I refuse to be the mom who pretends to have it all together or that I live in some manufactured, manicured make believe world where bad things don’t happen and the f word doesn’t fly out when I’m frustrated or just because life. I can still be a person who has faith and have a mouth that makes even grown men look at me in shock. I can be short and be a stick of dynamite. I’m still be a good mother, a positive influence, an advocate, and a decent human being. I may not fit into the box labeled “perfect” but show me who does? I’m proud of how far I’ve come and yes even where I’ve been. My life isn’t sparkle and shine, but ya know what it is imperfectly mine!
In order to know how far I’ve come you would have to have known me before, in the Bible B.D. stands before death, in the book of M, it shall stand for before divorce or A.D. after divorce. Don’t hate because I create! 😉 So the me, B.D., was quick to shut down and shut up. I didn’t fight or fuss much. I stayed in my lane. I was a people pleasing, egg shell walking, cowering, shell of a person who didn’t stand for or stand up for anyone or anything. I was cynical, a pessimist, and cold. I would turn off my emotions and let them stay hidden in the darkness. I only would allow them to show if I had taken all I could and could no longer keep them from over flowing. I used to pride myself on the fact that “he who shall not be named” and I only fought a few times a year. Well to be honest I just didn’t fight back. I bit my tongue a million times, I kept my thoughts and opinions to myself and I avoided conflict. When I fought back, I was always in the wrong, never felt how I felt, there were no attempts to see my view of things.m and my perspective was dismissed as inaccurate. Somehow and some way he always had a way of making me feel like I was in the wrong and that if I could just do x then things would be better. This caused me to second guess myself, my feelings, my views, and my beliefs. He was persuasive, in a manipulative and maniacal way, but why change when it worked so well. I retreated into resentment and allowed it to brew a concoction of contempt, hate, fear and anxiety in me. I was in chronic depression and my anxiety was front and center. I slept to escape. I don’t know how I feel about what I am about to state ashamed mostly. I would sleep to escape reality. In order to achieve that sleep and reduce anxiety I medicated. I was prescribed a medication for anxiety and it definitely worked, too well. Every outing, gathering, event, or interaction involved a small dose of medication, usually half, a full dose was reserved for true panic and if I wanted to sleep the sadness away. I didn’t run out early and I’ve always been pretty conservative with medication dosage and how much I needed to function, but I definitely began relying on it in small bits each day. Even small inconveniences made me anxious and fearful of the response or reaction so having something that numbed it all made life easier. I wasn’t being the mom I wanted to be anymore. When my threefold were young I was “room mom”, I volunteered, I took them to and picked them up every day from school. I coached teams, I watched classes, I went to church, and participated in mommy groups. I was an active participant in their day to day lives. Around 2015 I got complacent, cold, distant and my anxiety shot through the roof. I knew my marriage was over but I was scared to let go and fail, not for him or I but for my threefold. I couldn’t see the pain they were enduring with me or that we were all trapped in a toxic cycle of a life with abuse. I thought a family was better than a single mom. I tried. I worked, hard. I made sure we had everything we needed. I stayed consistent in that, but became closed off after work and even on days off. I stopped being their mom and became the person in her room who slept and only ventured out to fix dinner or run an errand. The guilt of being so unhappy hung over me. I couldn’t be near him without radiating negativity and pure anger. I was done and began to detach long before I ever built the courage to actually say the words.
A.D. I’m still working through a lot of issues and behaviors that are ingrained from the 15 years B.D. I can see now how far I’ve come and how much I’ve grown as a person. I’m quick now to stand up for my threefold. I’m involved (sometimes too involved) in the lives of my threefold. I’m vocal about the amazing things they do that make me proud. We are growing together and healing together. We are working on our relationships with each other, our communication, establishing boundaries and learning to move forward. I don’t just preach positivity, I also try to live and speak more positively. I’m present. I’m listening. I’m advocating. I’m supporting. I’m cheering them on and letting them know I am always going to be in their corner. I’m in a healthy relationship and have learned what the difference is between healthy love and toxic love. We fight. Often. I’m not scared that every fight is going to end with a threat of the end. I feel safe, heard, appreciated and seen. I’m happy and hopeful. I’m not degraded or dismissed. I find my words fall on ears that are eager to hear my thoughts. I laugh and play. I find myself having more fun than I have had in a long time. I stopped my anxiety medication that numbed the feelings. It wasn’t difficult it was a crutch not a true addiction thankfully. It was like closing a door that had only been opened for me to feel protected and hide behind. It was past time to close that door and start feeling my feelings in real time. I take an antidepressant daily, add medication, and a non-narcotic anxiety med that is actually a beta blocker in emergency panic inducing situations though I rarely need that nowadays. I’m in therapy. I am continuing to discover myself and I’m trying to be the best version of myself for me, for my threefold and my partner.
I have the journal I started 18 months ago and on the first page I wrote this entry:
“So I sit pondering all the choices I’ve made along the way. The good, the bad, the ugly of it all. I wonder how I could’ve changed the course a million times. I could’ve made so many different decisions that would’ve affected my life drastically. As I write tonight and hope for some instant gratification, some complete satisfaction, some security, some validation. I realize it’s always been my choice. I choose everyday, all day, think and overthink every action, every conversation, every interaction. I’m tired. I’m tired of being drained. I’m tired of fighting. I’m tired of myself. I’m making a choice right now. I am going to put me in me again. No one can be held responsible for making me happy. Only I can do that. Only I can make the decision to be happy. Whatever that looks like. That’s the road I’m choosing. This time I’m choosing that I deserve to be happy. I’m not sure where this road will lead or what choices I will make to get there. I just know I’m done being miserable. I just know I deserve to be me, to be happy. ~M”
I’ve beat myself down and allowed others opinions or judgments rule my life for too long. It’s past time I be the flawed, real, unique me AND appreciate it! This year has shown me so many things and taught me more lessons about life, love, parenting and happiness than any year I can I recall. I’m better because I’ve been through hell and have fought for every ounce of the happiness I have found. My world is what I want it to be. It’s all here, just waiting for me to ask for, accept and acknowledge it. I welcome the blessings that are in store and feel I am better able to receive those blessings and am more grateful for every single one regardless of its contents. I am happy, not every second of every day, but the good in my life outweighs the bad by far. I’m proud of the A.D. me and even though this journey is far from short, sweet or to the point, it’s one that I will find is worth every mountain and valley I may stumble upon and every twist and turn of my path. I will find my way forward. I’m not broken, I’m healing and all the pieces of me are lying out there and it’s up to me to decide which ones are worth bringing with me and which need to stay a part of the B.D. me. The person from 18 months ago would be amazed at my dedication and follow through, because though I wanted it back then I didn’t have a clue that I could have it or that it was inside of myself all along. I’m not perfect and I’m never going to be. I’m learning to love myself and my life where it is right now while still continuing to work and reach for my goals. I am finding magic in the mundane, motivation in the monotony, and miracles in moments. I’ve changed, I am changing, and I am doing it with purpose! ☮️❤️😊~M