When X left, I was extremely angry. Understandable, I know! In this time, I had a recurring fantasy where all the people who loved me would line up and take turns punching him in the stomach. I felt satisfied by how long the line was. In my fantasy, the point was less the punching, and more that I wanted him to see how long that line was. How many people loved me, and had my back. That fantasy would pop up in my time of doubt and remind me that I am loved. His abandonment definitely made me think I was alone and unlovable, but I believed that even before he left. I didn’t understand that line of people until he left.
After a while, though, the idea of people punching him over and over didn’t sit well with me. Obviously it’s all hypothetical, but I just saw him standing there alone, sad, pathetic. I know that version of X. It was a big part of who he was, especially in the last years of our marriage. And I don’t wish him that kind of harm. Not really.
So I changed my fantasy. About a year ago, I started to fear he’d show up at my new house. The fear was unfounded. He’s not reached out to me once since I left Alaska. But I struggled with it. So I resurected my line of people and, instead of them lining up to punch him, I imagined them flanking me, standing in my yard, spread out on either side of me, facing him. They don’t say anything. The just stand there. They show him how loved I am. There are hundreds of them.
I don’t fear X showing up anymore. But from time to time, when I’m feeling alone, rejected, not worthy of love, I imagine the people I love flanking me. I’ve been leaning on this image a lot lately.