There were many changes in the years leading up to my divorce. My ex and I grew apart steadily and increasing as time passed. Honestly, at this point I can’t say that I even know who he is…nor do I believe he could say he knows me with any certainty. The changes in my ex were visible and painful to me. He was living out a life of newness and exploration while I remained in the life of family. He was moving on and up while I remained. His focus was most definitely self directed and my focus was as ever pointed at our children.
Now, don’t take me for one of those helicopter moms…I am certainly not that. However I was a stay at home mom for the bulk of their starting years and my ex was so often absent from the day to day living; so my world couldn’t really revolve around much else besides the family. I kept busy with their activities, running a household, and my own social outlets that typically involved other families. Add in there that we moved between three states in the final five years of our marriage and I guess anyone could see how we ended up where we are.
When we first landed in this final resting place, it was a year before I got the news that he had found a new life with another family. I took it personally some, but even more so as a slap in the face towards our children. With the few years following the separation and the beginnings of the new life with the other family, I built resentments for my children from the situations he put them in that I deemed unfair and inappropriate. I hurt FOR them…and I often hurt WITH them when they cried to me of their brokenness. I also built resentments for myself that he so easily caused these pains and seemed to have the ‘charmed life’ while I still remained in the hurt of our broken family.
Four and a half years out from D-day and those resentments have not abated. He is now on his second relationship because the affair partner didn’t end up working out. He is going for a new ‘hip’ look with his hair geled and spiked up, his designer jeans, cowboy boots, trimmed full facial hair, and tight fitted tee to show off his muscles. I should show you a picture of what he used to look like when we were together…it was NOT that. Seeing him succeed (regardless of if it is “ONLY perceived” or not) and move on with a new life of his own choosing makes my teeth grind.
And I get that those resentments are not hurting him.
And I get that these resentments are only holding ME back from being all that I can be.
And I get that these resentments are my own choosing.
Yet my own thinking rules my thoughts.
I want to be loved…yet I feel unlovable.
I want to be free to make my own choices…yet I feel tied to this life because of shared children.
I want to feel free of my failure to create the life for myself that I wanted…yet here I reside in the reality of a life undesired.
I feel entitled to my own happiness…yet I realize that isn’t the way life works.
No matter how hard I try to grasp to slivers of hope and possibility, they run through my hands like grains of sand. Even positive events are not seen for all that they should be. The rain cloud of my own doing follows me.
And I blame him.
Right or wrong. I blame him.
But more than that. I blame me.
And I have to get over THAT. I have to forgive ME.
I have to accept ME. How I am at this moment. Who I am at this time. What I have become.
And I have to learn to like me.