Residual Emotion

I thought I was okay, I thought I was fine but then it all hit me (again) and I wasn’t. I’m not (again).

This time last year some shitty stuff was happening, it was pretty rough. I spent the following couple months hermitting and trying to find a way to cope with my new reality. After a bit I did just that and life went on as it tends to do. It went on and on and suddenly I realized it had been a year. Somehow just realizing that (combined with the stress of my current schedule and some frustrating interactions with the ex) brought me right back to where I was last year. All the positive momentum I had seemed to just drop right off, it vanished and left me wanting to hide under the covers and not come out again.

The thing is, I thought divorce would be an end and a new beginning. The end of something bad and the beginning of a new life where I’d have the ability to continue what had been positive about the old one and move on from what wasn’t.

It’s not, it hasn’t been.

Maybe for some people it is but when you have kids you’re still tied to that other person and when that other person is determined to make your life miserable and exert whatever control they can over you it’s more of the same terribleness that it was when you were married. Don’t get me wrong, it’s better because now you have your own space with more options and the ability to just walk away from the other person even while they’re telling you how stupid and lazy you are, what a failure you are, and maybe that you’re getting fat to boot. It’s a little easier to distance yourself from that voice and their sphere of influence. As an individual you do get something of a fresh start in some parts of your life. So personally it is better, much better, and I would never go back. But as a parent, jeez. It might be worse. I used to do what I wanted with the kids and he rarely cared. Now everything is a battle, an attempt to establish what a superior parent he is and show what a poor job I’m doing at holding it all together. Had I known it would be like this I’m not sure what I would’ve done. Maybe that’s why we don’t get to glimpse our future (ala A Christmas Carol) when we’re making life decisions. The perceived outcome helps determine our decision but the actual outcome cannot. I’m pretty sure it would create some kind of weird paradox if it could.

So here I am, a year out from my terrible divorce (maybe even exactly though I’d have to look at a the papers to be sure), still angry, still fighting the urge to cry at any given moment, barely mustering the energy to move through my very busy day so that I can get to the next very busy day. Rinse and repeat. It feels bleak and hopeless. I know it’s not though. I’m trying to remind myself it’s temporary and that I really am okay; I’m past all this. Somehow the ghost of a January Passed has come back to haunt me for a bit though.

I’ve heard people say that divorce is like death without the casseroles. It is. And like the death of someone very close, this first anniversary has been a tough one. All the pain of the loss of the life I thought I’d have with my kids hit me like a sucker punch to the gut knocking the wind from my sails. The feelings of betrayal and defeat feel like a fresh wound again. A flare up from the ex trying to keep me in what he perceives to be my place with thinly veiled threats of how he’ll (try to) bury me if I even attempt to change this shitty situation we’re in, well, it took me out at the knees as effectively as Tonya Harding’s hired thugs.

So yeah, I’m down for the moment but one thing I’ve learned from this whole process is that people suck and “the system” won’t help you…

Wait, wrong lesson…

Inevitably time marches on and you just find a way to deal with it. You can give up and watch it roll on by you or you can pick yourself up and do the best you can to make it better. It might not be easy but it probably won’t be as hard as it was a year ago either.

Right now this whole idea of choosing happiness is popular. There’s this perception that you can and should just choose to be happy. You must be happy at all costs! Well, I’m calling bullshit on that. You can’t always simply decide to be happy and okay with life. Nor should you. Some things suck and there’s no happiness about that. You kind of have to find a way to be okay with that though. Find what you need to pull yourself out of the muck and keep taking steps forward. And sometimes even when you do that life gives you a little push back down. Get up and try again. Be as strong as you need to be to get through it and (hopefully) before you know it you’ll be okay again, maybe even better. And next year when(if?) it all comes around again you’ll know to just keep moving. Feel angry, sad, and terrible but know that February will come. Be not okay for a bit, but then…be okay, be better.

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About nights7

A metamorphosis in progress...always.

12 thoughts on “Residual Emotion

  1. Sarah says:

    I don’t know what to say except that I’m sorry. It sounds like you have the right attitude though. I’m glad you’re not taking his criticisms on board.
    My best wishes to you. Keep on keeping on.

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  2. I understand the experience of divorce, and struggling with contact, although I don’t have children and have now very scarce contact.
    It’s really hard but tell yourself truth while he tells you lies. I imagine you do what’s best for your kids, and the very best job you can of holding everything together. And you do it everyday.
    You are beautiful – he thought so too, even if he’s decided to change his mind.

    I’m trying to look for something good in every day. Some days I cooked an amazing dinner, or cleaned the kitchen (that’s an achievement!), perhaps a beautiful sight or a gift or phone call. It doesn’t force me to be happy but it helps me feel more content.

    With very best wishes x

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    • nights7 says:

      I don’t usually give much credence to his words, I’m pretty sure most of his crap is just classic projection. Thinking about it in that light helps. But it all gets old after a while.

      Being content and finding something positive in each day is a good practice. And cleaning the kitchen is definitely an accomplishment. Maybe I’ll give that a go for a bit….finding something good each day not cleaning the kitchen. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am going through a similar situation. Go through the motions until they make sense again! Hang in there.

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  4. Like your other commenters I have been there too, it is so hard and as the main carer you get to do all the hard work then he gets his bit of time and manages to be the hero. I can assure you that whilst it is difficult now the children see more than you realise and eventually work it all out for themselves. I took an awful lot from my ex when the children thought he was great. But then as they grew up through there own memories they put the reality of the situation together. I have 4 wonderful children, now all grown up but very well balanced despite the horrid times we went through. You are doing the right thing and taking the best you can from each day. 1 year seems a long time now but the the great scheme of life it is not really so long and with the passing of time you will grow stronger so keep that chin good and high and rise above all his efforts to bring you down. You are better than that.

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  5. […] 12:30, people, so really there is no excuse for this. I’ve just been slumping lately. I had a rough couple weeks in January and, though there has been some improvement, its been a struggle to pull myself up out […]

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  6. […] I’ve been in a bit of a funk. It is the time of year for that. At least for me it is. The dark days of February, not as dark as they were a few years ago, are still not the best. It’s not just that though. […]

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