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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

I will not make the same mistakes that you did....

Divorce.  It's an ugly word for many people.  For me?  It was an oasis.  The beginning of an amazing sense of freedom in my life. The beginning of me becoming me.  I knew my children would be ok because I would make sure of it.  They encouraged me to divorce their father, truth be told.  They knew how unhappy I was.  My daughter was too young to really have an opinion.  She was only 5 when her father started traveling two weeks out of the month for business and she was 8 when we divorced.  I worried that she'd have "daddy issues" but than realized she could have those whether or not I divorced her father.

My sons deal with their father very very differently.  My oldest has completely shut him out.  The only thing they had in common was sports and my oldest isn't really interested in talking about that any more.  If I'm being honest I think he sees things in his father that he doesn't like in himself and it scares him. I think he thinks if he distances himself than it can't penetrate his world. It penetrates my world however, because I find myself dealing with issues that I thought I had rid myself of.  And this is my son....I can't divorce him.  I feel the same frustration and anger grip my insides when these behaviors show themselves.  Lately I have been reduced to tears as I relive a part of my life that I was so very happy to leave behind.  I've worked SO hard to become a different person and not allow negative forces to affect me and not to live in the past.  I find myself shutting down where he is concerned and he isn't having it.  Much like his father he gets in my face and vies for my attention/reaction, good or bad it doesn't matter, he just wants it, although he'd NEVER admit that.  He thinks his siblings are up my ass and he laughs at it.  Even typing this I feel the familiar wrench of my insides.  I've taken to just praying to God to just change it all or take away it's affect on me.  I have no power over it, other than to fight him daily or be insincere...neither of which are in my capabilities.  He can be very thoughtful and giving, it's just that sometimes it's really hard to receive it. He seems to have gotten the worst of his father and me.

My younger son had a time when he did that, shut his father out.  He had a very rough period his Freshman year of high school but that helped him heal and he has a relatively healthy relationship with his father.  Yesterday I realized that my oldest is hell bent on showing me everything I don't want in a man and my younger son is showing me everything that I do!  There is a reason for this I'm sure...I just haven't figured it out yet.  My younger son has done everything in his power to be the kind of man he would have wanted his father to be.  He is the most incredible partner to his long time girlfriend.  Always putting her needs first, thinking of ways to make her smile.  He talks about their future with this light in his eyes, so excited for it, it makes my heart sing for them.  Even with his sister and me, he's so thoughtful.  I got a text from him yesterday asking to take me to lunch this week.  He really is an amazing man.  He seems to have gotten the very best qualities of his father and me, although I know he works at keeping the negative at bay.

My daughter? She is a tough nut.  She doesn't get very close to anyone really.  I used to attribute that to the fact that since she was a year old the people she loves have come and gone in her life since we moved across the country from our entire family.  I've since realized that she has learned to be very selective on who she gives that love to. She has a healthy balance, I hope, of loving people but not relying on their presence in her life.  I wish I had that ability, truth be told.  She is extremely attached to me at this point in life...fiercely protective of me.  We were at Disney yesterday and stopped to have some drinks and a snack and it wound up being a 45 minute heart to heart conversation which ended with her having tears streaming down her face. There is a lot that she notices and doesn't speak of and I was so happy we were able to have that time to talk.  I have felt, at times, that she didn't really need or want to be close to me the way the boys had.  I am realizing that she does and she treasures our relationship in a way I hoped she would.  I think her friends have a lot to do with that.   They are all 13 and hate their moms and their stepdads (yes, most are children of divorce as well) and she realizes that she's pretty lucky.  She sees the stark contrast in the relationship I have with her brothers and she is determined not to go down the path that brings us to discord.  I told her there might come a day when she feels differently and all I ask is when she wants to roll her eyes and say she hates me that she remembers this conversation 😉.  I see so many of my good qualities in her and none of my bad ...well maybe a few 😛I will keep a close eye on her as these teen years progress and do my best to help her not repeat my mistakes.  As far as men in her life as role models? She has a few. Good ones.  Ones that love her tremendously.  Can't ask for more than that.  Or can I? In the end the best I can do is do my best and let God do the rest.  Because after all.....it's just a day in the life.

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