Tuesday, September 2, 2014


I've been waiting for the bottom to fall out.
No, to say that I've been thinking that all was going to 'hell in a hand basket' any day now is false.  In fact, I know things are good for me right now.  Things are great for us right now.  But I've realized that somewhere in my mind I've been anticipating the fall.  The destruction.  As backwards as it may sound, I entered into a relationship with the mentality that "if all does go to hell then I will survive."  So, as much as I've denied it, to myself, I've been anticipating the destruction of all that is good, for me.

Here's what I've learned:
I got married far to young, for me.  I had no idea who I was or what my purpose was on this earth. But, I loved.  And, I loved hard.  That is what I knew how to do, and that's what I was good at.  I married a man who would seemingly move mountains for me, and I was as guilty as anyone of believing that.  We had our troubles. Many of them.  Hell, we dated 5 years before we were married, and  I "knew" him inside and out, but didn't.
Then, there was this one day.
And, everything changed.
I will never forget that day.
To be completely honest, in hindsight, it wasn't that one day, it was many days  before.
But there was this one day that I discovered the unthinkable.
He had lied.
He had been continuously lying to my family.
He had been continuously lying to me.
He was an addict.
He was a thief.
One day.
Never did I know he was taking pills.  Never did I know he was sneaking into my parents house to slowly steal, one by one, every piece of my mother's jewelry.  Never did I know that he was leaving the office and landing at the pawn shop with yet another of our family business' piece of equipment.

I believed him.
I believed what he said.
The excuses he made were my normal.  They were what I believed.

I said vows to this man, before God and everyone that could hear me.
I meant them.
I tried to hold them true.
And, I was defeated.
I don't think I've let myself realize the destruction that he caused, in it's full magnitude.  I have been more prideful in the survival than realizing the damage.
But, I did survive.  As many people do.  I kept on going, and by God, I was rewarded.
I have the most amazing daughter that I get the privilege of spending every day, and every tantrum, with.
A man has come into my life and given me the space to discover myself while supporting my every move.  A man that has shown me what love can be.
And, I have my family who have shown, by example, what it means to be a family.  They have shown me what it means to love, and what it means to be a parent, and sister, and brother in law, and grandparent, and aunt and uncle.
Because of that I survived.
And, because of her, and them, and my effort, I will continue to survive, and grow, and learn.
I was a fool to think that his actions would be forgotten.  They will always be in the fabric that makes me, and the fabric that makes my daughter.
But, I am a fool to think that that fabric will define me, or her.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

motherhood : loneliness

I recently read an article published by the huffington post titled "The Bittersweet Loneliness of Motherhood".  It was one of those reads in which I didn't totally connect to at the time, yet words from it keep resonating in my mind frequently. 
Motherhood is lonely.
Kate Rope describes it like this:  "It is great, and wonderful, and fulfilling, but it is also lonely.
I feel alone because by deciding to have a child I took on ultimate responsibility for another human being, and that means I no longer have the luxury (or was it the illusion?) of letting somebody else be in charge -- my parents, my husband, a group of good friends on a girls' weekend away." 
Personally, I have experienced those twinges of jealousy as my friends, most of which haven't had children yet, post pictures of Thursday night happy hours or Friday night get togethers.  There is a second, or 15, where I think 'man I wish I could go' or 'no one invited me'.  But then she beckons my attention and all is forgotten, and ultimately I am reminded that my place is here, with her. 
Kate goes on to write: "At the end of every day, when I crawl into bed next to my husband, there is a part of me that stays alert, a little part I save just for my daughters in case they need it -- a tiny, stoic sentry who never sleeps and guards her post alone."  And how true her words.  I am a single mother, who does not crawl in bed next to a husband every night, and feels every bit, if not more, of that responsibility and loneliness.  I often feel like I need to explain to others how hard this job is.  I catch myself holding back from attempting to verbalize the rollercoaster of emotions, and stress, and concern, and joy, and relief I feel every single day.  And I do so because, quite frankly, no one would understand, and my words would not do any of it justice. 
There is the loneliness. 
Strangely, I know other (or all other) moms understand what I go through, but I don't hear them talk about it so my mouth says shut too. I even catch myself wondering if I have become a different sort of un-relatable breed, as crazy as that may sound.
And, there is an element of single motherhood in my loneliness as well.  I feel guilty even saying that, as I have an amazing family and caring boyfriend that help me more than I can say, but I do believe that there is a separate loneliness to not crawling in bed next to a husband every night. And although I do have a partner, and a great one; she is two. There must be some comfort in knowing that one other adult human being's main concern is supporting you and your child in some way, everyday.  In my opinion, there is another layer to it all when you are the one who goes to bed with the days events and worry, alone.  That being said, I can't not acknowledge how great my two year old partner is, and how I couldn't, nor wouldn't want to, imagine my life without her.

Kate sums up her article saying: 
"Already I have failed in some ways and excelled in others. And doing both has taught me that I can learn, get better, and survive the trials. I now know that what seems like a crisis today may be something I laugh at next week, that being perfect is impossible and that even my parents, who made my world feel so safe growing up, were winging it themselves much of the time.
And I have discovered that feeling alone at times is a small price to pay for the experience of bringing another person into your life and growing up together.
I wouldn't trade it. It feels like a transition my mind and body were meant to make, a threshold we were evolutionarily destined to cross. I wouldn't step back across it to the carefree, cared-for times before. OK, maybe I would for a day or a week. But I wouldn't stay."
And with that she said exactly what motherhood is to me.

Monday, June 30, 2014


He called tonight.
I shut the door without seeing him to the car as I do every other night, and because of that he called. He makes me speak.  No, he asks me to speak.  My nature, my past, has taught me, rather groomed me, not to speak.  Upon my own accord, or lack of, I never gave voice to my feelings, nor my independence. My past encouraged silence: to shut a door.  He acknoldges that and gives room for that.  Frustrated, he left, with the door closed abruptly behind him. He thought about it, attempted to put himself in my shoes, and called.  He talked.  I talked.  He loves me.  I love him. 
I have never before felt able or welcomed to talk. 'Tough or uncomfortable situations are made for fixing, not talking about.'  I have always stifled feelings to accommodate others, or to fix others.
It is crazy, but true: I have someone in my life that is by my side, all the while pushing me forward and letting me grow.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

the compliment

The other day I received the greatest compliment I've ever received. 
I was told that "I look taller".
Laugh if you must,
I did.
Being a staggering 5'2", with good shoes, there are bound to be countless other adjectives that can be used to describe me at any given time.
So, let me tell you the story.
I was running late, as I usually am.  Got on the elevator, pressed 5.  Entered suite 520 and immediately offered my "sorry I'm late" apology.  She knows, asked me in and we sat, as we have week after week for more than a year and a half now.  I on a dated and neutral couch, tissues on one side and a curled up pup on the other.  She across from me in her rolling desk chair, shoes removed, holding her Tupperware and eating the lunch she's presumably tried to finish multiple times before my arrival.  Although this set up is very routine, the past few weeks have seemed different; more causal; more comfortable; more at ease.  We've laughed more.  That is what I'd noticed.  I didn't pay much mind to the decrease in tears, as they are still present, but I had been noticing the laughter.  I sat, and smiled.  She asked me how I was.  I responded, as I always do, with I'm good. Then, following a moment of silence, she said I looked taller.  I furrowed my brow and laughed. 
"I've noticed lately that you seem taller." 
'I've just noticed lately that you have come in with a presence, and peace, and confidence, that I haven't seen in you before, and it is something I've wanted for you.  You should be proud."

I started going to counseling shortly after I realized my marriage was over.  I can distinctly remember the phone call I made to my sister, it was a text actually, and it was a difficult one.  My mind was reeling, my emotions were reeling, my family was falling apart, and the absolute only thing I was sure of was that I need help; professional help.  My sisters recommendation, from her friend, was a Godsend. 
Talking to a therapist has been such a bizarre, and amazing experience.  Looking back, I am pretty sure the first six months of talking to her consisted of silence between sobbing. But, she let me experience it.  In fact, I can't tell you what she did, what psychological tactics she used, nor any grand words of wisdom that made everything better for me.  I can, however, tell you that I look taller.  More importantly, I feel taller. 
I do not, nor will not, discredit myself, because I have put in a lot of work to better what is me, but I am so very grateful for her.  I am so very grateful for the overwhelming feeling God bestowed on me to get help. 
I am still such a work in progress, but I have made such progress...and because of that I stand a little taller.