Hi there Lovies-
It’s Mother’s Day Weekend.
On my very first Mother’s Day in 2003, I figured out my daughter MiniMe was the exact age I was when my Mom died. I thought it was some kind of heavenly guardian angel sign I was going to be an ok Mom in spite of my reluctance to take on the job and inability to adapt to it without a crap ton of anxiety, anger and overall angst of losing myself and not having the life or baby I wanted. My Dad died while I was pregnant with her and in some feat of super human emotional strength I had held it together and convinced myself I was fine for the remaining 4.5 months of my pregnancy. When she came she was beautiful and she scared me to death. She was a very hard baby and I was a very unhappy Mom.
3 years later in 2006 I was the Mother of a son and a daughter. The Destroyer was a very very easy baby but I was no happier with motherhood or my life.
3 years go on the Saturday over Mother’s Day weekend my husband walked into our living room, stood at the end of our couch, and stated in my general direction “You know, we can get and fill out divorce papers on-line for $175”. It’s not like I didn’t know it was coming, I “started” the whole thing after all, but in that gut punch moment my whole world spun on an axis and went from already fucked up to oh my God this train is going to wreck in glorious fashion and I am the driver. The first thing that went through my mind was this fucker is trying to call my bluff, he’s backing me into a corner to see what I’ll do. I don’t even remember my response, the only thought going through my head was ” I will finally be free of this life”. I took both my rings off by Sunday morning. We spent Mother’s Day telling our kids “Mommy and Daddy love you, just not each other anymore. We are getting a divorce”. Long story short, despite a 4+ month separation, an online affair with a catfish and the resulting implosion when he vanished rather than explain or apologize for his completely faked identity, my Husband using a credit card of mine he had taken in the divorce as his debt to pay for a plane ticket to fly my former best friend out to “see” him for a weekend and then lying about the entire thing (for years in pieces) before it blew up in his face and various other minor and major bits of nastiness, we didn’t actually get divorced. We prevailed.
Last summer as I sat smoking in our garage, shaking, sobbing, empty in despair, yelling to Babu ” I hate you all just as much as I did three years ago, only this time I’m not trying to fuck anybody else. And I’d like some credit because these last few months have been pure horror”. Horror I didn’t think I would ever go through again. My heart and soul was in actual worse condition than the day “Paul” vanished, only this time it wasn’t my fault. I’m not doing anything this time I yelled, It’s NOT ME!!!!! His response was to inform me he didn’t think we should of ever gotten back together. He’d already talked to his friend on wife #3, and he and wife #2 were really great friends now and maybe that’s what we needed to be. I remember every single second of the resulting 90+ minute conversation. At the end of it he acted as if everything was totally peachy and he had no desire to leave me anymore. I didn’t believe it would stick.
Two days before Christmas he hauled me into the garage in a big huff about how he’d wanted to “wait until after the Holidays to have this conversation”, after I had the audacity to sit down at the table, force him to turn his attention from his phone, and stated “I just want you to know, no matter what you have done or might do in the future I’m not going anywhere, I want to be your wife”. He informed me he had been plotting to leave me/us since shortly before Thanksgiving. It took him over 60 minutes to get to the point and for 59.5 of those I TRULY thought he was going to tell me he was having the affair I had suspected since July. When he got to the point he tried to tell me once again, this was all my fault and he could just never trust me and he just always knew this would happen. It became painfully clear in the moment he’d never done a single bit of work beyond swallowing the previous battle and pretending it never happened. He did a really good job of hiding it too until ADHD ravaged through 3 of the 4 of us and sent me into new depths of personal hell. To say I didn’t cope well at first with the ADHD journey would be a huge understatement. He’d rewarded me for no longer being able to be the strong one by checking out and then pulling the I’m leaving you card…again. Abandonment and denial is apparently his thing. This 2nd battle for my marriage was much much different. No crazy train, no fucked up outside circumstances. I immediately hauled him to Tab for couples counseling and fought sometimes minute by minute battles with myself. To not throw him out, to not remind him I had no need for him, to not dream of potential lives I’d already let go of, to fight to change and grow some more for myself while trying to keep my mouth shut, to hide it all from my children. I clung to every tiny baby step he made towards change. Until one day not so long ago during a very long car ride, I decided I’d let myself trust him again.
A few weeks ago we lovingly, happily celebrated 13 years of marriage. I can’t tell you if I thought we’d get here. To be completely honest a huge part of me figured I’d be single by this weekend. 3 years behind in where I could of been had I just not agreed to explore going back to him the last time instead of letting the 2 days away from final Divorce proceed. At least I knew I would be able to pat myself on the back and state “not me this time bitches, go away shaming haters there’s nothing to see here”. I’m better off financially, emotionally and in many other ways than I was then. I knew I’d be absolutely fine without him as my partner. So why didn’t I just curb him? First, I knew I couldn’t look my kids in the eyes and tell them, yet, that I’d done everything I could possibly do to keep their worlds from vortexing. I. just. couldn’t. So I chose to fight. Second, I thought long and hard about Babu and I, I asked myself if there had ever been even one point in time where I felt truly emotionally safe and connected to him as partner. I located a very small window in 12+ years where I felt the was statement was true, and I clung to it like my life depended on it. I used it to keep me from doing too many stupid things while I worked to change, some more, and patiently (NOT) waited for him to recognize I was worth changing for, our family was worth changing for.
This Mother’s Day it’s been 3 years since THAT Mother’s Day. Thanks to his bad timing Mother’s day will always be an Anniversary in my mind. The day all who know me remember as the day my husband told me he wanted a divorce, the first time. The day will never be the same, I will never be the same. We’re solid, and always will be working to stay solid. I’ve either come to trust there will be no bailing on his part the next time life send us a horrible journey or come to trust I’ll be ok if he does.
We still battle the ADHD/ADD demons in our home, and I’ve been really quiet about it here. I’ve written about everything but the real pain and events I am/was going through. I recognized I’ve been hiding it away from I don’t know what? Fear? Maybe, probably, yes? I’m in the tail end of clearing all self perceived bad JuJu out of my life, home, head and prepping to turn my focus toward my kids and my relationship with them before they are too old and it’s too late. To be the Mom who actually likes being a Mother, and the life she has as a Mother. I love my babies and sometimes go absolutely apeshit crazy trying to protect them from both real and worried threats, but I’ve never been able to reconcile motherhood inside myself. I lost my Mom at 6 months old and didn’t get a good example after of how to mother well, successfully, happily. I hope that doesn’t make me the bad Mom I often feel I am. I’m finally ready to delve into truly embracing motherhood and opening myself up to my kids so I can love them better, more, less anxiously, less fearfully. I hope I’m not alone, and I hope I continue to have the courage to share some of the journey with you in the middle of the running, gardening, decorating, fearlessly be yourself posts. We shall see 🙂
Happy Mothers Day Weekend Lovies. Go hug your Mom and tell her you love her. You might have no idea what battles she’s fought, is fighting to keep your world intact.
PS> Thank you Orange Rhino, without your brutal delicate honesty I’m not sure how much longer it would of taken me to write this post, discover I have a voice lower than straight to 5-7 or try as hard as I have been for the last few days to learn not to yell.
Happy Hump Day Lovies. I squeezed another day off from my week for some much needed alone time. Today is the last day of 3rd grade and Kindergarten for MiniMe and The Destroyer. The last 8 weeks or so of the school we spent testing and diagnosing MiniMe with ADHD. We are on our 2nd dose of the first med and she seems to be doing better. the Kumon is also probably helping but only time and a whole summer of work to catch up is going to tell. Discovering I have a child with ADHD has been an interesting emotional ride for me. Not only are we starting the process of screening The Destroyer, but I am also putting myself through it.
I’ve asked every teacher of MiniMe’s if they thought she had ADHD. Staying focused always seems to be an issue in her classroom, her math foundation never got to where it should be in First Grade, after that it just builds so once she hit 3rd and multiplication came into play her grades came crashing down to C’s. C’s are like F’s in our family, simply not acceptable. Plus every single night of home work was an all out battle of wills and patience. I didn’t struggle with home work as a kid, just did it and I didn’t get or need a lot of help. I wanted my kids to be the same way. After 9.5 years as a mother it is finally sinking in that my kids are not going to be “me” just because they have half of my genetic material, except when they are exactly like “me”.
Enter in ADHD screening. As I was filling out the first set of Vanderbilt Forms it hit me pretty quickly that more than a few of the behaviors listed I could apply to myself as well as my daughter. I was also born without the filter between my brain and my mouth, I thought I was just emotional and/or an extrovert. I also am slow or have difficulty getting started on tasks I see as boring or unpleasant, I thought this was just depression/apathy/procrastination/laziness. I have an addictive personality and a low natural threshold to impulsiveness, I thought this was just the weak parts of me that needed a stronger set of BGP applied to them. I can never remember where I put my drink, purse, shoes, phone. I can hyper focus when reading and tune out the entire world. My number one coping mechanism for feeling overwhelmed like I can’t do something is to start shutting down, checking out in any way possible. She totally got this from me didn’t she? I asked Babu. When he avoided answering the question I knew my academically lackluster freshman year of college was probably more than too much weed, beer and sex.
This discovery sent my mind on a processing spin and I’m just about out of it. I am reconciling this new information with what I already know about me to see if it sheds any light or changes any perspectives I have. I was struggling with whether or not to just leave myself the hell enough alone because I have already have 41 years of self monitoring and course correction training, or get tested and go on some meds only to find out that apparently things that make up a large part of “me” are in fact curable with a pill. What the fuzzle will that even be like? Better, mind blowing, enlightening, scary, or nothing at all. Probably it will be a little bit of all of those things. In the end curiosity and the drive to be fearless won out and I decided to start the screening process officially. I’ll keep you posted, promise.