Monday, 30 May 2011

Forgiving my Ex

It was around my son's 2nd birthday that I decided I needed to forgive my ex.

It had been almost a year and half since he told me he wasn't in love with me and didn't want to be married. Then he kind of took it back and said he wasn't sure he wanted a divorce and needed time to figure it all out.

I, being the supportive wife and wanting to save my family, said of course.

That was followed by him moving out, individual counselling, couples counselling, a trip to Mexico and many nights of me alone taking care of our son, and him at the bar with his friends. This year of limbo and lies ended in him wanting a divorce afterall exactly one year later.

I've experienced every emotion possible, depending on the day. Over time though I did begin to see how one day I could maybe forgive him. Life without him may not be so unliveable. I would start to feel better and then BAM. I'd find out something else that would take me right back to wondering who the hell I had spent the last 8 years with and wanting to torch his motorcycle. Anger and hostitlity kept weighing me down.

Being angry in itself is exhausting. I knew I needed to let go. I finally realized that I was thinking I'd forgive him when I got the apology, explanation or closure that I felt I deserved. Well this just wasn't going to happen, at least not now. That was my first forgiveness AHA moment...

Forgiveness can't be dependent on another's actions. It needed to start with my own actions.

I started thinking about him and speaking to him differently. I started thinking of this as the start of a new kind of relationship with the father of my son. The weight was lifted and I felt better. We started talking more comfortably and even went out to dinner with our son; something that hadn't happened in months.

That has been this last month. But just days ago I found out he's still lying to me and the anger returned. My intial thought was I guess I haven't actually forgiven him and who he is afterall. And then I had my second AHA moment...

Forgiveness, is a process.

It's a continuous act and effort. Just as I wake up everyday and commit (or at least try) to being physically active, eating well, being present with my son, finishing that book that's been on my night stand for 6 months, I have to commit to forgiving my ex.

Monday, 16 May 2011

I don't look so good on paper

I've joked with friends for months now that on paper, I don't look so good.

Single Mom
Living in Parents' Basement

I should really get a business card made up.

But despite all this, my days are pretty good. I mean my actual waking, breathing moments of each day are not all that bad. I wake up in a warm bed, go and get my son and head to the kitchen where the coffee's already brewing. We chat with my mom, play and then carry on with our day, which always pauses at around noon for lunch and then a nap. This is of course the frantic 2 hours of: job searching, connecting with friends, laundry, meal prep, cleaning up, showering and so forth depending on the day. Upon his awakening there is more play, dinner, play, bath, stories and bed. At which time I retire with a glass of wine or cup of tea (once again depending on the day) to write, read or watch tv.
On some very rare nights, I even go out with friends.

I know it won't be forever that we live in my parents' house.I know it won't forever that I'm home with him. And I know it won't be forever that he'll yell my name everytime I enter the room, giving me slimy kisses and clobbering hugs.

So I may not look so good on paper, but life isn't too bad.

And as my dear friend Nicole said, "Who cares what you look like on paper. Paper's what we use to wipe our ass."

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Favorite moments with my son

I do admit that a day at the zoo with friends or a trip to the beach with family is fun, but often my favorite times with my son, are the spontaneous ones.

They often begin with my son uttering the word "bike" and simply patting his head wanting his helmet on. We leave the house without a diaper bag or destination. The cell phone has been forgotten on the kitchen table, along with soothers, sippy cups, a wallet and everything else I usually need to get passed the driveway or into the car. Sometimes we just cruise up and down the neighbourhood streets, feeling fancy free. Sometimes we hunt for diggers and all the new construction sites. Sometimes we ride by a lookout to say hello to the ferry boats or goodbye to the sun. Sometimes we end up at the park for underducks on the swing or at the beach throwing rocks.

There is zero cost, planning and worry.

It is in these moments that I am completely present and happy. So is he. These are my favorite times with my son.

My Mother's Day, which had it's rough spots, ended with one such little trip. And it was perfect.

Monday, 9 May 2011

On Mother's Day I Cried

I woke up happy to see my little man. He woke up happy too. So after a quick diaper change we headed downstairs for his milk. My mom had gotten a pot of mums and a card, from Mekhi. She is very thoughtful so I can't say I was surprised, but I so appreciated it. We then made a yummy breakfast, with the help of my little man, of coffee, pancakes, fruit salad and bacon. Shortly after that I had a shower and started to ball uncontrollably.

I cried because I love my son so much, but don't know what I'm going to do to provide for us.
I cried because I'm tired.
I cried because I can't find a job.
I cried because I'm living in my parents' basement.
I cried because I only have a car and some boxes in my old condo to show for my adult life so far.
I cried because I miss laying down next to someone at night.
I cried because I'm wondering if my ex will recognize the day, and acknowledge everything I do as the mother of our son.
I cried because I didn't think I'd be a single mom.
I cried because I've been trying to stay positive.
I cried because trying doesn't seem to be enough.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Taking the High Road Can Feel Like Climbing Mt. Everest

Over the last year there were times I wanted to act out my own scorn woman movie scene.

I thought about throwing his clothes over the porch to the garden below in the pouring rain.  I envisioned his precious motorcycle accidently tipping over in the garage or perhaps having the unfortuate meeting with a lit match. I imagined going down to his favorite pub late a night with baby on hip, to annouce how that 'great guy' had chosen them over us.

But I never did.

I didn't do any of the things I imagined. I bit my tongue, most of the time.  I kept my angry desires to hurt, embarrass and punish him just that, desires.

I wanted to keep my dignity. I wanted to be able to look back and not regret the desicions I made and actions I took. I wanted control over something. He may be ruining our family, but he wasn't going to ruin me.

I took the high road. It has been my Mt. Everest, the most challenging thing I've ever done.