Well those two people who are reading this will be pleased to hear I made it through one night alone with my thoughts and my dog. Yes wine was taken but not excessively so. I walked the beach with the dog (beach walking and how it makes me feel merits another post to itself) and made myself a delicious dinner (which the dog helped me eat) and settled down to a film which I had been meaning to watch for ages but knew my boyfriend didn’t really fancy. The kids were returned to me on Saturday morning and the weekend carried on as it always does – passing by in a flash with walks and card games and food and chats and me nagging at them to do things and pick up after themselves and encouraging my son to get off his Xbox or his iPod and really be in the moment (see below!).
I’ve realized that these nights (and days) are going to happen frequently until the day I die. I remember when I was going to counseling every week and going through everything in my head. I was getting near to the end of my second lot of counseling and had started contemplating putting myself out there – that awful world of online dating or the old fashioned way of meeting a random man in a pub and then, well, you know the rest. My counselor said to me ‘whoever you meet will have baggage’. She meant they will have a past and they may have their own children. I think she was trying to politely remind me that I was a fully formed adult with responsibilities; I was a mother of a certain age and as such my relationships going forward would not follow the traditional pattern of meeting a man, marrying, settling down, having children etc etc And I acknowledged this but didn’t really think about the practicalities of it. But now I’m living through this and having to accept that my boyfriend is an amazing dad and is frequently taxiing about his children or quite rightly wanting to spend time with them and without me and that’s fine – that’s what parents should do! Don’t get me wrong, it’s taken me a while to get to this point but I think I’m there.
I need to learn that I’m fine alone and actually I’m always in my head and if I’m not alone, if I’m with my kids, or the rest of the family, or friends or my boyfriend this isn’t an excuse to ignore my thoughts and what’s going on and what memories are being triggered. It’s not like I can erase nearly 16 years of my life. It’s not like I can look at my children and engage with them and squeeze them tightly and not think about the man who made these beautiful, amazing, incredibly intelligent (obviously my genes!) children with me. I see my ex nearly every day of my life. The kids are not at the age where they can flit between my house and his house independently so this is something I just have to acknowledge and accept. I should not feel ashamed for thinking about the past nor should I try and force myself to ‘move on’. Embrace the uncomfortable nature of it, embrace the sadness, embrace any good memories I have and then focus on the present. Be in the present is that not what ‘they’ say?