I’ve told the story here many times about how on my 40th birthday I shoveled cow manure. Ordered a truck load of the stuff for a new garden, and as I was ankle-deep in shit, I thought to myself, “Gee, this must be a metaphor for something…”
About 6 weeks later, my metaphor called me. It was the Other Woman. Chumpdom and D-Day #1.
Yesterday, on New Year’s Eve, I was waiting for Roto-Rooter. Hundred-year old house, delicate plumbing, collapsed sewer line. Jesus. REALLY? On New Year’s Eve? No working toilets? How long? How much?
We’re spending the dawn of 2015 pumping shit?
Is this a metaphor for something?
Sure seemed like it. Because the whole day sucked epically. My father, who has lymphoma learned he needs another round of chemo, the teenagers are giving us fits, the dog got loose when the plumbers left the gate open, and I had to go in for a chest x-ray. Because — wait for it! — I appear to have pneumonia! But it’s a holiday, the radiologist will get back with me on Friday, meanwhile here’s enough antibiotics to kill a horse. Happy New Year.
Is this a metaphor for something?
Are there some other disasters lurking around the corner, and hacking my lungs into tissues is just a nice bit of foreshadowing? What other fresh hell does Roto-Rooter have in store? (Hundred year old plumbing… what else could possibly go wrong?) Are backed up toilets the harbingers of doom?
(That’s how my mind works in crisis… It catastrophizes. All threats and annoyances get jumbled together.)
How can one day contain so much crap? Does Roto-Rooter service karma? Can I please have all the crap pumped out of my life?
A new sewer line is $7,000. (Think of all the splendid things you can do with $7,000 that are not pumping raw sewage).
Because I’m Chump Lady, this is where I must segue into Uplift. (I’m reaching here — what’s the difference between cheaters and broken sewer pipes? They’re both full of shit, but at least you can pump pipes.)
If chumpdom taught me anything, it is I’m mighty. I’ve stared down worse than Roto-Rooter and Levaquin. God, continue to grant me perspective, so I don’t dissolve into a soggy tissue of self-pity in 2015.
Is this a metaphor for something? Yeah. Get over it. Whatever it is — do battle and win.
On that note, I thought today I would re-run last year’s New Year’s Day column, Get Over It.
Happy 2015, chumps. Go kick ass.
Get over it.
The three words chumps hate to hear. “Get over it” says your remorseless cheater after a half-assed attempt at reconciliation. “Get over it” says the friend who cannot conceive of your pain, and wishes you would just go back to your pleasant, ignorant self again. “Get over it” says your boss, because the drama is effecting your productivity.
“Get over it” feels like insult to injury. A flippant response to betrayal, the worst sort of minimizing. So sorry I’m not healing at your convenience, asshole. Chumps at once see the hidden agenda. The cheater who’s not truly sorry. The friend who feels threatened by your vulnerability. The boss who doesn’t really care, just get back to your widgets. So, quite rightly, chumps dismiss “get over it.” Fuck you, I’ll “get over it” when I’m good and ready. Perhaps not ever. I may go down with this ship if I fucking feel like it. Don’t you tell ME to “get over it”!
So, from one chump to another — let me tell you — get over it.
The pain is finite. Don’t choose it. Don’t keep reliving it. Infidelity does NOT define you. It’s no measure of your soul, of your worthiness and lovability.
What keeps you in pain? Staying focused on your cheater. Their judgments of you, what makes them tick, who they’re with now, what they’re doing — and when the hell is the karma bus coming? Where is the karma timetable? I’ve been standing at this stop for YEARS waiting for that bus. I demand a schedule! Only after that bus arrives will I be able to leave this stop and get on with my life properly! Damn bus.
Note the word stop. That’s what happens when you wait for karma. Your life stops. You live a limbo of anticipation. Your focus is on the bus.
Stand on a different street corner and grab a different bus, chumps. One that’s headed in the direction of your new cheater-free life. Focus on yourself.
Hell YES your job is to get over it. To reclaim your selfhood. Of course, it’s a battle at times, but every liberation campaign is.
Getting over it is not eating a shit sandwich. You’re not denying that this happened to you and it was abusive. You don’t have to hold on to that righteous anger to know that it was real. It WAS real. It DID happen. That person SUCKS. Getting over it means they didn’t break you.
You’re not going to get over it staying married to an remorseless cheater. You get over it when you start to protect yourself, when you stand up and say “no more.” When you draw those boundaries and enforce those boundaries. When you grieve. When you stop spackling and see the cheater for who they really are. When you let go of what you thought your life was going to be/should’ve been, and become open to the possibility of a new life.
Reconciliation is fine if you just want to survive. To limp along. To endure. I’m not convinced anyone every really gets over it when they stay married to a cheater. Seems like an endless buffet of shit sandwiches if you ask me.
At Chump Lady, I hold out a better vision for you. You’re not just going to survive this — you’re going to THRIVE. This is the painful birth to better days. This is where you discover exactly how kick ass you are. You find that job, you parent your way, you finish that degree, you fall in love again, you make new friends who get you, you get reacquainted with your creativity, you own your successes. All that energy poured into a narcissist — it’s yours now. You gift it to yourself and those deserving of you.
So, of course you’re going to get over it. What is the alternative? What are you going to miss? The betrayal? Being treated like a concession prize? The disrespect? The pick me dance? The humiliation? Oh, I’m going to hold those things close. Gee, I really want all that shit in my life. NO, of course you don’t!
Make this year your own. Get over it. Happy New Year, chumps.