Where do I go from here? Whats next? How do I grieve the love lost? What am I feeling? Why has this happened to me? How in the hell did I get here?
Seven months pregnant, one three and a half year old, a two and a half year old, and the loss of a life expected. I thought I’d be with my children’s father for a life time. Little did I know that the signs of a doomed relationship were there on the first date, and would only continue to glow brightly as the years went by. Five years to be exact!
Red flags were looming in the crevices of the little things being said on date one and two, and through a past which was laid out on the table before me with ease. I should have left than and there. However, empaths tend to let the big things slide easily, forgive continuously, and give the benefit of the doubt to those who don’t deserve it.
It was learned behaviour. I watched my parents give one another way too many chances, forgive things which should not under any circumstances be forgiven, and continue to be kind to people who really weren’t worth their time.
At the end of the day, I accept full responsibility for my choices. I ended up alone with three children because I built my relationship on the sand. There was no secure foundation to begin with. I chose to put my faith in someone who would ultimately let me down, and leave me terribly wounded, and sad. One more painful wound would now sit on top of all the others, sting my inner being, and eat at me for what would feel like an eternity.
On day one of being a single mother, I sat in a room with my two little ones and a big pregnant belly knowing that I would have to bring these children up all on my own. I sat in that room in a complete state of shock, too devastated to cry!
Instead, the next two years would be fraught with anxiety, self-doubt and chronic second guessing. My mind had become my own inner prison. Terrible bouts of loneliness and sadness loomed, especially in the darkness where I faced the night all alone, in-between breast-feeding a new-born, and putting little toddlers to bed, who were refusing to sleep. The night-time was the loneliest part of the day. For me, the night felt like death.
This was the first time that I had ever been alone, without adult company. I have to tell you, I went on the journey of a lifetime. I didn’t just grieve a relationship. All of a sudden, past grievances, old wounds and regrets started to be remembered, and would finally be dealt with after years of running away. It was horrific.
Sometimes I thought I would die if I had to feel another feeling, or face another regret. Everything I’d been running from before I had children came flooding back to me like a tsunami.
During the nights I would browse the internet, and go to sleep in a world of shock. I often felt sick to my stomach, and deeply depressed as I lay in bed and realised that I was all alone, running a ship with three crew members under the age of four.
The crew cried about everything. They lost it when their sandwiches were cut into triangles instead of squares, threw their dinner at the wall if the plate wasn’t the right colour, and had major melt downs over very small concerns, like being handed the pink top with the bow on it, instead of the purple top.
To top it off, my dad had died at the young age of fifty four, one month before I would become a single mother. I had itchy feet. I felt like I had ants in my pants, was exceptionally jumpy, and I cried a lot. I also spent a lot of time wanting to scream at the top of my lungs in the wilderness. I felt bitter, and really angry. My dad (the only family member that I had ever truly loved and adored before I had children) was dead, my relationship had fallen to pieces, and I had failed my children.
We were now a single parent family because of me. I was absolutely terrible at choosing quality men. I became especially angry when I suddenly made the deep realisation that I had been the creator of my misery.
I had chosen men based on the negative view I had of myself, which originally surfaced from an extremely dysfunctional, difficult upbringing. I didn’t feel loved as a child. My parents were hot and cold, love was provided conditionally, and I was an extension of my mother, not a separate entity. Unknown to myself at the time, I was actually in search of man who would mirror my upbringing.
When kind men surrounded me, I felt too uncomfortable in their presence. However, I felt extremely comfortable around men who couldn’t, and who would never be able to love me. I was here in this situation right now because of myself. The reality was heartbreaking!
Through a chain of events beginning with unnecessary self-doubt and a potato sack full of baggage, my children now live in a single parent family. I’ve grieved it, accepted and embraced it.
Day one of single mother hood was horrible. The lights went out for a very long time, and I felt like I was suffocating. However, in time, I found myself, on my own, out in an emotional wilderness, and I grieved everything that had been holding me back for years.
Before I had children I was a flight type personality, always running from myself in one way or another. It was because of my children that I had no choice but to stop, to sit down, and to find myself, the person who had been so lost for so many years. Eventually, I found myself hiding underneath an insurmountable amount of inner pain.
No! We’re not the perfect family. We don’t have a wonderful husband, or father figure. Honestly, the grass is always greener! Marriage comes with its own set of issues, disappointments and trivialities. We get by, and we love each other. I have the best kids in the world. Thats enough!
At 7am on the rainy Saturday morning just gone, I suddenly felt a rather soft…