The struggle now
is between terror and peace.
Some days I wake up and feel fine.
Some days I wake up in terror.
There’s no rhyme or reason.
I just want to find home.
I want to create stability.
I’ve begun sending feelers out
in different directions;
I want to open multiple income streams.
I know I have talents and abilities,
but they’ve been buried deep within
for so long, it’s a process to uncover them.
It takes time to monetize one’s talents…
But I don’t have much time.
My eviction date is set for July 15.
I need to find a home.
How do I find a home
when I don’t have any money?
The people I thought were my friends
have all disappeared.
I guess that divorce, depression and eviction
are too inconvenient for normal, stable people.
What has happened in my life
that in my time of greatest need,
I look around, and no one is there?*
*Just wanted to acknowledge that there are people here who have been generous in expressing their concern…so I didn’t want to come across as ungrateful for that.
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.
Who do I have to be for you
so that you’ll stop blaming me
and criticizing me for everything
that you perceive is wrong with this picture?
How do I have to act?
What do I have to say?
How do you need me to dress?
What, precisely, do I need to prove?
What task must I perform?
How much money do I need to make?
What do I do too much?
What do I do too little?
How should I style my hair?
Should I wear make-up?
What should I eat?
How much should I weigh?
How many friends should I have?
How often should I contact them?
What kind of car should I drive?
Where should I live?
How should I spend my time?
When should I rest?
When should I work?
Can you give me a list?
Will you promise me
that if can get it right—
you’ll love me?
So many choices every moment,
and so humbled
by how much I do not know.
Wanting to grow, learn, discover,
wanting to become more
than I ever was before,
and then reality, like a brick wall,
and now I must face it.
Although he hasn’t been there
for me in almost two years,
I hear him still,
the voice in my head,
telling me I’m never good enough.
I think he is in me still,
but it is I, in me, replaying
his internalized voice
to perpetuate the shame spiral
that is much older than our relationship.
If I want to recover
I have to choose a new voice
and a new story.
And somewhere in there,
a way to embrace possibility
without running straight into
the brick wall.
I got upset this morning,
lost it with my kids,
felt guilty and ashamed.
I interpreted this event as a setback.
I spent some time wallowing in shame,
depression, the belief that I haven’t made
any progress at all.
Then I breathed.
Then the wisdom came.
I remembered that I’m human,
I make mistakes,
and now it’s time for a reset.
So I chose for the day to go better
from that point on.
I’m going in to the kids’ classes
for Valentine’s Day;
I’m going to help the kids celebrate,
make crafts, have fun.
I tied up some loose ends at home,
finished some projects that had been waiting.
No more dwelling in upset, in setbacks.
I’ve reset…now it’s time to keep moving forward.
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.
I can feel the pressure building inside of me,
pressure to get things done, get things organized,
be better, do more, know more,
pressure to have a plan,
pressure to answer others’ questions…
It’s the dark time of the year,
and the darkness is bringing me down.
I don’t want this pressure.
I want to hide.
God, help me change my mind.
Help me welcome the pressure.
Let me see this discomfort as a yoga posture
life has given me to master.
If I can breathe through it,
I can learn something from it.