Starting Over… What Is Possible?

Starting over is not easy.

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In fact, I think it’s one of the hardest things we have to do as an adult. Far too often we get stagnant in life. Sometimes even in our own misery. It’s safe. Easy. It’s why people stay in a bad relationship or a bad job. Change is scary for most of us. And as we grow older we tend to resist change. At least some folks do, not all. I suppose it’s the element of risk that rattles us. The unknown is a mystery and the familiar is comfortable.

But sometimes you have no choice. I would not have chosen the last two years of my life, if you talked to me 12 months ago. But ask me now and you will get a different answer. I have come so far in life in what seems to be such a short period of time.

Nashville flood victims would not choose the last two weeks either. Given the devastation of the flood, it is quite possibly the most difficult thing that some have ever faced. Even if you didn’t lose everything, it is still very frustrating to deal with paperwork, insurance adjusters, policies, agencies, and on and on. If you did lose everything, it is even worse. Where will I go? What will I do? When will the assistance come? What if I lose my job? Certainly, with all of this it may not be possible to look at the future with joy and anticipation.

So how do you keep up your spirits and not get sucked in to the exhausting daily struggles?

Ask yourself “What is possible now?”

My journey after the divorce was based on one premise: Who am I beyond Jacob & Emma’s mommy? (Beyond JEMS) What else was there to me besides being a stay at home mom.

  • What was I capable of doing?
  • Where would I go?
  • Who was I as a woman?
  • How would I support my kids?
  • What did I dream of doing?
  • When would I get my life back in order?

Many folks did not understand my journey. Many scowled, visually and verbally, at my choices. But there was only one thing I knew to be true…. I knew that this was my opportunity to start over. I was facing the second half of my life and I wanted to it mean more, be MORE! I had to discover what was possible.

Not many folks have the choice to start over. It can be a blessing, even if it is forced upon you by circumstances beyond your control. You have a choice to dwell in the negative or try to see what is possible.

Trust me, I’m not suggesting, it’s all wine and roses and happy-go-lucky, cheery, positivity. It can be hard. Very hard. But it can be done. I recall someone saying that if you are not growing, you are dead. And we all know that growing pains hurt.

Take the moments of reprieve to dream.

  • Dream about possibilities.
  • Dream about what if’s.
  • Think about when.
  • Think about how.
  • Think about why not now.

Believe in yourself., believe in God and dream. If only for moments a day. It’s a start.

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Who Is The Best Father?

Many of you have read my Tweets and my other Post on my daughter’s challenge to process the fact her father is not around. At times it has been more than heartbreaking for me. So I can’t imagine the hurt she feels. I’ve diligently relied on God to take the place of her biological father. It was a stretch for me to grasp this as an adult, let alone a child. But I’ve tried to be consistent in encouraging her in her time of need, sadness, or joy to look to God as her father.

Well…. It’s starting to pay off and I can not be more thrilled!!! Slowly, she has started talking about God more specifically, not just in general terms or on Sundays after church. Here’s what Emma’s shared with me in the last week:

  • While watching some movie on TV (clueless as to what now) she announces,

Mom, I love God for 4 reasons:
1. Because He loves me.
2. Because He sends angels to protect me.
3. Because He gives me hugs.
4. Because He’s always there for me.

  • John, Emma, and I were sitting at the table eating dinner. Jacob was in time out for yelling at me and semi-punching me in the arm. This is not typical behavior for him, but unacceptable nonetheless. John initiated the time out, also very unusual. But he wanted to talk to him about the respect and treatment of women, especially me. At the table I told John, this was an example of why he needed a father-figure in his life. Time out was different coming from John versus me in that particular situation. Surprisingly, Emma jumped in on the conversation.

“Do you guys know who the best father is? [long pause, as John & I stared at her, then each other] God is. He’s the best Father we have.”

  • In another conversation this week, Emma and John were discussing a visit we made to The Carter House. John was giving a tour, so Emma & Jacob walked up on the porch to get his attention. John told Emma he was so happy to see her that day. She leaned in and whispered in his ear,

“Did you see the angel on my shoulder?”

  • Each night when we pray, I ask God to send His angels to help comfort her when she wakes at night. It’s been a struggle for her to stay in her bed at night for a few months. She wakes up frightened and comes to me in the middle of the night wanting to sleep with me. It was happening even when she shared a bed with Jacob. We’ve tried several things to help her sleep through the night, including eating a bit later to make sure she has a full belly. Since praying for the angels, she has stayed in her bed more often than not.However, when I tucked her in last night I was caught off guard as she told me her angel was sitting on her side table. According to Emma, her angel is purple and small. But she is very powerful and can protect her against anything. She likes the same hand lotion as Emma and she goes to sleep when Emma goes to sleep, but she stays all night long. Even better, we all have an angel in our room to protect us. At the end of our prayers, she asked if we could pray to the angels. I said, “No, we don’t pray to angels Emma. We only pray to God.” Her reply….

“Oh right. I forgot. We don’t put anything in front of God.”

I was shocked and asked her where she learned that. Her reply….

“You taught me Mama.”

Wow! My sweet girl gets it!

Thank you Father.

When Missing Daddy, Call On Your Father

“I miss my daddy,” Emma cried.

I’ve heard this more and more over the last month. I guess it is a matter of timing. They haven’t seen him since our trip to Hungary in July. Well, except for about 10 minutes mid-October when he Skyped with them.

The last time he spoke to them was the 3rd week in November. He called mid-December, but the kids were with my dad. He said he would call there, but I’m not sure he did.

That has to weigh heavy on a little one’s heart. Most of the time, I’m sure they just go about their business of life – going to school, church, play dates, family movies, etc. But it’s in the quiet times or times when they get hurt that his absence seems to be more than apparent. This is when they cry out to a father that does not listen.

It’s especially rough during the holiday season. We get photo Christmas cards depicting bright, smiling families – complete with a daddy. They also know they are going to spend time with their daddy at Christmas. And I remind them so it will relieve some of the tension of ‘when’. Then you get questions like this:

“Is daddy coming back to marry us mommy?” Emma asks with such innocent hope in her eyes.

It burns me up! I flood with emotion: anger, frustration, resentment, sadness. I hurt for them. Still. You would think this gets easier over time. But it doesn’t. When your child is hurting it really doesn’t matter if they are 4 or 40, you hurt with them.

For a long time, I didn’t know what to say to the “missing daddy” statement. My standard answer was “I know”. What else is there to say?

“He was a crappy husband and is even a crappier father.”
“What else is to be expected from such a self-centered, ego maniac.”
“It sucks to be you!”
“You’ll be missing him the rest of your life, get used to it.”

There are no words.
At least I thought not.

Then I remember the wonderful book of Isaiah and some of the lessons I have learned this past year and a half. Painful but reassuring lessons that have given me a peace like I have never known. So now, I have a new reply.

“I know. I know you miss your daddy. And I know that sometimes you feel sad and confused. Sometimes the people we love make choices that we don’t understand. It is confusing and sometimes it hurts us. But I know your daddy loves you very much. And you know what else? God loves you even more. God is our Father in heaven. He is my Father and your Father. He is our Father because He created us and loves us more than anyone else ever, ever will. He will always take care of you and be there for you to talk to or ask for help anytime you need it. He is with you always in your heart.”

I often go on to talk about how Mommy loves her and is always here. We talk about Mr. John and Papa, my dad, being there for her too. But I guess that thing that I want her to get, that I never did as a child, is that she is not alone. God is our Father in heaven and He is with us always. She doesn’t have to long for the love of a father because she has it already. Maybe it’s not in the way other kids have it or that she expects it, but it is there.

Always Emmanuel

The Unwritten Blog

writingYes, I’m writing about not writing. I figured it was a good place to start. Writing again, that is.

Let’s face it, I’m not a famous blogger with a huge expectant audience nor am I a mommy blogger with a cult following of close friends and family. And as I have discovered I am not a prolific writer with an ever ending need to put pen to paper. At least, I’m not anymore. Here’s the breakdown of my blog post stats, so you can judge for yourself.

Beyond JEMS Posts

  • 181 – Since I started blogging March 08
  • 38 – Since January 09
  • 5 – Since May 09

I started out strong. Blogging daily, sometimes more than once a day in fact. But I never considered myself a real writer. At least not as much as I wanted to be one. Writing for me was an outlet. A release of pent up emotions and a wild roller coaster ride in the life of a woman, wife and mother of 2 year old twins who had just been served divorce papers.

What baffles me at times is looking back on it all. I mean, just do the math. Last year in less than 10 months, I wrote 143 posts. That’s approximately a post every other day. In the midst of my crisis called life which included going through a divorce, being a single mom, moving 3 times, training to run my first half marathon, starting a new career, and the infamous breaking of my right arm, I still managed to find the time and the where with all to write. How did I find the time?

Honestly, I neglected a lot. A lot of things got pushed to the way side, including cooking and cleaning and more often than not my kids. “Want to watch another movie? OK” to “Please go watch TV” Not something I am very proud of, but it is the truth. My house, as well as my life. was in shambles and more importantly, I really didn’t care. Step over the laundry, do the dishes another day, none of it really mattered. It can wait. I have to write. I have to dive in to these emotions right now or I will burst. That’s how I did it. Again, nothing I am really proud of writing about now, but it is the truth.

Healing is an all consuming process at times. Did my kids suffer? Yes, superficially, temporarily. But permanent, long term effects? Maybe. I’m not sure. My therapist says no. But he can discuss it with them when they’re 20, deep in their own life crises and blaming some of it on me I’m sure. But it was all that I could do at the time. It was cathartic. It was my way of keeping me sane. In fact, I defended it to the nth degree when challenged at times. I remember a conversation with my sister, when she was lovingly telling me she didn’t understand why I did A, B, and C, instead of X, Y and Z. My reply was something to the effect of “Well, the last time I checked your husband didn’t divorce you and move to Europe leaving you to raise two small children alone. But if that happens, be sure to let me know how to deal with it the RIGHT way. You seem to be an expert all ready.” I’m sure you can hear the words dripping with sarcasm as you read. Oh, and they were. I was horrified by most people telling me I was doing it all wrong, when they had never come close to my circumstances. So I kept writing.

Then life changed. Things slowed down a bit. I started some freelance web design work, bought a house and settled in, kind of. The kids started doing better in school and having fewer nightmares. I started feeling whole again. And that’s when my need to write started to dwindle. Partly because life had taken on a new schedule with work and soccer and single mama madness. And partly because I was no longer in the midst of a crisis trying to find my way out and using blogging as a way to do it. I just had less to say because there was less drama I suppose.

To further the distance between my writing and me, I started a new relationship with an old high school friend. That’s when my muse left me for good it seemed. Not only did I write much less, I twittered less too per my Twitter friends. As I ventured in to this new long distance relationship, I didn’t feel the urge to write as much. I didn’t have as much to say to just anyone who should stop by my blog. Instead I talked to him. John became my new best friend. The one who I poured my heart and soul out to on a nightly basis, sometimes for 3 to 4 hours at a time. My writing muse had turned in to a talking muse. Poor guy! But seriously, we loved it! There is nothing like a long distance relationship to really encourage volumes of oral communication.

Sure there have been plenty of times I have felt like writing or had something to write, but they were just pushed to the wayside. Now I had to clean the house, make dinner and do the dishes. Ok, that’s a joke, I cook dinner, John does the dishes. But I felt myself staying more in touch with daily life and family stuff. Now my nights and spare time are spent with John and the kids. We sit down at the table every night for dinner. I enjoy cooking again. When the kids go to bed, I don’t turn on my laptop to occupy myself. More often than not, John and I watch a movie or do crossword puzzles. Yes, we’re geeky crossword puzzle freaks.

But I think I miss writing. I wish I felt like I had more to say or time to say it. In fact, the only reason I’m writing right now is because the kids are out of town at my dad’s and I felt inspired at 2:30 am. So knowing I won’t be up at the crack of dawn with little ones wanting waffles, I decided why not just bite the bullet and go write.

As I sit outside on my deck writing and listening to the crickets sing their late night song, I am enjoying myself. It feels good. John constantly tells me I have to take more time for myself to do the things that I love to do just for me. And I think he is right. I’ll let you know when I post again.

Take care my friends!

Depression is Not Cured with Prayer – Though it Doesn’t Hurt ;)

Walk by the light you have so darkness doesn’t destroy you.” John 12:35 (The Message)

A dear friend sent me this today. She knows I’m having a hard time. And I was so grateful for it. 

Oddly enough, I believe that prayer can solve a multitude of things. Prayers can be answered for anything and miracles can happen as God sees fit. But there is a misconception that prayer can cure clinical depression. I’m not saying that it can’t, but many times medical intervention is needed. Whether that’s via a therapist or pharmaceuticals – many people need help to get over the hump. I’m one of those people and I don’t think there is any shame in that. 

My depression is a unique combination of a hard year, a really bad holiday, hormones and chemicals floating around in my brain. There’s not much on this list that I can impact just by trying harder or just by forgetting the past and looking to the future. If that was the case, I’d be set. Unfortunately, much of what I’m experiencing is not about my divorce, but triggered by it. That’s why therapy and drugs come in to play. 

My marriage counselor turned in to my personal therapist because, frankly, I didn’t want to repeat the story over again. It was too long, confusing and painful. I meet with him weekly. There’s been work on my past, my transition through the divorce and help with my kids. We focus mainly on my personal and spiritual growth right now. He’s really good at helping you frame what you want for the future and working to getting it. There are always little diversions about the divorce or the kids that come in to our chats, but primarily he is my life coach. I also find it a bit odd that some people think having a life coach is a positive strategy, but having a therapist is a sign of weakness. I’m thinking I’m getting a great deal because my guy has a Ph.D. and insurance pays for it. 🙂 

As for the drugs, well, they help. They thin the fog & help you see the road. Even though you know the road is there and that this too shall pass, it’s the ongoing battle of depression that makes it very difficult to move forward on your own. It’s a personal choice. There are things that can help besides drugs, such as sleep, a balanced diet and regular exercise. Gee, there’s no surprises there. Like those things don’t help with life in general.  But not all the time are they enough. 

And then there’s prayer. I’m not meaning to blow it off as a non-solution. I think that lifting it up to God is very critical in helping. I felt better today just going to church, lifting my hands and being fully absorbed in worship. I shed some tears and felt touch by God today. That’s helped carry me through most of the day. Enough in fact to help me devise a plan of action for the week. Because I know exercise and being intentional with my time and my days will help me through this speed bump on the road, I spent time today at the church coming up with a plan for the week. It was something I prayed about, thought through. 

So now I’m set for the week. Maybe I’ll make it through tomorrow doing everything on my list. Maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll spend some of it in bed. Sometimes that’s what’s needed on a particular day. Either way, I will start my day with prayer and a little white pill. And I know that with both of these things helping me out, I will get through this. I will find my road again. And it will be a nice ride.

Stuck in the Middle With You

stuck 

 Clowns to the left of me,
Jokers to the right, here I am,
Stuck in the middle with you,
Yes I’m stuck in the middle with you,
Stuck in the middle with you.

 

  – Stealers Wheel

 

This is me. Stuck. Sometimes it feels like I’m more underneath it all versus stuck in the middle. But nevertheless, it’s not on top or above. Heck, I’d even settle for beside at this point. 

What is the middle like? It’s like purgatory, not heaven, but not quite hell. Like being a tween – the perfect descriptor for no longer a child, yet not a teen.  It’s like being 9.5 months pregnant & past your due date, not yet a mother, but so over being pregnant you’re screaming just get this kid out of me already. Shall I go on? No? Ok, I guess you get the picture. In essence, it blows. I’m not married, yet I’m not single. I’m stuck.  

This entire journey began what will be a year ago, next week. It started with a dialogue. An internet chat among strangers. Someone who would play a brief pivotal role in my life. This is where I took the first steps to becoming free from the oppression and abuse I suffered in my marriage. For me it was like a veil had been lifted from my eyes. An awesome awakening of the spirit inside me. Something I thought had died years before. For quite some time I had been living under a dark cloud, amidst a grey, putrid fog that wafted around me, in and out of me. I was a shell of my former self, pretending to do life, to be happy. But even pretending became too much and those days were far and few between. 

But as I said, the veil was lifted. I began to see a new life of wondrous possibilities. The fog rolled away. The clouds dissipated and on the horizon was a long and winding road. I could foresee some mountains and a few valleys along the way. But the miraculous discovery was actually seeing the road. I did have a future. My spirit rebounded from the slow suffocating death and began to breath this new life in. The sweet smell of adventure was all around me. 

Fast forward to now…

The clouds are back and I’m missing my view. I can remember how beautiful it was, my view. How it felt standing on the edge of possibility, with my mind and heart racing in anticipation. But even these memories are becoming hazy as the murky fog grows dense. Where was I going again?  My road fades. Where is my road? 

Is it a surprise to anyone that I’ve been diagnosed as clinically depressed? Well, it is to me. Sure there have been a few warning signs.

  • I sleep a lot more. Like today while the kids were in school and then when they got back home. Sleep. It seems like that’s all I want to do. Just pull the covers over my head. 
  • Then there’s the fact that I don’t want to go out anymore. It pains me to leave the house. Oh how I long for a Merridee’s latte. But I can’t seem to get there. I’ve forced myself to get out a few times. But I tend to go where I won’t see anyone I know and there’s very few people around. 
  • There’s also the general lack of appetite cohabitating with a constant hunger or thirst. Someone explain that one please. 
  • In summation of several symptoms, let’s just call them the “I really don’t give a shit” or apathy symptoms. They’re too numerous to mention individually.

This is no surprise the doctor says. It’s normal. It’s part of the process of divorce, the doctor says. The holidays were hard. You’re not making any progress towards reconciliation nor dissolution of your marriage. You’re stuck, the doctor says. 

I’m stuck.

I want my road back.

Confessions, Perseverance & Faith: My Full Circle Moment – PART 1

This blog is about my life. The new life I am creating moment by moment. There are posts reflecting my optimistic views of the future and my fears of the same. Some posts have been about my hobbies both new and old like running and cooking.  There is also a sprinkling of editorials filled with sarcasm and innuendo, as well as the occasional humorous fodder intended as nothing more than brain candy. 

But this post, this one is intended to accomplish one thing and one thing only: It is about setting the record straight.  It is about me letting go of the fear that I have held on to for years and getting naked in front of the world. It is about drawing a line in the sand for myself. It is about confession and perseverance and faith.  Let me begin.

Confession

Confession

CONFESSION:  I have a problem with men. Let me clarify this statement before your mind wanders. My first boyfriend ‘quit me’, as the local vernacular described it, as I was entering high school. Trauma ensued. My insecurities and self doubt exploded. This coupled with genetic predisposition for OCD set in motion a very unhealthy pattern in my future relationships. I’d date someone for 3 years, it would end and typically I’d be in the next relationship within a couple of months if not weeks. Many of these unions were dysfunctional in one form or another, especially as I was grew older. Let’s suffice it to say that at the end of each relationship, I honestly believed I had grown, changed and would not make the same mistakes again.

This divorce proved me wrong.  Many hours of marriage counseling, personal therapy and soul-searching have led me to one very simple conclusion… I have made men my higher power.  Whether it was my  alcoholic boyfriend in college or my dysfunctional abusive ex-husband; I eventually let them become my source of validation, at least partially. The result was always the same. I end up oppressed, verbally abused and emotionally orphaned leaving me raw and so not ready for the next relationship. But that was where I sought my comfort. Thus the cycle. 

The hardest part of this has been realizing the cycle is perpetuated by my own inability to see my contribution to it.  Let me explain that better.  In business, I’m very confident and pride myself on being top of it all. I’m the one people seek to solve their problems, define the new vision or execute the impossible.  However, in my personal life, I am quite the schmuck. In fact, it is almost the total opposite. Figuring out how that came to be is a therapist’s monetary dream, but pointless.  It all boils down to this…

  • The Problem:  I make men my higher power.
  • The Result:  Emotional bondage and failed relationships.
  • The Root Cause:  (Here’s the kicker)  I have never fully believed or accepted that GOD IS ENOUGH. 

Just saying it scares me and forever it has confused me.  How on earth is that even remotely possible? Jesus’s second coming is not about being physically present here to comfort me.  Putting His arms around me at night, when I’m alone and crying and holding me til I fall asleep – not going to happen. Calling me on the cell phone or even sending me a text or a Tweet with an “ATTA GIRL!”- not going to happen.  Taking the twins off my hands because it’s been a long week and I need some repreave to go run or just be still with myself – not going to happen.  So how can anyone tell me the God is enough?

This is Part 1 of a 4 Part Series.  Please check back for the next segment on PERSEVERANCE.

This is a part of Watercooler Wednesday by Ethos.

Running through the pain

Well, for those of you who read my WCW poetry I hope it was not too disturbing. The emotions that flowed from the poem are about the last six years of my marriage, specifically the last two, which were the most brutal and emotionally devastating. This is what I wanted to discuss. How do you get through the pain?  

On Wednesday I worked out with a personal trainer at the YMCA. He showed me different exercises and explained them. I like to understand why I’m doing what I’m doing because it helps me to visualize what is happening to my body, my muscles. I was enjoying it until he asked me to do this ridiculous elevated split lunge on two step stools. Seriously?  

Right now, training for me has one main goal of improving my running. One way we work to meet this goal is to improve my hip strength & motion. So facing the two stools, I climbed up knowing it was going to hurt a lot but the end result would be worth it.  And it did hurt; my legs were on fire that night! The next day I could barely walk and it was a run day for me. What to do?

Do I put myself through more pain running? Or do I rest and recoup? What would be the best decision to help me prepare for the 5K on Saturday? I wanted to go take a bath. But instead, I went texting for help from Mr. Tri Guy. He said – Go run! So I went to the Y knowing it was going to hurt a lot but the end result would be worth it. (Are you seeing the theme yet?)

The day that I realized that I could not fix my husband, nor was it my responsibility was a painful day. I felt like a failure. But what I had endured for years as an adult was not acceptable for my kids. They couldn’t understand his addictions or rages, they just suffered it and I had to protect them. I had to take the next step knowing it was going to hurt a lot but the end result would be worth it.  I asked him for a separation, promising not to divorce him if he would get help. I knew separating would be painful, but I hoped he would work through his issues and want us back, thus it would be worth it in the end.

He served me with divorce papers 1 week later.  

Sometimes we have to make hard painful choices in life, such as ending a relationship or a marriage. But you have to look beyond the pain to the future and realize that as much is it may hurt, eventually it will take you to a better place. Like running when my legs were dead. I knew it was going to hurt, but I knew it would be better for the weekend run.   

This is how I’ve had to face my divorce. I know it is going to be painful for me, and my kids, at times. Moving out was painful, losing some friends has been painful and hearing my daughter cry because she wants Daddy to live with us in the new house is painful. And with those days, those moments, I run through them or write through them to help get through the pain. It also helps knowing that it is only temporary, even on the worse days, because there is always another day.  

These are the days I look to… the days beyond. These days give me hope. These days inspire me to keep building a life for me and my kids that will bring us more joy and peace. These days are open and priceless because they are my days. Now I have the freedom to make miracles happen, to make dreams come true.

That is exactly what I’m doing my friends. Isn’t that exciting?! Some of my friends and family do not understand the choices I am making right now… blogging, twittering, changing careers. It’s baffling for them that I’m 39 becoming a girl geek who wants to be involved in missions. But isn’t that the best example I can set for my kids? Isn’t that the best thing I can do for them? Let them be witness to my life and how you face tragedy and pain and look to the future and reach out to help others and keep pushing forward.  I know it will be self evident in the long run. I am going to make a positive difference in my life, my kids’ lives and in the lives of others. I’m going to make miracles happen and dreams come true! Stay tuned to see how I do… J 

Where is Home?

Right now, it’s 1:45 am on Tuesday morning.  My kids are sleeping in sleeping bags on the floor of my sister’s bonus room.  I’m on the couch with my laptop trying to figure out what to say to you tonight. I’m frustrated. I’m tired but I can not sleep. I’m trying to figure out our next step. We can not go HOME tonight.

Is there a glimpse of sanity

amongst all of this madness? 

My family & friends warned me this would happen. But I just thought they were being overly concerned. They were right. I was wrong. And I know that they wish it was just the opposite. My sister nailed it over a year ago easy. My exTBD’s need to control me is becoming blantant instead of his typical passive manipulation. He has called friends and asked them not to do things with me, he’s blocked Twitter on my cell phone, and on Sunday he said that he was not going to pay me temporary support as agreed, more specifically he was not going to let us move to our new HOME. He was not going to let me leave. I was going to have to stay with him. This is not about reconciliation, this is about having power over me. Need I remind you that  HE  filed for divorce & had me served.

So tonight, after a few particularly nasty & frustrating days, I parked my car with the kids in it down the road from my old HOME, asked my neighbor to come sit with the kids while I snuck in to pack some clothes in a bag.  Then I brought my family to my sister’s HOME.  Which brings me to this moment and leaves me wondering when my life became a really bad “Lifetime Original Movie”? 

I have it pretty easy though compared to most of the heroines in those movies.  I have to give credit to God, friends & family for that. We have been blessed thus far. The seller of the HOME in Franklin agreed to my final counter offer. My kids are fairly resilient as most children of this age are. They have not been physically abused. My sister & her husband have opened their HOME to us.  I’ve had offers from old friends and new friends who are ready & willing to open their HOMES to us too.  My Twitter friends are praying for us. And I know who my real friends are for sure.  (Ironically, I just read a post on this today)  So let me ask the question again…

Is there a glimpse of sanity amongst all of this madness?   YES

  • Sanity comes from the giving up of material things. It took me a while to let go of the idea of a certain size house with all of the latest. But I have contract on a house that is about 1/3 the size of my current house and comes complete with a very dated decor. But it is beautiful. It is simple. It is freedom.
  • Sanity comes from embracing the truth in spite of the pain. I use that word a lot EMBRACE – but that is what really living in the moment is about – embracing it.  Putting your arms around it, loving on it, breathing it all in (the good with the bad), and letting it settle in your soul.  It is not easy to realize the person who was supposed to love you unconditionally forever is incapable of anything remotely close to that. But embracing that fact makes moving beyond it easier.
  • Sanity comes from knowing MY HOME is my children.  Not a house or an apartment or my sister’s floor defines where my home is, not for me or my kids. My home is in my heart and in my love and in my children. It is where ever we are together that is safe and secure. 

So as I sit here at 3:33 am, having pondered my post and coming to a sane point, I am no longer frustrated.  Now I am content. Tomorrow, I mean today, will be a new day in approximately 3 hours when the kids get up and help me keep it real.  Thanks for listening.  Good night!

Beyond looks back

 

Box of Amy\'s LifeSaturday was a great spring day to open the windows, feel the fresh air and purge.  Out with the old and bring on the new!  But, before you get the old out, you have to handle it and that is not so great. This week I am putting my house on the market and moving back to Franklin (TN). Thus, the handling of old things is a necessity. 

It didn’t start out so bad.  I began by doing about 6 loads of laundry and sorting kids clothes between summer clothes, winter storage and yard sale material. Then I had to tackle the master bedroom and that is when it became a little more complicated. Anyone who has sold a house knows that staging a home is very important. That means I needed to remove the personal items that makes the home ours (feels weird to even type that word).  Although my exTBD still resides in the house, he has lived upstairs since last August and I have resided in the master bedroom by myself. But today was the first time I had to touch the wedding pictures, family portraits and personal momentos and determine their fate. 

Some of it was easy. For instance, the kids pictures are to be divided between us and packed. Same with the family portraits. Now some of you may be thinking why that is important, you are no longer a family. But to Emma and Jacob we are and that is why that is important. Because they will still need to see pictures of Emma, Jacob, Mommy and Daddy as a whole, to know that we love them together and that will never change.

So that leaves the wedding pictures. Gee, divide them up, cut them in half, burn them.  Heck no, they cost too much.  And besides I look great in that dress!  It was a perfect summer day in August.  The golf course at the Country Club was so green and the rollings hills & lake in the background made such a perfect backdrop. I remember it like it was yesterday, yet, it seems like a lifetime ago. 

As I sit here knowing that creating a better, safer, more peaceful home for my kids is the right thing to do, the tears still flow. I’m not sure what the tears are for exactly. I’m not sure which part I’m grieving. But that is what is happening. I grieve for what was to be and what is not.

It is hard to take apart your home and pack away 10 years of your life.  What is harder is having children go through it with you. Because you can’t store it all in a box, hide it in an attic and walk away. You have to live it every day. You have to look at them and remind them that Daddy loves them.  You have to talk about the good times with Daddy and where he is and when they will see him next. Especially challenging for a 2 YO who has no concept of time.  And you have to do this all with grace, dignity and a smile on your face when all you really want to do is tell them the truth about why Daddy doesn’t live here anymore.  But alas you cannot. Not for their sake and not for yours.  Because hanging on to the anger or hurt or resentment is not healthy or productive and serves no good.

So yes, it’s hard to take it apart and pack it away. There are moments of tears and sorrow. But I embrace those moments. I allow myself to really feel it all, experience it down to the core. I had the same experience when the kids were in the NICU after they were born. I can not tell you enough how important it is to give yourself permission to grieve, to cry, to regret, and to look back. It is ok in those moments. It is what you are supposed to be doing. You’re supposed to cry when you pack away your life.  Holding back or holding on delays the inevitable and ends up creating emotional barriers inside you. You can not control the process. It will come and sooner is better than later.

When the kids were born premature (27 wks) the one thing that I took comfort was discovering that the emotions were normal. On Day 3 I started crying and did not stop for over 24 hours. A NICU nurse told my sister that it was normal on Day 3, she sees it all the times with moms. It is a hazardous combination of insomnia, hormones and emotions, such as: guilt, fear, shock, and anger.  When I became frustrated with myself that I could not stop crying, my sister told me what the nurse had said. That didn’t make the crying stop, but it made it bearable knowing that I was going through a normal part of the process.

So, take heart, like I am and cry. Embrace the emotions. Let them wash over you and flow away from you as you release your sorrow, regret and pain for what was to be.  Then curl up with a nice glass of wine, some ice cream or chocolate and know that you have taken another step closer to your future in a healthy way.