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Merry Christmas Own

May the new year bring much fulfilment in a life anew.

Love
D


Now: Me54 XW51 S25 S23 S21 D19

Oct 8/17-BD, Moves in w/OM, Leaves Kids
Me49 W46 S20 S19 S16 D15
M26 T29
Dec 9/17-Legal Separation
Oct 3/18-W Files
Apr 6/19-Divorced

Love the Sinner, Forgive the Sin.
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Thanks D, wishing you much love and joy with all of those you hold so dear (made more special by the recent reminders of how fleeting it all is). While the wrong time of year, I'm reminded of a favorite Browning poem that really sums things up for how I'm feeling these days.

Robert Browning, "Song from Pippa Passes"

The year's at the spring,
And day's at the morn;
Morning's at seven;
The hill-side's dew-pearl'd;
The lark's on the wing;
The snail's on the thorn;
God's in His heaven—
All's right with the world!

Wishing everyone out there much happiness and healing as this year closes and the next beautiful one begins.

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Merry Christmas, Own!

I read your update a while ago and have been thinking about it ever since. So much resonated with me and where I am at in my situation and I wanted to thank you for sharing your perspective. This in particular was really powerful for me:

Originally Posted by OwnIt
I could and perhaps should have come to these revelations earlier, but I was not ready. I was so wrapped up in my self-inflicted trauma that I could not see a foot in front of me. I found this when I was ready to find it. I do not blame myself, have anger with myself, or indeed any longer feel embarrassed by it. I did the best I could with the upraising I had and the matters that I needed to attend to (namely my kids). Once my kids were settled and safe, I very quickly turned the spotlight on myself and have been doing the work. My counselor, who is shocked by the lifetimes I have traveled in a short time, told me in response to my statement that this thought work is hard stuff, that it is the reason most people never do it. I'm proud of myself for having the courage to go there. I so value you guys and your input. There are not a lot of people who understand at a visceral level what we have endured.

I had a recent revelation similar to yours. I have been heads-down focussing on the emotional well-being of my children, the D, and all the immediate needs demanded of me. My kids are doing great (I have them 90% of the time), my literal and figurative houses are in order and I finally have the emotional space to lift my gaze and look ahead of me. For the first time in two years, I am metaphorically gazing out across the ocean and not some PNW forest where every two feet there is another tree blocking my view. Which allows me to ask those deep questions and 'do the work'. Powerful stuff.

I hope your holidays are filled with sun, warmth and all the love from the people who mean the most to you.

Warmly,
S

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Sage, so happy to hear that you too are finding your way through. You have such a good head on your shoulders that I am not surprised that you are navigating this as you are. I took a much longer time to travel my road, but that's ok. If you guys haven't heard the Lady Gaga song "Til It Happens to You" I suggest you give it a listen. Here are the lyrics:

"You tell me it gets better, it gets better in time
You say I'll pull myself together, pull it together
You'll be fine
Tell me what the h*ll do you know
What do you know
Tell me how the h*ll could you know
How could you know
'Til it happens to you, you don't know
How it feels
How it feels
'Til it happens to you, you won't know
It won't be real
No it won't be real
Won't know how it feels
You tell me hold your head up
Hold your head up and be strong
'Cause when you fall, you gotta get up
You gotta get up and move on
Tell me, how the h*ll could you talk
How could you talk?
'Cause until you walk where I walk
It's just all talk
'Til it happens to you, you don't know
How it feels
How it feels
'Til it happens to you, you won't know
It won't be real (how could you know?)
No it won't be real (how could you know?)
Won't know how I feel
'Til your world burns and crashes
'Til you're at the end, the end of your rope
'Til you're standing in my shoes, I don't wanna hear nothing from you
From you, from you, 'cause you don't know
'Til it happens to you, you don't know
How I feel
How I feel
How I feel
'Til it happens to you, you won't know
It won't be real (how could you know?)
No it won't be real (how could you know?)
Won't know how it feels
'Til it happens to you, happens to you
Happens to you
Happens to you, happens to you
Happens to you (how could you know?)
'Til it happens to you, you won't know how I feel"

To you guys in the frozen north (yes you D), it was 70 something degrees here today (but the sun wasn't out). I drove to the store and looked down at the reading just to make sure.

I've had the most wonderful time with my kids. D wanted us to watch "Don't Look Up" so we waited to do so. Huge disappointment. Could have been a great film. Needed another few rounds of editing. From there lots of board games, art, music, and film. Exercise, shopping, and meal prep. My furniture is all delivered (hooray!!). I came back from an outing with D to purchase some gowns and S, with no prompting, was hard at work installing house numbers on my house (didn't realize until recently I had none--he had to drill through masonry and use templates and did a masterful job). He installed some outdoor lights and replaced a broken security camera. He used my convertible and when I got into it while my other car was charging, realized that he had filled it with gas without even being asked!

I've made lots of tentative plans for the winter and spring. Will be interesting to see if they can be realized. Supposed to go to Sedona with one friend, Santa Fe with another, DC with a third, and then visit two others for some help with projects they have. I'm supposed to attend 4 performances of my daughter and go to the old state to watch my son in some big races.

I mentioned I'm working on two exciting projects (one professional and one personal) and will write more about those later. I'm still in the development stages of both. I've accepted a date to the opera with a gentleman I know (he was very kind when I said I wasn't quite ready, but felt I would be soon--thankfully I have about 3 months to get there, guess he thought I might change my mind if he didn't get the tickets).

I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday and have your own exciting plans (even if tentative) for next year. I think it's going to be a great one!

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Fabulous post Own. Happy 2022 oxoxox


M 20+ T25+
S ~15.5 (BD)
BD 4/6/15
H moved out 4/24/15
D Final 12/23/16

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My son had to return earlier than my daughter. On one of her last days here we watched the movie version of Dear Evan Hansen. I have no idea why people didn’t get this film and hated on it, but again, Broadway shows don’t often translate well to film (if you’ve seen Book of Mormon, can you imagine a movie version?).

Ostensibly about outsiders/teen suicide/good intentions gone awry, the film is also about a young man whose father left when he was young and has not been a part of his life. His mom buried herself in her grief/survival/work to support him and he never got to experience being in a family. A tragedy occurs and he tells a series of lies in an effort to prevent pain to others. This results in him finally having a sense of what it means to have a family and a father figure, until the inevitable occurs and the lies are revealed. In a touching scene, his mother sings him this song:

So Big / So Small

It was a February day
When your dad came by, before going away
A U-Haul truck in the driveway
The day it was suddenly real
I told you not to come outside
But you saw that truck
And you smiled so wide
A real live truck in your driveway
We let you sit behind the wheel
Goodbye, goodbye
Now it's just me and my little guy
And the house felt so big, and I felt so small
The house felt so big, and I felt so small
That night, I tucked you into bed
I will never forget how you sat up and said
"Is there another truck coming to our driveway?
A truck that will take mommy away"
And the house felt so big, and I felt so small
The house felt so big, and I—
And I knew there would be moments that I'd miss
And I knew there would be space I couldn't fill
And I knew I'd come up short a billion different ways
And I did
And I do
And I will
But like that February day
I will take your hand, squeeze it tightly and say
There's not another truck in the driveway
Your mom isn't going anywhere
Your mom is staying right here
Your mom isn't going anywhere
Your mom is staying right here
No matter what
I'll be here
When it all feels so big
'Til it all feels so small
When it all feels so big
'Til it all feels so small
'Til it all feels so small

I had one of those moments where the grief overwhelmed me, where I sobbed from the depths of my soul. I looked over and my daughter, a stoic like her father, was sobbing as well. She turned to me and said, “Mom I knew there would never be a truck to take you away, I knew that you would never leave us.” That’s why I know my daughter is going to be ok. But my son asked me many times after his dad left if I would leave him too. He was there the day his dad came in the U-Haul van and took his things away. He’s the one who has reconnected with dad many times to see him walk away again.

My son has glommed onto so many men (a friend from school I started hanging out with and quickly dropped when I saw son getting attached, one of my brothers, coaches, fathers of friends, teachers, etc). So many times tried to find that elusive father figure. Even though I don’t live with him anymore now that he’s in college, I fear becoming involved with a man in case they become close and he loses another father figure. I see my son in Evan Hansen, and I see him making bad choices because of that emptiness inside him that only one person can fill.

He hasn’t seen or talked to his dad in almost two years. They live about 50 minutes away from one-another. His dad didn’t even tell him when he got remarried. He didn’t wish him Merry Christmas or Happy New Year. I don’t think he wished him a Happy Birthday when he turned 18 last summer.

Ex was 8 or so when his parents divorced. Each of the parents married someone else (neither was an affair partner). He wanted nothing to do with either of them. Lived with the stepfather and was openly hostile to him. Refused to go to the wedding. Never had a kind word for the stepmother, saw her on the rare occasions when he saw his dad. Despite his own experiences, the only efforts he’s made to see my son in the last several years have been trying to force the affair partner on him. Son has explicitly told his dad he is not interested in any relationship with her and the other people that have come into his life. He has also told his dad unequivocally that he wants a relationship with him.

Maybe this hole will fill someday. Maybe he will have his own son and be the kind of father he wished he’d had. I’d like to believe that this generational trauma will not keep repeating itself, but after seeing what happened to Ex, I’m not feeling overly optimistic. In the meantime, I’ll keep loving my son twice as hard, and I’ll keep hoping that will be enough.

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(((((Hug)))))

My big regret is that I picked a man who has left his adult children feeling so emotionally abandoned. But then, we wouldn't have the wonderful children we have if we had married someone else, so there's that. We just have to step up to the plate and try to fill both roles as best we can.

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Thanks KML, I feel the same way. I would choose the same path over and over (with a few changes at the end, described below) to have my children in my life.

I saw this elsewhere and I was quite struck by it. I believe I've had these same thoughts. I've considered making an apology for the same actions. In the end, I did not because he told me he doesn't want to ever talk to me again and I respect that, but also I don't think he'd understand the apology. What it is I'm apologizing for. It's one of those that likely wouldn't make him feel better about anything. At the end of the day it is really not for him, it is for me. The way I want to walk in the world, and will going forward.

"There is the triumphant side of my story. The 'good' side, the one that makes me look like a saint and my xh a monster. But there are no blameless people in a broken marriage. If you’ll indulge me, I’ll tell you the really ugly shameful side of mine.

What I couldn’t see then was how incredibly arrogant and egotistical I was. When I found out about the affair so much of my attempts at saving the marriage was really just me trying to save my own ego from pain.

Couldn’t He (xh) understand that I was the best thing that ever happened to him? How could He not see that I was the best choice, the right choice for Him? (After all I was much more qualified in determining what was the best for him)

I was right. I knew better. I had invested so much in this relationship and I was determined to get my money, labor and love back out of it. (Gamblers paradox)

And ME! How could he reject me? Didn’t he know what I am? How valuable I am? How hard I worked to carefully cultivate and become the perfect wife??? (Not myself because I hated myself)

It was small and petty and self righteous bullish!te that justified my own victim complex.
He needed me. He needed to choose me so that I could have what I deserved, what I earned. So that all the years of me compromising what I felt and wanted could be worth something. And mostly he needed to choose me so that I wouldn’t have to face the discomfort of change, or growth or rejection.

He needed to choose me so that I could feel better and somehow superior to the other woman, validated in my own estimation of my worth.

My codependency convinced me that I knew what was best for other people."

This is largely what I meant by there is no right way to leave a marriage. To tell someone you don't love them. So the way he chose can't be the wrong way. It was just his way. How I received that information and the thoughts I had about it, the emotions I indulged, and the actions I took in response, were all on me.

I've been thinking a lot about our breakup story. It isn't one I've told. Even all this time later, there aren't many people that know about it from me. I'm trying to find the words that honor the marriage that was, the one that wasn't, our children, and the way I want to walk in the world. I don't need to hurt him. I never have. I don't need to shame him. I don't need to win the end or persuade people to my view.

Maybe in the end, we just realized that neither of us really knew the other and therefore we didn't know that fundamentally we just want different things from life.

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Hello Own

A powerful story. Thanks for sharing the moment between you and daughter.

Originally Posted by OwnIt
I had one of those moments where the grief overwhelmed me, where I sobbed from the depths of my soul. I looked over and my daughter, a stoic like her father, was sobbing as well. She turned to me and said, “Mom I knew there would never be a truck to take you away, I knew that you would never leave us.” That’s why I know my daughter is going to be ok.

(((Hugs)))

It is good when one’s child knows and believes that.

Originally Posted by OwnIt
But my son asked me many times after his dad left if I would leave him too. He was there the day his dad came in the U-Haul van and took his things away. He’s the one who has reconnected with dad many times to see him walk away again.

It is hard to witness the troubles inflicted upon and into one’s child. Leaving and failed reconnections compounding over the years. I feel for the lad.

Originally Posted by OwnIt
He hasn’t seen or talked to his dad in almost two years. They live about 50 minutes away from one-another. His dad didn’t even tell him when he got remarried. He didn’t wish him Merry Christmas or Happy New Year. I don’t think he wished him a Happy Birthday when he turned 18 last summer.

Yes, it is difficult to rationalize why a parent would treat their own offspring in such a manner. Of course, it is not rational, this behaviour is quite irrationally driven.

Originally Posted by OwnIt
Maybe this hole will fill someday. Maybe he [son] will have his own son and be the kind of father he wished he’d had. I’d like to believe that this generational trauma will not keep repeating itself, but after seeing what happened to Ex, I’m not feeling overly optimistic. In the meantime, I’ll keep loving my son twice as hard, and I’ll keep hoping that will be enough.

The left behind child, the poor neglected and often forgotten about loving soul, is sometimes ignored by a crisis parent. And yes, we left behind spouse love them twice as hard.

One loving parent can be enough.

All children, especially one so poorly treated from their running parent, are looking for love, for guidance, for acceptance, and for direction on how to be an adult and loving parent themselves. We, LBS, are that role model. You are that role model OwnIt!

Yes, do have hope for son and his future. And do continue doing something about it. Continue to demonstrate loyalty, faithfulness, and have open and honest conversations. Gently guide and encourage son. Show him how to be a good strong parent. He will learn, and become what he sees.

This generational trauma can be stopped and healed. I believe that.



I understand your - no right way to leave a marriage. Right and wrong is mostly a point of view.

Originally Posted by OwnIt
I'm trying to find the words that honor the marriage that was, the one that wasn't, our children, and the way I want to walk in the world.

Perhaps, you can see you speak this through your actions. You already walk as you want in this world. You are honourable, loyal, loving, kind, compassionate, understanding, forgiving, and such. Your actions speak clearly. Worry not, and try not, the words will come later.

In truth, in seeing your actions I suspect those words will reveal themselves a whole lot easier. In fact, they already exist; for you are living them.

D


Now: Me54 XW51 S25 S23 S21 D19

Oct 8/17-BD, Moves in w/OM, Leaves Kids
Me49 W46 S20 S19 S16 D15
M26 T29
Dec 9/17-Legal Separation
Oct 3/18-W Files
Apr 6/19-Divorced

Love the Sinner, Forgive the Sin.
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D your optimism is touching, but in my experience, one loving parent isn't enough. One parent can never truly make up for the void created by the other parent, although being the lighthouse for our children is our role, certainly. Our children need us to ground them, so that they can have a chance to grow up, mature and realize that the problem doesn't lie within, but lies with the parent who created the mess. The children in question must realize that on their own, without us throwing our former spouses under the bus lest we cause more damage. We can guide them - I very often tell my son that his father didn't grow up in a vacuum, to look at his father's experiences before judging him. Hopefully our children with eventually realize that their other parent did the best they could, even if it was a truly terrible job. They will be able to forgive, and feel compassion towards the other parent, thus healing themselves as well.

At least, that's how I see it.


M 20+ T25+
S ~15.5 (BD)
BD 4/6/15
H moved out 4/24/15
D Final 12/23/16

Once we face the things that we fear they no longer have power over us.
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