Dear Chump Lady,
I’m seeking feedback on a text my ex sent. We were married over two decades and shared what I thought was a beautiful partnership with our children. He told me that a poem and painting he created were published in a small newsletter. The poem is about how he has forgiven himself and is loving himself for the first time in his painful, trauma-filled life.
Why in the world would he be sending me this? We keep it civil for the kids, but I am not feeling we are friends one bit. The discovery of the affair and his secret, hidden life filled with years of online sex chatting and meet ups with escorts in Vegas kinda killed that vibe for me.
I did not respond to him and not sure if I should. Please see the poem and artwork below along with his explanation. Thoughts?
The Chumpiest Chump Around
Dear Chumpiest Chump Around,
Oh, I have thoughts.
My first thought was: Should I run this? On the off chance that the three people who lined their hamster cage with this recognize him?
But then I thought: He shared this for all the world to see. And to be a published writer is to feel the sting of commentary.
And then I realized my non-self and impermanence and thought WTF. The UBT could use a snack.
However, could we first discuss that illustration? What is it? Buddha in a Bunsen burner? Is it painted on black velvet?
It’s the “ongoing journey of forgiving myself (the lamp) to fully forgiving.”
Keep going, Dude. You need to forgive yourself for bad art.
Onwards to the faux Buddhist sad sausage word vomit…
My journey in this life has been difficult, filled with pain and loss from the consequences of actions I have made or those I couldn’t make.
This sentence construction has been difficult, filled with nameless actions to avoid responsibility.
You should know, this has all been very hard on me. Hardest really.
What I carried within my heart was blame. I blamed the gods, the world and me!
The gods never should’ve booked those Vegas escorts.
Last June I realized the journey to forgiveness is something I have been doing wrong.
I had an epiphany. Forgiveness is not remorse or recompense for those I have harmed. It’s New Age drivel published in a cut-rate newsletter.
I have been doing it wrong. I should Xerox this shit and leave it on car windshields.
I thought if I forgave everyone and the gods, welcomed them back into my life, then I would be forgiven too and feel at peace.
If I forgave the gods, welcomed them into my life, had them over to my hotel room and hired a few hookers…
The truth I have experienced is very much the opposite — when I forgave myself fully and began being kind to myself, I truly began to feel love for my imperfectly perfect soul within.
As a man who’s spent decades siphoning off marital funds to fuck strange, I need to be kinder to myself.
The truth I have experienced is I love my perfect dick.
When I completed this journey of fully forgiving myself
Since June! It’s what, mid-August? Journey complete!
and embracing with warm love who I am,
The UBT asks that you please not discuss your dick and your warm embraces with it. Eww.
I also forgave everyone around me for their imperfect perfections.
I do not understand what perfection means. Or forgiveness.
It has been rewarding to realize that the first one to forgive and love is me.
I am the first one. I come first. I love me.
And now the Universal Bullshit Translator shall recite a poem.
Standing on this shore, I hear the overwhelming waves of your judgment crash.
My trouser cuffs are wet from your disdain.
Woe! Angry seagulls! Do not eat my imperfectly perfect liver.
My skin is pierced by your hate and I have a tattoo of a phoenix on my back. Inked by salty tears.
My tears. Hooker hearts burst with compassion.
I am frozen. How much? Do you take Venmo?
My wife’s burning sirocco of vengeance. Rococo. Loco. Mocha latte.
I utter “Splendid day for an enema” to the wind. All is earflaps. Waves cuddle.
I FORGIVE ME.
(The UBT has expired. Send Lebkuchen.)