There are days when all the walking in the woods doesn’t clear me of the desire to scream at the top of my lungs. 

I was in an open, polyamorous triad in which we were raising three children when I lived in Toronto and I was never subjected to the kind of gossip and ear-bending that I’ve endured and witnessed over the last couple of months. This place is too small for its own good sometimes.

Writers write about the experiences that move them. How many songs have been written about break ups? Everyone reading knows my version is only one side of the story, and we’re all grown-ass adults. Sure, you can pick apart my words and try to turn them into something hurtful, but this space has been, and always will be a place for me to process my experiences and create deeper meaning. This practice of articulating my pain has helped a lot of people over the years. It’s probably helped you too once or twice.

My moving through the dissolution of this relationship doesn’t leave me blameless. I’ve written plenty about how I contributed to things going sideways.

When two people make the difficult decision to end a relationship, the most healing thing they can do is move on with their lives. To those of you who think it’s helpful to report on what you see or hear other people are up to, check yourself. If you actually have something to say, beyond the realm of hearsay and speculation, address these things with love and care. Tend to your own fires because when other people’s problems become so fascinating to you, I can bet your house is burning to the ground while you’re gawking out the window.

Oh, this anger is a ball of fire in my chest and a claw around my throat. 

I am quick to arrive in this angry place when I feel misunderstood and unheard. It’s part of what sank the boat. Though I’ve come a long way in managing my anger, I still need to create space for it. When I’m angry and trying to protect myself, nobody else is getting in. This means they aren’t seen, or heard. It’s a vicious cycle, and it ended in a stalemate. It was something we both created and perpetuated, and there was no clear way for the light to get back in.

Someone needed to soften. To lay down their arms and open them instead. Someone needed to take the step forward and say “I’m sorry, I’m here, I want this and I want to walk through this with you.” It couldn’t happen. I was too tired of the cycle. I’m guessing he was too. 

There are moments when it’s easy to be bitter about all the promises and hopes and ideas that will never really be fulfilled. There are moments when I just can’t understand why I wasn’t good enough to make it work. Moments where I can’t believe how I behaved, and feel such shame about the choices I have made for myself over these last eight months. The unfairness of it all is suffocating, and this place of disappointment isn’t one I like to dwell in, but it’s there.

The second stage of grief is anger. 

What have you lost? How are you angry about it?