February 18, 2009

Retro Vent

The other day I was on the prowl in Target's Valentine's Day clearance section, and I bought some heart-shaped balloons for the children. Um, may I suggest NOT buying them, if you have the opportunity? Because it turns out that if you tip the balloon and look at the top of it, it resembles something other than a heart. Something more like large, perky boobage. And in fact, as it deflates, it develops NIPPLEAGE.


In my household, the line between Noticing and Not Noticing is right between Rob (4th grade) and William (2nd grade). Rob took one look at a balloon and said, "Um, isn't that kind of...inappropriate?" But William, even when the balloon was tipped toward him at a demonstrative angle at chest height, still didn't know what Rob was talking about.

********

I hope I am not the only one (and in fact I KNOW I am not the only one, and am using this only as a convenient sentence-starter) who is visited by Conflicts of the Past. I can get all worked up about something that happened in SECOND GRADE. "That's what I SHOULD have said to that bitch," I think to myself, thinking bitterly of my 8-year-old opponent.

Useless. But I can't help it. Some of us are living Banks of Old Fights and others of us are not---and just TRY tearing down that kind of edifice, if you have one. Those vaults are made to LAST.

Recently I've been stewing about something that happened more than a dozen years ago, so at least it's within my adult life as opposed to when I was in my single digits. Still, this is a retro vent and I do hope you'll bear with me.

Oh, this is so dumb. Well, no, it isn't. It ISN'T dumb. I really am still very, very mad and hurt (but mostly mad) about it. I've told you a little about my first marriage, so you know it didn't end well. He and I agreed to get a divorce, and we agreed on how all the stuff should be divided up, and we both helped each other find and move into our new places, and then he hired a mean lawyer and sued me for marital desertion (or was it abandonment?) so I received many unpleasant lawyer letters even though there was nothing about the divorce that needed to be disputed.

That's not what bugs me, though: I wanted a divorce, so even though he went the Unpleasant Divorce Lawyer route instead of the $19.99 Do-It-Yourself Kit route I'd suggested, I got what I wanted and he had to pay for the unpleasantness he evidently wanted because I'm sure that lawyer wasn't cheap.

What makes me SIMMER WITH RAGE is that my ex then got our marriage annulled. By the Catholic Church. When neither one of us was Catholic, nor was our marriage in the Catholic Church. And he was able to do this without my consent, and in fact against my STRENUOUS OBJECTIONS. I wrote many, many letters to the Catholic Church, insisting that my former marriage was REAL and VALID and did not meet the requirements for annulment.

Finally a secretary sent me a little note saying, basically, "Um, off the record for a moment---you realize that 'annulment' is just the way the Catholic Church gets around their 'no divorce/remarriage' rule?" Yes, I knew this. I DID NOT CARE. Even if it doesn't actually mean the marriage is invalid and never happened, that's what it SAYS IT MEANS. I'm not playing GAMES, even with my BAD MARRIAGE. Which DID HAPPEN and WAS VALID and did NOT meet the requirements for annulment. ...Sorry, I don't seem to be able to get out of this loop.

The annulment went through. According to the Catholic Church, which was not in any way involved with the marriage or its participants, the marriage was invalid and never happened. My ex is free to marry a Catholic girl as if he were a never-married man. This makes me so angry I can barely talk about it. It's so stupid I can barely stand it.

But of course, it doesn't REALLY matter that it was annulled. It's not like we WANTED to be married to each other and some third party told us they had dissolved our marriage without our consent: we WANTED the marriage dissolved and so we voluntarily divorced, and I would LOVE IT if the marriage had never happened. I should be GLAD it was annulled. When it comes up in conversation that I was married before, I can lower my eyes and say, "It was a very brief marriage, back while I was still in school. It was annulled." This sounds so much prettier than "We got a divorce."

But I'm still so mad I could SPIT. Partly I'm angry at my ex, and I'm hurt by the way he wanted to make it that our marriage was NULL. Not "over" but "never started." Partly I'm angry at the Catholic Church, for doing the annulment, and for thinking they had the right to do that.

All right, I'm done for now. You DO do this, right? You have old stuff you're still not done being mad about?

72 comments:

donna said...

I don't even think I could count the number of things from the past that I still stew about.

So is his new wife Catholic? Or was this just some random fit of idiocy to cover his bases just in case?

Annika said...

OH YES. I can't even tell you what they are because THAT WOULD MAKE ME GET ANGRY.

Shelly Overlook said...

My husband's parents were married for 26 years and they had 2 children together. The dad cheated on the mom (with mom's friend) and divorce ensued. 10+ years later, my MIL received notice from a church that her 26 year marriage was being annulled. At this point my husband's father had already remarried (the woman he had the affair with). My MIL and my hubby's father (I do not consider him a "FIL") were married in the Catholic Church (dad's family was very Catholic) and apparently it was important to the dad's family that the annulment be done. & apparently if you donate enough money to the Catholic Church, you too can have a 26 year marriage wiped away as if it never existed. So now my hubby and his sister are bastards as far as the church is concerned.

This is just one of many reasons I do not believe in organized religion.

Gina said...

That would piss me off, too. Of course, the Catholic Church and annulments tend to piss me of in general.

Angella said...

I could write for DAYS about stuff that makes me stew, but we don;t have time for that.

I had NO IDEA they could just "annul" any marriage!

That's kind of scary, too, if you think about it.

Julie said...

I totally do stew and then get made because I'm stewing.

That red balloon is hilarious. :)

Kim said...

Second grade!?! I'm still pissed over a drawing I made my parents of the Easter Bunny when I was five. Because I had yet to master writing letters and words, I combined the two "n's" in bunny and then got frustrated and left off the "y" so that the picture I presented to them was titled "The Easter Bum." They both laughed so hard they had tears running down their faces and I immediately ripped the picture out of my mom's hands and tore it into little pieces. She still wishes she had the picture and I'm still holding a grudge thirty-five years later. Short answer: yes, I'm still mad about things I shouldn't even REMEMBER.
You have every right to your feelings over this. I don't have good opinions of the Catholic church and this is just one more reason to add to my list.

Lawyerish said...

Oh my goodness gracious, I still have a great number of past Things that make me burn with rage when I think of them.

Sometimes I want to write letters to the people involved (letters that would never get sent, of course, but still) to put that rage into words, but for some reason I never do. I think a part of me wants to hold onto the anger and all the other emotions that those Things bring up as a reminder of situations to avoid in life, and of how good things are now in comparison to how they were or could have been.

But still, don't you sometimes wish you could write a SCATHING letter or email to the person and have them read it but then have no memory of it? So that they could know, just for a minute, how stupid they are or how much they angered you, but they wouldn't be able to respond (or chuckle to themselves about how they can still affect you, years later)? I would like that.

courtney in FL said...

My friend has a similar issue. His ex-wife is wanting to marry a catholic man in the catholic church but the church won't allow them to marry till her ex (my friend) agrees that the marriage was void. He doesn't feel like he should have to admit that to a church that had nothing to do with the marriage so he keeps denying the notices. He continues to get warning from the church and his ex is not happy that she cannot get re-married.

Blueberry said...

yep, yep, yep. i totally stew. i could write for weeks on the things that still bother me and never scratch the surface.

Lindsay said...

Oy. I have been stewing about something that happened four years ago since Sunday. Just as I got over it for the millionth time I talked to the huz about it, and now HE'S stewing on my behalf. Grrrr.

Alex said...

Actually, I try very hard not to. Anger doesn't do any favors for anybody, ESPECIALLY anger that just recycles itself over and over again. It's damaging and destructive. So, while I completely understand how simple it can be to allow yourself to get good and mad about something that holds no bearing in your current life, I'm still actively trying to eradicate that very behavior.

The shitty, frustrating situations? Stepping stones. Opportunities to better know myself, better understand life in general. If that sounds all New Age, so be it. If you don't learn what the debacle has to teach you, you'll just come up against it again. And again and again and again. The way I see it, I've got better things to do with my time. Life is what you make of it and stuff.

I know how tight the grips of it can be, though, and I wish for you release. Getting rid of what doesn't make you feel at peace allows room for that which does.

Anonymous said...

I never let the past bother me. I never, like, bury my head in a pillow until that awful memory passes.

You should be upset at whoever approved that annulment. The whole point of annulments is to uphold marriage as sacred. It isn't supposed to be a loophole to allow second marriages when, oops, the first one didn't work right. You're right to object strenuously -- you're the one who recognized the gravity of the marriage and its annulment, obviously. It would be nice if the memory could be washed and folded and put away instead of having it come back to chew on you periodically.

Anyabeth said...

Ok that situation would make me purple with rage! Especially since in no way was the Catholic Church even involved with the marriage. Ridiculous.

I do tend to dwell on that stuff too (oknothing as serious as that) and like some of the other commenters struggle not to send letters and do internet searches.

clueless but hopeful mama said...

Annulled? What a crock. Yet another reason I have a hard time with Catholicism.

I stew about a few things from the past but my memory is so terrible that I often can't remember exactly how things went down so I'm never sure if I'm off base in my own anger. How's that for useless? I'm stewing AND I can't even be sure if I'm RIGHTEOUSLY stewing.

Miss Grace said...

I'm still mad about stuff that should be well over, and if this was one of the things that had happened to me, I would still be mad about IT.

Swati said...

Do I brood upon past grievances, chew them over and over till they taste of nothing but bitter hopelessness and impotence? No, I don't - or at least I don't think I do, but sometimes it is for others to discern our bitterness for we have become so used to it. Do I remember things past, feel the pain and the hurt and the injustices and fume? Why, yes, I do. When remembered, unresolved issues do return with as much pain and anger as they were originally associated with, perhaps more. And they do return, especially when things are not going well. But for the most part I, and I think you too, can live happily, putting the past where it belongs.

Or maybe I am just feeling too peaceful this morning!

Jen in MI said...

Can't even imagine the nerve-annulled? So so assinine.

Hotch Potchery said...

Apparently I have some backreading to do because I did NOT know you had been married before.

oh wait. You weren't, and since I was raised Catholic I should acknowlegde your unmarriage.

I am a stewer. Big time.

nonsoccermom said...

!!! I had no idea the Catholic church could annul a marriage they had nothing to do with! That whole situation would be totally infuriating to me as well.

And I totally stay mad about certain things for YEARS. I revisit them from time to time just to see if I'm still mad and YEP. Still am.

Heather said...

I'd like to think I'm not a stewer, but for some things I am. And to make a super long and convoluted story short, every time I change my son's diaper and call him by the name my husband chose for him, I get mad at my husband. He's 18 months old. Hubby and I have a lot of years to go before that mad goes away.

And yeah, I'd totally be upset about the Catholic church annulling a non-Catholic marriage against the wishes of one of the people in the marriage. I really hate how religion can be so political... which is partly why I don't practice within a religion.

Kate @ Life As I Live It said...

Yah, I can see how that would cause you to stew. So, so wrong.

MonkeyBusiness said...

Part the first: Valentine's ballooons and division between Noticing and Not Noticing - Hilarious! Hubs and I had a good laugh.

Part the second: What the hell? How can someone who has no jurisdiction over your marriage annul it? I am SO CONFUSED? It's like getting married in vegas and then getting divorced in Guam. How does that happen? I just don't understand HOW?! I would be pissed too, regardless!!!

Anna said...

Maybe you could get the Catholic Church to annul his birth. Get a secretary to write a letter saying that's just the way the Catholic Church gets around another rule. . .

Kristi said...

I prefer to stuff them all neatly away and then get irrationally pissed at my husband - he can take it!

Beth said...

you have every right to be pissed at your ex for pulling this move. he obviously was so hurt, or pissed, or both, that he did this to lash out at you (in a really mean, disrespectful way). the catholic church is so full of hypocritical bullshit policies and procedures that it was the perfect way for your ex to piss you off (annulment makes no SENSE-- something either exists or does not- the pope can't go back in time and ERASE it). it's also so sexist-- he can have the marriage invalidated without your participation?

Robyn said...

Um, no. But, I have a HORRIBLE memory!

I think getting your ex's birth annuled is a fabulous idea.

Astarte said...

Robyn, that is AWESOME!!!! hahahaha!

I was totally going to post about this very same topic yesterday, until I ran out of time! I was stewing about Sarah Ferrency, do you remember her? She treated me like shit our entire school career, and yet now she's a teacher at some school for emotionally messed up kids. Um, irony, anyone?! So, that totally sticks in my craw, since she plagued me because *I* was messed up, and now look! To this day, I want to find her and bitch-slap her. I still have a scar where she dug her fingernail into me one time! Also, I stew about Mary occasionally, while I'm at it, just for good measure. People you trust who betray you are the worst, worst people. Your ex was a moron. I'll bet he was cheating on you with a Catholic chick or something.

-R- said...

I'm Catholic, but I think what the Church did was wrong in that case. The Catholic Church doesn't really recognize marriages outside the Church, so how could it annul an outside wedding? That is bizarre.

I don't tend to refight old fights, but I tend to imagine future fights and prepare for them over and over. Quite unpleasant, but I can't stop myself.

Kristine said...

Not only do I stay mad about things in the past, I sometimes get pre-mad about things that haven't happened yet, but might. It's hard being so mad at things in the past and the future, but I somehow manage it.

el-e-e said...

I'm Catholic too, and I don't get it. Unless he already had big plans to meet and marry a Catholic girl. Very weird and I can see why it would make you mad. I crack up that the secretary told you the real truth, that it's a way to fudge the stupid "no-re-marry" rule.

I guess I have a few retro-vents still in me; one for a high school ex-boyfriend who told me a BIG lie (stupid, but big) and I believed it for a long time. I felt like an IDIOT when I learned the truth and I'm still mad he was fooling me all along. Rrrr.

ColorCodedC said...

I don't really tend to dwell on things that happened before, but I will occasionally relive the anger of the really Big Stuff (you know, like someone annulling your marriage without consulting you first). Like, the 8-years-ago-boyfriend who cheated on me with one of my best friends at the time (needless to say, we haven't spoken since...my ex-boyfriend or my ex-friend). They're married now. And, in the right situation, that can TOTALLY still piss me off. Of course, in hindsight, thank goodness he cheated on me, I'm in a better place, etc. etc. It was just so WRONG.

Sam said...

How did I forget this about you? I don't think I knew. He's a total asshat, for the record, and I would totally stew about this, too. It's just plain ridiculous and completely passive aggressive AND vindictive.

I don't stew so much, unless there's a new brouhaha on my mind. There was a hurtful work situation that happened years ago that used to be my main stewing topic, but I'm over it, now.

EHWalt said...

This is my first post, but I felt compelled to write, since my MOTHER tried to have her marriage to my father annuled so she could marry her 2nd husband in the Catholic Church. Keep in mind that she didn't get married in the Church in the first place so it really should be needed. but it was nice to feel like there was a possibility that my sister and I would have been somehow invalidated-now THAT's a good mommy.

Shelly said...

Yes, I totally stew over things LONG after the fact. And I completely understand your frustration that he wants to just forget the marriage and act like it never happened. I get angry at my dad and stepmother because they often try to act like I'm "their" daughter (and my stepmother even goes so far as to say that I have another mother now to whom I can turn when I need to). I realize that they are trying to be nice and to show love, but to me it feels like a negation of my childhood and the trouble I've had with my mother.

Laura said...

I absolutely stew over many things I coulda shoulda woulda said and I am livid over the fact that my mother had her marriage to my father annulled, so she could marry again, I was only 13 at the time so I couldn't really say anything then, but it makes me furious when I think about it now!

Misty said...

Of COURSE I am still mad about stuff and have imaginary arguments with myself in the mirror, pretending the 'offender' was there listening to and being deeply wounded/changed by my diatribe.

Catholic Church thing? Not surprised. But maybe you can put a different spin on it? Just because they SAY it is true, doesn't make it true. They can SAY that a giant purple polka dotted chicken laid a beautiful green and blue egg on March 23, 1596 and it grew and became the world. But it's not true. They can say your previous marriage never existed...but its not true. I find that religion is into delusions big time and therefore try not to get my feathers ruffled when they spout falsehood. Because. Dude. They do it all the time.

I hope the idea might be helpful. It is helping me wrap my mind around the whole ridiculous situation.

Raven said...

I have stuff I still stew in embarrassment over, not just anger; it's horrible. YEARS, I schlep this crap around and yet it shows no signs of going away.

d e v a n said...

I'm Catholic and always thought it was HARD to get an annullment. Apparently I was wrong! DO you think he was seeing a Catholic chick on the side? Because getting his marriage annulled in a church where you guys weren't even married is WEIRD! Very.

The balloon thing is hilarious.

Tess said...

WHAT THE? WHY WHY WHY did he want it annulled? Creepy.

My mom got my parents' marriage annulled a few years ago, like TWENTY YEARS after their divorce. Since it "never happened", I was worried that my sister and I were going to start fading out, all Back-to-the-Future style.

Anonymous said...

I recently joined facebook and have been hesitant to accept friend requests from people I knew back in high school because of "stewing". Next year will be 20 years since I graduated.

chroniclesofraw said...

WOW! I cannot believe that is even possible, it makes NO sense. And I also stew, I TOTALLY get that.

nicole said...

I'm Catholic and did not know that was possible. Interesting. I can understand your anger.

Commanda Amanda said...

As a child I had two women in my life who thought they were holier-than-thou, one literally and one figuratively. One taught religion, but was decidedly un-Christian. She used to pressure me to make promises to do things when I made it clear I wasn't sure I could deliver, then lecture me on the importance of keeping promises when it turned out I could not, in fact, deliver. The other was a neighbor who thought our family was very much beneath her, but I was good friends with her children. She was always taking shots at my family, and I would feel bad, but not understand why until I passed the age of 6 years and figured out that adults aren't always nice people.

I still have imaginary conversations - sometimes as an adult and sometimes as a smarter child - where I tell them basically, "Step off! You have no right!"

Mrs. CPA said...

Anywhere from yesterday to when I was six and my mother gave me a spanking with coat hanger and gave me a bruise adn when I showed it to her she said "well, if hadn't been bad that woudln't have happened." And she thinks I'm being silly by still fuming over saying that to a six year old. Or when they let my diabetic brother get a harship license so he could drive when he was 14 and they woudl never let me get one. Because, you know, it's perfectly safe to drive while you are in DIABETIC SHOCK. Or that boy who told me I was flat chested in jr high.
OK, I'm going to stop now. Yes, I still get mad about stuff from years ago.

Lizzie said...

I am totally a stew-er. Not only do I go over past wrongs and rescript them (I should have said...), I also make up dialogue to future conversations and confrontations (If she says....). Kinda psycho, but you could say I have trouble letting some things go.

Also, I'm a Catholic and I think the Church should be ashamed for handing out annulments right left and center. Ridiculous.

Michelle said...

I totally do this. Also, I totally feel bad/embarrassed about things that happened, things I did, 20-15 years ago. It sometimes keeps me awake at night.

pseudostoops said...

Ten years ago (ten! a whole decade!) my boyfriend kept my pillow for safekeeping when I went home to my parents' for the summer. (I didn't want to put my pillow in a grimy storage unit.) My baby blanket, which was one of my most sentimental and treasured possessions, was in the pillowcase, and he knew it, and I asked him several times to take care of it. And then he lent the pillow to like a million different people who crashed at their place over the summer, and when I came back, baby blanket was GONE, and I was DEVASTATED, and he MADE FUN OF ME and got actually, honest-to-goodness shouting mad at me for being upset. (And I dated him for three more years after that! WTF, self?)

Oof, just telling this story I'm feeling pretty steamed. So yes, I stew.

Minnie said...

i can not believe this annulment thing?!!? i've never been so appalled. it's so RUDE and AWFUL and INVASIVE.

oh and i also constantly make up conversations with people form the past or future sometimes upsetting myself so much that i cry.

Amanda said...

First, yes I do this too.

B, the whole annulment thing is SUCH a scam. Anyone can get one if they write the Catholic Church a big enough check, seriously. And third I think annulment sounds so much more scandalous than divorce. It implies that you "shouldn't" have been married, that there was something going on like age or pregnancy or father holding a shotgun to the groom's head. Own your divorce which you DID have and PLLLLLLLLBBBBBT to your ex.

Rah said...

Okay, up front, I'm not Catholic. But I went to a Catholic retreat center once and during one of the services walked up and was denied communion because I had not been baptized in a CATHOLIC church. How weird is it that they won't accept another church's (sacrament of) baptism, yet they feel free to reach across and mess on another party's (sacrament in their eyes, not mine) marriage?

You did the right thing standing up to them.

Secret Mom Thoughts said...

I still stew about conversations that I had 5, 10, 20, years ago. I'm always thinking about what I should have said and done.

JK said...

When I look back on things from my past, I rarely am angry, I more wish I'd have done something different... or I feel stupid.... or taken advantage or....

I think I'd like to be angry, but sadly, I am still just insecure about things. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, the church is warped. The whole idea of not accepting divorce is that marriage is supposed to be a sacred rite not to be done lightly. As in forever. Til death.

Then they hand out annulments like beads on Fat Tuesday. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's still divorce.

Tess said...

Also, I thought of something I am STILL PISSED about!

One of my boyfriends in college was almost ARRESTED for outstanding tickets (like, the cops CAME TO THE DOOR with HANDCUFFS), and I was so horrified that I promised the cops we would go down RIGHT THEN and pay the tickets off if they wouldn't arrest him. Of course, by WE, I meant ME.

It was THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS, which is like three BILLION dollars in college currency.

THEN we broke up like a month later and that bastard never paid me back. Bah.

OK, this is SORT OF (slash TOTALLY) my own dumb fault. But STILL.

HollyLynne said...

The whole "annulment" thing is a total joke.

Bring A. Torch said...

Oh my God, so much to say I don't know where to even start. I was raised Catholic (when I'm feeling cheeky, I say I'm an "escaped" Catholic), but I had NO idea they'd assert authority over a marriage they hadn't presided over in the first place. That is just terrible. I am so, so glad he is out of your life.

That said, out of one's life is hardly off of one's mind. I am a dweller, a stewer, a seether and steamer. (Okay, I sound like a lobster. Or maybe a hen.) I haven't blogged about this yet but I had a Reiki healing back in January and blew people away with all the crap I was holding onto. I made someone dizzy with the depth of my hurts, man. Seriously, it was a little scary.

I think when we, er, fricassee ourselves about past injustices or embarrassing moments, it just means we haven't finished processing whatever happened. The alternative to actually experiencing these feelings is walking around in denial, I think. I'm putting myself through an emotional Cuisinart of late, working to let go of stuff, and it's not easy at all, but I do see myself breaking free of old, sad patterns, which makes me think I'm actually getting somewhere.

Farrell said...

Ditto Annika.
But I do my best to put up a big red STOP sign in my head when I start to go down that path.

bluedaisy said...

I am still pissed that my high school chemistry teacher flunked me for the 3rd quarter (by 5 points) even though I did extra credit (worth 5 points) and should have passed. Bitter much?

At least your retro vent is about a meaningful life event and not some stupid chemistry class. It's not like I wanted to be a chemist!

So, as evidenced by this comment, I too retro vent...

Nowheymama said...

I'm too busy being mad about current issues. Like the fact that I know I commented here yesterday and my comment didn't appear. STUPID BLOGGER.

:)

Jess said...

It's just so HYPOCRITICAL. Why prohibit divorce if it just means that one member of the marriage can just go off and get it annulled no matter the circumstances of the marriage and the way it ended?

Michelle said...

I have to say, I stew about things from the past, but ummm they're mostly stupid things I did and not things that other people did.

And oddly... if a marriage didn't happen in the Catholic Church, the Church doesn't see it as a legit marriage. My husband was married and divorced before we got together, but because he was married on a beach in Jamaica and not in Church (although both were Catholic), he didn't need an annullment for the two of us to be married by the Church -- because in the eyes of the Church, there was nothing to annul anyway. Gotta love the "no rules but those we make up" credo.

kirida said...

Maybe your ex-husband did this because he *is* trying to marry a catholic and she won't go through with it unless your marriage with him is annulled. I'm so glad I never married any of the men who asked me.

Kelly said...

I just started following your blog. I love it.
and the annulment thing is total bullshit and I can totally understand why it makes you angry. you're allowed to be angry.

and yes, *I* have old stuff I'm not even remotely done being mad about.

Gwen said...

Amanda sent me over because it seems we posted similar rants this week.

jess said...

Gee, I'm sorry, I can't relate at all. I simply don't know what all that grudge-holding business is about. For instance, Im totally not holding on to the fact that Jen L. told her mother I'd bitten her when we got in a knock-down-drag-em-out fight when we were 9 and she ended up with a little bruise. Because of course I bit her through her bleeping SNOWSUIT and five layers of clothing. Whatever. We still fight about it whenever the two families get together. ;)

LiLu said...

I get very mad very quick, and then I get over it in about 4 second... UNLESS. Unless it is a deal-breaker, something I just can't forgive. They don't happen often, but when they do, it's pretty much impossible to get over for me. And your situation definitely qualifies, I think- especially given the way he handled the divorce on the whole.

desperate housewife said...

My problem is that I stew over stuff that happens to OTHER people. Like, one of the primary reasons I have made a no-spanking policy in our house is that I've heard many SECOND HAND accounts from people, friends and classmates and so on, of parents who were totally being abusive and yet called it "spanking." So even though, mind you, I never even witnessed such a thing, let alone experienced it, I am still emotionally traumatized by it and refuse to even allow the POSSIBILITY of such a thing happening to my kids.
There are definitely some things of my own I stew about, but the things that keep me up at night are definitely the things that DIDN'T EVEN FREAKING HAPPEN TO ME PERSONALLY. Like I worry about housewives BACK IN THE FIFTIES who were abused or sexually frustrated or just trapped and bored and lonely and never got help. Or about a bad, abusive marriage one of my friends was in TEN YEARS AGO that is completely over with. And yet.
I have problems.

Kelsey said...

I stew about things that have embarrassed me - like specific times I was publicly reprimanded in grade school (it didn't happen often). I also feel responsible for things that aren't my fault.

I'm Catholic and I feel like I should apologize about the annulment thing, even though I, too, thought it was difficult to get one. As though I make the rules...

Stacia said...

I officially do not get the annulment. I would be stewing, too!

I graduated from high school nearly 19 years ago and I still stew over this crazy girl named Kendra. First, she bugged me a whole summer to get baptized. Then a year later she flipped out in a different way, started causing tons of problems at school, got kicked out of her church, and decided I had ruined her life. I didn't even know her, we had never been friends or hung out and were barely in any classes or activities together. She was obsessed. In retrospect, after growing up and working with kids who have emotional issues, I can see Kendra had problems and needed help. To this day, though, I stew about all the things she did.

Joanne said...

I can't believe that he wasn't trying to get married to a Catholic. As I have always understood it, you have to have very specific reasons to get a marriage annulled in the Catholic church - i.e. abandonment, undisclosed congenital disease, etc. I have known people who got married outside of the Church (like in the backyard or something, I mean, outside any church) who have had their marriages annulled before marrying the Catholic church but man - I just can't imagine why someone would or could get an annulment without intention of marrying a Catholic who wanted to be married in the Church. Weird.

Anyway, I am a stewer for sure but I am trying not to be. I am mad enough, every day, about 1000 NEW things and I have to make room for them so I get rid of old things.

casey said...

Of course! One of the first ones that comes to my mind (and one I can tell in appropriate words, haha), is another about a drawing - no Easter Bum, though, but a volcano.

In kindergarten, we were drawing volcanoes, and I made mine blue with purple lava, or vice-versa, don't 'member - and since those aren't the "real colors", I got in trouble. In trouble! For using my imagination! In kindergarten!

Geez, Mrs. Lien. Have a heart. (Yes, I still remember her name, which I guess most people do if it's something like that, but still. It seems meaningful. It's a good name for spitting angrily, too). And yes, I know it sounds stupid now, and is of course not anything compared to an annulment (which, btw, is ridiculous and I am TOTALLY WITH YOU ON THIS ONE and pretty much all else), but, you know.

Things sit. and smolder. for decades.