I have always maintained that people (especially extroverts) make sense of disastrous or even wonderful but hugely-life-changing events by telling the story. Sometimes, you have to tell it over and over and over. (Ever listen to a woman who just had a baby? You have to hear about every single labor pain. It's unspeakably boring, but essential to her process, somehow.) I'm discovering, though, that there's another side to this.
I do keep telling the story of this relationship disaster over and over, hoping to find some sense in it. To Dave, it apparently feels like I'm trying to remind him of his "sins", but that's not what I'm trying to do. I'm trying to understand. It still doesn't make sense, and I have a perfectly adequate mind. If there were sense to be found, I think I could have found it by now.
But I never thought about how much pain can be involved in the repetition. This is a small town. I keep running into acquaintances. Friends already know the drama, of course. But what about all those people I've known forever, maybe even been to their house for dinner, but we aren't really close friends? I see them at church, the gym, the grocery store, restaurants.... Naturally, they want to know when Dave's coming home, what our plans for Christmas are.... And it's once more around the block with the sad tale.
How many times do I have to say (using more neutral words, of course) that I've been kicked to the curb? My friend Terri wisely pointed out that it helps just to get out there; fairly soon the rumor mill takes over and does some of my work for me. But there are still people who don't know, and that's starting to weigh on me. But the telling of the story weighs on me, too.
And there's a little bit of aggravation that the burden of this, too, has fallen to me and not to Dave. What price is HE paying, one wonders? (And would it even help if he were suffering, too? Probably not, I suppose.)