Wednesday, October 21, 2009

On Being Me

There are certain things in my life I can count on. The fact that my youngest son's morning diaper will peel paint from his bedroom walls daily. The fact that dishes will dirty, laundry will not wash its self, and little toys will find themselves in the oddest places- a matchbox car inside the diaper genie, a section of train track in with my dish towels. I can count on daily smiles and hugs (for now until they are too cool for mom) from each of my boys, and the glorious musical chime of their spontaneous laughter. I can count on the phrase that's thrown out each weekday by Smoochie while rushing out the door to catch the bus- "See you later, Alligator." And I can count on my daily response, "After while crock-eeee-dile."

During the week, things have taken on a sense of normalcy. I have essentially grabbed hold of myself by the scruff and shaken myself out of the moping and feeling sorry for myself stage. As each day passes, I have fewer weak moments (outwardly at least) and can at last breathe a little bit. During the week, when there are two boys to care for and a whirlwind of things to accomplish for them, it is becoming easier to accept the way things are.

I will not lie. It's hard not to hope I can reverse things. The reality that I'm standing on the precipice of divorce and will have to jump whether I like it or not is enough to leave me with anxiety attacks. After all, at some point I will have to jump off the ledge willingly or wait around for the push from behind- either way there's no turning back and either way will find me at the bottom.

This anxiety is easier to set aside during the week when I have to be strong for my boys. When they are there as a constant reminder of why life is good and glorious. It's easy to ignore a panic attack when Critter is busy acting like a giggly jack-in-the-box before launching himself at me with a little attack growl. It's easy to lose myself and my worries in the moment when I'm busy reading Harry Potter books aloud nightly to Smoochie (and listening to his giggles and gasps) while we enjoy a cup of warm caramel apple cider together.

With my great love and need to care for my boys, my weeks have become almost easy. But the weekends scare me.

The boys will be spending their weekends (away from me) with Bonehead. I don't worry about their safety for I know their father loves them every bit as much as I do, and will take great care of them. In fact, my fear has absolutely nothing to do with Bonehead.

I have heard choruses of "Oh honey, good for you. You get 'me time'. Oh how great, you get time to take care of you. Good for you to have time to yourself for a change." These phrases to me are the verbal equivalent of a haunted maze.

Here's the deal. I am on the brink of my 35th birthday. I pretty much know who I am as a person. I've got a pretty solid idea of myself and who I am in this world. I really don't need time to soul search- I have faith in God, and trust that he will help me to arrive on the other end of this every bit as optimistic good natured as I have been in the past. So essentially none of this scares me. Here's what does-

In my life, I have never just been me. In my younger years, I had my mom and sister, and throughout my teenage years I rarely went a month without a boyfriend (or two). I went away to college for a year and about the time when the whole 'just me' would have stepped into the normal course of things, there was a marriage. And now, at darn near 35, I am discovering that having been married since the ripe old age of 19, I have never in my life just been me. I have never had to rely on myself emotionally. Or in the middle of the night when the stresses of life creep into my blankets with me. Until now there's been a cohabitant. Someone with which to share these things and difficult moments with.

In my heart I know that I am strong and that I can face whatever life hands me with grace and dignity. Even so, the thought of being 'just me', of losing these things (to put it bluntly), scares the crap out of me.


Anonymous said...

Here are some suggestions to help with those scary future moments of being "just me" - start yoga and meditation; look into volunteering or visiting a nursing/assisted living home; find a mentor that is older than you help guide you through this time; cook and take something to a neighbor who is alone; check out a pottery class; join a book club...there are a million different things to do with your time.

Your statement that you "pretty much know who you are as a person" can be deceiving. I am 46 and still don't know who I am and who I want to be, although I thought I did when I was your age - hence the suggestion to find a mentor.

Good luck to you during this difficult time. Your new found freedom is exciting and enviable!

Anonymous said...

A couple more pieces of advice. On top of volunteering, try to become more self-sufficient. Getting a job would be a great start. Stepping away from the blog and being productive in real world activities.

for a different kind of girl said...


I wish I had ideal words for you that would help take away some of the feelings you experience, but I suppose having those feelings will ultimately be helpful, if that makes sense. This is a huge time of transition, and the sense of who you are will perhaps go through changes as you, too, are navigating through them. You'll know what you'll need to do when you're ready.

You are so very often in my thoughts, and you and your boys are in my prayers.

cindy said...

OK sweetie I thought when I read what anonymous had to say the first time they wrote were good ideas, but the second comment just blew me away, this person has no idea or the right to say, step away from your blogging, they are clueless to your ability to write and express yourself thru your writing. I'm sorry if I stepped out of line here but kinda ticked me off. I love you and you will know what to do when the time and need arrises. Please dont step away from blogging we love what you say and how you write it.

Chasity said...

Anonymous- you had some very good suggestions, some of which I actually intend to pursue. Thank you.

Fadkog- thank you for the kind words, and let it be known that I adore you.

Cindy, it's OK, I actually only devote about 2 hours a week or so to my blog, which is evident by my sporadic posts, so I don't plan to stop blogging. It's a wonderful outlet for me. I think Anonymous made a good point, though. Spending too much time online does not necessarily give a shy introvert like myself the opportunity to interact with live people in the real world. I have actually embraced the suggestion, and I'm making a conscious effort to spend less time online and more time outside the internet.

Sandi said...

HUGE HUGS to you. I just caught up, so you can disregard my email. You have a friend in SoCal. If you need me you know how to reach me. Love to you and your family.