My 2 year vacation, part 7

…or perseverance or courage…

They say when you can tell your story without crying that you’ve healed.  I wonder about that.  When I think about how I broke my two sons hearts, I honestly don’t know how I’ll ever share that with anyone without tears flowing.  You know, the kind that you can feel from the pit of your stomach.  So I have to wonder if that means healing will never happen (?).

~~~

As I stumbled through the next year of life, zombie like, I had no epiphanies, no ideas, no insight, no living.  I did what was expected and didn’t cause waves.  That is until the day I told my “husband” I was moving back to my sons.  Ahh the stories I could tell, but I suppose since it involves him, I could get my seat in a sling so I’ll let this one word suffice “Drama”.  Drama for another year while we tried a long distance relationship which was never going to work.  Why we both took turns “clinging” to something that was already gone makes no sense.  (Well, that is unless you understand about codependency.  If you do, umm, I’m sorry(?) and the good news is no one has to stay that way.  Insert wink emoji!)

~~~

By the way, did anyone notice already gone?  If you did, do you know why that’s a big deal?  If I had any idea how, I’d have a contest and see who knows the reason.  Insert fun emoji here.  hahaha

~~~

“Drama”.  There you have it, one word, but it says volumes.  Truth be told, I didn’t really love him, he didn’t really love me.  He was a place to go when the rest of the world turned their back on me.  I was a additional source of income for the never ending bike “ride”.  Since I’m writing this and it’s my story, I’ll take the burden of guilt on me.  Then lay it at the foot of Jesus cross where He took every last rotten thing I’ve ever done or will do and died for me.  Grace.  Amazing Grace.

 

As this 2 year vacation winds down, it’s fairly important to point some things out or maybe set them straight.

First, moving back to a place where I was the subject of tabloid fodder and gossip was not easy.  I wish I could say I stood tall and walked straight.  Not really.  I had to see people regularly who knew me, knew my history and had on many occasions added wonderful speculative details to the story.  That’s always fun right?  I stood up enough to get a place to live and enough furniture so my sons could live with me if they chose to and be relatively comfortable.

Second, while religion was NOT a part of my life, I did believe in God, His Son, and the Spirit.  So I tried going to church intermittently at several different churches.  The denomination didn’t matter to me then, and it still doesn’t now.  In doing this, it built something, I don’t know if it was character, or perseverance or courage to walk into places where there were always people who knew me, I knew them and to see the “looks”… in church.  Gives you one heck of a warm fuzzy eh?  After a couple of years of this, I settled on house church.  Meaning, I got up Sunday mornings and worshipped with Lakewood Church via the internet to help me remember God did love me, and He wasn’t waiting to pounce on me with a lightening bolt.

Third, my moving back after 2 years did not mean everything was all peachy and perfect with my sons.  Not by any stretch.  My youngest moved in with me within a month of my return, and my oldest came over and ate with me once per week.  The journey with them since has not been a straight line of everyone sharing, healing, and now all is better.

No.  Not at all.

The healing with my sons continues: at their pace.

Current day, as in today:  my oldest spent the weekend here and this a.m. before he went out the door to work, he stopped, let me hug him, hugged me back and we both said I love you.  My youngest stopped by a couple of hours ago, and we visited about various topics for about 30 – 45 minutes.  Before he went out the door, he stopped, let me hug him, hugged me back and we both said I love you.  For those hugs and the words I love you shared with my sons, I praise my Heavenly Father and to Him be the glory!!  Hallelujah!!

~~~

I’ve been back home now for 10 1/2 years.  I wondered as I came to the close of this 2 year vacation which direction in this twisting turning journey of becoming authentic I would go next.  It turns out, I had quite a spiritual awakening in that directly affects authenticity just last week.  As a matter of fact, it may be one of the most significant in my life to date.

So I believe I’ll believe.  I’ll believe God can do anything and His timing, is always perfect.

My 2 year vacation, part 6

…my rapid descent…

The only person you can’t lie to is yourself.  It’s way too easy to lie to everyone else.

~~~

I found myself living in my home town “happily” married to a man whose primary purpose in life was to plan the next “ride”.  That’s it.  That’s all.  Every week, along about Wednesday, he would start talking about the ride this weekend and where did I want to go.  At first this was fun, and gave me a much needed vacation.

(Side note right here:  moms need a vacation by themselves period.  They’ll say, oh no, I’m fine, blah blah blah.  Bullshit.  They need time to remember who they are.  Not a wife, a mom, a PTA president, etc., but who they are at their core. I could go on and on here, but I’ll let those who can hear me embrace this knowledge.)

I say at first this was fun, because 6 weeks later, reality started setting in and the weight of missing my sons hit.  I missed them every day but this night, after a phone call with them, I crumpled to the floor.  I was literally on the floor sobbing, with the weight of the grief crushing me.  My husbands response….crickets.  Yup, you read it right, he sat on the couch watching television.  He wasn’t mean.  He was apathetic: as if nothing was wrong.

My youngest came for Thanksgiving, and to say I was happy is a huge understatement.  I was so grateful to see him and have time with him.  My oldest was used to Thanksgiving at his paternal grandmothers but he did come with their dad for the exchange (we both drove a few hours both ways) so I at least got to hug him and see his face.   It wrenched my heart.

A couple of weeks later, on a Monday, I went to pick up my husband from work (he lived for the ride, it was winter and I had a vehicle).  On the way home, I was telling him about the day and that it was my youngest sons 5th grade Christmas program and how important that was.  As I was telling him, the tears began to flow, as my heart continued breaking, and the words stopped.  (Enduring pain like this does not lend itself to speaking, it’s pain that only the unseen realm understands.)  He drove us to our Monday night restaurant, a favorite so we had something to look forward to on Mondays.

At the restaurant, I started with a Tequila Sunrise, and 3 liters of Margaritas later, drank mostly by me, I stumbled out the door with him helping me walk.  I went to bed and the next a.m., the pain was not gone, and I didn’t feel good but off to work I went.  I felt stuck.  I had made this choice, and now here I am away from my sons and there’s nothing I could do about it.  So began my rapid descent into a bottle of tequila.

In the Spring, my youngest came for his break and we had a great time!  We enjoyed a couple of days out of town to go skiing and snowboarding.  I loved spending time with him…. his loyalty in the face of his own heart break is beyond words.  My oldest was busy with baseball practice and couldn’t come for his break.  His heart was broken, and seeing me only intensified his pain, his survival meant all but shutting me out.  He did make the exchange trip and I was so very grateful to see his precious face and hug him.

My God, when I think about how many times we did the exchange and how I would just sob on the way back, I wonder what the hell I was thinking.

Oh yeah, I was stuck.

~~~

Summer, I’ve been away 8 months and it’s a family birthday party.  It was a great party, and my friend tequila was there, and this night it was tequila shots.  1, 2, (felt nothing), 3, 4… nothing, a double for 5 & 6, another double for 7 & 8, still nothing.  I’m going to stop right here and tell you that scared the hell out of me!  8 shots of tequila, and I did not have the slightest buzz.  Others were drunk off their butts: me, nothing.  My husband was really drunk and on hard liquor he was different.  He stuck to beer most of the time, but that night the tequila was flowing.

At about 3 a.m. the party was over, the people were gone, he got upset at me for something.  So I got out of bed and went outside with my mom who was still up.  He followed me yelling and cussing at me, and came at me like he was going to hit me.  He was also yelling and cussing at my mom.  I called the police, who came and tried to calm him and told him to go to bed.  He finally agreed and went in the house.  They told me to call them back if I needed to.  Right after they left, he was back out yelling and cussing and coming at me again.  I had my phone and out of his sight, called them but didn’t say anything.  Within minutes they were there and hauled him off to sleep it off in the drunk tank.

While he never hit me, it sent me reeling back to my childhood.  I had vowed I would never be in a marriage like my parents and I had not seen this coming, at all.  He had never come across as someone who would hit anyone.  I got to experience first hand what it feels like when someone takes anger at themselves out on someone else.  I had not done or said anything.  (I think you know by now if I had, I’d tell you.)

That was the day my 2nd marriage ended.  The divorce wouldn’t happen for another 17 months, I was stuck remember?

While I knew the marriage was over, I was an academy award winning actress, so he didn’t know a thing.  I was stuck and I didn’t know what to do but act ok and “happy”.  After all hadn’t I got plenty of practice at that from birth to 18?

Of all this experience, the most bizarre was the mornings.  Often, I would wake up and not know where I was for the first few seconds.  It was surreal.

The pain in my wrenched heart was increasing daily, to the point of a crescendo.  (Or, is it rock bottom?)  On a weekend in August, sitting on the back of his bike on this weekends ride, I began to pray.  I prayed one line over and over and over (did I say over and over?) and over again:  “God, thank you that I live in the same town with my 2 sons.”

I had written God off a few years prior mainly because I figured He wrote me off.  You know, I was divorced among a myriad of other “bad” things.

I was in the depth of the pit of hell and had lost everything.  My life was utterly and completely worthless, I was desperate and had nothing to lose.  So in spite of my writing God off, I clung to my one line prayer like a drowning person would cling to a life preserver.  It was the only thing I had left and I held on for dear life.

~~~

I realized later that God had not once left me, and He only waited for me to turn to Him.  God is good, and He is good all the time.

 

Truth

 

Let it burn

…endure the flames…

Once again I find myself rising from the ashes of being burned to the ground.  This time there were many days when I wondered if there would be any ash left because the fire has burned hot, and for a long time.

But as is always true for a phoenix, the day comes when the fire subsides, the embers glow, and peace slowly returns.

There will be times when I get it all wrong, and the only way is to burn down, and start again.

In the past, I’ve always hoped that these firestorms would mean that I would finally arrive in life:  that all lessons have been learned and it’s time to enjoy.  However, what I’ve come to realize this time, it’s part of my life.  I can fight against it the entire time, or I can surrender and actually enjoy the process.

This time, I embraced it.  Instead of looking at this as a battle, I see now it’s pure victory.  There are very few willing to endure the flames for a more beautiful and deeper understanding of life and journey into the future.  I’ve been given a gift that’s taken me over 5 decades to understand. Now it’s time to share and show the way for the new phoenix, the ones that still find the fire so painful and all but give up.

I’m here to say, breathe.  Breathe in the flames, let them engulf you and purify your very being.  When they subside and they always do, you’ll stand more beautiful than you ever thought possible, and you’ll have more clarity than you know what to do with… at first.

One day at a time, one step at a time, one breath at a time, your path will be shown you.  Patience beautiful young phoenix, embrace the process, embrace yourself.  You are loved.

Image result for phoenix

Bury the Hatchet or it’s going to rust.

via Daily Prompt: Bury

Sometimes when we’ve got our hatchet out, the reasons are legit and we need it.  We’ve got work to do, and the hatchet is the only way to get the job done.  When the job is done and we don’t need that hatchet any longer, sometimes we hold on to it just in case.  The problem is we get used to the hatchet and it becomes comfortable to carry it around.  So we carry it around…. everywhere.  After a while it starts feeling heavy and it’s tiresome, but now it’s become such a comfort how could we ever let it go?

Then one day, quite by accident we leave it in a coffee shop and go about our day.  On our way home we realize the hatchet is missing.  WHAT?!  How did this happen?  We race back to the coffee shop to grab that hatchet so fast our head spins.  NO one else can have that hatchet, it belongs to us.  As we pick it up, we realize this blasted hatchet really is heavy, but we persevere and take it back home with us.  It’s ours after all.

We get up the next morning and realize what a splendid day we had yesterday.  It really was nice to get some shopping done, eat lunch with friends, and simply enjoy the day without the hatchet.  We know that the work was done a very long time ago, and the hatchet served it’s purpose.  As we look at our hatchet, we realize what must be done.  We open our back door, dig a 6 foot deep hole and drop our hatchet into that hole.  We cover it with dirt and go about our day feeling lighter and happier.  That night as we lay our head down to sleep, we feel peaceful and we are glad that hatchet is gone.