Search This Blog

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Space You Rent Within Yourself, Or How To Get Rid Of Unwanted Head Tenants

I'm posting this today because I saw this picture on Reddit yesterday, and it seemed wildly appropriate, in light of what I did last weekend.

I watched my wedding video.

Yes, you read that right. Haven't seen it in years. We may have broken it out on our 10th and watched some of it, but I can't really remember. I was clearing out our entertainment center which was still holding a cache of VHS tapes for some reason, and I found it.

When David asked what it was, I told him, and he asked if we could watch it. He wanted to see Mom and Dad get married. He's been fascinated with weddings ever since he got to be ring bearer for his cousin's wedding, so I agreed, and we settled in.

And I felt a whole lot of nothing when I looked at the ex, and looked at the two of us, so young, so ready to take on the world together. Or at least, I was. I wasn't sad, or angry, or hurt, or even wistful. I just felt...nothing when I looked at him. Like he was wallpaper, or a decorative sconce or something.

The video of the reception was wonderful to watch, however. Family and friends, all so young, some not with us anymore - oh, it was so good to see them all, laughing and loving and being loved.

I was so glad I watched it. I really, really was.

In fact, David wandered off ten minutes in. I watched it through to the end. And then I asked myself why I did it. Maybe it's just because it was time. It was closure, in a way. 

I tell my daughter Anna, "The opposite of love isn't hate. It's indifference." She was having a hard time getting over a former flame, and those were my words of wisdom. They are true. They are one of the truest truths. Hating someone takes focus. It takes desire to rent them space in your head. It takes action, to make decisions based on that hate that's festering in you. And it's exhausting to be that angry. Believe me, I know.

So when I saw that picture on Reddit yesterday, submitted by the guy who's ex-girlfriend had sent him the card, my first thought was: "Apparently, she does still give a f**k." The very act of scathingly letting someone know in a very provoking way that you absolutely don't give a f**k about them shows that you not only do give a f**k, but you probably have a whole roomful of f**ks in your head that you dedicate just to them, crowding out other thoughts like:

"Hey, I've got a life to live."
"I wonder what wonderful things are in store for me?"
"I'm going to help someone today."

You need to have those thoughts, a whole lot more than you need f**ks to give. Trust me on this. Because the day will come when you honestly, truly don't give that f**k anymore, and don't even have the space in your head to give much of a f**k about how that f**k is no longer plaguing you. You'll be too busy living your life.

And with that, come the memories. Memories that were too raw before, of all the places and people the two of you encountered and experienced in your life together, and the love and the fun and the joy of those experiences and shared times will come back, sans the pain of having him (or her) occupying a space in that memory. 

They'll be no more than a decorative wall sconce, and you might even pause to wonder how it was that you ever thought that sconce fit into your lifestyle in the first place, so dim there in that corner. 

Or you might just move along. 


Ellie DeLano spent four years as the Divorce Blogger for Woman's Day Magazine, chronicling her transition to single parenting and mid-life dating after decades of marriage with poignancy and humor. What she learned from her readers and her own experience was invaluable, and she shares it here with a straightforward guide to the things you really need to help you move forward after your divorce.
Available at Amazon for Kindle - and Smashwords for all e-reading devices