Stepping Back

I like to think of myself as someone who doesn’t quit, who fights for what I believe in, who doesn’t give up. I think that’s a big reason why I struggle with coming to terms with the divorce. I feel like I quit. I do know it’s much bigger, much more grey than black and white. But when I observe others not fight, not try, not do what they can to move mountains, I admit it bothers me. Particularly when it comes to my oldest son. D does not have a good relationship with his father. In fact, he doesn’t have much of a relationship at all. This is nothing new. Not a result of the divorce. I had actually, naively, hoped their relationship would improve with the separation and divorce. Some feel my ex-husband was/is jealous of D because D took attention away from him. But as long as I can remember, there has been a tension that exists between the two of them. Honestly, I am downright appalled sometimes at the direct attacks at D from his father. To say this rips my heart into tiny pieces is an understatement. Along the way, I have created opportunities for them to bond; I push for them to spend time together; I often act as a middle-man trying to calm situations. But no more. It’s not my relationship to save. And as hard as it is to see their relationship crumble even more, I know it’s the right thing to do – step back. My ex-husband feels as though he is trying and I do believe he feels like he has gone above and beyond. As long as he feels this way, things won’t improve. One first needs to realize the problem in order to fix the situation. And so I am reminded of the Serenity Prayer:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

As a matter of fact, this Prayer will be helpful in other aspects of my life too.

Have there been times in your life when you have had to hesitantly step back?

 

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A Mishmosh

What is life? A compilation of moments in time. Somehow it’s still so hard. It’s all so disappointing. And I struggle to find solid ground. Yet, we – meaning my boys and I – are all doing okay. Maybe even better than okay. Do you ever wonder and dream? I do. Every day. I feel as though I’m lost. The wonder keeps me from losing all sense of reality I think. It’s facing everything straight on…no ignoring, dismissing, forgetting. Can you tell? I’m scattered. Peace awaits.

Truths

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I took this picture recently. After uploading it to my computer, I realized it was more symbolic than initially anticipated. The ferry ride had been a relatively smooth one until we started to break through the ice. You could hear the ship struggling as it made its way through, vibrating the floors, chairs, and tables. Looking down at the ice was beautiful. But looking ahead to the shore line was almost breathtaking. There was beauty in the struggle and beauty in the destination. I must admit, I have been struggling. I am desperately trying to stay focused. To take deep breaths. To calm my mind. My thoughts. I have started to think about truths. And mostly what they mean to different people. Truth is black and white – to me. There are no shades of grey. It’s a yes or no. I think when people try and grey their truth it’s simply a way to manage a mistake. Or maybe a weakness. Truth, bare-boned truth, can hurt. But is undeniable so easier (not to be confused with easy) to accept for that very reason. Truth bares no excuse. It doesn’t need one. It just needs to be accepted. It’s the shades of grey that align with excuses and ultimately hurt more than one can imagine. I don’t believe truth to be flexible. In fact I find that contradictory. It is what it is. What are your truths?

Imprinting of the Past

My very first boyfriend was when I was fourteen years old. It was immature and very unhealthy. I remember arguing with him on the phone and he was kicking the dishwasher. He had this temper where kicking, breaking, punching various things in the house was a norm. As a result, there was an intensity to our relationship. If I look back further, I can remember my mother slamming cabinets, screaming, turning music up loudly in the middle of the night, all a result of being angry with my father. This is where the intensity began. Fast forward again to a relationship I had for almost five years…this beginning at a vulnerable age of sixteen. He was, on the outside, what many girls in the school at the time desired…popular, athletic, funny..a “catch.” But, it quickly became abusive in so many ways. I was verbally abused constantly. Emotionally, psychologically abused. I was controlled. And I allowed this to happen. I own it. This intensity was a part of me. And this relationship filled this need for intensity. I will admit there was this quiet part of me that new it was wrong. This was not love. It was hard for me to work through. I equate it to an addiction. I know if I married this man, I may not be alive today or maybe alive but so beaten down that I would be a hollow shell. College years created a forced space between us that eventually allowed me to break free. During this time of breaking free, I met my husband. I remember waiting for him to yell at me. It felt so much healthier than my previous relationship. I was by no means “addicted” to this man. I felt better. I felt stronger. I felt “I can live without this man, but I am choosing not to live without him.” Until one night I remember us arguing. He took my binder of study materials that I had been reviewing for an exam that would culminate the previous five years of hard work. He took that binder and threw it against the wall. The papers falling everywhere. The following day we were looking at potential reception halls. I lied in bed that night thinking “what am I doing?” But I moved forward. I felt this momentum that I thought at the time I needed to roll with. I questioned things in my mind. I gave myself no voice though. There were so many struggles within me that I became paralyzed in my being. So I moved forward on the outside, while the inside stayed paralyzed. Over the years, I tried to blend the inside with the outside. To find some sense of harmony. Today, here is what I know. I need to listen to my inner voice. I don’t deserve to be treated any less than well. I need to be a positive role model for my children, exposing them to positive role models, providing them with healthy lessons in relationships and love, teach them respect and empathy. I need to be this so they feel this. I don’t have blame, I don’t have regret. But I do have the need for change. I do have the need to finally allow that quiet self, that true self to move to the forefront. Yes, the past has shaped me. But I am ready to take charge and use my own hands to shape my present and my future. Are you?

Struggling

I have noticed older people tend to say things like “let me tell you a thing or two about marriage.” Younger people are focused on “Do what makes you happy.” I fully understand marriage is work. It certainly is not all bliss – despite what I may have thought as a young girl. And I have worked hard to follow through on the commitment I made. I finish what I start. Even a book I am not enjoying, I finish. I feel better when I do. In this particular case, I obviously decided finishing what I had started was no longer a healthy choice for me. Actually no longer a healthy choice for all involved – mainly my boys. But then why am I struggling? I want to know. I want to know when will I feel certain about my life? When will I stop hurting? When can I just exhale?