As I mentioned in my earlier post today, my Saturday got off to a rough start. My hellish Friday night had left me feeling very vulnerable. But instead of letting what had triggered me last night throw me for a wild, painful loop today, I just looked my pain in the eye and just accepted things for what they are.
That doesn’t mean I like the way they are. I don’t like the fact that my relationship is over and I have to deal with weekend visitations, impending custody mediations…or that I had to watch Brennan struggle with trying to understand why his brother was leaving with my ex and he was not. Reminding him of how things are and explaining to him, that no, that isn’t is father, but yes, he does still love him destroyed me on the inside. Watching his shoulders sink and eyes droop with a sadness, hurt, and disappointment I haven’t seen in him before made my insides hurt and stomach turn.
I struggled in the first moments after they left with how to comfort or console my boy. I was afterall fighting my way through my own turmoil, trying to maintain my cool and act like this was totally normal. Trying to not let how much of a failure I feel as a parent, as a mother, as a woman, even be on display. But, after a few fumbling, awkward moments I reached out and just held him. Told him I loved him. Asked him how he felt. Listened to him try to express how he feels about something he’s still struggling to grasp mentally. Let him cry. And I cried silently with him, holding him tightly, reassuring him and even myself that this won’t be easy, but it will be ok, even if I don’t know how.
And he looked at me, smiled, wiped his eyes, and asked to play the Wii. Of course I let him!
In the moments after that, as I watched him play, I felt a nudge. It was God. Urging me to just let it go-the guilt, the shame, the feelings of anger and resentment toward myself and my ex, feeling like a failure-He urged me to just release it all and forgive myself. So I went to my room, put my face in a pillow and had an ugly cry. You know the kind where you’re face is all contorted, a thick sludge of salty snot is everywhere and your chest is sucking itself in like you’re dry heaving? Yea. The ugly cry aint pretty. But I had it.
And then I got up. Took a shower. Got dressed. Shook my untwisted fro out. Put on a geeky-chic shirt. Some mascara and lip gloss. Did some surfing in the Twittersphere. Slid on my shoes. Grabbed my keys. Took Brennan’s hand, and forgave myself. Told myself I’m doing beyond the best that I can with what I have, and then set out to take advantage of something we rarely have these days: time to ourselves. Just mommie and Brennan.
We nom-nommed on Chipotle, his favorite. He showed me how to get to another level on his Leapster Explorer. We argued in Wal-Mart. Our hearts ached when my ex sent us a pic of Alex. In the car we belted out the lyrics to a Fresh Beat Band song like we were on The Voice. He yelled at me for playing a Brooke Fraser song 8 times. He forgave me when we played another round of SuperHero Squad on the Wii and watched We’re Back and The Wiggles on dvd.
And now? He’s sticking his toes in my face to smell, because my taking a whiff and saying “ewwwwww stinky feet!” is something that he’s loved since he was 4 months old. Only problem is now he’s older so his feet really do stink, OMG. My boy is becoming, well, a boy.
So that was my Saturday. And me starting to tackle the long list of things I need to forgive myself for. Here’s to tackling more and learning to love myself through the process.
Is there something you should forgive yourself for but haven’t? What’s stopping you?