8:30 AM on a chilly November morning. I close the door and try to hold back the tears. I know they are coming. As I walk past the window to the school I see Jacob looking for me. We catch each other's gaze.
I shape my cold hands into a heart and thrust my arms swiftly towards him, as though I'm throwing my heart him. He catches it.
Jacob is surprisingly calm this particular morning. No Crying. No fuss. This is a first, even though this has been our routine for about 3 months now. It's as if he somehow can sense I am dangling on the edge of my emotions, like a tree perched on the edge of a cliff where erosion has exposed its roots. I am hanging on the edge of myself. I feel as if could be lost into the abyss at any moment.
I make my way to the car and pour myself into the drivers seat. Clutching the steering wheel it happens, my body begins to heave, my eyes swell and water. I can't old it in. I can't even make it the mile home before this release of emotion overtakes me in the driveway.
This is healing? This?!! I question myself. This is what I must do to find my joy? I just want peace. This doesn't make any sense. Why in the world do I feel SO bad? My life WAS a mess, but now its alright. Now it me who's the mess!
I have all my needs met, I have a bit of money, I have a safe place for Jacob and I to stay. I am ok externally, yet insiders as if a hurricane lives within me, constantly swirling around and uprooting me.
I feel so many things. Waves of emotion crash over me at a moments notice and tears again stream down my face. Uncertainty comes in, then sadness, isolation, loneliness, and discontent all knock me off balance. I feel as If I'm waist deep in the ocean and the sand keeps flowing out from below my feet. I have no foundation to stand on.
I've been doing this for months now, dropping Jacob off at preschool, just to drive home and curl up in a puddle of myslef and bawl my eyes out. I find a way to pull myself together by noon, just in time to pick him up and go on with my day, trying to be the best mom I can.
I feel like I "should be doing something" more. I feel like I "should" be getting somewhere. I feel like I "should" be working but I can't handle a job right now. The stress and expectations of work is too much when I'm so emotional that anything or nothing seems to make me cry.
I know I'm "working" on healing, but that doesn't seem legitimate to me. So I continue to judge myself harshly because I can't keep myself together. its all very messy and I often spend part of the day as a puddle.
I attend a few counseling sessions a week. One for women who have been abused, one parenting class. I know through participating in these groups that we are all in the same boat, regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, background, community, education, economic status, race or ethnicity, religion, country of origin or native language. We are all more alike then we are different. I have heard the stories of those who do not look or believe like me and found we are so very alike.
We are all guided by the same things, we do things to get our needs met and we recreate patterns of behavior in our lives based on our beliefs, some healthy some not. Our beliefs may be different, but the need to belong and be accepted is universal and often misinterpreted in our society.
I notice how thoughts and beliefs dictate our behavior and how becoming conscious of these thoughts while working to intentionally change them can truly impact ones life. I know tis changed my life and I see others changed as well.
I have been working diligently to change my thoughts and my behavior.
Having Ed walk out on me shook me deeply. After he left I knew I had to take a break from dating and focus on me. I knew I had to turn my attention to healing or else I was just going to attract another man, perhaps with different colored eyes, lighter hair and a different complexion, but it would be the same feeling, the same relationship.
I had been caught up in the bliss of connection and empathy he had provided me. With that gone I had to face myself and what had I brought into my life? I felt just like I had in my marriage and I knew I had somehow manifested this relationship because I hadn't healed from my marriage yet.
I felt distraught. I hated being alone with myself and I found myself alone more than ever before. It was excruciatingly difficult. I felt uncomfortable in my own skin. Yet, I did my best to focus on healing:
Sometimes I cried.
Sometimes I relived conversations in my head.
Sometimes I relived conversations out loud, the way I wished they had gone.
Sometimes I screamed.
Sometimes I wailed so hard I coughed and sputtered.
Sometimes I napped at 9 am and woke up at noon so I could pick up my son at school.
Sometimes I took him to a babysitter so I could have a good cry.
Sometimes I wrote & wrote & wrote.
Sometimes I listened to music.
Sometimes I sang.
Sometimes I danced.
Sometimes I got dressed up nice.
Sometimes I didn’t leave the house.
Sometimes I sat and stared.
Sometimes I thought screw this and watched TV.
Sometimes I deliberately watched a funny movie.
Sometimes I talked to a friend.
Sometimes I talked to my dog.
Sometimes I wandered through stores.
Sometimes I wandered through books.
Sometimes I just got a nice cup of coffee.
Sometimes I sat outside and noticed the trees swaying and listened to the birds.
Sometimes I thanked God.
Sometimes I cursed God.
I attended group therapy.
I attended parenting classes.
Sometimes I asked “Why”.
Mostly I asked to be guided.
I began to quiet my thoughts.
I took one step at at time.
I journaled daily.
I read affirmative statements daily.
I wrote down what I was grateful for.
I began thinking its going to be alright.