I was reading thru blog posts this morning. One in particular has redirected my thoughts, or added another stream of reflection. Probably the later, as I seem to have multiple thought processes at the same time. The analogy I envision is that I’m following multiple movies at the same time, and then someone changes the channel… All in HD!
I shared a few days ago that it was the 8th anniversary of my mother dying. She died too young, just shy of 60. She and I had a complicated history and most of it I’ve dealt with thru counselling. Since the discovery of my husband’s affair, old wounds have reopened. Or maybe they are new, in the light of his betrayal. I’ve wished that my mom was around these past weeks since my “aAH (after affair hell) started. My landslide. But the reality is, she wouldn’t have been here for me if she was alive.
She had multiple affairs and what’s a compulsive liar. To the best of my understanding and memories, my mother first cheated on my father when I was a toddler. My first memory of her infidelity, Is when I was about five. She left my dad, me and 3 yo brother and went to live with the other man. She got pregnant, ended up recommitting with my dad and put the baby up for adoption. I remember several times thru the next 5-6 years where my mother was gone for questionable time, sometimes days and then the angry bitter fights that erupted afterwards.
As I got into early teens I wished for them to get to a divorce. It was verbally abusive and hostile. There’s was also physical abuse. At least by today’s standard. Both of my parents had heavy fists. It wasn’t frequent. I used to threaten my kids that I was going to send then with the gypsies if they ever knocked on my door, but I’ve never raised a hand. Ever.
When I was 13, things cycled into an angry, violent period again. When I turned 14, she disappeared for six months. My father found out she had left with another man. Again. He proceeded to divorce her. He maintained custody of my brother and I, as she didn’t want us or the responsibility. We moved to another state and had every other week visitation. She acted like a big sister or best friend; no supervision, certainly no role-model mothering on those weekends. I became self-destructive and risky, promiscuous.
The reality is, now I find myself so fucking pissed at her, because of all the pain she caused my father. Because of my husbands betrayal I have a whole new understanding of the pain my father went through all those years. It’s allowed me a new level of forgiveness for my father as I know how truly difficult those years must have been for him. He and I are very close now and I told him about the affair. He cried with me. I haven’t told my husband that my father knows, and he hasn’t asked. I suspect he knows.
Reality is that my parents ended up divorced, as nearly half of all marriages do. I believe I read the percentage of those that end in divorce after reconciliation is nearly 80%. Fuck. We have a lot of fucking hard work ahead of us if we don’t want to become statistic.
So I sit here in my new reality, this after affair hell and run thru my thoughts and memories. Still trying to make sense of it all. Old wounds that I thought were healed have opened, but I’ve found a new peace about my father and my childhood. Which baffles me only because I truly thought some of these things were behind me. I’ve gained some clarity in reconstructing memories. Hindsight….
Realities change. It’s not static and linear. I believe it’s affected by things in our past, our present and even our future, the things still unknown. This frightens me. These very things sometimes make me feel defeated already and sometimes hopeless. I don’t think about the future very often or for long. I’m trying to refocus and direct my energy on the concrete things I have in my life today, the things I can see, feel, taste, touch and smell. The things that I need to do today and this week. Those are real. I have so much to be thankful for and have been truly blessed. I live a beautiful life and I’ve never been afraid to color outside the lines.
I lost my mother many years ago, when she chose to live her life without me. She met my husband and children only once. My daughters don’t remember her. They were 1 and 3 at the time. It was a few years later before, that I accepted our relationship for what it was. Her dying provided a relief. I no longer had to accept that she didn’t want to, or couldn’t be a part of my life. I can and do grieve for her now, but she is no longer lost. She died.