Journal of Alan Howard
Thursday - 6th September 2001 -
I've been going through some strange processes this past week. I've been reading Mars and Venus Starting Over, which I first read shortly after having left Michelle. It wasn't very good for me the first time because there was so much happening, and I was still trapped in my emotions and didn't have much clarity.
It taught me a lot about Michelle's feelings, but not about my
own. However, the second time around has been pretty amazing. That, and a conversation I had with my friend Kath on ICQ on Sunday night, have been catalysts allowing me to see things from my past quite a bit differently to what I was seeing them before. The book opened me up to feeling different stages of grief from my past, and then Kath comes along and helps me see something that I'd never seen before. I believe it's because I was open to new realisations that helped me accept the validity of what she was saying. Basically, she helped me see my own role in the breakdown of the relationship with Michelle, and that it failed because neither of us were able to communicate effectively. For me the end began at her utterance of a particular statement which really affected me. While she didn't have to use the words that she did, I also didn't need to refuse to try and understand where she was coming from. And that became an ongoing theme until I ended it.
And yesterday, as I'm reading the book, it talked about a stage of the grieving process as being an acceptance of the responsibility that I had in the relationship ending, and an understanding of how. Initially, in the grieving process, I experienced sorrow for what was lost. Then for a long time, I wasn't able to get past the anger I was feeling towards things that had happened after the breakup, and I only realised a couple of weeks ago that I've gotten that out of my system. Now I'm into the process of understanding my own part in what went wrong.
What I've been doing, since the relationship ended with Venus, is just sitting back and trying to sort things out inside of myself. It's been a long and hard process, with all kinds of issues arising and still arising, but I'm getting there. Instead of 'moving on', which hasn't worked, I've just sat down and reflected and learnt, and that's been invaluable.
So that's the latest on me... I wonder what's next?