seeing the light

the darkness sneaked up on me this past Saturday...

i was in the ER of the local hospital
(my mom had back surgery last week, came home and was fine, 
then woke up with chest pain - so we went back)
and sitting in there with the sounds and the monitors and the respirators
and the man in the next bed with a cut leg
suddenly sent me into a panic.
toooooooo many memories.
too many thoughts.

fortunately mom and dad were sleeping, waiting for test results,
so i snuck outside.

i called my best friend and asked her to keep me from falling apart
and she said

she said cry. scream. yell. let it go.
just keep breathing.
this isn't over yet. it can't be over by letting it out once or twice.
it's gonna' hit you over and over.
it's gonna' knock you right back to your knees where you are begging God for mercy
and that is exactly where you need to be.

she's so smart.
and she loves me.
and she knows the WHOLE STORY of our life and family
and that this isn't a simple process...
that the pain and hurt and anger and unforgiveness i struggle with
exists along WITH the love that i had for him for 33 years of my life.
the love i STILL have for him, because he was the father of our children.
regardless of what he did to me, and to them, i would not have them if not for him.
and for that i am grateful.

so i breathed and i cried and i yelled and she let me.
and then i went back inside.

and the light hit me as i sat in the ER again...
i thought about the living hell that those children went through last Thanksgiving
and it was clear as day to me that i failed them again.
i thought i was making the right decision,
the choice to stay away because his parents did NOT want me around them
or around him or around the kids
at the time of the accident and hospitalization.

i thought that by staying away 
- which i was actually advised to do by a few of them - 
i was reducing the stress and chaos and drama for the kids.
they had enough to deal with 
without me enraging their grandparents by showing up.

i should have got on the damn plane the moment i got the phone call
and flown straight to Texas,
marched right into that hospital
and grabbed my children in a huge family hug.

death is an awful thing to face.
especially when your first experience of it is losing someone
as close to you as your parent.
when one of your parents is dying, 
you have every right to need the other one
even if the relationship isn't perfect or even good.
it should have been 'okay' that they needed me
and i should have been there for my kids. 

even though i made the choice i did for what i thought were the right reasons,
once again, i failed to stand up for my kids
when bullies were telling me that i had no rights. 
that they called the shots in my life, not me.

damn it.
i'm never going to back down to those two people again. 
this isn't about guilt.
this is about me realizing that there are things i have yet to move on from...
and this is me realizing that i am done being manipulated.

updated february 6:

three of my four children have responded to this post and an email i sent them.
 they have let me know on no uncertain terms that their grandparents did not do or say anything
that prevented me from being there in Texas.
my daughters all tell me that my children made the decision to not have me present.
 that they were the ones who chose not to allow me to be there

this is not what they themselves told me on the phone on Thanksgiving Day,
when i spoke to and asked each of them what they wanted me to do...
when they told me that my presence there would make things with their grandparents worse.
but it is what they are saying now.
'we did not want you there'. 

thank you for letting me know, girls...
and now your truth has been heard by my friends here,
as you intended by leaving your comments.

i have removed my rather angry comments about your grandparents from this post,
since you've made it clear they were based on untruths.

this is the thing about communication:
my thought process, my opinions, and the basis for my emotions and beliefs
were all based on the things that my kids said to me on the phone over several weeks. 
the way they portrayed the situation and the words they used
gave me the impression and belief that they made a choice about my presence there
based on the attitudes and actions of their grandparents.
now they tell me that isn't the case, 
but that they used it as an excuse.
for whatever reason they did that,
it's a great example of how the words that people choose to speak
can present a version of something
that isn't exactly the truth.
and how the beliefs of others are affected by those words.
i am glad i know more of the truth now
it always manages to come out... eventually.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I married young; we were 18 and 19. We eventually built a house on land the in-laws gave us and my life was no longer mine. Holidays were decided, where I worked, how much I worked.... I'm 46 now and learning to take back my life. Thank God---literally that we moved away. The marriage counselor told us that once we give up our power, it's like selling your land and then wanting it back, very difficult. It has been difficult to move far away from family but worth it. I didn't know I was a mountain girl, but I am! It's taken us almost 9 years of healing and it came in layers. The "bad times" got fewer and further between. Everything from the Chanel Allure perfume I wore then, to songs, etc. would trigger the hurt. Now, none of those things bother me at all. I'm glad you have found a way to write it all out and process it. Healing will come.