Emotional processing

The seasons are changing.

There are days when I have it all together and there are days when I think that I have come out on the other side. There are days when I think I am over the past and ready to move forward and there are day when I realize I have so much more work to do, Today is one of those days.

I was chatting with an old friend who is going through something similar. What he was telling me reminded me of a blog I had written and so I shared it with him. In sharing it, I reread it. (Read that blog here.) I read those word and it hit me like I was right there in that moment. I keep writing and processing and I think I am over the past but when I reread that blog, it stung as much today as it did when I wrote it.

Ouch. What a harsh reality to face.

So, I dug in and started at the beginning and reread everything I have written, published and unpublished. There is so much unpublished stuff that I just can not bear to edit because it causes too much pain to reread, but I forced myself to read them.

Rereading my blogs… I am a glutton for punishment.

What a really good and really bad idea. I laughed, I cried, and then I cried a little more. It has taken me nearly 5 months of being separated to start making changes to move forward. I have been getting out. I have been socializing. I have been dating and I have been having fun. I have, also, been hiding behind a smile. I keep thinking I am okay and then I realize I am not. I am hiding behind a need to be okay and a “Fake it, till you make it,” mentality. It’s all I have right now, but at least I have something.

So, let’s get real. I am angry and resentful and hurt. When you say “I do, ” those words are suppose to be the start of your happily ever after. When you start a family, it is the added bonus to your happily ever after. It is the legacy you leave behind. It is the biggest joy and the biggest challenge of your life. It takes everything you have to do the right thing for that little being and you do it because your love is so strong. And when that happily ever after comes crashing down, it is hard to see that there is life after that.

I am finding that as my marriage crumbled the damage to my heart and my beliefs crumbled also. I want to believe in love and trust and happily ever after but I find that to be such a foreign concept right now. I want to move forward and find my happy but I find that it is so much easier to keep the world at arms length. Just close enough to enjoy some fun but far enough away to avoid attachment.

So, I am back to my pity party. I am back in that place I don’t want to be but I keep coming back. I know the reason is that I am having trouble letting go. I am having trouble finding a place for the hurt and the damage to my heart. It is there and it runs deep. It cuts to the core and the wounds are healing so very slow. Just when I think they are better, I take the bandage off and expose them to the air. I let them breathe and they hurt a little more. They need a little more care and a little more time. When does it end?

I know that I made the decision to end my marriage. I know that I could have stayed. I, also, know that I would have never found my happiness there. Too much had happened and too much trust has been lost. How can you find your happy when you have lost trust in the person you are finding your happy with? You can’t and you won’t. So, you move on. You think it will be easy but it’s not.

Now, I have found happy with me. I have accepted myself. I love myself and my life with my sweet boy but I find there are times when that is just not enough. There are lonely moments when the small boy is gone and I am rattling around this house by myself. It would be nice to have someone to haul that heavy Christmas Tree from the attic, but I did it myself. It would be nice to have someone to cook dinner with, but I do it myself. It would be nice to have someone you trust with those deep, scary emotions. It would be nice to snuggle up on the couch with a movie but I do it alone.

I have learned I can do it all myself and that I don’t need someone to help. I am a strong, capable women, but it’s nice to know I don’t always have to be. I have learned that doing it all yourself can be a little lonely. Those are the times that I go back and reread my blogs. It reminds me of how far I have come and how far I need to go. The nature of a human is to want a partner to navigate life with. A partner to laugh with. A partner to chill with. A partner to love and be loved by. A partner to pick you up when your are down. That is nature. That is normal.

So, what do you do when you want to follow nature but also know that you just can’t let someone in? The fear, the hurt, and the resentment from the past are still there. You want to move forward, yet, you feel stuck. For me, I find that I am filling my life with dates and parties and all the wrong decisions. Those that are the best are the ones I push away. The ones I won’t return the call to. The ones that get under my skin and make me want to run. And those that I should be running from are the ones I want to stay. They are easy and shallow and non-threatening to my heart.

Why? When you know that it’s not the right one, you can exist in a shallow place. There is not a chance of getting hurt, no need to trust, no chance to be disappointed. If you expect nothing from someone, they can never let you down. I have found this to be a safe space for me, right now. I am enjoying the social aspect of dating without letting my heart get involved. I am, also, finding that shallow expectations lead to shallow feelings. I can be booked solid every night of the week and yet I feel lonely.

Ever feel lonely in a crowd? I do. I want deep, meaningful relationships. I want heart and souls. I want trust and honesty. I want from someone else, what I am not able to give, myself. I can’t let my heart be open to someone when I have not fully let go of the past. I have never trusted easy, but now, it is harder than it has ever been. I want to run away and run to someone at the same time. I don’t trust and I don’t want to take the risk. Arms length is a safe place, a safe, lonely place.

It’s such a weird season in life. As I am finding my new place in this new season, I am running into friends from my past that are going through this season also. There is common ground and understanding that most of my other friends can’t offer because they have not walked my path. A happily, married friend can not truly understand what it feels like to find yourself facing the world alone. So, when you come across a friend that is walking your path, it is truly a blessing. You grab a beer, you watch some football, you laugh, you talk and you forget about the mess for a little while.

Life is messy and it is nice to have someone to share this messy with. We can have a pity party together and that is okay. We can bitch and whine and be honest because we have both found ourselves in a season of life that we never thought we would be in and we are trying our best to navigate it. I don’t know where this friendship will go, but to him, I will say, that I am glad that I get to share a bit of this messy season with you. It’s been a long time since I have been honest with someone about what is going on in my head and you are helping me in ways you don’t know. So, thank you, my friend.

I know this season will pass and I know we might pass along with it but no matter where our lives go, I know that, right now, he is the friend that I need and I think that street goes both ways. I told him, “God has a funny way of giving us what we need, when we need it most.” And I am finding that to be true. There are moment that I have to sit back and chuckle and wonder what God has in store for me. I know that he has a plan and I know that he will keep me going in the right direction. And I know that he brought me a friend from the past when I needed it most and for that I am thankful.

Someday, I will look back on all this mess and and laugh but right now I am living it and it is trying. I have never had so much love and support and yet, felt so alone. I have never wanted to move forward and yet, felt so stuck. I have never wanted to have someone their for me, yet felt the need to push everyone away. I have never wanted to forget the past more but I keep forcing myself to relive it. It is a season and the leaves will fall and be blown away but it is a season I must endure for the beautiful blooms on the horizon.

So, I will live in this season. I will keep pushing forward. I will be okay with arms length and shallow relationships. I will take stock in my true friends. I know who they are and am thankful for them. I will have my pity parties and I will have my celebrations. I will be thankful for unexpected, old friends that come back around to help me through this season. And I will remember, in the midst of chaos, sparkle. Don’t let life dull you shine.

Much Love,

The Manicured Mom

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