My Moral Compass Swayed

As I pack up my apartment, I’ve been facing a lot of hidden memories- things I don’t want to take with me. So I’ve decided to voice them here as a means of clearing my head and heart. This is one in a series that I will probably share. Consider that your warning.

{Flashback Confession}

There were signs telling me not to go. That I’d made the wrong choice. My heart and my head were at such odds, I couldn’t listen to what my gut was telling me. So I went, drove for hours with a nagging nervousness in my belly, to a clandestine meeting with a former lover in a sunny seaside town.

An hour away from my destination, the tread on one of my front tires came off. I thought I had a flat. Immediately I thought: This is a sign. Because I knew in my heart that going was at odds with who I was. I did not cheat. I didn’t participate in cheating. And yet, I needed to know. . . did we still have something worth fighting for? Because it felt like it most of the time.

When I arrived it was awkward and then passionate and then awkward again. Now what?

His phone alert went off at all hours of the day and night reminding me that he was not mine. I never forgot that, trust me, but laying in bed with another woman’s man hearing the beep of her most recent text, I felt the lowest I had ever felt in my life. Who was I? Because this person lying in this motel bed with her old love was not me. I was a good girl. I followed the rules. I didn’t hurt other people intentionally. And yet here I was, acting so out of character that I felt like I could throw up.

My water bottle opened in my purse, soaking the entire contents including my camera. I bought a disposable but ended up only taking one shot- of a seagull perched on the weathered wharf, the stunning blue of the sky meeting the churning blue of the sea, the sun so blinding I couldn’t see. The irony is not lost on me. The memories I have from that weekend are sad. Not because we didn’t end up back together but because we were wrong to try. I am only responsible for my own actions and so, years later, I am still ashamed.

I don’t think she knows but that fact doesn’t change my regret. Her knowing wouldn’t make it any more wrong. It would just make it more hurtful.

I’m just so very sorry.

For all of us.

“There’s no mercy in a live wire/No rest at all in freedom/Of the choices we are given it’s no choice at all/The proof is in the fire/You touch before it moves away/But you must always know how long to stay and when to go/And there ain’t no talkin’ to this man/He’s been tryin’ to tell me so/It took awhile to understand the beauty of just letting go/’Cause it would take an acrobat, I already tried all that/I’m gonna let him fly. . .” -Fly, Patty Griffin


36 thoughts on “My Moral Compass Swayed

  1. Wow, this was a beautiful post. And I’ve been in a similar situation, and know a lot about how all that feels.

    Happy weekend!

  2. This doesn’t make what you did any better, but… you weren’t the only one in the wrong that weekend.

    Remember that.

    And remember where – and who – you are today.

  3. And now you need to forgive yourself and let it go. Because holding onto it won’t “make it any more wrong. It would just make it more hurtful.”

  4. Exactly what Melissa said. Its good to get it out, but now you’ve got to move on (literally and figuratively!).

  5. Exactly what the previous two stated.

    I’ve been in a similiar situation and first you must forgive yourself before you can heal.

    The old adage, “time heals all wounds,” is really ture.

  6. It’s our pasts that always serve to make us stronger, as long as we at least try to learn from them. And it’s very apparent here that you have.

    I love how well this post was written!

  7. I loved this post. It’s just one of the darker pieces of the puzzle that makes you who you are. We all have shadows in our lives. It makes you better able to appreciate the highlights.

  8. Just beautifully written, as always Sizzle.
    I think this emotional housekeeping has a lot going for it and I hope by purging this you can move forward.

  9. Aww Sizzle. Sometimes those “signs” are what we need, to really realize and accept what is happening is wrong. Or at a Dead End. Without our gut and “signs” showing us, we could claim we never knew, right?
    You learned a valuable lesson, because sometimes we follow thru and learn things the hard way. It doesn’t make you a Bad person, in my book.(even rules aside)

    Sometimes we can’t go back again. Sometimes we need that bad feeling to happen for us to know, it really IS over. *hugs*

  10. I know it hurts, but walking down the wrong path sometimes makes us more human. You learned something about yourself, maybe realized something you really wished wasn’t there. You’re a better person for it now.

    I know from experience, I put myself on a collision course for one huge fuck-up a while back. It still bothers me. But it got my ass into therapy so I could figure out the root cause of my behavior.

    It’s all over, try to forgive yourself. Now go to confession, then read Psalm 51! πŸ˜‰ (Had to throw in some Catholic guilt there)

  11. I love your cheery posts but the soul-searching ones are always so beautiful.
    It’s past, sweetie. And like someone else said, you were not the only party involved and any blame does not rest solely on your shoulders. Live and learn.


  12. You did a great job detailing this story and how you wrestled with your emotions. I don’t think you should beat yourself up over this too much. It’s refreshing to know you probably shouldn’t have been there, but the lure of something forbidden is very powerful.

  13. A good cleanse is always freeing – we all have regrets and we all question ourselves with “Why? Why did I do that?” I am quite positive that you learned a lot from the experience and that is what it’s all about.

  14. The great thing? You now know to listen to your gut, and your lines in the sand are drawn more firmly. But it’s hard — selling yourself short to get a little of what you want all of never really ends up doing anybody any good.

    Yay, Fella. πŸ™‚

  15. The debate. The guilt. The lesson.

    Good things that grew from a regrettable choice.

    In our worst moments, we have to ask ourselves, “What can I learn from this?”

    Compassion often arrives in the saddest package.

  16. I’ve been fortunate to not be in a relationship where there was another guy (or at least I didn’t know about it if it were).

    I have been the ‘other guy’ once, and it wasn’t something I felt all too right about. Yeah, it was hot fooling around…until I was reminded that I was the other guy. Then it just felt completely wrong. It felt wrong enough for me to abstain from speaking to her again out of consideration for her current relationship.

    Despite your lingering regret, it’s a great learning experience albeit a painful one.

  17. I hope posting that helped unclutter your mind. It’d be hard to have compassion for others and to avoid judging them harshly if you’d never made any mistakes yourself.

  18. I felt like saying something funny like “my computer wants to install “flashback” so I can view “confession”, but thethen as I read further I thought… “what is this wacky crap – I can’t understand any of it” and then I read it a SECOND time and thought “whoa, this is some deep stuff” and then I read it a THIRD time and wept.

    Thanx for helping me along.

  19. Holy cow, sizzle! That’s one authentic post. (Remember when I said I loved how unvarnished you are?) But it’s also some damn fine prose. Really. I’m moved and impressed all at the same time.

    There’s amazing power in your pen. I hope freeing these thoughts frees you.

    Mayberry Magpie

  20. I did that once, too. It was a long time ago, but I still feel crappy. If nothing else, I know I’ll never do that again. Much too disturbing.

  21. posts like this make a blog worth reading πŸ™‚ although i don’t condone what you did, i’m glad you’ve been able to come out the other side and find happiness.

  22. It’s not easy living with that kind of guilt. I dated a girl in college only to find out after her kid sister visited that she was still dating the guy I thought she had broken up with. I was the “mistress.” I didn’t even know the guy but felt bad that this had happened. I don’t know if she ever admitted it to him, but I seriously doubt it.

  23. Know that you are cleaning the attic of your mind Sizzle. You are better for this move and a better person since this happened.

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