What is it that you would have me “give up already?” My heartache? My authenticity? Does my sharing bother you? Is my voice annoying? This must all be REALLY hard for you… The way I “rehash” and work to make sense of my life, using a public platform; like social media.
“Ughhh! Here comes Molly’s mom getting all nostalgic and reflective, about that thing that happened two years ago… I wish I could just delete or ignore her!”
-Oh wait, you can!!!
Go ahead and confuse my process with attention seeking. The truth sits peacefully nestled in my ginormous heart; that I never wanted this spotlight. I never prayed for my ex’s mugshot to make it onto television. I never dreamed of being forced into sharing the abrupt disintegration of my engagement, with two hundred of our friends, but I kinda had to; before they read about it in the newspaper… Sure, I could have let things stop there. Maybe I could have found a different way to process? I could have turned down that interview with the local news station… I could have crawled under the covers, I could have made myself small, or moved, or hidden from what was happening… Maybe handling my thoughts and feelings differently, would be easier for you; “Me.”
That’s not my path though. This is.
Contrary to what you seem to think, this isn’t a pitty party. Ignore the love ballads playing in the background, because this ain’t no sad song! I just really love myself some Whitney Huston and Celine Dion…
The truth is, that I am in fact (like many others), living proof that we can’t control our circumstances. We don’t get to decide how people treat us; people like my ex or people like you… BUT we are very much in charge of what comes after!
I’m not sure who you are, because you have uncourageously chosen to hide behind a keyboard; but that’s ok because your alias is rather appropriate. As I shared after reading your comment, your thoughts were some of my own. I woke up Monday morning deeply embarrassed. Ashamed that on the second anniversary, of what I thought was going to be my wedding anniversary, I still felt things…
That I still felt anything, about this whole mess that I’ve endured… It literally made me nauseous. I rolled my eyes at my feelings, and I wondered, “why couldn’t I just forget what I had thought today was going to be for me?” Why is this date, like that of his arrest, like Father’s Day, so freaking heavy!?! My thoughts yelled at me… I verbally bashed myself with a nasty internal dialogue, because I wasn’t supposed to feel what I was feeling, right!? Like you, I had so much more compassion for myself last year around this time too, because it was the first. You’re allowed to feel however you want/need to feel on a day like that. This year though. No.
No. You aren’t supposed to feel worse the second year, and if you do you’re certainly not supposed to talk about it. You aren’t supposed to reflect, think about, or make mention of it…. You have one year. A whole year to get over whatever it is that haunts you. That death. That loss. The fact that the father of your child is a sex offender. The fact that you chose wrong. Whatever it is for you. You have one year to be authentic and real; to be seen and heard.
What a joke!!!!
Before you go getting all narcissistic on me, let me be clear. This message isn’t just for you; the mysterious bully behind the keyboard. I’m not praying my ex sees this, but I also don’t really care if he does… “Give it up already. Move on for cripes sakes!” Now that we have that out of the way… This message is for the“Me’s” and the you’s, of the world at large.
Being a single parent is hard. Heck being a human is hard. Having a baby daddy that you’re looking to renew a PFA order on, is messy. Navigating new terrain is challenging. It can feel lonely. I don’t have to explain myself, but I dig transparency. We all have our own individual grief and struggles, and their validity is not contingent upon comparison of those that our friends, or neighbors have. Feelings aren’t right or wrong, they are just feelings.
My writing and sharing details the hardships that I’ve navigated, but that’s not the real “story…” The real story is still unfolding… It is written within the horizon of the sky, each morning, as I too, like the sun, choose to rise. This is why I’ve received countless inbox messages, emails, texts, and calls, littered with stories that would make you cry yourself to sleep at night…. because I am giving a voice to what others feel too. We are all more alike than we seem to understand.
I am a woman. I am a social worker. I am a daughter. I am a sister. I am an aunt. I am an advocate. I am a mother. For all of these reasons, I won’t be quiet. I am leading by example, and not speaking my truth feels too dishonest. Instead I will use my voice, every chance I get. I will choose over and over again to walk this path. To walk it with the truth and integrity that hasn’t been bestowed upon me, in the past. What breaks you is also what blesses you. It is in being handed the gift of darkness that I have found the light.
What really fired me up about “Me’s” comment is that some people aren’t as bold and brave, as I am consciously choosing to be. If that comment had landed on someone else’s blog, they may have listened. There is a version of me, from years ago, that would have listened. I would have been mortified and my shame would have metastasized.
This is for those of you that are like the woman I once was. This is for my baby, and all the little girls/ boys that are working so hard, to bravely find their voices in this world… If it helps you to share, then share. If it hurts, let it hurt. If today is hard for you, give yourself the permission to say it out loud. It doesn’t mean that you are living in the past. It doesn’t mean you have a single story. It doesn’t mean that you aren’t “moving on.”
No one gets to tell you how to show up. No one gets to tell you when to be quiet, or to sit down. No one gets to put you in the corner, or silence your story. No one gets to make you feel small or diminish your feelings. No one gets to do any of that, without your consent.
People will try. They will cut you open with their small minds and their sharp words. They will strike when you are grieving, vulnerable, and broken open, but you are in charge.
There are going to be days that you don’t feel like showing up. Days when you want to stay in bed, or go back to sleep. Days that remind you of how unfair life is. Even when you know someone has it worse… Even when you remember how blessed you are. All of this can, and will coexist. It’s a guarantee that bad days will come… Days that you’ll want to salute with a firm middle finger. Days when you’ll want to come completely unglued. When you’ll want to scream, cry, kick, hit; just break stuff! Yup. These days are gonna happen.
And you know what else? It doesn’t make you lame, or weak, or some bottom-feeding, scum sucking algae eater, to notice, surrender to, or even hang out with those feelings; on those given days. It doesn’t mean that you haven’t moved forward. It doesn’t mean that you are living in the past, if you choose to admit this to yourself, or even the entire world!
Go ahead. Get pissed off. Question your worthiness. Feel bad for yourself. Be the worst version of you. BUTTTT girl. Boy. Whoever you are… Give yourself a time limit. Take what you need. Within reason, because you got a world to run. Set your alarm, if you have to.
Take that time, but then you better get up!!! You better wash your booty, brush your teeth, throw your hair in a bun, and keep on going; because you have a life to live! Blast that music, look at that picture of your baby girl, remember what/who you’re doing it for. Look at all of the “real,” messy, and authentic “beauty” that surrounds you. You have a purpose that’s so much bigger than any of your bad days! You are a warrior. Beat your drum. Summon your strength. Rise!