To ask a person to selectively numb feelings or deny experiences is an unreasonable request. And yet, it is the demand of nearly 50 years—as if time changes anything other than our age. The past 2.5 years of living on the same coast with my FOO has been beyond re-traumatizing. And at some levels, I would like to forget it all but will not and cannot. Because of miraculous and brilliant moments with my sons, best friend, and Sweet Greg, I do not wish to just erase the time. And I do not get to pick and choose which parts of my emotional experiences I am willing to feel & remember, to learn from and to forget. I am to be fully present and mindful of what is and what has been. This is how I heal, expand, and evolve spiritually, through the pain– and into the woman I am meant to be.
Learning to practice detachment and healthy boundaries has been labelled by my FOO, as angry and unforgiving. Because wouldn’t a forgiving person, just put historical and on-going abuse behind them and show up and smile for all the “real” stuff, like holidays and photos….By this measure, I suppose I am unloving and punitive. Whatev. I was not placed on this earth to endure and pretend or to please others at the expense of my mental health and ability to function and to care for my children. My purpose and sense of self are, at last, greater than that—after nearly a decade of vigilant unlearning.
Last week, my older son requested of me to pleeeeease consider hosting a birthday party for him with his friends and his father. Because of the intentionally unwholesome triangulation with my FOO, I have elected to keep my new relations with local friends and families separate from him. But, for my son, I have agreed to co-host a party in which his father not only gains access to these children and their families, but also will host a birthday dinner (
allowing welcoming him) in our new home. I asked my son: “Do you need for me to like it or to just do it?”… to which he replied “just do it, please”. Of course, I will.♥
I love that I have enough recovery to do this for him. This is one of the many gifts of recovery-to do,change, and accept the things I can. Nothing about his father or the objectionable dynamic of his, with my FOO, has or will change. This does not mean I have forgiven or forgotten or believe his father to be a safe person for me. My willingness to work closely with him while he comfortably and righteously diminishes me, is a reflection only of my new knowledge of how to keep my self safe and separate. For one night only— I submit myself to proximity, to which I would otherwise object…. and in my new home. We will make a beautiful memory for this occasion of having mom, dad, brother, and friends altogether, against all odds….because for my children, there are no limits to what I will do FOR them.
I will do anything for my children, because they count on me. Anything! My love for them is greater than my whatever it is which I feel for their father. I am looking forward to the party. I know it will be a fun and special occasion, for so many reasons. And I will not be fooled into thinking that we have begun our new forever. The only thing that changes is me, as I recover and learn to navigate THIS type of dynamic and to create the much needed space, when possible. In my recovery I may do, what would otherwise be both impossible and unthinkable. Happy Birthday Baby—anything for you, always and forever. I will always want to work with your father when it is safe to do so. I believe this occasion to be safe and too sacred to compromise. Every chapter counts, and all of the pages leading up to this are what got us here, otherwise, I would burn them. I love you! Together, we will seek to learn from pain, rather than to forget it. Okay?
And in case you didn’t notice I am courageous AF. I will always find the courage to do what is good for you and to make your dreams come true. Unconditional love, the cycle begins here.
PS–It is now clear why I spent too many years as an accomplished blackout artist. It was the only way, I could master the art of just not remembering. I would not wish that on any one. Because, what we resist persists.Much Love,
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