Monday, November 7, 2011

How to Survive a Divorce... with Children (part 4)

part 1
part 2
part 3

.... oh, who am I kidding?

I'm not fit to dole out some advice on how to survive divorce. I'm STILL surviving it... 5 1/2 years after my marriage ended.

It's been difficult for me to continue this series - which I began because a reader asked me the question and it's too much to answer in one post. It's a process, blah, blah, blah. It takes time, blah, blah, blah.

I have no idea what I'm doing. At this point, I feel less than qualified to call myself a "survivor of divorce".

I'm not sure why I ever told Mandy that Divorce isn't a failure. Intellectually, I know that but at a very deep level, I don't believe it. I DO feel like I failed.

I feel as if I failed my husband... with my affair, with my selfishness, with my relationship immaturity. Forget the fact that he chose to retaliate, when he didn't have to (then again, I take responsibility for that too). I ignore HIS relationship immaturity, his refusal to show emotion, his role in the disconnect and demise of our marriage. We've never resolved the issues we had in our marriage, we just ran away from them. Just like we did during the marriage, we continued that into our divorce. Our divorce was never a closure for me... it was a looking away from the issues we had.

I feel as if I failed my children... because they have to see my insecurities, my struggles, my emotional roller coaster that lead me to my (thankfully) current healthy relationship with my Gentleman. They have to see me lose my shit when I can't do everything I want to do for them. They don't always get all of me because I'm too busy trying to create comfort or experience for them. Forget the fact that I'm solidly happier in this relationship than I was in my marriage. I ignore that I've grown, pushed myself further than I ever did before or that I'm modeling for them strength and independence. I feel like they want to nurture and take care of me sometimes, however, and that just doesn't seem fair to me.

I feel as if I failed those that loved us. My ex's family is begging to spend time with me over the holidays even though he's engaged to someone else. They all still love me and want me in their lives... even though it could potentially cause even more strain on his new relationship. We have friends who choose to be around neither of us because it still feels awkward to them. I may even be failing those that love me because I still carry around this pain... long past claiming I'd forgiven myself and him.

I feel as if I failed myself. I knew myself as a go-getter, someone who never let anything or anyone stop me from being who I wanted to be. I feel as if the Universe thought I was too big for my britches and put me firmly in my place, humbled and broken. Nothing feels as easy as it was when I was married, with a partner I could depend on (in some ways), with a new career and focus on exactly where I wanted to go. Nothing is as clear anymore. Everything is so damn complicated. I'm simply not the same person that I once was... I'm more cautious in ways that I wasn't before. I have more faith, for sure, but in many ways, I'm terrified even still.

I realized last night, after yet another awkward evening of picking up the kids from the ex and his fiance, that the only reason I feel so angry (and I do, I have so many things I could rant about with that) is because it feels better to be upset out here (*points into the air around me*) than it does to really look at these "failures" that I feel in here (*points to my chest*).

That doesn't make me the right person to go to for advice on how to survive divorce. Sure, I know it takes baby steps to rise up from this. I know it's possible to forgive, love again, move forward, be happy, become... a better YOU than you were during divorce. I know all of that and I can write posts about it but it's just not where I am, in this moment.

And in that, I guess I'm failing you guys too.

Ok, I don't really feel that. I think sometimes that this blog holds me up because YOU ALL understand where I'm coming from, don't you? Do you all expect me to have all the answers? Does it appear that I know what I'm doing or that I know what the hell I'm talking about?

I'm human, just like all of you. I let this stuff get to me. On the other hand, I also know this is a temporary feeling that will pass soon. I also know this is a deep cleansing of my soul. This is me, digging down even deeper to the pain I felt during the ending of my marriage, down deep into the dark recesses of bloody emotional ugliness, using a dull blade to saw all of that stuff out of me. Once it's gone, once it's no longer festering and putting up limits or obstacles to the breadth of pure joy available to me, I know I'll be better. I know the only way is up. I just have to pull out this thorn and not allow it to fester anymore. I will not let this "failure" decide my future or who I allow myself to be.

It's not a pretty process and it hurts like FUCK but it is necessary to my growth as the human BEING that I choose to represent to those I feel like I failed.

Thank you for listening... and most importantly, understanding.

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