Consider this a sub-chapter or an addendum to the story.
Many of you have noted and commented on the depth of emotion apparent between me and my ex. This is where the true wounding is for me. It can, and will, happen to others. It's happening to some as I type. It's happened to many of you who read this, even if in slightly different ways. It's why I go at these beliefs with the viciousness of an angry badger. It's why I'm unyielding in tone and lacking in pretense.
You could be laying somewhere in a ditch with mortal wounds to your immortal soul, heart bloodied, mind beaten, soul raped of everything good and pure and meaningful - and this belief system will pass you by as if you don't exist. It doesn't care that it put you there in the first place.
It. Doesn't. Care.
P/QF and its assorted fundamentalist offshoots are religious parasites. Everyone and everything the belief system sees and encounters is a resource to be consumed. Your heart, your mind, and your soul are meaningless and expendable, and in its primal nature, this belief system has no place for your personhood. It doesn't care if it breaks your heart, breaks your mind, and rapes your soul. Those things demonstrate your rebellion, your willfulness, your selfishness. Those things are invalid. Those things are to be "controlled".
The emotional intimacy shared with my ex was very deep and special to me. Emotional intimacy was my greatest desire in a mate. I wasn't marrying for sex. If I'd just wanted sex, there are any number of places within a few minutes drive of here that I could go and get all of that I wanted, and a ring would never have to be involved. I wasn't marrying so I could have kids. Nothing against having kids, it just wasn't my primary motivation. I wasn't marrying to have a live-in maid who would cook, clean, and do all my laundry. It's like I told my ex - we would do those things together. Being together was what I wanted, whether that meant having sex or dusting the furniture.
I look at my folks, now married 51 years. They love each other deeply. Whatever they do, they do together. Even if they do different things, they'll bring those different things into the same room just to be together. They shop together, eat together, go to their individual doctor's appointments together - literally into the examination rooms. They don't do this because it's their "place". They don't do it out of any kind of duty or out of any kind of compulsion to fit into some biblical proof-text defined role. They do it because they love each other, are emotionally intimate with each other, and want to be together.
This is what I had with my ex (you'll see more of the depth of it in the next few installments). This is why my wound is so large and why my voice is so loud.
I spoke the other day of my ex's parents as emotional morons. They are. In every literal and figurative way you could imagine. They saw this emotional intimacy (which, outside of my faith, was the most valuable thing in my life) as an "emotional thing". That's the term that was bandied about and which returned to me after they'd destroyed everything. This "emotional thing" was more of who I am than anything on the exterior. More than my career, my bank account, my clothes, my looks and physical presence, my hobbies, such as those things were and are. This "emotional thing" resonated from the parts of my being that will pass through the fire when I stand before my Creator. But to them, it was nothing more than trivial refuse.
They devalued it, and by default, devalued my entire being. They simply don't care about anything or anyone that doesn't line up with their belief system. This ENTIRE situation is the evidence of that claim.
What I experienced, emotionally, with my ex is something that most people are fortunate to experience ONCE in their lives. It can't be reduced and shrink-wrapped into a "tear here", ready-pour package to be doled out to any woman that might come along. They seem/seemed to think it can be, as if I could just flip the switch to "off", forget about my ex, move on to another woman, then flip the switch back "on". They're emotional morons who are notably stupid and lacking in good judgment concerning emotion. Their minds have been given over, entirely, to the lie that is their belief system.
Chances are I'll never again experience anything like what I had with my ex. It isn't about the broken heart failing to mend. The heart can heal. It's come a long way in the last three years. It's the soul and the psyche that may never heal. If my heart ever did begin to experience the same depth of feeling for another woman, my soul and my psyche would struggle to trust her enough to extend and express it. I feel no guilt about this, nor do I feel compelled to fight against it. It's a natural reaction, and I intend to let nature run its course, even if it doesn't finish its course in this lifetime.
I've described my experience with my ex and her family this way...
While I'm away, a thief breaks out a small back window of my home, gets inside, ransacks the place, knocking pictures off the wall, turns the furniture upside down, ripping the stuffing out of the cushions, pulling out all of the desk and dresser drawers and spraying the floor with their content, taking an axe to the drywall, ripping out ceiling tiles to get into the attic, and once he's gathered up everything of physical and material value, he loads it up in the back of his truck and starts to drive away as I return home. Seeing me, he sticks his head out the window and says, "Yeah, this is all of your good stuff here. I'm taking it. You're just gonna have to close this chapter of your life and deal with it. Turn the page, dude. Turn the page. There's a HUGE mess inside. That's your problem to deal with. Turn the page. What?! Did you just call me a thief?! How dare you?! Where is Jesus in you calling me that?! You're unforgiving and bitter!!!...Oh yeah, umm, I'm very, very, very sorry about that window I busted out in back...God bless you! I wish you well in your future endeavors!" And he drives away, with all my stuff in his truck, and with a piece of mistletoe taped to his backside.
Another way to view my experience would be this...
Imagine a mining operation coming into town and setting its eyes upon your mountain. You agree to let them set up camp and start drilling, ready to share in the mutually beneficial profits. Once they've drilled, blown up, and mined every possible facet of your mountain, they load up all they've mined and blow out of town in the middle of the night, using the darkness to cloak their escape, leaving you with nothing more than one big, useless hole in the ground - the landscape tarnished, all of the resources gone - and a note left at the entrance of the mine shaft that reads "Sorry...Thanks for everything...You now need to move on with your life." As if personal mountains of value were a dime a dozen.
This belief system takes all of the genuine things of substance - your emotions, your soul, your personhood - and sacrifices them on the altar of duty, ritual, and mechanism. It takes the beautiful intimacy of sexual intimacy and reduces it to little more than a mechanism to procreate. It tells a man that his true value is defined by his understanding and dispensation of authority, as well as by the submissiveness of his wife and the raped souls of his children. It tells a women that her true value is defined by the condition of her hymen prior to marriage, and the fertility of her reproductive system after marriage, along with her dutiful submissiveness to her husband. Not a single one of those things will pass through the fire. Not a single one of those things would make us more valuable to any God worth serving.
I made myself completely vulnerable to another, shared the parts of myself that make up the whole of my being, the parts for which, in my opinion, I'll give an account to God...and my being was fleeced, raped, belittled, and left wounded as if nothing more than human debris. I may not be worth much, but I'm worth more than the clearance item price tag of "expendable" that was placed on me - as are the rest of you being treated as expendable by this paradigm and the people in it.
This belief system is truly evil. You can apply whatever unflattering terminology you want to my ex and her family, and what this belief system made them, and it'd probably be fitting. From my own resources, I'll never be able to forgive them. Yes, I'll eventually come to reconcile with the loss ( I do in small increments every day), but even in the miraculous event that this crowd comes to me truly repentant, it'll take supernatural resources for me to forgive them. And that is that.
It would devastate you, too.