Acceptance

The evolution continues, changes move within; slowly, at times with caution, that fine line between safety and protection, the other, new courage I feel to speak the truth about my current life.

Several short months from now it will be two years since I’ve been in the same room with either one of my adult daughters. Texting here and there on occasion, emails sporadic, the reaching out to connect… an email from my oldest last fall- her deeply anguished angry plea that I stay away, no more contact – to this past January, my younger daughter, her own separate anguished plea to please let her go, no more gifts, offerings or any sort of contact.

I am clueless. Both have told me so. I am a psychopath. Both have told me so. I am not well, I am a sick individual. I am a mom by blood only. They no longer know me or wish to know me as I am today. They have said their respective goodbyes.

Time for Acceptance

It is important to remember – to acknowledge their feelings. It is important to accept those feelings and move on. Closer now to acceptance, grieving feels different from before though its outcome very much still unknown. I can not change how my daughters feel. They see and feel what they see and feel. I have set them free to feel safe.

I am no longer clueless. Perhaps I say this a lot more than I realize but it’s important I continue recognizing this.  I am well on my way – a strong woman who has come to full-on grips of who she was, is now and who she is becoming. As I learn I share. No two experiences are exactly alike though there are similar threads of humanity. Falling into the dark hole, once as prevalent as each breath taken, now subside as I better understand the triggers I must watch out for.  A trigger can be as simple as a popular song on the radio or more complex like observing my friends’ beautiful relationship with their adult children. What I hope to do more than ever is to never see anyone go through the pain and anguish I have endured, as has my entire family.  Sacrificing my children due to the way my divorce played out is the last thing I would’ve ever expected. There are consequences to actions. Each decision breeds an outcome, some desired, some not so much. No longer do I feel the need to explain my actions for I’m at the point of forgiving myself and have learned the true nature of what self-compassion contains. Only for my girls do I need to express my remorse. If and when that day comes, I will be ready.

I will say this: unhappy marriages begin with unhappy selves. Contemplate deep within yourself before looking at the imperfections of your life-partner. Gaze into your own first. It will hurt like hell, pain you probably never quite felt before. Yet by doing so, you will have saved yourself  – your personhood – before completely drowning.  There is so much goodness in you. Look to that as well. You will begin to embrace and celebrate new-found insight and self-growth. You will begin to give back more openly, without shame or trepidation. Fear is real. You will combat it. It’s not easy but you can face it. Please don’t look to others first for validation. It’s useless energy and easily distracts from knowing the core of who you are. 

Wishing you peace as life’s journey moves onward….thanks for your continued reading, dear viewer.

img_0866.jpg

 

Impassioned By Divorce

Please be kind to yourself: don’t wish away your divorce. Don’t wish away the ugliness, uncertainty or pretend it’s a dream. Once the process begins, so does the time-clock of you: the person you are today is unlikely the person you’ll see tomorrow.

I remember the beginning of my divorce like it was an hour ago. Shortly after making the decision, my girlfriend sat down with me, her very first question posed: “Are you absolutely, assuredly positive you want to divorce? Is there a shred of hope for reconciliation? If there’s even a minute shred of possibility, concentrate on that one shred. Make sure this is what you truly want.”

Unless one abruptly leaves a marriage with no warning for the left spouse, it usually take two to decide. And sometimes, one wants the divorce while the other does not. Sometimes both are equal in their decision. Most all of the time, no one can be 100% certain they’re making the right decision no matter how certain it feels at that moment. You will waiver. You will question yourself and the decision a zillion times.

A year since my divorce, my friend’s question holds new clarity. The questions did not seem particularly meaningful at the time. How meaningful could they resonate when I had barely begun this incredible life-changing phenomenon called “dissolution”? I now understand exactly why she asked as she did: once the journey into uncharted territory of divorce begins, life will never be the same as one’s known before.

Impassioned by divorce, so many lessons learned, more to come. Helps to write. Makes it more tangible, real. Allow yourself the time necessary to let go of what you thought your life would be. Embrace the fear and use its motivational pull as a guide to take you to the next step.

Eventually the fear will dissipate. Anger will rise and so shall you. Anger breeds inner strength, the beginning of self-forgiveness. All encompasses the desire to come out the other side a better person than today. You are on your way. Keep going. Breathe. Love. Live.

New Realities, New Growth

I am not certain which hurts more: no contact with my kids or my ex-husband’s disinterest in helping me. My own new realities are coming to light about the man I was married to. He, I’m sure, must feel the same. His trust, the entire core of who he is, destroyed by my actions. I continue surrendering this, though have come to a place where I can only take responsibility for my contribution to my marriage, the positive, the negative. There is a new kind of pain I feel, one which is separate from the estrangement with my children. It is more deep than I realized.

What has come to my attention most of all is his lack of compassion. Or perhaps, the kind of compassion I need. Then again, I find myself still justifying his character, diminishing my own feelings. Kids, do not try this at home. I’m still learning…

Having compassion does not require one to forget hurt, pain that is caused. It is putting oneself in the other’s shoes. I have done this many times. Still not enough. The more compassion I feel for him, especially my girls, I am better able to forgive myself. I had hoped he could do the same. He loved me as best as he could. He is hurt and angry. I am hurt by his lack of care or concern, his dismissal of me. And this is my truth. He has argued this point before and I’ve allowed myself to feel as if it is my problem, all in my head, though it is not. It is my heart that is filled with sorrow, as I did not realize this until recently.

Why am I continually stunned by this? It is not to say he was unloving our entire relationship. Nor was he always distant. All of what happens in a long-term marriage is gradual, an extension of previous behaviors and patterns. I see now that the last three or four years of my marriage were the beginning of what would then become our downfall.

This is not about us, this is about our them, our children.

Time moves forward. My love for my kids grows ever so deeply despite the distance between us. I strive to work together, a new-found partnership with the father of my kids. They are our children. We have raised them as the beautiful people they have become. If I felt I could not approach him for help when married, how am I to approach him now?  We are not able to work together for the benefit of them, working to heal a fragmented family left with deep emotional wounds. I can not force his help. He must want to work with me. If not, nothing I can do. I am, however, viewing my life from new perspectives, willing to continually look at myself, eyes, heart and mind wide open. Below is an excerpt of something I came upon that speaks directly to what I feel….an incredibly profound lesson. Grateful to find this:

“Some marriages do not recover from affairs.  There are scores of couples who realize that the reasons that led to the affair, or the affair itself is too much for the marriage to tolerate.  Divorce happens.  It is a harsh reality.  This by no means serves as an excuse to neglect the emotional well-being of the child(ren) involved.  Regardless if a marriage ends or not, the adult relationship should still be strengthened when children are involved.   Parenting is a partnership.  Even when parents divorce, they are not divorcing the children.   They both still have a commitment to their children that should be fulfilled regardless of the marital status.

The third and probably most important thing that parents can do after an affair is work together for the benefit of the child(ren).   Whether or not parents stay married they still have a relationship; a parenting relationship.  In these cases when divorce is imminent, the cheated on spouse may have difficulty getting beyond their own hurt and sometimes the spouse who cheated does not make this any easier.  If there was ever a time to becomes less self-absorbed it is when children are hurting.  That is not the time to focus on one’s ego.  This is possibly the hardest lesson that any couple healing from an affair has to face.  Their pain plays second to the pain of their children.”  Kirsten Person-Ramey 

 

Closing a year, marriage…a new life opens.

Married: 1985
Divorced: 2012

The anticipation of such another major threshold as complete dissolution can not be ignored. Nor can it be completely embraced as one must come to their own finality, whether it be a single date, moment or one’s personal life event. No one can make that decision otherwise. Reflection and time are a mixed-breed, one aids the other, each joined in tandem as progress is made. For me, it is not so dramatic: a single date does not dictate an emotional response, it merely defines time, not how I feel at that moment. Knowing that WWll began in 1941and ended in ’45 is not the same as understanding the reasons, meaning and historical perspective of such an event far outweighs specific dates. The numbers are only a gage of when something happens, they are not the event itself.

The symbolism, particular dates, though significant, I am learning to move beyond these moments of time, concentrating more on the bigger picture, how the fragments are now coming together, more fluidity in their motion. I allow myself to move along with the changes happening, doing my best to not fight what makes me happy.

For the upcoming year, a renewed sense of self, of giving to others as a whole person, there is much to look forward to. Here’s to the blissfulness of life despite sorrow and pain. There is always room to grow, to heed solitude and peace. And in doing so, I am content.