Not because what I wrote was untrue. When I look into my heart it is true. Where I tie myself in knots about it is because of the awareness of the choices I made at each juncture that resulted in the relationship I now have with my husband. Forgiveness and understanding are key to peace and I can forgive him for the actions that have hurt me. (I haven't yet...but I am working through it.) Where I get stumped is in the knowledge that I must also take responsibility for my own actions and forgive myself. It is true that I conceded miles to maintain the inches. I took the expedient action to keep the peace, without considering the longer range implications. I have tried to manage and control my family so that the immediate pain could be smoothed over.
We do not exist in a vaccuum. Our actions and reactions influence the actions and reactions of those around us. Theirs do too. Many of the feelings and responses I have are predicated on the coping skills I learned as a child growing up in an alcoholic home. I feel a visceral fear when I'm around people who are drunk, particularly men. When I drank too, I found courage and felt invincible. I was able to ignore and shape shift. I began to apply this "secret weapon" in other circumstances and I found it worked there too. I kept broadening its application until I was drinking to deal with every single thing that came up in my life. Feelings of self-loathing: drink, job insecurity: drink, sadness: drink, disappointment: drink, tiredness: drink. I'm sure you know what I mean. And suddenly I was consumed. This is my part. I am responsible for the effects of my own evasion.
This self-forgiveness thing is tricky. It is tempting to drown in guilt of regrettable decisions. I know this is not the true path to forgiveness. Acceptance is key. Feeling worthy seems significant as well. It's a difficult place to seek when you are used to beating yourself up all the time. Anyway, I do realize it's essential and am on the path - just still looking for markers.