It's 2 am, and there's a lot going thru my head. Our home is cold; the temperature in the house is 62 degrees. I scurried out of bed and put on my warm fleece jacket. I have these incredible fleece sheets. I'm cozy, but now from typing, my hands are cold (and so is my nose).
I wish I could share my whole story with you all, the gory details, the entire truth. I'm not able to however since I have been legally advised otherwise.
My son is gone tonight. Having him leave is no where near as painful as it used to be — nonetheless, at times I miss him incredibly. I'm used to his temporary absence now. He's used to it. Oliver has a whole other world that I know nothing of. He has a whole other bedroom, closet, sheets, blankets, toys, books,clothes, furniture. He has another living room, kitchen, bathroom, toothbrush. A life! A life apart from me. He experiences two realities — his time with me, his world with me, his life with me; and his life with his father. He does things with his father that I know nothing about, that I have no part in. It's the norm now. I don't think about it much. Yet every now and then I realize the truth: my son has a whole life separate from the one we have together.
That is something I never imagined when he was born. How strong this little boy must be. Certainly I would not want to live out of two closets. I would not want to sleep in a different bed every other night. I would not want to have two family relationships. Sadly, he knows of no other way. This, this fucking break up, is normal for him.
OH HOW I HATE THAT MAN.
I did not ask for this. I did not ask to break up my family. I think that is something that I still struggle with. I think that is something I crave, I want. It's something that many people know nothing of, they have not experienced it.
Single motherhood is complex. I am on the go. I hesitate to write about this because motherhood in general is a struggle. My hurdles are not greater than anyone else's. Yet, parenting was much easier when Matt was here. Life was much easier. There was help. There was another team member. Oliver was 100% in my life. He was 100% in Matt's life. That's family. After the first wave of hurt and shock when Matt left came the second: Oliver is not 100% my child. (We all know he's not anyone's...) But it never occurred to me that I'd have to share. It didn't seem fair. Matt left me, but he gets Oliver. I have to share Oliver with him. This was a discussion we had only 1 week after he left. I never thought that far ahead. I only reacted to Matt's departure, my feelings of abandonment, my hurt, my shock, my excruciating pain. I didn't see the second wave coming, and so soon after the first! My son! He wasn't mine! He was only 1/2 mine! I had to share! That was news to me. I doubt anyone in a solid marriage (or maybe a messed up marriage) ever thinks about that. I want sometimes to go up to those happy families I know, those wonderful friends and moms that I know... I want to say to them: Did you know, did you know, that your child is only half yours? Don't get too attached I want to say. I've got news for you.
Don't get me started on the girl friends I have who bitch about their men. Who mistreat their guys. Who take for granted what they have. To those women I want to say, "Watch out. You may think he may never stand up to you, he may never leave you, but heed my warning: Nothing is for certain."
My cynical attitude spews a dark foretelling of bleak futures for those who cannot see what they so easily take for granted. Ah but Andrea, their lives may not end up like yours. It's not fair of me to project my painful experiences onto others. I know that. I'm smart enough to know that. I'm sharing this morning those deep dark thoughts, hurts, negatives that have woven through the fabric of my experience, now that I have had my bubble burst. I'm sure it's the same with anyone who endures a trauma. Death, sickness, misfortune. Not many of us ever think it could happen to me. For goodness sake, we simply cannot live thinking like that.
Grief. It's the only thing I have in common with those who have lost a loved one, those who are given a sentence, those who are told they have cancer. PLEASE, in no WAY am I saying that my experience equals theirs. I am saying GRIEF is a common bond I have with those who are experiencing a significant loss.
I hate that my son is not sleeping in his bed tonight. I hate that I did not have to pick him up from daycare today. I hate that I cannot hear his 4-yr old voice. I cannot see his beautiful smile, the dimples, the blue eyes, the funny funny sense of logic he has. I hate that I'm not there to hold him in the middle of the night. (He wakes each night at his father's place, just as he does here with me. In our home, Oliver crawls into bed with me, every single night. Without fail. At Matt's, he crawls under Matt's bed. Or he moves to his closet and sleeps there.) I provide a warm body for him at night. We cuddle. I hold him. I want him to feel safe. I want to protect him, while I can. I want him to be secure, know that he is loved, know he can come to me any time he needs to. I want to be consistent. I want him to feel happy. He is. He is a happy boy.
It's me that's unhappy. It's me that struggles. Oliver is fine. I am not. I am still dealing with all of this.
I'm happy. Don't feel bad for me. I'm thriving. Don't feel sorry for me. The unhappiness I talk of is the discomfort I feel for my new life. For my broken dreams. For the strength I need to muster up to deal with life. Money. Garbage. Yard work. Repairs. Safety. Bills. Asking for help. Paying for help. It's on me now. It's ALL on me.
I left my car lights on all night two weeks ago. Ready for work and daycare, my battery was dead. It was freezing cold. I have no jumper cables. Luckily I live in a friendly village; I know my neighbors and their numbers are in my phone. I called. I texted. I got jumper cables. Then I needed a jump. I had to make more calls. It's not easy. Oliver was scurrying around the yard and too close to the alley. "Watch out for cars!" I'd warn as I hammered away at my phone, feeling crappy that I had to reach out for help. It was hard to call. I hate asking for help. I find myself often in a position of needing someone. Last week I had to get my car repaired. The dealer quoted me $1000 and charged me $75 just to tell me what was wrong. I have a friend who is a mechanic. But he's 40 minutes away. I knew he'd save me money. I called him. Bring 'er out! says he. I had to figure this all out. My son. Daycare. My job. Getting my car there before the day began. Getting a rental car. Getting a RIDE to the rental car place. Returning the rental. Getting a ride from there to the shop. Squeezing all this in between an already tight schedule. Fair? No way. Matt, had we still been together, would have helped with this. Tonight, my home a mess. I remember times, not often, I'd come home to what I thought was a mess but it was all cleaned and picked up. Matt was there. He picked up my slack. I don't have that anymore. I have to lean on you. On friends. On the kindness of strangers. I hate it. At the same time, it's humbling. People want to help me out. It's just hard for me to accept it.
I've been writing for over an hour now. This post has no theme to it other than you have been invited into a rare experience for me: the inability to fall back asleep. I've managed to turn my brain off each night for the past two years. I've managed to sleep thru those very painful times, making it an entire night without waking. I can count on one hand the times my worries kept me awake. This is one such night. You've seen a glimpse into my secret place, the place I bury now. I am moving forward. I am happy. Truly. I love my new life. I really do. The residual crap will just take time to disappear, and I have full faith in myself and God that I will continue to forge thru this, finding my way to a peaceful serene, new life, filled with passion and love, excitement and fun. It's there. I see evidence of it in others. Oliver will be OK. Truly he will. He's already OK. I'll get thru this too. It's my time in the barrel. Eventually, this will all be behind me. I'll find another mate; already a few have come knocking. :) There are some terrific men out there. I don't need them. That's what this time is proving to me. I can do it; I can do it alone; I can do it with your help. I can depend on my faith to carry me thru.