The Stranger: Part Two – Familiarity of Self, of Love

Towards the end of the marriage, husband and wife became strangers to each other. How can this be when for so long we were the best of friends? As I dismantle the numerous knots, new insights emerge – at times, repeating myself, only because I am beginning to cope and live through the aftermath post-divorce. I like this feeling. It feels liberating, at the cusp of more empowerment I desire and need moving forward. All of these feelings, fairly new, learning to sit with them, allowing myself to simply feel.

At the same time, it is Christmas Day. Many sweet memories of our Christmases together, husband and wife as well as la familia. Time moves on, those memories etched in sync within balance of my new-found joy today. I am grateful for those memories.

The ability to change fascinates me as I learn to connect with myself.

I’ve changed, yet not into a new person – I’m now emerging into the person I’ve always been. Did it take something as monumental as a divorce to do complete this? Why now? Why, post-divorce do I feel more familiar with myself and not during my marriage?

The mind is magnificent.

I believe we are all capable of change. I believe we are all capable of acting upon choices. I believe we must learn to trust ourselves long before we love another. I believe in committed relationships. I believe in self-care, self-responsibility and self-compassion, self-forgiveness.

The more tolerant of others, the less judgmental I become. I do not ask or expect others in my life to uphold my beliefs nor look for their validation as I once did.

How my children will know their mother now, I don’t know. I miss them more than can adequately express. What I do know: I am the most complete I’ve ever felt, yet so much more to come. All the years loving, supporting, caring for my girls – immensely real, genuine, truly who I was – am. The other part which now emerges is simply the discovery to allow myself to be. This part was squelched the last years of my marriage. Not his doing, just mis-matched. I tried so hard to fit…into him. Yet I’ve let go of my gatekeeper to my girls – their dad. Letting go of their dad, healing continues as I don’t need him to reach the girls. This will happen in its own time, its own way. I’m learning I love my girls in ways like no other. A mother’s love is like no other. As I nourish self-love, my love for them feels healthier, more grounded.

On this day, the second Christmas spent without my girls, while they may see me a stranger, my love for them flourishes. I’m learning there is more to life than simply loving. It is in giving, actual LIVING one prevails. It is what I can do – the only thing I can do for my girls right now. As I live more authentically, the person I am, so too – eventually, will they begin to understand my reasons for leaving their dad and not them – no longer a stranger, rather, the loving mother they always knew, only now in her entirety.

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Still Mom

It came, it went, it is.

I am, shall always be a mom.

Mother’s Day, despite cheesy Hallmark passages, overpriced yet underwhelming brunches, always sincere in my eyes. My Mom and I used to joke about this holiday. Sarcastically I’d say,”Well Mom, here’s a card, corsage and brunch for you cause it’s Mother’s Day and it’s the day I gotta make a fuss…” Point being, there needn’t be a special occasion to honor Mom: she and I both knew how loving and special out relationship was – never an ounce of obligation to make a fuss over her.

And with my girls, the estrangement and all, I now, just now, feel my own maternal instincts kicking in. Only this time those instincts are solid, more grounded, sincere, undeniably loving and real. Loving my children, never in question. It’s now evident, the time spent dealing with ME, I’m strong enough to now put myself aside and be there, I mean TRULY PRESENT for my kids.

I see Mom’s who seem to have their shit together. Whether single, divorced, their relationship with their children remains in tact. Over comparisons, I made horrible mistakes yet not a horrible person. And I made those horrible choices due to my OWN unhappiness, not because of my kids.

In time, a better person, a better Mother, a better thinker. My own mother’s death, the demise of my marriage, forcing the issue at hand: time to REALLY grow up, kid. Face your own reality, deal, cope. Live with acceptance what you can not change, embrace what you can – yourself. For there is no other way, none with meaning, none with the authenticity of love. I shall never accept estrangement but I must cope. It is my choice to do so. No wallowing anymore, feeling sorry for myself, new realizations of my frailties, what I can not change, what I can – myself. In doing so, a complete, more whole human being.

Through my tears today, I smiled. I smiled thinking about my beautiful children, the young adults they’ve become, their own evolution. And in this way, it was a Happy Mother’s Day. I am, after all, still a Mom.