Even though you are looking at the title of this post, I am sitting here tonight really unsure of what I want it to be. That is very rare as my posts are created from the topic. I’m trying to determine if I made a step forward tonight or if I merely reminded myself of a past hurt. Let me set the scene for you and then maybe a title will pop into my head.
After working a long day and feeling very tired I ventured out to a high school sporting event with my hair in a messy pony, wearing mom jeans, and tennis shoes. I really didn’t feel I had anyone to impress so primping before an 8 pm game on a Wednesday night would’ve been just more work for me at this point.
We all know that every divorced relationship is different, some people come out of it still friends, others are OK with saying hello and goodbye and the rest have no communication at all. Mine for the most part has been the latter. Until tonight. Shortly after arriving I found myself in a very civil conversation with he, she and my son. I do believe that this is the very first time I have spoken to him with my kids around since the divorce happened. At the time I was not really aware of my emotional state. I can tell you that I was not shaking; my voice did not seem to be trembling; and I don’t think I broke out in hives, which is a normal stress response for me. The conversation lasted about 15 minutes and actually it felt a lot shorter to me, but maybe that is because I was in such a shock that it was actually happening.
There was laughing; no dirty looks; and I even made eye contact. When our little chat ended, I headed off to my seat in a daze. It took me a minute to let it all soak in and that’s when the flood gates opened. I sat there in awe that I was able to converse with him and really have a conversation. At no time during the talking did I think in my head that I needed to get out of there, which is something I would’ve done in the past.
My initial reaction was that I had just climbed a very big mountain and I didn’t fall off. After checking myself for hives I felt proud, but then I remembered I looked like crap! Had I known that was going to take place I may have brushed my hair or at least put on non-mom jeans.
Once I realized that I had survived that moment the tears were almost uncontrollable and that’s when the hurt wanted to creep back in. My brain wanted to recall painful memories and it was all I could do to not let myself go there. That’s when I started to become confused. and had to ask myself was this was a good thing or a bad thing. Yes I made a very good accomplishment tonight, but is it always going to bring up those memories?
I felt like a fool crying and I hoped that they did not see that happening. I know circumstances like this will come up again and again, there is no avoiding them. Learning how to cope and trying not to let those flashes of the past interfere with my proud moments will be the challenge.
As of now I’m glad it happened, I know that I am getting stronger that is for sure! And HEY!!! Look up one line there is my title!↑
Maybe, just maybe I took a step tonight towards my first flight from the chrysalis.
Do you have a similar story? Or comment? Please share
7 thoughts on “Proud Moments”
Great Post Kimberly!
I don’t know if/when our encounters with our former spouses will become easier/less emotional for us but I am confident they will someday.
I don’t know about you – but I put a lot of pressure on myself to STOP thinking about the past. I think that only makes me think about it more. Certain months are worse than other months and any encounter – personal or via email or any other way brings back memories. Some good – some bad.
I know I am healing because the memories are much less frequent. Even the thoughts of wanting him to hurt like he hurt me are less frequent. I think stopping chastising myself each time I had memories or bad thoughts has helped. Understanding that #1 – we spent over 40 years together almost 3/4 of my life – so of course I am going to have memories. And #2 it is only human to occasionally be vindictive. Controlling how vindictive you are ie: not acting out your vindictive thoughts is what sets us apart from those who do not have control or God in their lives.
I realize I am NOT God! I am very far from perfect and will never attain the goal of perfection but trying to be the BEST human being I can be is good enough for God – so it should be good enough for me.
Mind you – I say this now as I’m in a fairly good place. Tomorrow I may again be in the depths – but today I can see the light.
Blessings and thanks for sharing!
Great achievement! I am SO proud of you. You have come a long way and you are truly that butterfly flying to a better way of life. Congratulations.
Thank you both for your kind comments. This indeed was an important step for me and hey it only took 4 years! LOL
Blessings to both of you.
I need to confess something here.
Something that I was so very proud of myself for – has now turned into something I am so very angry with myself about.
When my former spouse told me of his infidelity and wanting out of our marriage. I encouraged my children and him to stay close. Telling them “he will always be your father” and ” they will always be your children.”
For some reason – this year has been exceptionally difficult for me in regard to the jealousy I feel when they spent time together. The weekend before Christmas – my Daughter and her family spent 4 days at his place with him and her. That was difficult – and I found myself really resenting the time she was spending with them.
However – the most difficult part has been Christmas eve – Christmas day and the day after. I have found myself comparing the amount of time she and her family have spent with me – and resenting whenever I didn’t feel they wanted to spend time with me.
I found myself angry on Christmas eve – when I asked to come to their place 30 min before we were to leave to go to his family Christmas – and was told it wasn’t convenient.
I started comparing all that I do to help them out and saying to myself. Oh you can spend 4 days with your dad but an extra half hour with me is just too much – unless I’m doing something for you.
I have never before thought I deserved something because of what I did for someone.
I was shocked and ashamed that I had these thoughts and have been depressed ever since having them.
Yesterday – I finally realized it was because I am jealous of the time she and my son spend with him.
I had to admit that even though I expect they will spend time with him. I really want them to “blame” him for what he did and to not want to spend time with him.
I wish I knew how to stop feeling this way!
Any insight on your part as to how I can get past these feelings – or deal with them better – would be greatly appreciated.
Phyllis, I”m also going to admit something, this is a tough one! As mother’s of course we will always want our kids to be happy and you and I both know that having their dad present and active in their lives will be a big part of keeping their relationship with him a happy one. You are correct in saying that it is extremely hard to keep the bitterness, resentment, and negative feelings out of the equation for you when it comes to the time they spend with him.
I don’t know your background with you and your parents, but this is what worked for me when I was having the same difficulties. I took sometime to put myself in their shoes. I thought about what it would be like if my parents had split and were fighting over their time with me. I thought about how much I loved both of my parents and how I would never want either of them to think I wanted to spend more time with the other. I focused on my love for them and how much I would still need them both in my life especially at the holidays. Next, I put myself in their places when having to make the decisions about who I was going to see first, how long I would stay at each place and that was very scary for me. I think at any age, those decisions for our children are difficult even if it doesn’t look that way.
I know you are aware just how much your children love you, you have to remember that they love their dad just as much no matter what he did. As you said, he is their father and always will be, just as our fathers will always be ours.
If you can, put yourself in those thoughts just briefly, it was the best thing I could have done. Our holidays now are not stressful we have a schedule only on Christmas but the rest of the holidays I have an open door policy, kind of like an open house. They know the invitation is there and can come over at any time, but the pressure to make those decisions is gone.
I hope that helps my dear!
Thank you for your comment and sharing how you have dealt with your feelings.
Intellectually – I know you are right and I try to remind myself each time that it is important that they remain in each others life. I also realize that part of why I get so upset is because of the duration of time they spend together. Because he is not close by – 5 1/2 hrs away – when they do spend time together it is for days at a time – not a few hours. Intellectually I know that this amount of time does not equal the amount I get to spend with them over months when he is not around or they are not visiting him – but I think perhaps this adds to the amount of jealousy I feel.
I think God has been “yelling at me” again. I believe He does this at times when I NEED to be yelled at.
This morning shortly after awakening – the thought kept going through my head. You have so very many blessings! Why are you upset about such a minor thing in your life? Don’t you realize how very blessed you are?
These thoughts came out of nowhere! When I have these thoughts I believe they are God’s words to me.
I know I will probably continue to have feelings of jealousy and bitterness – but I hope that I can now pray on these thoughts and feelings instead of letting them take hold of my life. I can realize that I don’t do things for others to be recognized for what I do – but because I find doing for others fulfilling – a part of me that I do not want to part with – a part of me that is good and that the reward I get from doing is the joy I see in their faces.
Thanks for your understanding and not making me feel like I “need to get over it” – which is what happens so often if I share my feelings with others. Even though we have never met – you are a true FRIEND!
Phyllis, I don’t think God is yelling at you, he is more likely giving you “Gentle Reminders”. Either way I am very proud of you for realizing all that you are.