Blogging while Hormonal

About once a month I have a few days that are just terrible. Everything is bleak and awful, I'm a terrible person, and my life is just plain hopeless. Than I wake up one morning and things are great again (well, things are less-than-great physically for a few more days, but mentally they are fine). Despite the fact that this happens regularly every 30 days, when I am in the middle of it I have a hard time remembering that what I am feeling is just temporary and will eventually go away if I just wait it out. Although some of the things I feel or say during those days may be true, or at least partially true, I should more closely examine my conclusions once my brain is a little more calm. Hence, last night's blog post and today's reconsideration of my thoughts. 

A few years ago I read about an idea that, while it makes perfect sense, I'd never heard articulated so clearly before. For some reason it just had never penetrated into my brain, and obviously it didn't make a huge impact because I didn't really spend a lot of time thinking about it until it resurfaced a few weeks ago. The idea is that feelings don't mean anything until we decide what they mean. In other words, if I feel frustrated because my kids are doing something I don't want them to do, I can make myself more or less upset by how I choose to interpret that action. I can say "they don't love me and I'm a terrible mother" or I can say "they are tired" or "they don't have a good consequence for not doing this" or "it's not that important so I should let it go" or "they are terrible children", etc. It can be easy to assume that things that happen to us always mean what we think that they mean and that there are no other possible interpretations or possible reactions than the ones we are now experiencing. I don't think that this is totally and completely true, but I also don't think I remember it as often as I should. 

Another example: for the last two years I have not enjoyed going to things at the kids' school. Because I work full-time, I'm not every involved with what they do at school. I don't have time to volunteer, I don't help them with their homework after school, and I don't drop them off at school because they walk. Mr. Fob has a more flexible schedule is much more involved with the school than I am. So, when there are things going on there that I can go to, I often find myself feeling awkward and embarrassed. First of all, because I hate being the parent that is uninvolved and doesn't know what's going on; I love my kids and wish I could be more involved in certain aspects of their lives. And, let's face it, people hold moms to a higher standard and applaud dads just for showing up. Not only am I the uninvolved parent, but Mr. Fob gets bonus points for being a dad in the PTA. Second of all, I hate being 'weird' and standing out. Unfortunately our situation is weird. We're divorced and still both involved in our kids lives. I'm glad that Mr. Fob is still parenting with me, but I also kind of hate feeling like I have to explain all the time. But, honestly, I realized the other day that I'm probably the one who makes things more awkward than they need to be. Once again, I have choices in how I act. I could go back to working part-time and take over more of the parenting. (I really have pondered that decision a lot, but for many reasons it doesn't feel like the right one to me.) Or, I could just accept how things are and be grateful that my kids have two parents that do things for them. I don't always have to explain that we're not married anymore or make a big deal out of it. People can figure it out, and sometimes it just doesn't matter. And, then there's the evil part of me that wishes people would stop complimenting his good parenting because, um, leaving your wife and giving up on your marriage is not exactly good parenting. 

This week has been three years since Mr. Fob was on his business trip where he decided that his feelings of unhappiness meant that he needed to give up on being married. Three years is a long time. It also means that I have spent a lot of time avoiding dealing with my feelings, or going in circles, or something, because there is still the stubborn part of me that likes to be right and wants a different outcome that's never going to happen. I hear people talk about 'forgiveness' and 'moving on', and because I'm a concrete thinker I'm still not sure that what that means or how to get there. I have plenty of days where I think I have gotten to that point, but other days when I think that I haven't. This is something I want to work on for the next little while: what do acceptance and forgiveness mean? How do I let go of the idea that I need to be right and that I need to have people tell me that I am right? What will my life look like if I get to this point and 'move on'? 


Earth Sign Mama said…
"um, leaving your wife and giving up on your marriage is not exactly good parenting."

Here is one area in your life where you are r i g h t.
Laurel said…
While time deadens the sharpness of pain, time doesn't heal all wounds, unfortunately. There is deep trauma in abandonment, and I think it's 100% understandable that you, even three years later, are still figuring out how to move forward towards acceptance. I'm so sorry you have to ask these questions, deal with these thoughts and feelings, and figure out a life plan very different than what you worked hard for. For what it's worth, I think you are doing remarkably well.
Laurel said…
Sorry, this is actually Josh ^^^^
Earth Sign Mama said…
I totally concur with whatever Laurel/Josh said---yes!

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