Tin Man & Heartache

tim-gouw-133424While catching the commuter train this morning, Miranda Lambert’s melodic voice filled my ear buds and unexpectedly brought me to tears.

I quickly swatted the tears away, but it got me thinking —

Lately, my life has resembled a country song.

My ex split when our son was three. He was barely there for our son those first few months, as he tried to figure himself out, hold on to his job, his affair partner, and grapple with his addictions.

In hindsight, he wasn’t around much before either, you know, because he was busy “working late.”

There I was, with a full-time job, health crisis of my own, and a little boy who wanted to know when Daddy was coming home, why Daddy left, why Daddy didn’t pick him up from school anymore, why, why, why.

Family flew into town to help me those first few weeks and it was still hard. I was in shock, stopped eating, and operated on auto-pilot at work and with friends.

My son did not adjust well, often clinging to my legs while I tried to make dinner, he was wetting the bed again, having nightmares, trying to nurse, he didn’t want to let me out of his grasp.

In a nutshell, it was regression and he also started showing signs of anxiety.

I gave our family dog to my best friend. That broke my heart too. 

For so long, I separated the heartache I experienced during the aftermath of my ex leaving from everything else I had to contend with in my life. I pressed “pause” on the heartache and trudged ahead.

I had no idea how long it would take to get through my divorce and custody battle. More than two years went by, and we still weren’t divorced, nor did we have a court-approved visitation schedule. 

I had my son full-time and we had a makeshift schedule where his Dad would come over to take him to school, and pick him up from school on other days for dinner visits, which eventually morphed into every other weekend sleepovers, always requiring 50+ emails back-and-forth to coordinate. Exhausting to say the least, but at least he was involved in his son’s life again. 

During that time, I refinanced the house so we didn’t have to move and spent thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours preparing for our  custody trial. 

I took and failed a credentialing test I really needed for work (fail!), I spent a lot of time and stress trying to get into a different career field, thinking I would need the extra income, but it was not meant to be (fail!).

I underwent radiosurgery at a hospital out-of-state, a week before my son started elementary school and it was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. I couldn’t have made it through that without the love and support of my family and loving boyfriend.

As you can see, life just never stopped hurling challenges our way. Not for a second.

No wonder I pushed down the heartache. But this morning, listening to that song, it came back to me and I remembered just how raw and devastating it all was — the heartache of being left.

It reminded me that it’s ok to reflect on how hard a period of your life was, and how much you went through, because you did it. You made it to the other side. I did that.

Here’s to reflection and the growth that comes from it. Thanks, Miranda.

Appetite

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The divorce stress diet typically consists of coffee, wine, bourbon {oh wait, is that last one just me?}, and some crackers every couple of days.

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The custody trial appetite? It’s like being pregnant and preparing for your 8th month, devouring every chip and brownie and doughnut and slice of pizza in sight.

Gearin’ up.

Messy Mantra

sheet

Life once seemed so simple

It was never easy, never dull

But simple

Grappling with the drama that’s been infused into my life

Despite my best efforts to deflect

It feels like my energy is wasted

Accept it, take it on, I tell myself

Adjust to it

Messy is your new reality

Like it or not, it’s yours

Here to stay, it’s not going anywhere

Possibly it could go from messy to super messy

Best case scenario

But the simplicity of marriage, of raising a child in one home has slipped beyond anyone’s grasp

Messy was what was always to come

Embracing it is likely the only way through

When you can’t run

Finding the Words

swimmer

I struggle to find the right words

Attempting to describe how this cruel world works sometimes

To a five-year-old

It’s hard

I want to shelter him

But he is wise beyond his years

I want to coddle him

Usually, he lets me

How do you explain to a little boy how his father broke your heart

Left you to pick up the pieces of your life

Put it back together again?

Show him how to build a more fulfilling, meaningful life filled with love

How do you explain to him that although he may have a fun daddy, and one who loves him, he’s not a good father in the true sense of the word?

You don’t

You just do your best to answer his questions

Knowing that the understanding will come later

When he’s older

And figures it out for himself

 

Bear

A photo by Thomas Lefebvre. unsplash.com/photos/aRXPJnXQ9lUHow did I get here

To this place I don’t even recognize

This is so-called co-parenting?

Our interactions make me feel trapped

Like I’m in a cage with a wild animal

Backed up against the wall with nowhere to go

He is the beast

Except I am the one who appears wild

Enraged, my heart ablaze

It’s not a place of anger these carnal feelings come from

It’s fear