I don’t think I ever fully grasped the saying “its a fine line between love and hate” until now.
Yesterday as I stood in my half renovated kitchen angry at the entire situation I find myself in. Angry at the man who put me here and angry at the world that just moves on even with my heart still shattered into a million pieces, it dawned on me how a person can do both. I do. I hate this man and yet I still love him.
I stood there washing the dishes that had piled up while I worked because every adult in my house works and its just two teens who have had to take on more than any teens should be forced to. I saw clearly how much I hate this man because his selfish choices are hurting me and my kids. How much I hate who he has become and I hate how much he hurts our kids. I despise this person. This person doesn’t deserve my awesome kids, the ones I am raising alone now. The ones who step up in a million tiny ways. The ones who see me come home at night and know how exhausted I am. The kids who see the tears I can’t hold back or hide. So as I stood there washing dishes preparing to finish the renovations on this kitchen so that we can have some semblance of normal in an otherwise insane world I sobbed. Washing dishes, being in the kitchen used to be my favorite thing. It was the place I showed my family my love in all the home cooked meals, in all the moments spent together laughing and cooking. It was the heart of our family, he would come in and wrap his arms around me while I cooked or washed dishes kissing the back of my neck and telling me how much he appreciated me. That was before. Before he walked out. Before he stopped caring. Now I am left to pick up the pieces and he just ignores us as if the last 25 years meant nothing. As if all those promises didn’t matter.
So I angry cried. The injustice of everything happening has me seeing just how easy it is to hate this man for doing all this to our family.
It is easy to hate in these instances and harder to find the ways to be the loving kind and compassionate person I strive to be. It is hard to admit that I also still love this man. He is the father of my kids and the man I promised to love forever. His choices cut my soul and his lies and the lies of his new girlfriend rip my battered and bruised heart even more. I however can not deny that I still love him, thus causing the paradox of love and hate in my heart. Hate is an ugly thing, it festers like a tiny sliver just under the skin. left untreated it will cause infection that will ruin your soul. Hate can be a good driving force to get things done, but using it in such a way only feeds it instead of diminishing it. Hating him only causes me more pain, and yet I still can’t get it out of my heart.
So I went to bed praying for my husband, Because we are still married, albeit seperated and on our way to divorce, I suppose since he wont talk to me. I prayed for him to see the truth of his actions. I prayed for him to find himself (the true self that he has always been) and I prayed for him to find forgiveness for himself. I quit praying for him to come back to me because the truth is each day he chooses anyone else over his wife and kids is another day he chooses to hurt us and I just don’t see any way back from that. But I do hope that one day, sooner rather than later, he gets real professional help and can start to make amends for the sake of our kids. That one day He will choose to see all the hurt he caused and he will choose to start to make it right.
As for me, I am still angry today. angry that he has this much control over me, angry that I am still so hurt by all of this. Angry that I am in this situation. Angry that I can’t just walk away from all we had planned together too. Angry that I allowed myself to be financially dependant on a man who promised to love me and take care of me forever. I chose to stay home and raise our kids, but he also chose for me to do so and then he walked out knowing that I would have no way to support myself or our kids. I am working hard to change that, but entry level jobs don’t pay much and teens still need me. I am still homeschooling which means that in my “spare” time I am working on all the other things that take priority. It’s like doing the job of a handful of people only I am one person.
Now I understand fully how you can love and hate a person. I try to focus on the love but everything is a balance. I can’t ignore the hate either. I just hope I can learn to not allow it to consume me, festering with infection.
Recently my daughter felt the need to take to social media and put it out there just how bad she feels about her father’s choices and how it makes her feel unimportant. How heartbreaking it’s been for her and her younger brother.
This is something I struggle with because I see the pain it’s caused them every single day. I watch the little ways that they both have changed. They are less trusting, less carefree. They both see how hard I’m trying and they both are stepping up in ways that makes me feel both proud and a little guilty because they shouldn’t have to. It was our job as parents to protect them from this and his choice to walk away wasn’t just from me, he walked away from them too. All the things that they expected him to be there for; birthdays, holidays, driving, graduating, celebrations, weddings. The list goes on and on.
I know for myself I never imagined doing any of the things I’m doing alone now. So I can understand their anger and hurt. My goal is to try and get them through the hurt and anger without belittling their feelings.
They are not children, they are teens. They understand far more than most people realize. The hardest thing I’ve had to do is listen to their anger and not feed it. The truth is they feel angry about all the same things I do. So not feeding the anger but rather trying to explain that they have a right to their feelings, but let’s try to find some compassion. Trying to encourage them to respond if he decides to reach out is hard. They feel like it’s never enough and the truth is it’s not. But if it’s all he can do then it’s something. I ponder if that’s even my job, helping them hold compassion for a man who walked away and moved on with his life like none of us mattered? All I can think is that eventually they may wish they had any relationship with him and if I don’t foster some compassion for him then will they ever accept what he can offer?
I don’t know if I’m doing it right but I’m doing this dance to the best of my ability. I’m trying to help them heal the hurt and anger while trying to heal my own hurt and anger. I am trying to make sure I do not put to much on them, but I also can’t do everything either. It’s a balancing act that some days I feel I fail at miserably and then other times I think I’m doing it pretty well.
I’m proud of my kids for speaking up and owning their hurts and pain. I am also incredibly sad that they have to. This isn’t always the man their dad was, this was exactly the kind of man he despised. How does a person become the type of person they once despised? That I don’t have the answer to.
I am a single mom now and that role is exhausting. I get tired of being told that I’m going to be ok. Nothing about this is ok. It’s just the only option I have and I’m determined to do the best I can at it. I won’t ever feel good about being forced into this situation but I’m glad that my kids know how much I love them and how hard I’m trying to take care of them. I’m proud of the fact that they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I will always take care of them. I will fight for them and fight the world if I have to on their behalf.
Self care is so hard when you are in the moment of grief. Today I have felt overwhelmed with sadness because in 4 short years my life went from this happy moment of getting the keys for our first home to being in the middle of a divorce I never dreamed would happen.
This moment always a top 10 happy moment in my life. Topped only by falling in love, getting married and having our children.
I spent the entire day today fighting back tears, unable to contain them even in public they randomly would fall. I still love this man who promised to love me forever and while we had problems and his mental health issues, I still miss those happy moments. They may have become fewer and further apart than when we got married but that happens when you are raising kids and life gets hectic.
I decided I needed to do some self care. I couldn’t stay stuck in this pain. The sadness. The grief. Only I can heal me and I opted to practice some self care in the form of moving my body. I touched on this in my article in the free e-zine Our soul Oasis.
So my self care was to head to the gym. Only to discover the gym was closed because some group rented out my gym for two days! Who does that? That could have been the end of it. But I really needed to feel something physical. So I came home and tackled an hour long work out minus weights,just using resistance bands.
For the first time today I don’t feel like weeping. I absolutely cried while working out. I put music on cried and kept pushing. Sobbing and working out is an interesting experience, releasing bullshit from emotional build up as well as endorphins from the exercise is an astonishing healing practice. Who cares if you have to stop and blow your nose because the tears make it run?
There is something empowering in allowing yourself to cry and keep pushing through to work muscles.
Don’t be afraid to cry, and keep going forward.