|Source: The Story People|
(See? See?! Even in a This Is NOT Going To Turn Into An About DIG blog post, it turns into a This Actually IS Starting To Turn Into An About DIG blog post. But seriously, I'm stopping now and focusing.)
So. In a nutshell, I had a really bad week, Internet. The weather didn't help, for one--nothing but grey and cold and crap and rainy. Listen: Y'all know I have an inability to deny a good British accent. And y'all know I'm dying to visit the Mother Land. But that does NOT mean I want the Mother Land's weather to come visit ME. And if/when it does, I certainly do NOT want it pitching a tent in my backyard for weeks at a time. Because if I DID want that, know where I'd be living right now? Stoke-on-Tent, which apparently is where--if the world needed an enema--they'd shove the pipe. (Apologies to all the Stoke-on-Tent people...but that enema quote was from one of your own.) (And don't feel bad--in Georgia, we've got Clayton County.)
So the weather sucked. Strike One.
Then I had to go back to work after Spring Break. And post-Spring Break is always: it's Testin' Time. Because it's for 3rd-5th graders and I don't teach those grades, I don't actually have to give anybody The BIG Big Data End Of Year Even Though It's Still Only April And There Are Four Weeks of School Left Test (in some areas this is called the PARCC...Georgia looked at the cost of PARCC and how it was formatted and said: too expensive, too political, and meh...we can do better. And you know what they did? Came up with an expensive, political, poorly formatted big end-of-year test. That tests stamina more than skills, and wait til it goes online and all the squirrely, not quite-abstract-thinker 9 year olds have to type all their essay responses. Should be a fresh day in public education hell when that starts. Well done, people who've never taken a child development class or worked with groups of children growing up in generational poverty with absolutely no home support! Well done.)
I'm absorbing the stress around me, is what I'm telling you. Strike Two.
I don't typically talk about what's going on in my house, because (a) it's not just my story to tell, and so I can only share about 50% of it here and (b) it just makes me really sad because it's just gotten so fucked up. I will tell you it's not abusive; I am loved, he is loved. But it's not a functional love at this point--the disconnect is wide and huge and to cross to the other side now to try to fix it would be like trying to walk a tight rope across the Grand Canyon. Blindfolded. We have been in and out of counselors' offices for 15 years; we have fought and fought and fought to make it work. We love one another immensely; but sometimes? Love is just not enough.
So I am struggling right now--in my work AND my home life, and I'm going to have to make some very huge drastic changes in order to claw my way back to Okayville. These are both internal and external changes, and to make them I need to go on a journey (of sorts), but I'm going to be carrying A. Lot. Of. Baggage. Some of it very out of control.
I think the more out of control one is the home life--because I have a small child. When C and I separated the 2nd time in 2007 (the first time was briefly in 2005), there was no child. And that was really, really, really hard. But now we are going down this road again and taking a child with us, and this has just been incredibly gut-wrenching and painful. We actually made the decision to separate well over a year ago; but the pain involved because of our child has kept us together well past the date we thought we should stay together. This is just an immensely, inordinately, gigantically difficult thing to pull the trigger on. And I never thought I'd be back here again in this hard, dark place. I know why I'm back here again...but that's part of the 50% I can't share publicly.
So I spend a lot of time consumed by guilt, fear, and worry. Miss M doesn't know what's going on, but she senses the situation is dire and she's attempting to fix it in all the heartbreaking ways only six year olds can bring forth from their open little hearts.
I'm getting a lot of advice from various different people--some tell me we should stick it out for her sake. And I see why they're saying that. But they also don't live in my house--they don't see the relationship model Miss M is growing up watching. Mommies and Daddies should express love and hold hands and go on dates and enjoy spending time together. This is not what is happening in front of Miss M. She's learning that Mommies and Daddies are friends and care about each other and are civil but are essentially two extremely different people who just can't meet in the middle, ever. I don't want that for her.
And other people tell me children are resilient, she will adjust and be fine and this is all going to be okay. But can I tell you that she has nightmares about not being able to find her daddy? And that she can alternately be really quite clingy and then suddenly morph into a little Miss Hyde over the most ridiculous things? And that sometimes she MAKES us hold hands and encourages us to kiss or hug or sit next to each other? And that she often begs me to sleep in the same room as Daddy again? And that, when in little Miss Hyde mode, she takes on the role of scapegoat for all our problems?
In other words, I'm not just causing pain to myself and C by leaving...I'm bringing it to an innocent soul who never ever asked for it. I am overwhelmed by sorrow and guilt by this, but for me to stay in the situation would be equally as overwhelming. I am absolutely overwhelmed, most days and hours of the week during which I am awake and some of the hours I'm asleep, too. Which has become another area of stress for me (proper amounts of decent sleep.)
Hey--can I break here for a second and give you some love advice? When you go looking for True Love, please be prepared to accept whatever shows up and love it as is. Don't buy nails and tools and try to cut and bend and saw at it; don't bang on it over and over to get it to fit into your square hole--if you are given a round peg, then love the roundness and accept it was never meant to transform into a square, as deeply as it might want to and as hard as it may try for you. And please (please) promise you won't ever ask another human being to be your mirror; be content with being your own looking glass. And love looking at your beloved's looking glass and embrace what it reflects back to you, with all its dents and splotchy spots and cracks.
On top of all of THAT, I am possessed by concern over being able to be on my own. I am the poster child for Procrastination. I am sure, next to the term "Avoidant Behavior Traits" in the DSM V, is a diagrammed picture of me. Plus, I have a well-documented history of forgetting to pay bills. This is because I have the kind of brain that can remember exactly what you said to me at 3:01 PM on June 26, 2004 as we stood in front of a movie theater arguing about whether to see HARRY POTTER, THE NOTEBOOK, or SPIDERMAN 2. But I've been known to forget to pay the cable bill. Just this February I almost forgot to pay my car tags. Literally, I was in the Tag Office 10 minutes before it closed.
I want to be alone, is what I'm saying...but I remain unconvinced it's a good idea. And yet to stay in my current situation...wouldn't be a horrible fate, because it's safe and the known. But both of us are by various turns miserable, angry, resentful, or just going through motions. And I want more than that for him, me, and particularly Miss M.
That's the worst part of my existence right now. The weather is just something for me to whine about. Participating in mining children for data is giving me tremendous angst and making me question what the hell I was thinking back in 1992 when I declared an Education major. But my home life is completely overwhelming at the moment, coloring a lot of everything. It's a sad, hard situation that I and two other people I love a lot are in. Yet I waffle. Some days I think: this is OK; I can do this for another 12 years if every day were like this. Other days I think: nope, this is very very bad; I can't do this for another 12 weeks, let alone years.
Divorce is hard, love doesn't fix everything, sometimes sorry really IS the hardest word, Sir Elton John, and...divorce is hard. So...Strike Three.
But bad things come in threes, yes? Which should mean I'm good for awhile. And I'm really, really thankful to the creators of DIG for making such an amazingly good show that--for 10 whole weeks of my life--gives me an escape route from my problems (on Thursday nights, USA Network, 10/9 Central). Then Fridays-Sundays I analyze and research it. Mondays-Wednesdays are for harassing all its cast members on Twitter....okay, fine. I really just harass Jason Isaacs. Because he's from England and I've heard that's how they express affection and admiration. Plus, he's not from Stoke-on-Tent or Clayton County, Georgia so he's got a better sense of humor. Thanks, DIG! (on USA.)
Here. This is by Brian Andreas of The Story People. I forgot all about Brian and The Story People until I went searching for some things and found them on Twitter (they have Instagram and Facebook and Pinterest too--I mean, WHO doesn't these days??). These speak to me and comfort me (maybe they will you, too):