I got into a conversation with someone this morning, they were telling me of a conversation they had with my daughter. Apparently there were things she didn’t want to talk to me about, simply because she worries that when I am stressed, I may not be able to handle it. It surprised me to hear. There is something strange and unsettling to hear that your child thinks you’re weak. Or at the very least, sees a weakness that perhaps you don’t. I don’t quite know how to fully process that. But I know that I will.
It led to me thinking through all that I’ve been through. My brain immediately went back to Ben. The night we knew something was wrong and raced him, in the dead of the night, to the hospital. That drive will forever be etched into my brain. The songs that played quietly on the radio, The ex’s steady calm. Funny, the man would occasionally drive me crazy with his immaturities and lack of self control, but when everything fell apart… when the hour was dire… and we stood on the edge of a very scary storm… he was someone else. Someone I respected. I don’t think I ever told him that. I don’t think I ever told him how, even now, after all this time… I trust him more than I trust myself. That deep in my heart, he was my very best friend. I wish I could help him understand how much I loved him. I don’t think he ever really knew. And telling him now would be taken weirdly. I guess I can’t take back the words I never said. We both had to take on and face the scariest thing we could have possibly imagined. A situation where we had no control, we were completely helpless – our heart’s were in the doctor’s hands. Doctors we trusted, because of an ideal in our heads – that somehow – doctor’s were infallible. Oh how I regret feeling that way. I’ve never felt so ill-prepared when we learned of their mistakes. And we were both hurt in the most unimaginable ways by it all. Scarred from the pain in many ways.
I thought back to the many days and nights where I would work and work and work… not because I’m a strange person who doesn’t want to have a life or free time… but because I knew it would put food on the table or give me the ability to get the kids gifts for christmas. Those were the years when the ex and I would eat ramen or spaghetti o’s so the kids could have balanced meals. These were times when we had so much debt over our heads that we would have to ignore a ringing phone. There was always a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that the world would crash down around us because we couldn’t pay a bill.
I thought back to days when depression and stress rang so loudly inside my head that I couldn’t even see myself within the cloud I was in. When I would lay in bed and hide from the world, because it seemed smarter than going out and being hurt by it. When a person loses sight of who they are, and it takes them as long as I have to re-find yourself… there tends to be some disconnects. I’ve changed in big ways since I last saw myself. So it’s sometimes hard to trust my own intuition. Thankfully, In many ways, those changes were good. I love myself now, and I know I didn’t before. I’m more laid back about so many things. Life is going to happen… you can stress about it, or you can try and find a way to enjoy it. And now, more than ever before, I’m aware of how strong I really am. I’m sure most people have no idea the amount of fortitude and strength they actually possess.
It’s interesting, the stages you go through in life. For every stage of stress or hell, there seems to be an opposing, equally joyous time to remember. I suppose my knowing that is what keeps me going, keeps me strong. Because, you see… I can’t give up. I won’t give up. It won’t happen on my watch! I want to see what happens at the end of the story – and we’re not there yet. Not even half way.
I suppose it’s also why I’m upset to hear that my child thinks I cannot handle hearing whatever detail she’s working through. Please child… I’ve walked through hell – I think I can handle a little teenage highschool drama.
Have a great day Neverland!