White Flag…

I cannot live as I am.

Today, my life is a consistent series of rejections, failures and inadequacies. Every communication from my youngest daughter reminds me of what I am no longer a part of and who I no longer am for her. Every conversation with my husband is a verbal confirmation of how he would rather ruin the lives of everyone in our family than spend one second with me.

I’m faced with the reality that I cannot live like this. While once upon a time my biggest irrational fear was that my husband would no longer want me and I would be completely disposable to him, every day in the past seven months has been an experiment to that fruition. I have only known one person, before, so determined to destroy me and if she knew what was happening now, she would likely dance with glee. Now that my very terrors are that which greet me with the rise of every morning, I’m realizing my new fear is waking up at all. This Groundhog Day existence has sucked the life in me out. It is an everyday occurrence of realizing I can do nothing to make this hell better until I simply walk away and hope that journey leads to oxygen or something.

I can no longer breathe without great effort. Every day the spotlight shines brighter on my punishments and shortcomings. Since the summer of 2013 I have been realizing more and more that I never should have become a mother and now, now I’m merely someone who used to resemble one. I am no more a mother than my own ever was. I can’t pretend. I’m a pen pal with a name that I’ve grown to loathe. Mom, Mother, Momma, Disgusting. I am a mother on adoption certificate and nothing more. I have been destroyed from the inside out, all that can be left is to rebuild and reinvent.

What was never meant to be a war, has become one. What was created to be one side, one family, one unified show of strength and love has become a battleground that I no longer have the strength to try on. I concede. My white flag is blowing in the wind, only as high as I can muster the strength to raise it. He has loved to see it always as a fight, a competition, and finally he is the champion of the very war which he created. The sound of his battle cry echoes through my own tears, through my mind when I sleep only from exhaustion. May he victoriously feast on the flesh of who I once was because if I do not surrender here, I will surely be buried alive in the reality of this existence.

I have never been one able to play the part in appearance alone, and this is no exception. He asks What did you expect when you left? Passionate that I deserve everything he’s done to me. What I expected was to no longer sob on the floor of my shower, hot water drowning me awake so that I would stop considering the entire bottle of pills on my nightstand. What I expected was hoping to feel like I was worth something to my family, or that I could possibly actually BE worth something to them. I left because He made it clear he wanted me to, even after I begged and pleaded for him to let me stay. I expected nothing, no long term dreams because I had never been outside of the very family I co-created, fought for, lived for and loved. I simply wanted to save my life.

He can have my motherhood, my wifehood, and I will take the fall because there is no other way this could have ever ended anyway. My heart on his battle spear, I must simply rest for a while before I figure out who and how to be now, when I’ve lost the very reason for being at all.

unfair, but enough…

fhhgpo3amsu-matteo-paganelliTomorrow will be one month, to the day, since I realized the gravity of exactly what I had done, by moving here. If I really ponder it, it all seems so unfair. In just a few days we will round to the one month anniversary of the day my husband told me I’m completely disposable to him. He insists it is my fault and I chose to leave, but admits that he cut me off and pushed me away long before I made the decision. He also acknowledges that I declared, many times, that I wanted to fight for our marriage and I wanted to stay while he insisted I go.

Blame is funny. It doesn’t matter who is just a tad more at fault than the other, we both neglected to take care of our marriage, after a time. Everything worth having requires INTENTIONAL effort. Not making that effort is taking a huge risk. I never didn’t want my husband, though I did stop fighting for my marriage because it had been communicated to me through actions that I was not wanted. Eventually those actions became words and broke me. This was accumulative, significantly before I left. I also left under the agreement that we wouldn’t do anything rash and nothing was set in stone, but apparently for him it became so, rather quickly.

I still don’t know how to comprehend it all. I cannot fathom being in his shoes, though I try. It is not in my DNA to be complacent and not fight for someone I care about. There are no words to explain how destroying that is to be the one easily tossed aside because it isn’t worth the time.

I have spent the last month begging, pleading, accepting all responsibility (which was a low point and a huge mistake), praying, being honest and the result of all of it is the same- it’s not worth the effort for him. I have seen my entire life, my family and my relationship with my youngest combust from far out of my reach, and this is of little concern to him. Again, I just can’t comprehend it. I’ve tried, I’ve prayed that I could and I can’t. Just yesterday he told me, again, that although things have grown more civil between us than the weeks prior, he just isn’t “going to go there.”

I suspect one day he may. He’s a really great guy and I think he’s honestly just stuck in a negative place. That being said, the more honest and aware that I grow in my life, the more glaringly I realize this has significant consequences. The relationship between us, with our kids… I have to admit that though I really want my marriage restored, and believe it’s the right thing, it is not going to happen. 31 days of being told I’m disposable, not worth it and not enough. I cannot put myself through that anymore. The reality is, I WAS worth fighting for, and I deeply wish he had. I WAS worth moving towards restoration with, and in the end we all lose (us and our kids) significantly. When he finally wises up, (if he ever actually does) I fear so much damage will have been done that it would only cause more hurt to even try.

I hate that. I hate all of this. But, it truly is what it is. The two statements i hate more than anything because they scream complacency are “It is what it is,” and “I’ll see you when I see you.” A runner-up would be “fair enough” as a response to ANYTHING. I hate it.

I haven’t been able to breathe with ease, sleep for more than a few hours if I do at all or have a moment of mental peace in months. It has to be time. I may be completely irrelevant to many of the people who should care the most, but I am not irrelevant to me.

The last day…

 

I’d had a plan to leave my husband, in spring. It had been a homework challenge, with counseling. Then it became a “what other choice do I have, if he doesn’t want me?” sort of option, which evolved into an “I want this to happen.” sort of scheme. I had set my deadline so far away because I honestly believed he would step up and proclaim a fight for us. Everyone who really knew me realized this. I just couldn’t utter those words myself because the rejection of the one person who truly, deeply knew me was already destroying me. Once I spoke those words into the world, they were real and if he didn’t, I felt like it would be the death of me.

The last afternoon, before life truly fell apart (and seven days before I no longer had a home or a family) my husband and I had a great afternoon together. We had connected more in the former 15 days than we had in months and I felt filled with hope. I had been out-of-town for a couple of days and I’d missed him so much. I told him as much, when I returned. We went for coffee, shopped a little and sat talking for a long while. It was the sort of conversation filled with laughter, memories, dreams and a thousand other veins of talk that only could be truly made sense of by us- the livers of the life we were in. As the sunlight streamed through the windows of that second floor room where we sat, I felt so overcome with how grateful I was for my life, how deeply I loved that man and how desperately I wanted our marriage to last.

I fell asleep snuggled deep into him, inhaling him and just forcing myself to live in that moment. I had no idea what tomorrow held…

With a fierce punch to the heart, also known as disastrous hind sight, I was smackedย with all of this today as I sat for a minute looking back on my Instagram stream. There on that day, in that room, was my daily photo. Because, as we were walking out I knew I’d want to remember it forever. Forever I will…

It’s so hard, with the magic of hindsight-vision, to not simply hate yourself for what you threw away. Regardless of the hows, the whys or the other factors- I had my own responsibility in the situation. While it’s true, I felt (by that time) that I had no choice in the way it all played out- I now see differently. So today, tear-stained and feeling so rebroken, I have to hold on to the memories to soothe the ache, and keep moving forward.

I breathe…

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I’m working two jobs, these days. From full-time student to juggling two jobs of which I won’t see any fruit until long after bill due dates, and even then those dates will have looped back around. That’s ok. I actually really love both jobs, and my favorite part of them is connecting with people. A smile and a friendly interaction can really change the course of their day.

The really awkward part about starting to work at entry-level jobs is that the majority of my co-workers (and in one instance, bosses) are the age of my kids. I have loved getting to know them and the conversations that have blossomed, but there is this voice calling to me from deep inside that tells me I’m a loser, and I’m a failure because I’m there, scraping to survive with 24 year olds who are just growing up.

Am I 39 and just growing up?

I’ve been able to silence the voice, thus far, because honestly it really doesn’t bother me. A little maybe, but not for those reasons. For the reasons that I simply worked really hard and invested my everything into a life and a family which are just fine without me. I am very proud of committing and focussing to be the very best I could be, for them, for my life’s work and purpose. Things changed. I got sick, (depression) and consequentially this is my life now. It is, at times, so lonely I can’t even gasp for air… At other times, it’s the memories of my family that get me through and make me smile. The tears are always there, behind the eye lids. Sometimes they spill, sometimes they flood… But still, every waking morning I come closer and closer to accepting my fate. Am I behind other women my age, professionally? Significantly… But life is not about work. It isn’t about “success” in the world’s eyes… I have lived my life and loved so incredibly much, that maybe in some ways I’m ahead of them too… At least, for a large part of my life, my priority was where it should have been. And now, now my life is that of my twenty year old co-workers, only I could be their mother.

We do the best we can, and that’s simply it. I’m doing my best, succeed or fail, this is all I’ve gone.

All of my friends are either solid in their career, or still at home with their kids. They don’t get it, and that’s ok. I’m learning that I don’t need to be “gotten”. Again, I walked away from that too. A single mom friend said to me, “At least you don’t have kids. I am so jealous of your new start and second chance.” I guess we’re all there, comparing what we do or do not have to someone else. Believe me, this is no beautifully ideal new beginning. I’d rather have someone to hug, someone who needed me and whispered “I love you” as they fell asleep…

Last week someone asked me what my life feels like. I try not to think about it, but when I do (If I’m honest) my life feels exactlyย how I imagine hell to feel. Complete isolation from true personal intimacy and living within the very deep and fragrant realizations of my short comings, mistakes and failures… The only difference between what I can imagine to be hell and my reality is that I at least can move forward and try to build something new. I don’t want to, but that’s my choice. Either do, or succumb to bitterness. So I do. I wake up, I pray, I read, I go to work. I come home. I learn. I actively show love to the people I see, the best I can. I fight a painful night of sleep with the most horrifyingly vivid dreams, when sleep wins. I wake up and do it again. I try not to resent the laundry when I fold it and it is only my clothes. I avoid the kitchen (haven’t cooked since November) because it reminds me of what I don’t have. My life is the polar opposite of the life I both gave up willingly, and was stolen from me. I breathe. In every moment, that is my only consistent and sane decision…

I breathe.

Be grateful and glad in all things, and when all else fails… rant?

tvA long time ago I truly grasped the lesson & importance of being grateful and glad in all things… Then something got lost, along my journey. I sunk deep into a terrifying depression, which I couldn’t truly understand while drowning in it, but strangely and intricately doย now. Within that depression, a great many things changed. I had lost, along the way, the importance of being grateful and glad in all things. Truthfully, I felt like I was barely surviving. My perspective of all things, from my parenting to my marriage, my education to my skills and talents, was all seen through a filter so far from reality. In the end of that chapter, I partook in a very time sensitive decision, going in a direction where I believed I would actually be needed, valued and wanted. The truth, outside of that sludgy despair however is that I was far too emotionally sick to really know what any of that looked like. Depression is a beast… Sometimes it can lay at bay, on the surface, and it feels like you’re out of the sea. That’s the best I can explain it.

I wonder what would have looked different if I’d been able to hold on to my sense of being grateful and glad in all things? In all things would mean in the sea of depression or other illnesses as well. In isolation from the very people you live with and love. In abandonment from relationships which fed your life. In the joy and celebration that comes with great blessings… In all things.

I lost this sense. My sense. And over the past many days I’ve been reminded and validated upon the path of reclaiming it. I am someone who needs relationship with people. This is not a character defect. This is not a deep, emotional flaw. This is how I am designed. I am crafted to thrive on connection with others. Our society promotes surface connections, declaring that true friendship is talks of sex, meeting for drinks and Facebook collections. None of these are friendship. Sure, friends CAN talk about sex, share a drink and be connected on social media, but when one, two or all three of these things make up the bulk of your “support system”, there is no support. We have a need to be entertained in all things, and have had this need for independence shoved down our throats. There is this weird parasite in our thoughts that we mustn’t allow ourselves to be too vulnerable, too needy, too dependent upon someone else. What is wrong with us? And we can go through a season in our lives when we form a real, true and deep connection with someone but that tapeworm of ridiculous garbage will live again and try to destroy it. While I suspect we all have the same need, but different life circumstances have left us scarred and unable to heal it, I at least know for sure that I do have this need. In the core of connecting with others, conversation and interactions I thrive. Without that, in any form of isolation, I wither. I can be grateful and glad in all things… In all times. In all seasons. That is my choice, and one I must make and work to retain. Whether it is times of togetherness or isolation. But the intentional connection thing is something I am going to have to be sure to do, as well. In all things… It is the cure to my depression, the cure to that childhood lie stitched upon my soul that I am unloveable. We were created for community, and within a community I must live…

I was already thinking these things, relearning and newly realizing these things, and at this very place in my journey when my pastor, Sunday, spoke on this very idea. I can’t take credit for it at all, as I am merely recycling other people’s wisdom with my own commentary. One thing he said Sunday which hasn’t left the forefront of my brain since then was that a study conducted in 1984 polled people to see how many close friends they had. The average number among the majority was 3. The same poll was taken within the last year or two and the majority answered 0. ZERO. NONE. The majority of people have no one whom they can trust, confide in, rely on… And the very best part of friendship is also being trusted by someone, listening to someone and knowing you are reliable. What has changed in those 22 years? The internet, the mass web of social media, the rise and growth of video games and our 700 television channels waiting for us. Beyond technology, not much has changed. This is sad to me. There was a time when lunch with friends, long distance phone calls and actually, truly knowing someone, were normal. Now, they are occasional treats. We say we are busy, but we aren’t. We are programmed to be “busy” with tv shows, video games and our cell phone obsessions. I remember paying steep long distance bills and buying phone cards to talk to friends for hours. Now? Now I could go a week without a single conversation and NO ONE PAYS LONG DISTANCE anymore!

This totally turned into a rant, which wasn’t my intention… Be grateful and glad in all things… I am grateful to realize this, and glad to know that this epidemic is easily solvable. It just takes altering our priorities and intentionally connecting with someone. Engage in a conversation, get together over a cup of coffee or dinner and talk. Listen. Love. It’s easier than we think. Maybe not as easy as turning on the tv or gazing at our iPhones, but it is so much more rewarding… We idolize our electronics, but the truth is that they don’t give a damn about is.