Monday, February 14, 2011

the brown-eyed girl

Looking at my blog, I mean really looking into my blog as a whole, I realize I have not dedicated a single blog post to myself. There is nothing substantial here to give anyone any idea about who I am. My posts have been very general and frivolous, filled with tidbits about the kiddos and such, which is fine. But, in all reality I created this blog for myself, for free therapy, to use as an outlet to get out my thoughts and feelings and everyday struggles with life and love...as a single mom.

Yes, there, I said it...a single mom.

I have made some good attempts to blog about my life and where I am right now in it, but never felt comfortable with what I wrote the next morning...so those posts never made the cut.  It just wasn't what I wanted to say; it was somehow too harsh or too pitiful and wasn't how I wanted to represent myself, although it was totally truthful. 

I decided to title this blog brown-eyed girl, well because I am brown-eyed and because I like to still think of myself as a "girl". Although I will be forty in December of this year I don't feel a day over twenty-something.  I still feel very youthful and like I have a lot to share, experience and learn. My twenties and thirties whizzed by in a blink of an eye practically. Even still, there are so many things I have yet to experience.  I still have a lot of growing to do, metaphorically speaking of course, a lot of love to give and a lot of lost time to make up for.

Being that I just announced that I am a single mom we can all conclude that my marriage didn't work and sadly, it was doomed from the start. Of course I didn't see it then, I was 22. I thought marriage would be the answer to our problems.  I thought the ceremony and the vows and the bed we would share would settle him down and somehow he would find it in his heart to really commit to me. Funny isn't it. I'm almost embarrassed to write that. You have to remember...I was just a kid and he was my "first love".

I was blind...and not to mention naive.

The truth of the matter is the relationship was not at all a storybook romance like I fantasized about, but rather a story of infidelity, mistrust, drinking, drugs and other things I dare not mention on this blog for the sake of keeping it rated PG and to avoid any further unnecessary ugliness. 

I was told my expectations were too unrealistic. I grew up in a family where my parents loved and respected each other and that's exactly what I expected from my partner in this life. Isn't that what we all deserve, to be loved, respected and cared for. Isn't that why we say "I do"? I expected to love and feel loved in return.  It just didn't happen that way. Obviously he and I were both unhappy, he kept his distance and I tried to keep it all together.

We both suffered loneliness. We both made mistakes.

My pride kept me from fleeing and from telling a soul what was happening. After putting so much time and effort into something like that, it's hard to just walk away and admit failure.

For many years I fought with him over everything under the sun then one day I just quit. I didn't kick and scream and stay awake all night crying over him. Something in me just clicked. I had no friends, no life really.  It was all a big show, a joke, a hurtful joke.  He and I were not the happily married couple everyone thought  we were hosting bar-b-ques and parties.  If you came to the house at any given time of the day or night it would look like something out of a Pottery Barn magazine.  I filled the void in my heart and my life with things...and a picture perfect house.

No ceremony, white dress, no vows, no new furniture, car or new baby was going to change anything, and take the place of a happiness felt by two people who truly love and care for each other. The happiness just has to be there and be real, nothing else compares.

I was so jealous of couples who were truly happy and who truly cared for one another and shared intimate moments, real laughter and love with each other. I wanted that! Finally, I could see that nothing I did, no effort I made was going to change him. I relied too much on him and of course the things in my life to make me happy.

I was coming to grips with the fact that I couldn't hold him completely responsible for my happiness, or lack there of either.

If I was going to make a difference and overcome my loneliness and depression and give my life half a chance, then I needed to be the one to make a change.

Sixteen years and three children later here I am.  I left him a year and a half ago and just recently and I mean really recently, like two days ago I was finally able to say to him that I needed to let him go. I have been struggling with the effects of divorce on our family since the day I left him with our three children and moved three states away (to be closer to my family and their much needed support). It was the most difficult thing I have ever done in my entire life.  It is difficult, heartbreaking, painful and liberating all at the same time. I feel like now, at almost forty years old I have a chance at happiness and maybe even that swept-off-my-feet story book-once-in-a-lifetime love, if I could just trust it and myself that I am even capable of such a thing.

I am redeeming myself academically and in college again, this time working towards my Associate Degree in Nursing. I'm also working 12 hour night shifts in a hospital, which I love.  I haven't worked since my oldest daughter was in Kindergarten and I miss being home with my kiddos full time but enjoy my work and feel it's my true calling.  I am a nurturer at heart and know that I will embrace and enjoy the freedom and even the challenges that this career will bring.

I have recently reconnected with some old friends and even started painting again.  Although some days I feel like regressing, I know in my heart I'm doing the right thing. I have to push forward through the difficult times because I know as long as I follow my heart, everything will turn out wonderful.  I just have to trust that.

I am in control of my life and my own happiness now and whatever life brings it will be because I invited it.

2 comments:

  1. Just want to say... hang in there! I definitely found out that divorce made room in my life for some truly beautiful things. It's always hard when something ends, but if nothing ever ends... nothing new can begin, either. I hope you WILL be 'swept off your feet' and that you enjoy every delicious second of it!

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  2. Thank you for the great advice and comments! These days I need all the positive reinforcement I can get.

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