Last night, Bryan Adams’ song “Best Days of Our Lives” played on the radio. For a moment I felt nostalgic, reminded of senior year, summer in particular where we were very actively drinking and chasing boys and good feelings. Then, I remembered, that I was fucken terrified and miserable and always in one of three ways:
- about to lose my shit for reasons, of which, even I was not certain
- losing my shit, for reasons, of which, even I was not certain
- hiding humiliated, because I had lost my shit, for reasons, of which, even I was not certain
I recognize now that I suffer severe anxiety which was not well tolerated in my family and which made me an easy target for the intolerant rage that pulsed through our “home”. Being targeted rather than comforted caused me despair/depression in addition to heightening my troublesome anxiety. I was depressed about being anxious and anxious about being depressed and never unaware of the price I would pay when I could not be bullied or shamed out of it.
The best days of my life- I must believe are ahead of me. If no, shoot me now–a request to which my family would eagerly respond(but only cuz I asked). But seriously, I think the best days of my life were 3 years ago, when my boys and I moved cross country to be present and to serve my ailing mother, moving here while we were still not speaking- totally willing to show TF up and do as needed. Being of service to her felt right. When my ex-husband followed a few months later and we began working together as strongly dedicated CO-parents, a fixed family, more than a broken family, I was thrilled. From having an alarm installed to keep him out, to offering him keys to use my condo as needed, was an immense step for us. Our marriage was troubled from the start. Our divorce was hell —and here we were. Miracles. Sharing responsibilities, expenses, and even meals. Those were the best days of my life. My boys were over the moon with the new collaborative forces.
Relocating cross country: 1) to support my mother and 2) so that my ex could afford to purchase a home was the most wholesome badass move of my life. Spiritually driven choices. Having the courage to plan a move cross country(to the land I fled and swore to never return) with my ex, to be near the two women(with whom I was not on speaking terms) who terrified me more than any other humans, is nothing short of God’s grace. My sister set into action a plan which desecrated that. Initially, this caused me to feel unlovable, unworthy, and disgraced, one more time. I totally lost my shit–again. But then, I knew. And I realized, that her behaviors cannot disgrace me. Her behaviors, in no way, speak to the quality of my character. They certainly affect me and have hurt my children. I fully can acknowledge that but will not take responsibility for what she DID and SAID repeatedly.
(Seemingly random non-sequitur paragraph) My aunt emailed recently, three times in one day asking to know how I am doing. I feel stronger and more sane, less like losing my shit from that free floating anxiety I feel anytime I engage “them”. But it felt wrong to not respond. I thanked her for thinking of me and told her all the ways we were thriving as a family, including and especially, the currently restored collaborative efforts in coparenting with the boys’ father. Then, crickets, not a peep since. That shit right there, makes me feel crazy AF. Similarly, in January, she asked to meet for brunch and said she wanted to see me and when I apologized for being unable, I did not hear again from her until this most recent email. Against the advice of trusted others, I responded and am guilty of expectation of something different. Is that hope or foolishness or just the broken wanting parts of me that have not fully accepted what it has always meant for me trying to live, as a part of this “family”?(This paragraph seems random but it is not, to me)
Lat night, I was reflecting how one of my sister’s favorite things to say when she is angry at me, is “It is not always about you”. To hear this makes me feel foolish and shameful. Of course it is not always about me. But when you suddenly stop responding to me as if I have not spoken or that I do not exist. I take that shit personally.. But you know what, you are right—that is not about me. That is about her way of dealing with whatever it is she has going on in her head. Now, as I reflect back, I see how I was blamed for the unfortunate feelings and behaviors of those around me. So other people’s emotional unavailability and harshness is about me, but my unique needs for food, space, or sleep, my birthday and Christmas gifts and food offerings appear to have little to do with me. I still cannot make sense of this. I cannot accept it–in that I choose now to NOT submit myself for it. I cannot change it– so– all that is left to do is to give my self the necessary space from it. Grieving is where I am currently, in my state of recovery. Grieving for the little Magda Gee that tried to cope in an unmanageable and sick system. Confused and with no healthy coping skills or solid ground to stand on. Grieving that the best days of my life came in my late 40s and were righteously snatched.
Placing my ex husband in a situation to choose between my estranged family and me is fucked up. He is broken and lonely and will always have residual anger for me. Placing our small boys in the center of this divisive and diminishing scheme feels impossible to forget or forgive. I am accepting the pain–but not the disgrace. Even through all of this, recovery allowed me to resist telling my ex or my sister about themselves. I pray that we may work it out in a more wholesome way or leave each other to our families. Have your family. And I will have mine. Please.Much Love,
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