Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Still I Rise

Still I Rise.

That is my new moto. My personal mantra. It is a poem by the wonderful Maya Angelou. This is a new poem for me. I'd never heard it until late one night I was Googling and came across it. 

This poem spoke to me in a way I didn't realize words could. This poem opened my eyes to the beauty and power that was inside me. The power to be me. The power to be strong. The power to begin again.

It made me realize that no matter what I had been through the last year I could Rise. I realized that no matter what I had felt, the pain, humiliation, anger, I could Rise.

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

It's ok to cry

It's ok to cry. I have to tell myself that a lot. Give myself permission to cry.

What I'm going through is grief. I am grieving the loss of my marriage. My partner. My life as I knew it. That has been really hard to accept.

What was harder for me to even try to think about was my children are grieving too.  They are suffering the same loss if not worse.  In reality they've lost both of their parents. For half of their lives. Instead of spending their entire lives with mom and dad they are now forced to split their time, their lives between mom and dad. Never the two shall meet.

I tried for a long time not to cry in front of my kids. I know I have to be strong for them. I have to be. And that's true. But I also have to be human. I have to be real. And that means I have to grieve for my loss. Because it is my loss. But it's not just my loss. It's theirs too and we share it.

One night, after mediation I was empty. I was completely drained and nothing I could do or say would stop the tears from flowing.  I went and picked up my kids from my parents and held them close. I thought I was good. I thought I was ok and wouldn't cry in front of them. But as I watched them take their shoes off and hang up their coats... I lost it. I could no longer keep up the front that I was OK.

The both ran to me and wrapped their arms around me. Asked me what was wrong. K even went and got me a Kleenex. How could I tell them I felt like a failure. I felt like I had let them down. These tiny humans that I gave birth too and love unconditionally... how could I tell them I was sorry I couldn't fix things.

But I didn't have to tell them anything other then "Mommy's having a really hard day. And that's ok. Sometimes, people just have bad days. Sometimes, people just need to cry so they can feel better." All they heard was "Mommy's having a hard day." And that's ok. They hugged me and told me they loved me. They kissed my entire face again and again. K even went up stairs and made my bed - just so I didn't have to.

These tiny humans are suffering too. And they see my suffering even if I try and hide it. By crying, by expressing my grief they know it's ok for them to do the same. I had heard that from several people but didn't believe them. Not until that night. Not until I held my babies close and cried openly for my loss. I hope that by being able to express my grief they can see it and understand it's ok for them to cry too.

It's not over. It's far from over. Grief comes in waves. Sometimes I'll be totally fine, and then suddenly I'm falling and the grief is so overwhelming I can hardly stand. But that's ok. That's normal.

It's ok to cry.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

New year

It seems as though 2015 is going to be a big year. A year of change. A year of hope. A year of learning to get over the pain of 2014.

It's been so long since I've written I almost forgot what it was like to sit down and do this. But... a new year means I will do this.  My goal is every day. I will use this blog as a way to get over the pain that is in my heart, in my life and in my every waking moment.

You see this is the year my life changes. My life is now just mine.  Mine and my kids.  My husband and I are getting a divorce.  There are a myriad of reasons... all of which I'm sure over time I'll disclose. But for now, for the sake of my kids, I will not air my dirty laundry.  Instead I plan on using this platform as a way to heal and to grow. A way to better my life and learn how to move on from this devastating loss.

This is going to be a daily log of things I go through during the year. Things I learn and hopefully things others can learn.

To be clear, I did not want this divorce.  I never stopped loving my husband. I fought to save my marriage for over a year. But time has beaten me down. The constant struggle to maintain my normal in the face of the abnormal.... has finally broken me.  Finally made me realize at least one thing. My marriage is over.

Marriage is about giving 100%.  Each person brings 100% into it, your percentage doesn't just drop to 50% when you get married. That way you go through life with this extra percentage, this ability to count on someone else when you need them. That is the beauty of marriage, you have a partner who has committed themselves to you; and on days when you cannot, CANNOT, give 100%.... they are there to pick up that slack.  They are there to add that extra percentage, give you what you cannot fathom possible. Together you are 200%.

Partners can give 200% if needed. They can pick up the entire weight of the marriage, the family, the relationship; but only for a short period of time.  They cannot carry it for any duration.  We weren't made that way. We were made so that over time that percentage will fluctuate.  The ebb and tide will come and go but will ultimately balance itself out at 100% again.

I gave 200% for as long as I could.  There were days immediately following our separation, when I could barely manage the 100% that I am required to give for my kids. I know now I can give 100%. Without question, without fail and without any reservations, for my children. Each day can be a struggle, but a struggle I have come realize I am strong enough to handle.

I'm it. I'm the one. The only one. I wasn't sure I could do it at first.  Facing raising children alone. But since our separation a year ago the daily grind has become easier and easier. Admitting to myself I'm human and it's ok if I'm upset, has eased the ache in my heart just a bit.  Realizing that I no longer need someone next to me... has made facing my new reality easier.

Don't get me wrong.  It sucks.  It's really hard.  I long for the husband I married to come back to me. To love me the way he did the day we got married. To have him look at me the way he did when I first walked down that aisle, or had our first baby, or when he first saw me naked. That is what I have wanted for so long. It's hard to let that go. Hard to realize I have to move on. But I do. I have no choice.

One day I hope to look back at my marriage and know we were happy. To know that things happened for a reason. But the fog of 2014 is still lingering over me and right now... I cannot see that. I just have to have faith that one day I will find happiness again. One Day.