how to handle them. That’s just my take on it, though.

    Enjoy your beautiful weather! Feel free to send me some, it’s rainy and SO dreary here. It isn’t very fun.

  2. I’m glad it went so well too. Your descriptions reminded me of the pg loss support group we attended & later facilitated. We always warn new clients that attending group can leave you feeling unsettled for a few days afterward. Even after 10 years of facilitating, dh & I would need an hour or so after each meeting to “unwind” before we went to bed, we’d both be feeling so wired.

    Hope you continue to find it helpful. Enjoy the spring weather!!

  3. It sounds like it is going to be a great group. I’m glad you found it.

    And, can we see some pictures of this heartbreakingly beautiful spring?

  4. I’m glad you got something out of your divorce meeting. Sounds a bit like the online world of ALI people. The been there done that treatment ones, the sobbing ones enduring painfully the first year of infertility….the freshly hopeful to the jaded bitter.

    Staying present, ah, so wonderful and yet so difficult. One of my Buddhist elders told me once that I wasn’t truly suffering if I could still enjoy the beauty of a cherry blossom.

  5. The group sounds like a really good thing. i hope it’s something you find very helpful. Having those feelings just below the surface sounds like something that is normal and to be expected. you sound like you are doing a great job of dealing with them.
    The personal trainer sounds like a great idea. I can get one through work and a fitness plan thing I participate in and am thinking that once I’m a month or so post surgery and feeling better maybe I’ll try it and see if it can help me mix things up a bit with different activities.

  6. Sorry I haven’t stopped by for a while. The group sounds hard, but good. Sounds like you found your tribe. 🙂

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