Divorce and Columbus

Sunlight by Christian Bothner

It’s a beautiful day. I wonder when winter will arrive in New England but I am not going to complain.

The winter used to scare me – a few years ago I was so overwhelmed and depressed and in denial I was unable to get out of my own way (bed).  Those days are not easy to forget, and yet… I tried every day to “feel better” – the irony is that I only started to really feel any better when I just allowed what was – to “be.”

Getting a divorce is like being in terrible storm at sea.  You think you are going out on that fishing trip of a lifetime and what you get is a hurricane of epic proportions – that was never on the weather indicator.

I have so much compassion now for those who are trying to raise sails on turbulent and treacherous oceans -and like the Rime of the Ancient Mariner  

“water water everywhere… and not a drop to drink”

Thirsting for resolution, peace, understanding, a map… solid ground.

My unanswerable question: “Is there ever going to be a time when I am happy again?” , “Will my family survive this passage to new lands?”

and then one day… after many many days of darkness, the sun finally sent it’s light to find us again… and the shore seemed less of a mirage and more of a possible destination than it ever had before.

I’d cast my net’s to fish for “a better way” of dissolving the life I knew… surely there were more productive places for that elusive catch- deeper pools where answers and possibilities swam like schools of an undiscovered species.  Could we navigate toward those? Pull up the nets filled with more humanity than the ones that come up -the “norm” –  pulling everything, including the demise of it’s natural habitat with it.  Was there a more sustainable way?

You can go out there alone I’m sure, but thank god my fishing partner was willing too, and helped me with the wild tangle on our decks to hurl and cast for deeper territories.

Thank you my friend.  Thank you my Co- Parent, Thank you my Wasband for trusting – despite the days we starved on that cold cold sea and wondered if we would ever reach the shore, and battened our hatches against the gales that threatened to destroy us all… thank you for believing that the two of us – even though we failed at the navigation … succeeded in the destination.

I will always love you.

M

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Light, Love, Divorce and Family.

I am loving our new home/family dynamic since the move.  It’s always good to plan for the worst and hope for the best and frankly I was not sure how we would all fare living together for the first time.

Throughout the last couple of years the Goodbar and I had never put our need’s or desire’s over the kids.  Our old house was their house after all and so we’d wanted to be conscious and respectful as they got used to the idea that we were eventually going to go the blended family route.  He officially “spent the night” only a handful of times and to the kids it was kind of like a friend having a sleepover (it was kind of like that for mommy too). In the meantime – we did a lot of “discussing” with them what our new “family”  configuration might be like when it was time and I think it really helped them to get an idea and a visual in mind.  In addition I think it prepared them because they were able to ask questions and get answers.

I don’t think either of my kids really have much of a memory in terms of the “missing” of their Dad and it’s  Because our lives were so very different and our schedules completely opposite- they only ever remember being with one of us really, at any given time. Unfortunately or fortunately (depending how you look at it) we never really had a “family” dynamic.  We were existing, surviving, and avoiding- the kids were used to the tension, the excuses, and the hastily made and cleaned up and all to “rare” family meals… sad but true. In hind-sight I can feel a genuine sadness for all of us-  we just did not know how to “be” together any other way.   In hindsight I see that our break up was eminent… but we delayed, and tried, and strained…. “for the sake of the family”.

I appreciate and honor my wasband.  I always will- because I learned so much, and because I believe we were called to be together to bring our children into the world and be married for a period of time.   We had many many good times together and I believe that our “spiritual contract” was up long before we had the strength or awareness that it was time to officially pull the plug. I find myself amazed each day now as I experience such a different reality. One of happiness, peace, and unity- a true sense of “family.”  Both of us see now how deeply unhappy we were together when we were married, so now- we can simply enjoy each other for who the other is- instead of driving each other crazy that we are not the person we needed the other to be. He too is part of this new hybrid family, as he will always be my parenting partner. This new version is one we can all truly appreciate and that works- finally.

In the meantime I have a deep appreciation, respect, and compassion for those going through divorce. It’s heart breaking and painful- almost every step of the way.  It was one of the most lonely and terrifying experiences of my life and it was only through the support of a few select people that I made it through at all. When you decide to end a marriage a funny thing happens – everyone starts having their opinions, and judgements, and projecting their own thoughts and beliefs instead of just listening and being supportive.  Divorce can wreck havoc on close groups of friends who’ve all known and loved each other over the years.  It’s never easy to know what to do when a loved couple decides to split- it seems to threaten the very dynamic of the group- and we all have a deep need to stay in our comfort zone. So- in addition to the grief and pain the actual divorcing couple experiences, there’s so much more to it that creates all kinds of additional chaos for all involved.

Had I not gone through the experiences that have helped to shape me, I would not have grown so much, or been able to appreciate the difference of what I am experiencing now- and it’s with deep gratitude that I can now have perspective on those dark times &  truly appreciate and know the light when it shines itself into my world as it is now.

Thank you God.