When I go back to the old house to see my son, I never manage to successfully anticipate the form the weirdness will take. It makes for...interesting visits and I always feel like Alice in Wonderland. Well, except when I feel like Sisyphus trying to roll the boulder up the hill, over and over again....
This visit is no exception. As I like to say, my ex has been very good about making sure I couldn't possibly second guess my decision to divorce him.
That said, it's interesting to see how, each time I visit, I'm less likely to get sucked into the chaos. I'm quicker to recover after I get sand bagged. I'm more able to say to my ex: No, I won't do that for you. I'm less likely to freak out and start screaming: Are you out of your freaking mind?????
Ahem. Sorry about that. Seriously, it's always a good reality check for any fantasy “what ifs?” that I might have been having. It's a reminder that things really were as chaotic as I remember. It's a reminder that while I might wish all I want that things had been different, there's no way they were going to be. NOT because he or I were bad people but because the dynamic between us was destructive to both of us. Even the counseling we tried couldn't change that.
And seeing my son and trying to work with him, reminds me why the fantasy of how I wish things could have been with him wasn't going to happen either.
In any case, it's all a reminder that one can't go back, we can only go forward. We can only ask ourselves:
What's the best choice I can make NOW, in THIS moment?
How can I be the person I want to be in THIS moment?
What do I want to accomplish? What's the best way to do that—if it's possible?
All we have is THIS moment. And in this moment we have the power to choose who we will be. NOW. We can't control the outcome of what we do or how anyone else will act or react. We can choose whether or not we will act in alignment with our highest values.
One of my highest values is love and empathy—perhaps because those who abused me were so self-focused. What I have come to know is that it's okay to be loving AND protective of myself as well. Being loving does not have to equal being a doormat! Knowing that I can protect myself means I don't have to scream at my ex when he fails to be protective. (As in discovering he had me drive his car alone with my son after midnight on a freeway when he knew a tire might be very, very low on air.)
So I will spend this week with my son, loving him and helping him get emotionally ready for the group home. I will let go—as much as I can—of how I wish things had been. And I will honor how far we've all come. (And catch up on reading blogs when I get back home.)
Sending blessings and safe and gentle (((((hugs)))))),