The Fourth

I do love everything about the Fourth of July. From parades to cookouts to the red, white, and blue to the fireworks. I love love fireworks. But this year is different. My boys decided to spend the holiday with their father. With their grandparents, cousins, aunt, and uncle. And their father’s girlfriend. If I told you my heart is hurting, it’d be an understatement. It’s a physical space I once shared with them…to be honest, I’m feeling somewhat replaced. My oldest was allowed to bring his girlfriend and as a result was in his glory. And T..well T just goes with the flow. But me, being without them on my favorite holiday pains me. It’s so incredibly opposite of all that I wanted. And this emptiness can feel suffocating. The tug of emotions. Happy for them and for their father to have this time with them…especially D who rarely spends time with his father. And I am happy for my (ex) in-laws for they love having their family together. Yet, the core of me is sad. And I get that may be selfish. And I get that time marches on. And I get that it’s been nearly five years. But family is in my heart. It’s in my being. And I don’t think any amount of time will change that for me.

So today I will spend time with my parents, my brother, and his family. And I will give my three precious nieces a few extra hugs today. Their ever relentless love for me will somehow soothe my shaking soul I know. And will keep me from just curling up in a ball, crying myself into a defeated sleep to wake to a reality that will shock me once again. I know chances are each stumble, each fall, will only act to strengthen me in the end. And I am fighting to stay clear, to stay strong, and true. This Fourth of July is different yes. But I think it just may be a turning point.

Blocking

All thoughts. All feelings. All emotions. It became a mirage. An illusion. “Thank you for Christmas morning. Now everyone put on your happy faces and have a good afternoon.” The insanity of it all makes me question “Did I really live my life like this all these years?” How can that be? All of it creates doubt in the corners of my mind. But that’s intentional right? He even asked T “What was your mother doing in the car?” He thought somehow T would see this as my fault. But T knows. His reply “Mom didn’t do anything” indicates he knows. But why should he be subjected. There was a calmness in my response that I repeated after every yell “you can not treat me like this.” In a sense, it was my mantra. But the threat yelled at me on the highway “DO YOU WANT TO GET OUT OF THE CAR?” was truthfully tempting. I did actually.  The music was then intentionally turned up so loud that T could not hear me in the back seat. The speed of 80mph was intentional as our newly licensed son tried to follow us. D saying he just wanted to drive alone or with his younger brother simply because “I just want to drive” was only a cover for not wanting to be in the car with him. It’s suffocating. So toxic. So the hour long drive, I retreated to a place of nothingness. Because truly being present in that moment would have resulted in a catastrophic breakdown. I was texting my mom however because it all was boiling inside of me and I needed to vent. And then retreat. It was a game I played with myself in order to hold it together. My brother started to then text me to come to his house. Oh, how much I wanted to go there. And so as my insides turned and twisted, I put my game face on and held it together. Not for me though. For them. For my boys. But really was that the right thing to do?

Epiphany

Just got back from a run. No longer running with headphones listening to music, I listen to the sound of my breath, my sneakers hitting the ground, and the vibrations of my thoughts. Suddenly during this run, it hit me. My ex-husband is a version of my mother. Their personalities are plagued with anger and manipulation. I suppose there was no irony in the fact that during the time of my separation I was also creating distance with my mom.  The need to free myself of this world I had lived in my whole life was great. It all makes sense. It makes sense that I do not want my sons’ worlds to be contaminated with these harsh emotions. Although it is a reality, a space needed to be created to allow for a healthier life. For all. I had been continuing a life when I got married that I had lived as a child. And as a result, providing that life to my children. No longer. They deserve better. And I think I do too.

It’s all coming together. Piece by piece.

Dream

So real. A house boat. Floating. An attached dock. With jet skis. The dock fiercely moving with the energetic waves. “Don’t you get scared?” “I am use to it.” Emotions rising. Holding back tears. Memories of these times flood my mind. Suddenly a big push and the dock smacks against the wall. She is jerked backwards and then forwards but unharmed. It is now loose. Floating away. She jumps first quickly to get to the house boat. I follow. Lost around the corner. We run. Yelling for the both of you. I can now hide my tears against this excuse. As you retrieve the runaway dock, it suddenly becomes apparent it was not as big of a deal as originally thought. Keeping my head down, yet obviously upset, she says “she is not happy.” You look at me and suddenly I feel your hands rubbing my temples. The tears now flow readily down my cheeks. And I reach up to hold your hand. I feel you. And it hurts. And then….I awake. Crying inconsolably.

“Feel it. The thing you don’t want to feel. Feel it and be free.” – Nayirah Waheed

Three Day Quote Challenge – Day 2

Being a mom has become a dream come true. An intense range of emotions. A myriad of feelings. A puzzle, a challenge, a journey, a gift. It’s what I have always wanted to be.

“Motherhood is a choice you make everyday, to put someone else’s happiness and well-being ahead of your own, to teach the hard lessons, to do the right thing even when you’re not sure what the right thing is…and to forgive yourself, over and over again, for doing everything wrong.”
― Donna Ball

 

Rules of the challenge:

Three quotes for three days.
Three nominees each day (no repetition).
Thank the person who nominated you.
Inform the nominees.

Thank you to https://mysecondchancelife.wordpress.com who nominated me!

Today I am nominating:

https://maggiecarlise.wordpress.com

https://lessonsfromtheendofamarriage.com

https://celiaelaine.wordpress.com

 

5 days…

It’s been 5 whole days since court. I’ve woken in the middle of the night in that ignorant state of unknowingness….to then be slapped with reality. Finding myself blocking emotion though – as a means of self-protection? Is this good? Bad?

Walking in the supermarket the day of, was a gentle reminder “you never know what someone is going through, what kind of day he/she is having.” I found myself wanting to painfully scream “I just got divorced!”

Blocking out all in the courtroom except for my lawyer and the judge when addressed, I slowly narrowed my vision; otherwise I would have completely broke down. The stenographer sat right in front of me, so close he could have held my hand. Looking at me, I thought he was making eye contact, offering a silent “I’m sorry,” but I quickly realized he was only concentrating on what he was typing – he wasn’t looking at me as so much as through me. Typing words that I declared, words that would officially end my marriage.

Vulnerable in front of strangers who now heard my age, my children’s birth dates, our wedding date, and witnessed my sobs. Sterile. Cold. All so opposite from the day nearly eighteen years ago when we promised to be forever. The judge read the final comments as a script, stating “I wish you both luck.” Hardly sincere, just meaningless commentary.

And then we left. My lawyer hugged me and started to cry herself as my now ex-husband stated “I’ll let you both talk.” He offered no hug. Maybe it was me – my obvious avoidance of looking straight at him. He even asked “why are you crying?” A sign of being unattached, so far removed. Despite knowing me for over twenty years, he somehow didn’t or maybe couldn’t ever know me.

Tomorrow marks the first full week of the rest of my life.

So very scared.

On Being a Mom…

What’s it like to be a mom?

It’s extremes of emotions. I’d be lying if I said my boys do not ever make me so very angry or frustrated. Oh, but the love. The love I feel for them both. It’s bursting. The vastness of love I never knew before being a mom.

It’s connectedness. When my boys feel such strong emotions as hurt, anxiety, pure happiness, I feel it too. They once were both literally connected to me, my body. And somehow, in some amazing way, they both still are despite the physical cord no longer being attached.

It’s learning. Every single day, I am learning. Both boys seem to present me with what seems like pop quizzes in the class of parenting. While I admittedly do not pass all, I do my best in the moment. And always reflect back on how I can do better.

It’s giving. Never has it felt so beautiful to give to someone or something as it has to give to my children. In giving to them, I hope it positively trickles to the world however small it may be.

Being a mom is the ultimate journey. One that does not lead to a destination, but provides a continuous ride. A ride that may not always be smooth. But one that has been and is certain to continue to be, the best ride of my life.

I thank my children for giving me the title of “Mom.” It’s been a dream come true.

Happy Mother’s Day!