Emotional processing, Marriage Struggles

Punitive Damage.

“A person who trusts no one now, once trusted someone too much” -unknown

I read this a few days go while scrolling through Facebook and a truer statement could not have been made. Trust is a tricky thing. You only have so much to give and once your trust is gone, it is hard to get back or it will never be quite the same.

When you trust your entire world to someone, your heart, your love, your body, your mind, and your future and that all comes crumbling down, you are left with a hole where that trust use to be. As hard as they try, they can never fill it back up. They can never make it whole. There are cracks that can never be fixed. Your world looks very different when your foundations is not secure.

You make a choice to live with it. Everyday, wondering if the cracks will shatter? Everyday wondering when it will happen again? They dug the whole in the first place. They tried to fix it. They tried to cover up the damage and fill it in but it is always there, under the surface. Can you live with it? Can you let those crack heal? Can you trust they won’t dig that hole again? I understand people grow and change but the residual cracks are still there from that first blow. They are weaker and more fragile and it takes less of an impact to cause the same amount of damage. With every repair, there are more cracks and less protection until there is nothing but an empty hole and no substance left to fill it with.

It may have been little lies here and there but over time they add up. They cause damage. They crack. Once that happens, you slowly find yourself moving further away. You have to protect the damage. You have to avoid the impact. At some point, you are so far removed that you can’t even remember where you started. You see pictures and videos. You hear stories. You know that you were once so in love and so happy but you just can’t remember it.

For me, those memories were buried during one of the attempts to repair the damage. They fell through a crack and I just can’t remember them. I look at my wedding pictures and I can see that it’s me. I can see how happy I was. I can see the joy in my eyes, but I can not remember ever being that happy, that in love. I can not remember ever feeling as if I could trust this man for the rest of my life. I can’t remember the joy. I tried and I tried and I tried. And I prayed and I prayed and I prayed and I can’t remember. Somewhere, along the way, when the trust was lost, so were the memories of the good times. Somewhere along the way…it all became too much.

So, now there are holes and cracks. Punitive damage as I like to call it. So, how do you trust again? I know there are good people and good men in this world but how do you even begin to trust someone with your entire world, your heart, your love, your body, your mind and your future? I am not sure that I will ever have that level of trust. I think that I will always keep my parachute packed and on the ready. (Read about my parachute here.)

Punitive damage…

Also referred to as “exemplary damages,” punitive damages are awarded only in special cases where the acts of the defendant are found to be egregious, intentional, and especially harmful. Punitive damages are awarded for the express purpose of punishing the defendant, and to deter future similar acts, rather than to enrich the plaintiff. Generally speaking, punitive damages are not awarded in contract cases, unless it is proven one party has acted with the intent to defraud the other party.

So, life has rewarded me with punitive damage. I have been defrauded. I have not benefited from this damage but I know a lesson was learned by both parties. So, where do you go from here? How do you repair the damage?

You never truly do.

I know that I trust more now than I did 5 months ago but that is not saying a lot. At the point my marriage ended, I am not sure I trusted anyone or anything. Punitive damage has a way of making that happen. You have to move forward. You have to move on, but you do so with those battle scare. The hole slowly fills, the cracks slowly mend but they will never have they stability they once did, there is punitive damage and it doesn’t go away.

You just have to wake up every day and pray that God send you the person that see those cracks and doesn’t run. They see those cracks as an opportunity to get to know you better. As an opportunity to pour their love in and fill the void that has been left behind. In a court of law, punitive damages are rarely rewarded because they are so hard to prove. In real life, they are felt more than anything else.

So, I will take my damaged self and I will move on. I will live my beautifully blessed, messy life. I will move forward. I will learn to trust again. And I will do it in my own time. It may be today, it may be tomorrow, it may be next year. I may do it alone or it may take someone else to bandage me up and care for those wounds. But through it all, I will remember, in the midst of chaos, sparkle. Don’t let life dull your shine.

Much Love,

The Manicured Mom

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