I’m praying every chance I can get
God please show me what to do,
I’m struggling, please guide me.
In the morning I wake up thinking
I choose to love myself
because I deserve my love.
I keep telling my story.
It gets exhausting telling my story.
I tell it to my friends. Therapists.
Anyone who will listen.
They all say, You got this.
It will all be okay in the end.
But I want someone to rescue me.
I want someone to come along
and make these problems disappear.
And God, Grace, The Universe,
or is it just my luck,
continues to send me people
who listen to my story
tell me You got this
and who walk away.
I need to solve my own problems.
Apparently, I need to realize
that I’m stronger than this.
Apparently, I need to walk this path alone.
There are people cheering on the sidelines,
but I guess I need to walk this path alone.*
*And I have to tell you, it’s lonely down here in this big black hole…
When you’re 42 years old
with two young children,
celibate for the last two years,
yearning for human contact
but trusting no one…
When there’s just $35 in your checking account…
and your AC has been broken for two weeks
and there’s a wiring problem in your house
necessitating running extension cords
from your refrigerator and freezer
to outlets in another room…
When you’re feeling
tired, angry, and lonely,
but you’ve made a commitment to sobriety
to try to claw your way out
of this pit you’ve fallen into…
When the only direction you can go is up,
but you’re so damn depressed that breathing feels hard—
HOW DO YOU FIND THE STRENGTH TO CLIMB?
Friends, that last question is not rhetorical. I quite literally want to know how YOU, you who have made it through tough circumstances and who have come out stronger, how YOU did it. I need some hope. Please share your experience, strength and hope with me.
I wake up in darkness
although the sun is out.
It’s the same old familiar feeling
of uncertainty for the future,
for not having it all figured out by now.
Then Grace steps in and speaks
gently and lovingly to me:
Everything will be revealed
in the proper time, space and sequence.
Your job is to stay open
to this process of shedding the old
so that you can receive the new.
Believe me, it’s worth it.
I awoke in terror
in the middle of the night.
I tried to sleep,
but eventually got up.
It was 3am.
I sat, breathed,
forced myself to smile.
I read from my daily devotionals
(nine in all),
ate some breakfast,
went back to bed.
It was 5am.
Then my son woke me up.
It was 6:30am.
I asked him
to get himself some cereal.
At 7 years old,
he can do that
I tried to sleep.
I did, for a little while.
Then I got up. Again.
It was 8:42am.
I made it through final preparations
for teaching a yoga class
and leading a training.
The sitter came to watch my kids,
I drove to the studio
and found myself
in front of a room full of students.
It was 11:45 am.
I taught my class,
drove to another studio
and found myself
in front of a room full of teachers.
It was 2pm.
I led a four hour training,
drove back home,
took care of my kids,
got them showered,
settled down here at my desk.
It was 8:51pm.
Now I’m feeling crazy.
It’s 9:08 pm.
I have no idea where my mind is.
somewhere around 3am.
Are you he,
the one who procreated with me
and then left,
blaming me for everything?
Or are you one of his minions,
currying favor with him,
by feeding the thought
that I’m the crazy one?
don’t you have anything better to do,
than to scour the internet
looking for proof
that his lies about me are true?
I am a woman
making my way back on my feet
after a devastating loss.
Are you his new victim?
Do you believe the story that he loves you?
He told me he loved me once.
But when all was said and done,
it was easier to blame me for his pain
than to man up and work on himself.
You can troll all you want.
He can say that I am “whining” online.
But I will not stop speaking my truth.
And someday you might discover
that the things you criticize in me
are the disowned places in you
crying out for your loving attention.
When you feel ready to access those places,
you’ll stop pointing your finger at others
and go in the only real direction
that you haven’t yet explored…
Yesterday in a text message my ex-husband accused me of “whining online.” If you look at my post yesterday, you’ll see I talked about some challenges I’m currently going through: his underpayment of court-ordered support and the subsequent need to take legal action, as well as my need to secure new health insurance. Admittedly I was a bit startled when he referenced my online activity—choosing words that confirmed he had read my post—because it got me thinking that he or someone else is trolling this blog, stirring up adversity and feeding the story that there is something wrong with me. I speak this out into space, because I’m discovering more and more that abuse and shame can’t exist out in the open. Our secrets make us sick, and I won’t keep it a secret that the man I once loved is deciding to take liberties with the agreement he signed his name on, and justifying withholding funds from court-ordered support for me and his children with his twisted logic. I speak this out in the open, because unfortunately, underpayment or no payment of child support is the norm in our society, and those who have a legal responsibility to provide support to their children and former partners somehow manage to dodge the law and dodge the consequences that the law would mete out if they were caught in a timely fashion. I speak this out because I want this trend to change. I realize that if it has been this awful for me—coming from relative privilege (education, resources, community, job)—how must it be for the population of underprivileged single moms out there who don’t have access to the same resources? Finally, my words are my power. By speaking my truth I know who I am. I will not back down. I plan on fighting a good fight, for myself and all moms everywhere who struggle to know what their future will hold in a time of such volatility and uncertainty.
And to you trolls out there, whether you are he himself, or his new intimate victim, or one of his “friends,” keep reading. Enjoy my posts. Have fun. May you be safe, happy, healthy, peaceful and at ease. And may the pure light of awareness shine upon you and lead you to the realization that what you do to another you do to yourself, so that you can begin helping instead of continuing to hurt. When you feed a story like this, it helps no one. I stand with my hand stretched out in friendship, and you can take it at any time. The choice is yours.
Tired to the bone,
and so completely done
with this day,
but it’s only 4PM
and it’s time to be a mom.
I find strength for one more breath,
one more step.
I realize I am not alone,
that there are many other mothers
finding strength for one more breath,
one more step.
I breathe into my heart,
taking all of the exhaustion
for myself and all exhausted mothers,
into the infinitely vast space
of my open heart.
I breathe out,
sending out strength,
comfort, hope, and a dash of humor.
We can do this.
Driving in the cold dark twilight,
I see flashers up ahead;
someone had slipped on the ice,
and a tow truck and a police car
were there stretched across the road,
and I could go no further.
Time to U-turn.
Heading the other way,
the sun illuminated my path
and I made it to my destination
through another route entirely.
Redirecting feels inefficient
but when obstacles bar your passage,
you can either stay stuck
or find another way.