“I had such a bad divorce.”
“There’s no such thing as a good divorce”
“Yes, OK, but, I feel so guilty about so many things.”
“Well for a start, not managing to make all that marriage stuff work OK however much I tried.”
“It takes two.”
“I ought to be able to if I really wanted it to work.”
“Tout puissance? Was it all up to you?”
Pause, “Well guilty: that by that point I didn’t really want it to work.”
“So you’re not perfect you mean?”
I chuckle, “I suppose so.”
“So what else?”
“If it takes two, then how come the divorce was so bad?”
“What do you mean?”
“What was my part in making it so bad, so drawn out, so painful?”
“Oh! You’re guilty every which way are you?”
I kind of nod and smile ruefully,
“Am I guilty of not being able to let go?”
“Any more guilt?”
“Oh yes! How about the harm I’m doing to my children? And that’s long term disturbing harm. And all for my selfish reasons.”
“So full blown guilt, hmm. It plays into all that childhood guilt doesn’t it?”
A deep long drawn out release of breath.
“I wish that seeing that, understanding it, made it all go away.”
“Time, awareness, reflection, and that one that makes you cringe to say it or hear it: self forgiveness, acceptance.”
And I ask the question often uppermost after our talks.
“How long?” It’s not really a question. We’ve talked this one through a lot.
“As – long – as – it – takes.” Not much to say, nothing to add to the sigh.
“I’m glad I’m learning this, this… art.” A smile of pure delight.
“You mean psychotherapy? Yes, it’s wonderful, man’s creativity. I’m in awe of human nature.”