My Change of Self

“Very often a change of self is needed more than a change of scene.”  ~ A. C. Benson

Yesterday was to be the day when I was three days past telling my children I was leaving their father, and the day I moved out. The day when I would finally come through the emotional tsunami and start slowly picking up the pieces of my life, the life that I chose to break apart.

Yesterday. Was. The. Day. But nothing of this has gone by way of my plan so why should I expect it to start now??? So it was actually the day I was supposed to leave but didn’t.

So we got through the rest of last Saturday in the Land of Denial, then Sunday he was away most of the day so I was generally at peace. Monday as soon as I walk in the door from work he follows me down the hallway and says he knows I am ready to get out of here (ouch) but he talked to his boss and they have been separated for four years and tried therapy ten times but it doesn’t seem to be working out so they will start the divorce, but anyway boss suggested we go to therapy to get ideas for how to tell the kids. And as per his usual method, starts to tear up and runs away so the conversation is over even though I am not ready to be done with it. Minus the crying, he has always been when he is done we are both done. And I used to try to keep the conversation going but it never really worked, so like everything else I eventually stopped trying and let him have what he wanted.

And thanks Universe, for not showing me kindness yet again when I finally get the courage up to do something. I realized that three days would really not be the kindest way to tell my children things were changing, that even though it would make things harder for me, it was better for them to be told and then given time to absorb it all and come to some kind of acceptance. I remembered that when the man who helped my mother have me told me he was not planning to stick around and do forced unsupervised visits anymore and I would never see him again after he dropped me off that day, I cried for days. And yes, I know, he is somehow at the root of all this even though things happened that made me tell myself that he is dead because then he can’t hurt me anymore. I didn’t want to do that to my children. I didn’t want to destroy my relationship with them, I can’t bear life if I lose them permanently. So I can’t just tell them and abandon them like I was.

So, I decided fine. I wouldn’t tell them Wednesday and I would wait a bit until after playoffs and tryouts and whatever the hell else the Universe decides to use as an obstacle. And I fell into a very severe depressive state. I lost all hope that I would ever be happy again. I wept. I didn’t eat or sleep much. I was selfish and only thought of myself and was mean to everyone and didn’t care if what I said hurt their feelings. I shut down and tried to push My Girl away, not knowing that it was the worst possible time for me to do that because she was dealing with a pretty bad emotional tsunami herself. I rationalized that it has always been just me, first as an only child, then as a motherless daughter, and keeping it in was all I knew to do. I was trying to be selfish and do what I wanted to do, and not care, but knowing I was hurting My Girl too made it so much worse. I thought I was protecting her by not sharing my stuff with her when she had her own stuff to deal with, but was actually making her feel more alone.

I thought I would go mad during the week. Husband was back in Land of Denial and chatting away so much about such stupid things that all I could think was Shut the F up! He chatted and laughed with our children while watching tv, while I sat upstairs doing who knows what, no one cared and bothered to ask me to come downstairs with them. He would ask me a question about something I just told him and get mad when I sighed and said I already told him. In other words, it was life as it has been for months….him thinking everything is great and me quiet and miserable and angry that he doesn’t seem to notice I am not myself.

I had a physical on Thursday to get a lower insurance premium. And then I answered a simple question with a simple answer and realized I couldn’t go on like this. I was asked how I felt in general. I answered, “Not so good.” and promptly dissolved in tears. I told the Physician’s Assistant that I was very stressed and sad and not sleeping or eating because I was trying to start going through a divorce that I wanted and it was so hard, even though I wanted it. And she gave me a  box of tissues and said she was sorry, and then suggested we try an anti-depressant, that it would help with my sleep at the very least. While it doesn’t sound so empathetic here, it really was kind. I have told my best friend, but no one else knows what I am going through, so it was a bit of a relief to tell someone and not be judged for it, even though it was part of her job to remain neutral. It was nice to have someone listen to me and try and help me.

And then somehow I realized that no medicine or therapy, no anything, would really help ME unless I helped me. Sadly I have no idea when I was last nice to myself, when I last truly loved myself. Sure I have gotten pedicures and bought new clothes but I haven’t really been giving myself what is truly important….love. And I am so tired of being miserable. This is not the mom I want my children to remember.

Since I couldn’t have a change of scenery, I decided to begin a change of self. Friday I woke up and thanked my God that I was given another day of life. I wore my pedometer and set a ridiculously low step goal just so I would be able to achieve it. As I got ready for work I told myself that I was beautiful and strong and it would be ok. Throughout the day I tried to replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Saturday I did the same things, today I did the same things, and tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, and each day after that, and hopefully soon I will believe these things and love myself. If I love myself I will be better able to know how to make myself happy, and be better able to love others. Life really is too short not to have as much love as possible in it.

 

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