Dear Chump Lady,
I have been reading your blog for quite a while and I know that every story is different but I wonder why mine feels so different.
My ex has never once admitted to anything – NOTHING.
Others have experienced no remorse, no shame, some chumps have to go no contact because their ex baits them, etc. Pick-me dance? I was never given the chance.
I seem to be the only person whose ex has never once tried to contact them, never asked for anything, just walked away and never looked back. Left his clothes, the photos, any mementos, the kids – and just walked into the sunset. Never asked anyone where I lived, where I worked, how I am. Nothing. Never once uttered my name again. After almost 30 years.
I understand that he had been living his new life for such a long time so there was probably no need for him to look back.
Am I really the only one?
I cannot believe that no one else has faced this.
Now that the divorce is finally over, I am flattened.
My guess is that you feel flattened because you think his total abandonment of your life together is some reflection on YOU. That you and your home and you kids suck so badly, that you must be covered up like Chernobyl. He just walks away from that radioactive mess, and if he thinks about it you’re just a dusty ghost, an abandoned school yard, some stray detritus.
But of course you’re not. You’re very much alive and feel the pain of his abandonment. You’re not a ghost, you have a life, and those children and all he left behind are still the lodestars of your life. So it’s not like you can forget him as easily. But forget him is exactly what I think you need to do.
You have drunk his narcissist Koolaid. You’re seeing the world from his point of view — that you don’t matter, that you’ve been shunned because there is something faulty with you. You feel stung by this judgment, this utter rejection. What would happen if you turned that around, and started asking what is wrong with HIM that he could do that? What kind of piece of shit DOES that? A really disordered, cowardly person, that’s who.
Why would you internalize the judgments of a disordered piece of shit? Why not ask the schizophrenic homeless guy in the tinfoil hat if you look pretty today? (Probably a much nicer person, but still whatever he said you’d weigh against his afflictions. What does a delusional person know about pretty?)
What does a disordered, cowardly person know about VALUE? Nothing, Rebecca. Nothing. So quit accepting his rejection of you. Quit measuring your worth against his abandonment. HE is the crazy, worthless person here, not YOU.
You’re not Chernobyl, you’re not a ruin, so stop feeling like one. He’s a shitty person who left you. Let’s rewrite the script.
My shitty person won’t talk to me. My shitty person never let me fight for the chance to have him and more of his shittiness in my life. The shitty person left his shit. The shitty person went away. The shitty person doesn’t want to know where I live.
Rebecca? HURRAH! Hurrah! A shitty person is leaving you alone and has gone utterly no contact on you! Thus alleviating you of the trouble of going no contact on him. I think your problem is really just the chump classic of not trusting that he sucks. You still think his judgments matter, that there is something there, some status to miss. Take Muriel’s example and fire him.
Go enjoy the great blessing that you’re not married to a shitty person. Fill your world with people who do want to know how you are and where you live — who value you. How do you know they won’t abandon you too? You just do your best to fix your picker and choose for character. And if they do for some awful reason let you down? You know your worth and you start again. The crazy, shitty people really are a minority — don’t let your ex poison your world view. Or your view of yourself. Know your worth.