I Am Still Here
It has been weighing on me that I have not been writing much lately. I have been unsure what I could possibly respectfully and sanely share during a weird, transitional sort of time in my life. But not writing does not do much for me either, so I am just kind of…writing.
This change from being married to being single and also being a mother has been…what it is. I have found a lot of odd blessings and support in this time, and have found myself reeling with unlooked-for pain at other times. People like to tell stories, and I have had to encounter that here and there.
But I think what I will take away with me into the future is the dear friends who have held my hand, and the chorus of me toos and I have been theres. And those who have assured me that their parents got divorced and that they were fine. I have a good therapist* I am seeing, and she said that the preponderance of research shows that children whose parents manage their divorces well do not end up harmed. I am hopeful for that.
I am still working on that balance of alone time and with-kids time. I am choosing to take some of my alone time and “borrow” my daughter back to bring her on our first backpacking trip. I am really excited about this. The other night, I took my middle son shoe shopping, and was reminded how much people adore him when the clerk basically fell madly in love with him and let him help ring up the shoes. I needed that after he had tried to throw a tantrum about “having” to go shoe shopping with me. These joyful moments are so important in the midst of a family crisis. I love my kids so much, and it’s good to remember that we like each other, too, even if we are all busy and stressed.
I have managed not to spend enough time on me, even with some days off here and there. But yesterday, I treated myself to a great dress at Thrift Town, took a long, lazy nap, and went biking with a friend (though we managed to get a little…lost). At the end of the day, facing the still-messy house from 9 days on my own with the kids, I had a moment of being sorry I hadn’t been more productive. But I still managed to mop and fold 1/5 of the laundry mountain. As is the case when the kids are here, a day is not as much time as I think it will be.
I am doing well. I am not used to the kids being here and then being gone cycle. The kids are happy, and then sometimes they aren’t. The house still isn’t taking care of itself very well. But I think we’ll all be OK.
My face is to the future.
*Now that I am there myself, I am even more convinced that everybody should go to therapy. Ah, the joy of talking to someone who doesn’t have emotional reactions to what you divulge. Seriously. It’s helpful.
i Love therapy, it’s like a best friend with all the answers and never talks about her problems. Lol. I also love your writing. Sounds like you’re doing a great job in a not great time in life. Hugs.
My parents got divorced when I was a teenager and I think I turned out great! You are a great mom. They will be FINE!!! Xo
I really liked you blog!
Blogger, A Saving Love…that will change a Child’s Life!
Cintia@ASavingLove.com | http://www.asavinglove.com
“Sure Love My Friends” but only 1/3 of them; the other 2/3 are getting traded in, yo.
In all seriousness, though, there’s even evidence that children whose parents DON’T handle their divorces well can still turn out okay. I mean, there are those who probably disagree, but I think I turned out pretty awesome for the most part, and my parents’ divorce was pretty much the textbook version of bad: court battles over custody (to which I was not supposed to have been privy at the time, but somehow found out anyway), heated arguments every time they came face to face, etc.The weirdest part is that they are totally amicable now. Granted, it is three decades later.
Totally with you on the therapy thing.
As a child of divorce who was harmed, I will chime in that as far as I can tell, our children will be harmed because the world is not a perfect place, regardless of whether their parents stay married or divorce. I find this devastating, but I am convinced it is true.
So it might not be so bad to consider that they may be harmed, but that you can soothe those hurt places and help them to heal from that harm, just like we would with other injuries our children may experience in life.
Also, I think you can do what you are able do to help lessen the harm (no-brainer, but I mean to say give yourself points for speaking decently about the other half of their genes, points for every time that you are able to respond well to hard situations, points seeing a therapist and taking care of yourself in soul-nurturing ways).
And now I will close my trap. 🙂
Laura, I never read your blog before today because of the viral 3-kids thing (I assume it’s gone viral if it made it to me…) and frankly you’ve kept me up way too late, but I forgive you.
I’m so sorry about the breakup; and I understand–it’s certainly not what I planned for my three kids. My situation was likely different, since mine were older and almost immediately stopped seeing their dad after he moved out. But part of why I made the choices I did was because I could not bear to watch my daughter grow up thinking this was how a man was supposed to treat her. Or my sons… God forbid, my sons. So I started standing up for what was right, saying no more lying, no more manipulating, no more anger, no more drinking. Let’s all grow up, and this will be good, finally… as patiently, calmly as possible… and all my fears were realized–he left us. Two weeks before Christmas in 2010. I thought really, we’ve been living this for 20 years, and you can’t give your kids two more weeks? The answer was unquestionably no.
My middle son (he’s my one like yours who everyone falls in love with) was 15 at the time, and the following week we pulled into the driveway and he sighed, one of those contented, restful sighs. Then he jumped, looked at me, and said, “THIS is what it’s supposed to feel like when you come home!”
Amen and amen. And forever and ever from now on.
I stayed for 20 years, quietly suffering in an emotionally abusive marriage because I wanted what my parents didn’t give me–an intact family. I stayed because I thought that the worst thing to happen to my kids would be their parents to split up. It wasn’t. I thought that if their dad wasn’t in their life at all, they would be a mess. They are the furthest thing from a mess that I almost feel guilty when I talk about them because who gets to parent three teenagers through a divorce with ten cumulative minutes of rebellion?
Grace upon grace, I suppose I get that. Love, investment, teaching, respect, boundaries, and apologies for doing it wrong as often as required. Everyone will be just fine.
My paerents split up when I was only 2, my dad moved from one country to another when I was 4. Honestly, I would not have had it any other way. My best friend had parents that stayed together ‘for the kids’ and I have seen some of the irreparable damage it has done. You’ve done the best thing possible, and it will only do your children good – rather than harm them – in the long run.
Laura, I have recently discovered your blogs (one was shared on FB by a friend of mine) and have found myself laughing hysterically and thinking – SHE is someone I would like to be friends with. You have an amazing sense of humor and outlook on life. I was very sorry to come across this blog and to know you are passing through a rough time in your life. I have no advice to give, just a hope that things will be better for you soon. Thank you to you for continuing to write, because in doing so you are helping others realize that we are not alone in the crazy parenting worlds we live in.
Both you and your children will be fine. As a side note, you are a smart and gorgeous woman, so I’m sure you won’t be single too long 😉
Hugs to you from another mom in the same boat.