Friday, July 18, 2008

Realizations

Some things I realized this past week. Some are liberating. Some make me cringe—except better to have the self-awareness and know so that I can be on guard against playing out those patterns in the future.

I wanted safe. I married my ex because he wasn't intimidating. Only there isn't much safe about someone who lets you drive on the freeway after midnight in a car where the tire was down to 12 pounds of pressure earlier in the day. Or who creates constant chaos. (Did I mention he also “forgot” to tell me about the broken pipe in the laundry room and I discovered it when my son did laundry and the floor flooded?)

I also tried to be the "easy" wife. No drama, no hassles, only a partner who would be of value. I didn't realize he'd value me less, not more because I did.

When I was married, there was a payoff in the chaos. People felt sorry for me and angry on my behalf. And I felt safer because if I didn't want to do something I could use the chaos as an excuse.

I want and need calm in my life. I no longer want chaos.

I can walk away from the house knowing I was wise not to try to keep it.

I know that even if I were the best mother in the world, there are things my son will gain by being in the group home that I could not have given him.

I know that had I gotten custody, my son would not get into a group home for several more years—if ever.

I was reminded how much happier I am where I am now than where I was living for so long.

I can watch my ex with his girlfriend and be happy they found each other. And know that I feel no regrets over choosing to walk away.

I only had a chance to contact one or two old friends. Even in these friendships, I could see patterns I am choosing not to repeat in new friendships here. They were what they had to be when I was married, but as I change, as I grow I can choose different friends and healthier friendships.

It is neither wise nor useful to see myself as having been a martyr. There were choices I could have made. I didn't make them because I was too afraid. Trying to be safe is sometimes the most dangerous thing we can do.

In the midst of all this, a friend died unexpectedly. She hadn't even been sick. I got back here in time for the funeral yesterday. It was a reminder to LIVE, really live—not just endure.

My daughter is coming over for lunch tomorrow. She wants to help me find a dog to adopt. I will cherish the time we spend together and be grateful for her presence here in town while she gets her PhD. And I will know that the best gift I can give her is to see that at any age one can make new choices, at any age one can change and grow, at any age one can create a healthier and happier life.

Here's hoping that each of you are creating the lives YOU want to have.

Sending blessings and safe and gentle (((((((hugs))))))),
April_optimist

4 comments:

keepers said...

very nice post April-O and we send you hugs also, just for being you

peace and blessings

keepers

Kahless said...

Oooh... did you adopt a dog? If so please post a piccie!

Enola said...

OOH a puppy? I want to see pictures!!!

April_optimist said...

Thank you, Keepers.

Kahless and Enola, No dog yet. I haven't seen the right one. Probably NOT a puppy--but rather a slightly older (housebroken!) one.