I have seen some nasty divorces in my time. Straight up slanging matches and court appearances and horrible arguments over kids and custody and who gets the damn dog. I guess that was a good lesson for me, because I certainly learnt how not to behave.
The separation from my ex was clean. None of that poisonous shit that damages people in the long-term. I know it was hard on my kids, but it would have been a whole lot worse of their father and I had been on a mission to destroy each other. I am really proud of the fact that I haven’t slagged him off, not to them or to anyone else. And I am 100% certain that they have coped better than they would have if they had seen us hating on each other.
And it would have been really easy to hate him. Being cheated on and then cast aside for the shiny new toy was fkn hurtful.
But I had another little life lesson today, that hit me like a tonne of bricks from out of nowhere. I am disposable. Not just to him, but to an entire extended family that I adored. I have always valued family, as screwed up and dysfunctional as mine are, it has always been important to me. And I worked hard to create an amazing little family of my own, including brothers and sisters in law who I love as much as the rest of them. Those people were a bigger feature in my life than my blood relatives most of the time and my experience of family was so much richer for having had them in it.
When we first separated I talked to the extended family and made sure that they knew how important they were to me and that I didn’t want to lose them just because I was no longer with their brother. You would think that having people in your life for 10+ years would give it some concrete stability. But that wasn’t the case here.
Overall, it really just makes me sad. My kids are missing out on having their aunt, uncle and cousin in their lives and I am missing out on my gorgeous niece. And there doesn’t seem to be anything I can do about it. When we separated and his new girlfriend came on the scene, I kept all the nasty details to myself. I didn’t want anyone to think less of him and maybe I didn’t want anyone to think less of me. Somehow I was ashamed of being cheated on, like his actions were indicative of my worth. I am a little ashamed now that I let that define me.
I am doing a lot better these days, though still regularly falling into the habit of letting the old shit creep in. I am still a little broken and beaten down, but I think I am making progress. Just reminding myself everyday that as long as I keep moving forward I’ll be okay.
Hey there, you! How’s your day been? New year treating you well so far?
Its been an interesting start to the new year here. At the end of last year I had my youngest in and out of specialist offices and diagnostic testing, to discover that the kiddo has Rheumatoid Arthritis. Another auto-immune disease in the family. My heart broke, and I was incredibly relieved all at once. Heart broken because the early testing on the kid was becoming more and more invasive and the results were becoming more and more scary. At one point there, a specialist discussed with me that we needed to NOT research what was happening online – that although the results were scary there was nothing guaranteed until we looked a little closer. I knew what the doctor was saying and I completely understood. I didn’t look online because I was fkn terrified. I knew that a lot of what we were seeing were commonly seen in kids with Leukaemia diagnosis and I was scared senseless. The relief came when we were finally given the diagnosis, purely because it wasn’t Leukaemia.
The Rheumatoid Arthritis diagnosis was still a major shock to the system though. Medication and dosage has been a big hit too, it’s scary to see my kiddo hurting, and more horrible still to see that the medication at the moment seems to be making her sicker. In situations like this I would usually hold off on making decisions and do some research, see what sort of natural or alternative therapies we could try. But the symptoms at this point are just too advanced to wait so here we are. Trying to maintain high spirits and stay focussed on healthy and happy. She has some days when the pain is horrible, but I can see hope of it being better and that what I’m trying to stick with. She is a tough cookie and I have had a couple of moments now where I have been so completely overwhelmed with pride. Like when she came home with a bunch of flowers, that she bought for herself. She wanted to feel better and fresh flowers cheer her up. In that moment, I knew she would be okay. Whatever comes next, she is a tough cookie and she’ll be okay. And I have got her back all the way.
The one thing I realised in this is that I really am solo parenting these days. I kept the ex in the loop with all this stuff, and he was concerned and supportive, but at no point did he ask or offer to come along to any of the appointments and I had to really hold back from asking him to be there. It would have been really great to have him there to support her, and if I’m completely honest, I could have done with him being there too. I would have loved for him to be there. But it is what it is right?
I’m focussing on the future, staying positive and taking care of me and mine. The recent health scares have started us on a bit of a health kick and I have been doing more around the house, trying to make this little space of ours more homely. I have no doubt this new year is going to be a new adventure than anything we have faced before, but we got this shit!