Yes, we live in a small town. And yes it's just a reality of small town life that once you've participated in shameful, hurtful behavior some of the consequences to you and those you've hurt are inevitable public encounters... I bet you guys are tired of hearing about it but this time was a little different.
I took my mil to WalMart (read social Mecca of Ourtown) last Saturday to get her a case for her iPad. We were going to check out in electronics and I looked up and saw BW in line with AP in tow. I had that small feeling of panic and sickness in the pit of my stomach but it was smaller than last time. I just said to mil, "let's go this way" turning around towards the front of the store, then added, "so I can buy some flowers."
I think I seemed a little nervous at first but I handled it pretty calmly. And I didn't start shaking or tear up. I felt sick for a while after but it didn't ruin the rest of my day. In fact, I almost forgot to tell Knight about it when he got home from work.
I think this is progress, isn't it? I still feel awful about what I did to that family and especially acutely to BW, but I'm able to accept it and continue living. Is this more compartmentalization or avoidance or am I dealing with it in a healthy way? I *think* I'm processing the bad feelings. I mean I have been through them before, right. I did feel the bad feelings about what I did again when I saw her but I didn't dwell on them. And I didn't go back down into that pit to wallow after either.
Am I doing this right? Am I losing empathy? I mean, I have made the decision that I will always leave (whenever possible) if I see either of them in public. I don't care if it's fair or right or if I'm somehow letting the AP "win" (I don't see it that way). This is the plan that works for my BH and it works for me too. I would want to leave out of respect for the BW anyway. I feel that is one of my consequences.
I feel like since I have a plan for when I run into them, and I have practiced it a few times, it's getting easier. I don't have to think about what to do so that takes away some of the panic. Does that make sense?
I guess I started this post feeling happy that it is getting less traumatic to run into them, but now I'm worried that I'm slipping into old unhealthy thought processes by letting it be ok? But it should be ok at some point right? At some point the bad things we've done become just bad things we've done in our past. They don't go away, they aren't ok or acceptable....they just are. If we make changes, do better, accept the consequences, then we live with our past as a part of us just like an unsightly scar. We would get used to that too and not run home in tears every time some one noticed it.
I'm rambling. Am I ok?
Edit - typos