Saturday, November 4, 2017

The Process

I'm having a bad week. I just realized that the last time I wrote a blog post (yikes, six months ago, our computers have all died) I was also having a bad week, or at least a stressed-out parenting week. This week a few things have happened that have made me feel unsettled and anxious, but beyond that, I believe that I am moreover having a release of some feelings I have been bottling up since the divorce. I am realizing that those emotions will not simply go away when ignored, but need to be felt, dealt with, and then released so that I can be a complete person.

I think that I had some denial initially about how traumatic my split from my ex was for me and my children, and how it would affect us in the long run. In the moment (2.5 years ago) I was so focused on keeping my head above water that I didn't acknowledge the explosive intensity with which the marriage ended. The lasting effects of that ending are still felt by all of us, although none of us seem to know that's what we're dealing with. My kids' father is now living near us again, and having to interact with him on a weekly basis is incredibly challenging. We all need a therapist, and I'm working on that. Meanwhile, I cry a lot when nobody is looking.

Beyond all of that, the challenges of daily life go on. We have five full time kids in our house right now, which was a transition for the kids and an exercise in patience for Jon and me, and our wallets. Ultimately, it is turning out to be really good for them, but getting used to a new way of living is hard on everyone initially. Sometimes it's great and we all get along easily, and other nights I barely make it to bed without weeping. We are so fortunate to live in a place filled with abundance, in a beautiful home, with plenty to eat, but still I find myself struggling to find joy sometimes, and daydreaming of a life in Costa Rica or somewhere equally lovely (and with a better political climate than our current situation).

Generally though, I'd say life is improving (although it was never bad, just a constant state of adjustment). Jon's younger kids are getting used to me, and to the rules/routines/structure of our home. His older two are blossoming into adulthood in a way that makes me very proud of both of them. My kids seem alright, although I constantly worry about their emotional well-being. I worry that I am fucking them up beyond repair, although I think that because I am worried about that, it probably isn't the case. I am fairly certain that I do the wrong thing a lot of the time, but I'm hoping their resilience can outweigh my parenting mistakes. I am trying to remind myself that all of this is a process, but it's easy to forget. This time of year has never been my favorite, and I'm definitely struggling with it, but feeling fairly certain that I'll reach my peace with all of this, I'm just hoping it doesn't last too long.

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