It’s been less than a week since my husband and I broke the news to the kids that we will be divorcing. The day after the awful news was sprayed across the house, like a bad graffiti job, I was surprised at how well the kids seemd to be handling things. They knew they had some time to consider their options. This morning, my daughters said a few things in the car on our way to school. And now it begins. Those few days where I felt like I could start breathing easier….those days where the house seemed calm….the kids actually laughed and joked and had family dinners and meaningful conversations……those days abruptly ended today. Today my oldest daughter let me know she would be staying here with her father. It stung to hear that. But I had to be true to my word. I told the kids I would not make them feel bad if they chose to stay with him, and he would not make them feel bad if they chose to stay with me. I took a moment to catch my breath and reminded myself of my promise. I could do this. And after all, there was still plenty of time. I mean, my husband and I have not even sat down with the attorney yet. We had time to explain and fully investigate the kids’ options. But then my youngest chimed in. She declared she was going with me, regardless. My oldest daughter was instantly pissed off. “What?!” she exclaimed. “You can’t leave me!” And then we were at the school. Discussion over.
I picked them up this afternoon and it instantly started again. My oldest daughter declared she was mad at her sister and would explain at home after the other carpool kids were no longer in the car. And she kept her word. As soon as the last kid exited the vehicle, it was on. She let her younger sister have it. And then when I tried to explain we still had time to make choices. That there were better schools where I was going and that she could find another part time job when we moved, if she came along, she exploded. “You don’t get it mom! Everything is ruined! I don’t like change. I like my routine. Thinking of change gives me anxiety. New places and new people are not what I want!” I tried to ease her mind. Tell her nothing needed decided yet. Tell her she sees her therapist in just a few days. She can talk to him about her fears. She said I should just forget about it and that my choice to move was stupid. I was stupid. It was all stupid. I resisted the urge to ask her what she expected me to do. She is a child. I am an adult. I can not and I will not ever ask my kids what they expect me to do. HOW can I ask them to come up with solutions for a problem they had no hand in creating?
You know? I am actually at a place where I am contemplating staying. Not filing for divorce. Faking this for the next few years. How do I get through this part? How do I not let my children become divided over adult issues? How do I let go of the mounting anger I am feeling right now, towards my husband? It’s him. It’s always him who causes this crap, and it’s me, it’s always me who is left here with the kids. Explaining. Consoling. Soothing. And more and more these days, being the human punching bag for their misplaced emotions. He will come home from work tonight and the kids will smile and greet him. HE will have no idea what I went thru this afternoon. Until I tell him. And then? Then he will say it’s me who wants the divorce so what do I expect him to do about it. And I will have to walk away because I simply can not go through another pointless conversation where I try to explain to him what he did and how he has made no efforts to repair this marriage or this family.
Days like these are the days I fail and pour a drink. And I shut down. I close out the world. I feel like no one has ever had this same experience so all advice only makes me more angry. God DOES give people more than they can handle. I give it to God and he gives me another layer to this nightmare. I go to therapy. He goes with me so we can focus on the kids’ needs. He agrees. The therapist nods in approval that he is so compliant and respectful. We get home and he says he doesn’t understand a thing she says. And he disagrees with her advice. He feels it is not necessary. My daughter who mentions suicide sees a therapist and tells me she is mad at her father, that this is all his fault. But when he is around her, she laughs and talks and jokes with him. SHE TELLS HIM none of this. So I pour another drink. And when he comes home from work in just a few hours, I. Will. Just. Say. Nothing. That’s better than feeling like I am screaming but no one hears me.
Oh, and I forgot to mention, today was also the day I met with my ex -sister-in-law. I have custody of her son. She let me know there is a chance she might want to go to court to reverse the custody arrangement. My nephew has already stated he wants no part of her in his life. If she proceeds with this possible plan, there will be many more obstacles in my way. Many more battles to fight. It was very difficult to share my failed marriage with her and to then discuss how her son feels about her. I’m always trying to make others feel better. WHAT ABOUT ME?