Phone Calls Are Tough…I’m Tougher

I’m sitting here listening to my son talk on the phone with his dad.

I have a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach that his discussions are on the phone, because of the choice my husband is making. My children need and deserves a father. Every. Day. IN their home. Not on the phone. Not via text. Not for a fun evening of fast food and outings.

I just wish he would step up and be the man he was. And understand that he is hurting us all. Not just me.

It sickens me that they have such limited contact with him…because it is just a shadow of what it used to be. They are so hungry for him and he just gives them little drips. He’s not here for bedtime, mealtime, morning rituals, little laughs, small moments, huge accomplishments, homework, tears, joy, and every other moment that make up life. He hasn’t been for months. Even when he lived here, while he was lying to me…telling me we were working on our marriage as he was having his affair. He checked out a long time ago.

He could be with them, here, all day, every day. Just like he should be. And he is choosing himself and her over all of us.

I am not the mom who says you can’t see/talk to the kids. Yes, it’s true I want to know the schedule so that I can prepare myself if I have to see him; however, I have never once said no or not let them answer the phone. In fact, I go so far as to not answer the phone, and let the kids do it themselves, so that he’s not afraid to call the house (in case he has to talk to me.)

Yet, he continues to seek his life outside of his family…and then swoops back in and tries to strut around being Disney Dad. Do you have any idea how many articles of new clothing my daughters have received from him in the last two weeks? And valentine’s day was a joke. WE used to give them each a small box of chocolates…they ended up with a large haul this year from him. Yes, your wallet is what they need.

They certainly don’t need to see you do the right thing and save our family.

Okay, I clearly had to get this out.

I have anger and sadness. This is raw emotion. And while the things I am saying are true, they are not mine to fix. They are not mine to hold on to. And they are not mine to be able to do a darn thing about.

So, here is where I let it go.

Here is where I focus on the fact that I am thankful rather than angry. I am so thankful that my husband still calls my son and daughters. I am so thankful, that even in his immense selfishness, he can still reach out and speak to them. And he still wants to see them even if it’s when it’s convenient. That, even though he’s missing the real moments of life, he is still trying…even if it is in a manner I don’t agree with.

Here is the part where I commend myself for being both mother and father to them…full-time, even though I’m exhausted and hurt. Here is the place where I admit that I am strong. Stronger than I ever even thought.

This is where I take a deep breath, turn my hands over, unclench my fists, let my flattened palms face up and release.

I am letting it go.

I have no control over any action but that one.

I will repeat as necessary. (Which I am assuming will be often…)

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The Ultimate Act of Love

Sometimes, when you love someone, and you say you would do anything for them, you are called upon to do just that.

And it sucks. Because you have to put what they want before what you want.

Whatever that “want” happens to be.

And this is a lesson that I believe anyone considering giving their heart away should examine prior to giving their heart away. There may be a day you are called upon to take a bullet, stand in front of that train, care for an extreme illness, or simply stand there and watch the love of your life walk away.

Are you ready to do that? Do you have that kind of love to give?

I probably didn’t when I was 20 and newly head over heels; however, I believe that kind of love (head over heels) is for a moment…the kind of love I live with is not a feeling, it’s a choice, a committment. It took work. It took sacrifice. It took years of discovery.

And, as much as I would wish it otherwise, it won’t go away.

So, I’m choosing to look at my situation from here on out as the ultimate act of love.

It is not what I want, but I love him enough to let him have what he wants.

This is part of the process of examining my beliefs and finding the truth.

I think I will find my peace there.

I hope.

Communication 101

Question of the day: How do you know when it’s really time to let go?

I have to be honest…even with the mountain of evidence and the rivers of hurt, I still held out hope for my marriage to be saved. A little portion of my soul believed, truly believed and yearned for that lightening bolt. It would strike my husband and he would turn to me and say “I’m sorry.” And I would forgive him.

But that is not going to happen.

Here is how I know for sure…

“I’m sorry you feel that way.”

“You’re sorry that I feel that it’s the right thing to do to try to save a 20 year relationship and marriage…?”

“No, that you think that talking to me about it is the way to get your point across.”

Excuse me?

Oh, you know what?

You are absolutely right!

How stupid of me! I thought communication was the key to a relationship.

What’s that?

It IS the key to a relationship?

Oh, that’s right. Communication IS the key to a relationship.

In fact, it’s the key to being human. We communicate daily with everyone we come in contact with. With both verbal and nonverbal communication.

It’s WHAT. WE. DO.

So, this is where I give myself permission to let go. To stop hoping. To really believe it’s over. And to know that I’ve tried, beyond every possible expectation and what any other rational person would do.

Because the level of irrational thoughts have progressed to a point of me supposedly needing to communicate without communication.

And that, folks, is a trick that I can’t master.

 

Talking to a Dead Man

Today is not a contact day. My right eye is swollen almost completely shut. (Not sure if it was the tears, allergies, or lack of sleep…I’m sure it’s all of the above).

And I’m really, really sad. Really sad.

Last night we all sat at a restaurant…and by all, I mean my husband, myself, and my children…to celebrate my oldest daughter’s birthday.

And, I didn’t slam his face onto the hibachi grill when he handed her a lock and key necklace for her birthday and told her he’d hold on to the key for her to protect her heart until she was ready to give it away.

The whole time I wanted to scream “WHAT ABOUT MY HEART??? YOU DIDN’T PROTECT THAT!!!!” So, I guess I should get some major points for only having that come out here and not in the middle of the restaurant. (Well, not to mention the points I deserve that his face is still intact and unburned…but that is something I would never actually do, so I guess that doesn’t really count.)

So, aside from having my precious baby girl turn 18 (which is really, really rude of her if you ask me 😉 )the last few days have been a very emotional ride for me.

But, here is the thing about emotions. In choosing to acknowledge them, I am refusing to let them control me. I am choosing to allow the goodness remain in my life and release the horrible gnawing feeling of emptiness.

Emotions are not bad. It’s what you choose to do with them that can lead to damage.

So, here and now, I am choosing to let the last words I say to my husband be, “I hope you have a beautiful life. I love you.” Yes, I really said that. To. Him.

Every word I say to that man from now on will not be to my husband. My husband is dead.

That is reality. As much as it hurts to admit that and accept that, it is the unfortunate truth and I have no way to change anything about the situation. I have tried harder and longer than I ever thought possible. The only thing I am in charge of is me.

The man who replaced him will have my pity. And he will be someone who I happen to have to deal with.

I am choosing to let my character lead me, not my situation…and not the ramblings and horrible choices of a lost and broken man.

I am going to pry my eye open and take my children to a movie and out to dinner. I am going to live.

And, from now on, I will be in charge of protecting my heart.

Paging Hope

Hope. That is a four letter word. I have to believe in it though. I have to.

Today is a tough one.

My oldest is turning 18 tomorrow.

The kids were supposed to have a nice day with their father. That’s been the plan, anyway.

My son (who is 9) refused to go.

“If Mom can’t go, I’m not going either.”

How do you answer that?

Please go, Buddy…Mommy is fine.

No. No. NO.

I have two devastated kids on my hands. One because she wants her brother to join in the fun, and one because he wants to join in the fun and feels torn — he wants to protect his Mama and he is angry with Daddy and doesn’t have the words.

And I have a third kid who ran out of the house to be with her Dad because she sees you have to take it when you can get it.

And in the midst of all of this, my oldest asks me how I would feel if she met her. Because if she is so important to him, then maybe if they met, she’d be able to figure out why he’s picking her over us.

All control is gone. For all of us.

And all the while, my husband’s assertion that this doesn’t affect anyone but me and him continues to ring hallow in my ears.

And he gets to drive off in a huff and leave a 9-year-old feeling even more guilty about being angry at his father…and a mother and wife wondering, yet again, what the heck is going on…How did I get here?

There are no answers.

There never seems to be enough kleenex.

Please tell me this is going to get better.

It has to.

Please send kleenex.

 

Step One: Forgiveness

Today’s goal is forgiveness.

No, not for him.

For myself.

I have to be gentle with myself. I have standards I hope to live up to and I fail…often. Because I’m fragile.

Sometimes, it is so hard to swallow all of the hurt and rejection. Sometimes, it is hard to know that he picked her over me. Sometimes, it is just hard to be alive.

And I crack under the pressure because my burden is heavy.

I scream and cry. I wail and moan. I keen.

My soul is crushed and I can’t seem to contain my misery.

But then, there is a glimmer of light. One of hope that let’s me know I don’t have to be perfect.

Today’s glimmer of hope was realizing that I have more control than I thought. I don’t have to live like his wife anymore. I can think of what is best for me…first.

I know you probably think that is a silly thing to not understand…but I’ve been a wife for so long, that it really never crossed my mind.

Here is how I’m going to try to remember this when the emotions overwhelm me:

I don’t deserve this. I never did. And if he can say that to my face, and really believe I deserve this, then that is his problem. If he has lied to himself to the point that he truly thinks the woman who gave him three beautiful children and a life for twenty years deserves to have her soul ripped in half, then I truly feel sorry for him. And there is something wrong with him. Really, really wrong with him.

And my hope for him is that he doesn’t get what he deserves.

I guess I lied, I’m trying to forgive him too.

Love is…

Today, the day that love is supposed to be in the air…and it is…I am going to take a moment and be thankful for the love that I still have.

funky-pink-heart

I love my children. My beautiful, brave, amazing kids are true blessings in my life. I was able to wake up and hug them all today…and their smiles are lighting my day.

I have amazing parents who drop everything to love me whenever I need it. Whenever, whatever, no questions asked.

I have awesome siblings who love and support me in many ways. They lift up my children and keep them close.

I have insanely loving friends, who come along side me and lift me up by the elbows and force me to put one foot in front of the other.

I have an awesome job, that is fulfilling and I love. In fact, this month alone, I was able to secure 5,000 pounds of kibble from our distributors to be donated to shelter dogs. Yes, that’s right. I did that. And, yesterday, while at work, I packed food for starving children and donated blood. Who gets to go to work and change the world everyday? I do.

I have control over myself and my future.

And so do you.

So, no matter where you happen to be on your journey, remember that one person who doesn’t want you is losing out on all of the wonderful things you have, not the other way around.

I wrote this to myself today and wanted to share. Because I think it’s important to remind myself what I have. It’s a great way to take my focus and redirect it where it should be. And I’m all about belief being half the battle right now.

Broken But Not Dead

Yes. It’s true.

I’m completely shattered and broken.

My life as I know it is over.

I’ve been abandoned and betrayed by the man I told was the love of my life. He scoffed and said, “Meg, don’t be silly, you get more than one of those you know.” (No, you don’t).

I’ve been cast aside like garbage by the man I spent half of my life with.

I’ve been told I’m not worth the fight and am completely unwanted in one man’s life.

I literally cannot complete a sentence without bursting into tears.

And I’m completely surprised I can still draw breath.

But here is how:

I have a friend who dropped everything to bring me food for my children.

I have a friend who sat on my couch after work and told me how her life was rebuilt after the same thing happened to her.

I have a friend who emails me a song of encouragement every day.

I have a friend who will force me to take a shower and hold me accountable by smelling my hair at the bus stop. (Gross, but necessary.)

I have a friend who will let me sit on her sofa for hours and not hold a coherent conversation.

I have a friend who will call me and let me call her and say the same thing over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over.

I have a friend who will hold me as I cry.

I have a friend.

Right now, it’s not me breathing. It’s my friends drawing it for me, and I find that amazing.

Where’s my white horse?

Here’s a little something I wrote to myself today. I found it helpful, so I thought I’d share:

Sometimes moving forward is the most painful thing you’ll ever do in your life. It’s my goal for the year and it’s not easy.

forward

But here is something I know…let go. Because if you don’t, you’ll be dragged. And you can’t move forward if you’re busy trying to regain your footing after being dragged.

And here is something else I know…you know that little voice inside of you? The one telling you what is right in front of you even amongst the lies? It’s there for a reason. Do not ignore that voice.

Believe in yourself, because, you are right.

You know what you know.

Don’t doubt yourself. Stop that negative spiral and replace it with truths. It’s the only way to push through.

No one is coming to save you. You have to do this work yourself. (Sorry, I know that sucks.)

I’m Not There Yet

Do you know what this is?

Of course it’s a cemetery. But it’s also the only time in life you can no longer pursue your dreams.

Here’s the thing you need to remember…THIS is the only life you have. Never give up!

There is ALWAYS another way, path, objective, to set your sights on and to strive toward.

Today is not a contact lens day for me at all; however, I know in my heart it’s not over. I’m not ready to be in that picture up there. My life is bigger than my perceived failures and the failures of others.

I just have to figure out how to keep pushing forward.

Today is moment to moment.

And you know what? That’s okay! Maybe tomorrow will be hour to hour.

Apparently survival  and achievement is truly just that simple.

Shift your thoughts and be gentle with yourself. Aim for what you want. Whatever dream you are still reaching for is still possible. You are not in that picture yet either.