‘You made me a pariah.’

There is a discomfort in unpleasant honesty. The price of mine, might very well have made it more difficult for my Ex to find somewhere to stay.

I could hear the accusation, even in the stark text of an e-mail I shouldn’t have read.

‘You made me a pariah.’

No dear, I wish to reply. You managed that yourself. I just told the truth. Yet for a little while, lingering doubts left me to fret. Had I said to much?

I try to keep my personal frustrations out of social media. I kept his secrets even months after I left, until he sought to bully me in the e-mails between lawyers. Until then I’d kept it rather plain. Just a few lines here and there about how my Ex and I were separating, and I didn’t wish to make our friends choose. So long as he was going to counseling, and being civil, I held back. But once he realized this was for real, and that my mind wasn’t changing, and he began to be inconvenienced… then all the veneer of civility was scraped from his communications.

I try to recognize his comment for what it is – shifting the blame to anyone but himself. I’ve not called him names. I’ve perhaps understated the severity of the circumstances at times. Logic, therefor, grants me some absolution. His own responses, his own reactions, the man he is could have taken the negatives and begun to rebuild. People respond to honesty. People respond to admissions of mistakes, and an example of trying to turn one’s life around.

‘I made mistakes. I’m getting help.‘ There is a way he could have handled himself that would have resulted in more support, not less.

Instead, the trickling down information from well-meaning individuals grants me an awareness of a discourse far less accepting of ownership. It might be declared defiant, entitled, examples that seem to only push people more and more into my camp. Perhaps, too, his lack of empathy, his inability to support others, means that I was the one who more often than not made those personal connections with our friends. They needed something? I responded. My ex would often piggy-back on my own ideas, without suggesting any of his own.

I won’t lie, there is something indescribable about finding people eager to support me. I don’t seek it out. I work hard not to badmouth my Ex, even to the point of stating that ‘I did Marry the guy for a reason, once.’. Even with minimal information that spares my circles any exact details, I have been surrounded. I am being protected. Everyone is looking out for me.

I’ve been paying forward into the lives of my people for so many years, never really expecting any return. Accepting that I had done something that would help others as I and my family were helped through my childhood. Every time I start to get down, all I have to do is look – really look – around at all the people in my life. Then the future doesn’t look so dark after all.

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