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Exes Aren’t Inherently Evil.
I was scrolling through Instagram in the wee hours of the morning and saw a pic that someone posted saying, “Can you guys vent about your exes in the comments? I love reading about drama.”
The mature adult in me thought it was juvenile and ridiculous, but the juvenile that apparently still exists in me couldn’t help but take a peek at the comments.
They were much as you’d expect, everyone airing their dirty laundry, but it being all about the other person being evil and the person writing it being a victim. There were a lot of buzz words: narcissistic, manipulative, gaslighting and many said their ex was mentally ill, but I have a strong suspicion that these were merely armchair diagnoses by a hurt person rather than actual diagnoses by a professional.
Regardless, it got me thinking about my own exes and how I would talk about them now if asked. And aside from the one that I had a restraining order against that absolutely terrified me, I don’t think I would have anything bad to say about any of them. Even when speaking about my oldest child’s father whom I was in constant conflict for eighteen years with as we attempted to co-parent.
It’s not because they were perfect people (I mean, if that had been the case the relationships wouldn’t have ended right?), but maybe it’s because I’m older now and can look back on those relationships in a different way.
I was young. They were young. We had no idea what we were doing. We had no idea what relationships were or what they were supposed to be (most of us having come from divorced and highly dysfunctional families). We didn’t have any idea who we were ourselves. We didn’t know how to care for our own hearts, let alone the heart of another.
That’s not to say that there weren’t bad and hurtful things that happened or were said, there were. But I’m pretty confident that they’ve felt regretful looking back at those situations and moments and words, I certainly have. And I have a feeling that they would apologize to me if the opportunity arose, or at least I know that I would to them.
Maybe because enough time has passed, or maybe just because I’m older, have matured and have a lot more life and relationship experience, but I just don’t see the people and situations the way that I used to. I no longer feel the need to avenge the wrongs that were committed towards me. I don’t feel like they purposefully tried to hurt me. I’m not angry anymore. I can see the immaturity and naivety for what it actually was. I can see the hurt for what it actually was. But now, I can also see the good, the joy, the memories that I look back on with gladness and love. And I have many stories to share with that in mind, but those are stories for another day and another time.
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