Hey Whome and RachelMac:
This place in a relationship is not an easy one to be in. As the past moves out of the present and the fog begins to clear, so also does the pain become clearer. This is the pain that was never felt or allowed.
I don't think pain is as simple as "payback" or "restitution". That doesn't mean that there isn't pain about what didn't happen. I mourn that absence every day that I can, when it comes to what didn't happen with the mother of my kids. And when I mourn, it reminds me of what I really wanted and makes it easier to hear what she really wanted.
That doesn't mean it's easy. It just means I'm a little stronger for it.
I don't think we can ever pay these debts without forgiving. Which is why they are never really paid at all. I feel a lot of appreciation for how my kid's mom knew there was something wrong with me and wanted me to face it. Now I'm afraid to tell her the whole picture, even as I am becoming a new person. Maybe I'm afraid of forgiving myself, and her.
The funny thing about the new person, is that it isn't really new at all. It is the one who never breathed, who never really danced, who never really became a man. When I look at it through those eyes, then something tells me that healing comes first. And then I know that this is where everything needs to be.
Having courage, even amidst the pain, seems to provide a path.
Whome, I often feel a pressure too. But I think it is a deeper me wanting to blossom, one that is also telling me that it still isn't time. If there is pressure, from anyone past or present, in mind or body, then it is a sign that one's growth is not being allowed to fully express itself. I hope you can give it (and her) time. With time comes wisdom, I believe.
RachelMac, although there were wonderful things in the past that seems gone, they can also serve as reminders of what kept you both rooted until the time came to see what needed to be seen. Sometimes the past needs to go away for a while. My MOMC (mother of my children) spoke of the past as having little to redeem it for a painfully long period of time. Gradually that has loosened up and recently it was me who pointed out her selective memory, which she is beginning to wonder about.
As you find your new way, there will be hurts and perhaps the old ways will face you to ask that you make sense of them. This may be the hardest challenge and one that I am gathering the courage to face.
Hoping for all of us....