My pain is mine. My process is mine.

My grieving is not about anyone else. I have to process the grief and the pain and the nasty stuff that wells up from time to time. I know from experience that if you don’t process it, if you don’t turn that nasty spiritual compost pile, it gets more and more toxic. You develop emotional septicemia. Give it long enough and it will kill you.

Working through what’s happened—even if it is hurtful to those who caused hurt—is my right. I have to do it if I want to live and be healthy—and I do want that.

It’s cyclical, too. You think it’s over, and suddenly you’re crying or pissed off and you have no idea why.

Those who hurt me made their choices knowing what they were doing. They weren’t victims, or innocent at all. They deliberately did harm. They live with the consequences of their choices. I don’t deny any pain they might feel now—but that’s theirs, not mine. They got to choose.

I care about Sam’s pain because I love him—but I also know that he deserves that pain. If he finds dealing with my healing process too painful, he can choose to leave.

I didn’t choose to be betrayed.

The choice I did make was to give Sam another chance. I bear partial responsibility for every betrayal after the first because I let him stay in my life after hurting me once. “Children are victims. Adults are volunteers.”

No, life isn’t fair. To be honest, I never got a chance to pretend that it was. See that little girl in the picture? She’s 3-4 years old. She’s already been raped and threatened with her little sister’s rape if she told anyone.

What she learned about men, sex, love, power, trust, and secrets was reinforced by Sam’s betrayal. Sam knew that would happen when he chose to cheat.

Funny—this is probably on my mind partially because someone I love, who did cheat with Sam, is being deliberately hurt by an unfaithful partner now. Do I think she deserves that? Honestly, no—despite what I said in my anger. Do I think her unfaithful husband is right, fair, or justified? Hell no. Ironically, I think she’ll understand what I’ve written better than anyone else.

Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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