Taking Control

Posted on | April 4, 2012 | 12 Comments

When I first separated from my husband, the hardest thing for me to swallow was the fact that there were people out there, there were women out there, who believed I was a terrible person.  There were people who believed him when he said I was a crappy wife and a mean woman.  There were people who would believe him when he complained about how terrible his marriage was and how it was all my fault.

That really got under my skin and it took a while for me to let that part of things go. 

Yesterday, those feelings came pouring back in, whirling around me and pulling me down like a black hole of anger.  Yesterday, I got an email from my Ex that basically told me that I had used my attorney status to “pull one over on him” by making him pay more in child support and then making him pay in gas money to see his child.  He told me it was my fault, my decision to move away from Savannah and return to Macon (where we owned a house) and that he was paying every day for my decision while I had “everything.”

I’m ashamed of my response.

I’m ashamed that I let him weasel his way back into my psyche and let him get me angry.

But people? He made me angry.  Because, as I discussed with a friend online yesterday, I did not, as he so kindly put it, get “everything.” I lost everything that I thought mattered except my son.  I lost my marriage.  I lost my marriage and my dreams of what I wanted out of life.  And for him to tell me that it was my fault just hit on every insecurity I ever had about our marriage and our lives together.

I shot off an email that basically strung venom like pearls.  It was nasty.  And because I don’t like being nasty, I called and I apologized to him for what I said… not because he didn’t deserve the anger, but because I don’t deserve the guilt that comes with being angry at him.

The exchange threw off my whole day and I slept very little last night.  I woke up cranky and tired and sad all over again. The dog yelped to go out at 4, J was up at 5:45, and by 6:30 I just wanted to cry.  I missed Jen and the talks we would have about life and how she always made me feel better about being angry… as funny as that sounds.  She called divorce  my “cancer” and said we were fighting it together.  I wanted to curl up in a ball and cry about my ex, and the expensive surgery J needs on his ears, and work and Jen and everything.

But I’m a single mom.  So instead I reluctantly made breakfast and took the trash out and we left the house around 7:30.  About the time I went to pull out of the neighborhood I saw J out of the corner of my eye and realized something horrible….

I had forgotten to snap him into his car seat.

Every. Thing. Was. Wrong.

I couldn’t do anything right.  My world was off-kilter and I was so stressed and sad and woe is me that I forgot to snap my child safely into his carseat.  I choked back sobs and corrected the problem, making my way back onto the path to daycare.  We got there and J cried; he didn’t want to go in, he didn’t want to hold my hand in the parking lot. 

By the time I left him in his classroom, I was a basket case. 

I stepped outside, closed my eyes, and tilted my head back to breathe in the spring air.  When I opened them again, I smiled.

It wasn’t raining.

It was barely cloudy.

But there above me, clear as day, was a rainbow.

And suddenly, I knew I wasn’t as alone as I thought I was.  Suddenly I knew that Jen was still there listening, still wishing she could fix things for me.  Jen was looking down and reminding me that we’ve come so far… but there’s still so much more to learn.

So I smiled, wiped away my tears, and came on to work. 

Ultimately, my ex doesn’t deserve to own my emotions any longer.  He doesn’t deserve the ability to dictate my moods any longer.  The anger I felt, the anger I feel towards him and this situation is mine to control, mine to own.  

I will not let him own any piece of me, ever again.


12 Responses to “Taking Control”

  1. KeAnne
    April 4th, 2012 @ 8:59 am

    I am so happy you saw that rainbow.

  2. Robbie K
    April 4th, 2012 @ 9:37 am

    The rainbow was a sign. Hang on to your strength and it will get you through!

  3. JulieMiner
    April 4th, 2012 @ 9:45 am

    You are such an amazing writer. I’m sobbing at my computer. Love you!

  4. Julia
    April 4th, 2012 @ 10:33 am

    Your words are always so powerful. I am so glad you found your rainbow.

  5. bookworm81
    April 4th, 2012 @ 1:12 pm

    Sometimes that just happens. I once drove 3 miles with my 2 month old in the infant seat but not snapped in. We’d been using the travel system to walk around and after I took him out to nurse him didn’t snap him back in. Then it got chilly, we threw a blanket over him and by the time we got in the car we had completely forgotten that he wasn’t snapped in. I felt so incredibly guilty about it but when I’ve mentioned it to other people almost all of them have a similar story.

  6. Cayley
    April 4th, 2012 @ 3:41 pm

    I did the same thing w/ the car seat once, and ended up so distraught over my failure as a mother I had to pull over and cry for a bit, day care drop off schedule be damned. In retrospect, I sure hope that’s the worst mom moment I ever have b/c in the scheme of absent-minded it doesn’t even rank very high (assuming it’s once, and you notice, especially). Sometimes I like to read awful articles about actual awful parents to remind myself I am a great mom, despite occasional lapses…

  7. Meredith
    April 4th, 2012 @ 6:10 pm

    You are amazing.
    Also, I totally forgot to snap the carseat once too during a time of brutal emotional turmoil. It happens to the best of us.

  8. kerri tobin
    April 4th, 2012 @ 9:39 pm

    fwiw, i once forgot to snap the carseat too, and i didn’t even have any trauma to blame for it. you’re not losing your grip! hang in there. 🙂

  9. Alena at Charmingly Chandler
    April 5th, 2012 @ 2:15 pm

    I read the first paragraph 4 times, because this is a constant on my mind and I thought I was crazy. I can barely even bring myself to talk to our mutual friends who are still close with him because I assume that they think it’s my fault. Because if they knew the truth, if they knew what he did, how he did it, all the lies he told…surely they couldn’t be so close with him still. Surely they would be disgusted by him. And all these new people in his life, what does he tell them? What do they think about me? It can’t be anything good, I mean what would cause a man to leave his pregnant wife half way through her pregnancy with their baby? It weighs on my mind almost as much as the judgement I assume people pass on me when they see my massive belly, filled with the child him and I created, while hearing that I am separated and going to be divorced soon. Like do they think this isn’t his baby? Do they think I strayed? Do they think it was an accident I got pregnant and that it some how makes what he did different? The concern with all these things chokes me sometimes. BLAH. DIVORCE SUCKS.

  10. Kimberly Huber
    April 5th, 2012 @ 4:35 pm

    I need to read this over & over because I need to let the “this situation is mine to control” part sink in. Right now I am so filled with anger & feeling completely out of control of my own life. Thank you.

  11. tini
    April 5th, 2012 @ 4:51 pm

    I realized once I hadn’t snapped my child in when she was giggling and standing up in her car seat while we were driving. Her twin sister pulled exactly the same stunt the next day – forgot again!! And no, no emotional turmoil. Just plain distractedness.. The second time I couldn’t help but laugh at myself..

  12. JW
    April 6th, 2012 @ 1:14 pm

    I’ve forgotten to snap my kids in on more than one occasion. They are old enough to remind me and laugh at me about it now too, so it’s a nice tension breaker.

    I moved back to where my family lives (1100 miles away from my ex) with our two children when we divorced. It was agreed upon by both of us at the time (it was one of my conditions for an amicable split). Now, a year plus later, he occasionally throws “you got everything” in my face because he doesn’t get to see the kids as often as he would like. REALLY?!?! And it takes great restraint on my part not to retort that he’s just misdirecting his anger at himself for not thinking through the consequences of his actions. But I refuse to be sorry for looking out for myself throughout the process.

    You’re doing well, LM. So glad you saw the rainbow that morning. 🙂

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    Spilled Milk (and Other Atrocities) by Law Momma is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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