It has been a while since my last post and much has happened. As I write, I am emotionally exhausted and physically feel beat up. My head is pounding with an excessive headache and my heart fluctuates from wrenching pain and normalcy. My stomach feels like I am free falling again and my brain is sprinting then stopping for a water break. In short; I'm a hot mess.
The positive news is I have all my rights back with regards to my children. I do not have placement as I have not fought for placement. I feel that at this moment they need to finish out the school year where they are and then I will go from there. Having no limitations with my children is wonderful. Also, I have had my sister in-law over, albeit brief, it was a wonderful visit. I have also had coffee with my in-laws. Again, a short visit but a good one. I am out of the hallway of uncertainty and opened the door to acceptance with the three of them. Acceptance can be like putting on a pair of boots that are troubling to put on but then you realize you didn't unzip them all the way and that is why your foot was not able to slide in. Once your foot is in the boot it may feel like your sock is bunched up and it is uncomfortable but you can still walk. Knowing I do not have to 'like' what I have accepted can be very freeing. I also have 5 months (again) today of recovery.
I have written about how December sucks donkey balls. It truly does. The husband filed for divorce on the 10th. I am ok with that as I do not want to be married to him. Of course it hurts. 15 years has ended and now we have a case number. Puts a sterile vibe to the whole process in a way. Like, we are just another couple ending a marriage. And yes, that is what it is, but how sad. How sad that the institution of marriage is not really sacred to some people. I guess half of the married population right? Maybe it is higher or a little lower but who cares. Potatoes, potOToes...
This Christmas marks my third sober Christmas. It also was my most painful. While I did see my children (and I am so very grateful), it was also different, weird, uncomfortable, confusing, lonely and sad. I have been asked 'How was your Christmas?'. All I have said is 'I am still sober.'. That sums it up for me. The best and only thing I could do from Sunday through today was not pick up a drink. Again, going through more firsts. And I have realized there is always going to be firsts. The longer I am in recovery the more firsts will pop up. I am hoping that some of these 'firsts' will feel good and not always uncomfortable. I imagine in time and working the program, it won't feel so extreme.
The kids spent Sunday night into Monday (Christmas Eve) with me. We had an ok time together. My youngest is acting out and is having a hard time with all the changes. Who the hell can blame the poor kid? I struggle so imagining what it must be like for a 6 year old just makes my heart hurt. My 9 year old is acting out more with me and my 10 year old is very protective. The 10 year old said to me on Monday 'Mom, I don't know why we act like this with you and not with Dad'. I just said 'When you feel safe, you show your true feelings.' He apologized and I told him it is ok that we are all experiencing a lot of different feelings and it is new to all of us and we have to be patient with each other. He then went on to blame the entire world's problems on his 9yr old sister and he won't be patient with her because she is horrible and evil. Spoken like a true older brother. My 6 yr old on the other hand can't figure out why he hates the world. He says it is because I am a horrible mother that I am mean and won't let him eat junk food. Sounds right. However, the real beauty is that each one of them will cuddle with me and actually express their feelings. They ask questions and tell me what they think and how they feel. As much bullshit as I have to deflect from them at times, they do talk to me. I have encouraged them to express themselves to their father and they did at one point. Since then they have asked me not to tell him what they say. I told them that they have a right to be heard and they need to talk with him. I do not tell him anymore anything 'deep' they talk to me about because the last few times I did, he said they were just telling me what I wanted to hear or that they were manipulating. I had to chuckle because it is as if he doesn't think I understand that about children, especially my own children. Of course they are going to do that, the key is to really listen and know when they are and when they aren't. By no means am I perfect at doing this, but I do believe that when there is a conversation where they express their hurt or anger towards me and also their father, they are not manipulating, they are sharing. But, I can only encourage them to speak up for themselves and can not control how their dad will react to them or me. I choose to not bother sharing with him anymore unless it is about their behavior.
Anyway, they chose to go back to the house Christmas Eve because their father was hosting Christmas Eve dinner. We had always hosted in the past (not last year) and the kids really enjoy having everyone there, so I gladly dropped them off so they did not feel like they were missing out. Walking into the house to drop them off was a punch in the gut. My Christmas dishes were set out etc. There is an overwhelming sense (and not just with Christmas) of patching up/glossing over what has and is happening with a band aid. Truly this is not my issue. So yes, it sucked seeing my dishes out and knowing he was hosting 'our' event and I was not 'a part of'. He was kind and invited me the day before, but there was no way I could do that. Nothing changes if nothing changes right? I had to run out of the house and get in my car as soon as I could. I felt like my ass caught on fire. For real. I went home, crawled into bed at 3ish and pulled the covers over my head and sobbed until I fell asleep. The next morning I went down to the house for 'Santa'. A while back I spoke of how I didn't know if I could do that, but I ended up being able to do it. Being in the house feels so empty. I feel no love, no heart, no connection. I am a stranger there. I stayed for just a bit after they opened their gifts. I had to leave. My heart hurt so badly and I was afraid if I started crying I wouldn't be able to stop so I made another quick exit so not to have my heartbreak in front of the children. I got back to my apartment and again, lost it. I cried and I cried and cried harder. I cried for the loss I felt. I cried for the change I am going through. I cried for the past. I cried for my children and I cried for me. I pulled the covers over my head again and fell asleep on my snot covered pillow. I woke up early afternoon and watched Criminal Minds marathons and Rizzoli and Isles marathons too. My insides felt bruised, and still do. Today, I woke up with a heavily bruised heart again. Today marks the day the husband walked out a year ago. I made myself get to a meeting. I picked up the kids afterward. While there I said today was a hard day and I was going to need to get to a meeting later that day and needed to either drop off or have him pick up the kids by a certain time. He acknowledged in a way that he understood why it was a hard day. Long story sorta shorter, the husband was going to a brunch that is held every year after Christmas at a family friend's house. Soooo....later today when trying to figure out the kids drop off plan, he told me that his girlfriend would be at the house. I asked if she was with him or was she meeting him at the house. I asked because if she was meeting him there, I would tell him a time I would be there and she could show up after. But alas, he said she was with him. I knew at that point she went to brunch with him, which would have been the big family meet. Yeah, so a year later to the day, he brings the woman he cheated on me with (still to this day denies it), to meet his family and had her at the house when I dropped of my kids. Don't get me wrong, I did not think he would have any compassion or sensitivity about today, why would he when he hasn't had any. But I will say I was taken aback and quite frankly shocked. His behavior outright disgusted me on so many levels. And the fact that she doesn't think this is weird (I will give her the benefit of the doubt that she goes by what he is willing to tell her and be honest about) to be at the house we shared while I drop my kids off is beyond me. Just because he is needy, dishonest with himself and numbs his feelings doesn't mean I do the same. I have been exceptionally hard on myself thinking I should be just fine with all of this and it is no big deal etc. but, yeah, it IS a big deal and this isn't going to just 'clear' up anytime soon. I took the kids to the house and said my goodbyes in the car. They knew why I wasn't going in and said themselves it was too weird for them and they were uncomfortable with her inside and me outside. I told them I wasn't comfortable either and I wasn't going to put myself in that position or them. My daughter told me I was so brave and that she loved me and she was sorry. I told her she had no reason to apologize, my being uncomfortable had nothing to do with her and she said she was sorry that 'daddy just left you'. I asked her what she meant and she said she knew it was the day he left but last year it was on a Tuesday but she remembered. I told her that let's focus on the positive and reminded her of our earlier discussion about me having 5mths of sobriety. She said okay and that she was so proud of me. I left the house in pain. I wanted a drink. I wanted to drink at him. I wanted to drink at her. Today was a reminder of the rejection, abandonment and less than feelings I swam in last year. Then to know she met his family and she was in my house was a god damn bucket of salt on the open wound. My first thought was a drink because I am an alcoholic in early recovery. But I know from experience that a drink makes nothing better. I know from experience that drinking at them only hurts me. I went straight to my girl friend's house and bawled and talked it through. After being there a while I left and made phone calls. I talked to an old timer who knows what has been going on and has known me since the first day I walked in. He said 'This isn't about you. You aren't that important, this is about him. Don't you forget you are not powerful enough to make someone miserable or to make someone leave. (My name), it came to down this and you should understand this (my name) because you did it too. He chose and is choosing the drink over his family and himself. He doesn't know what he doesn't know. He lost the right for you to care about him and what he is doing the day he left so fucking kick him out of your head, you got that?'. He went on to remind me that I don't have to drink even if my ass falls off.
Yeah today and the last three days have been fucking hard. Reliving the hurt and being in the bottom of the barrel of shit can suck it. I hate it. It hurts being a human being. I don't particularly want to feel the bad shit, but I know it is an absolute if I want to get well. This morning, I woke up, got on my knees and asked a power greater than myself to keep me away from a drink and a drug and asked for the obsession and compulsion to be removed ( I say other prayers as well) and I was kept away from that drink and a drug.
Five months and I am walking. I think I will keep coming.