Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Justifications, rationalizations

It's funny how strongly my own feelings about my divorce are affected by other people. I think that if I were living in some kind of social vacuum where there was no one else to influence me about it, I would be in a pretty constant state of calmness and peace that I am finally making the changes in my life that I've wanted to make for a long time. But really it's hard to say how I would feel, because everyone and their dog has an opinion about it and no one can possibly hold it back, not even a little bit, not even to my face.

I should back up a little and explain what I mean, because from the people I am close to, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. No judgment, not even from those who don't know the entire story. My friends are truly amazing and supportive, and I love them completely.

But what makes me feel the worst is when people guilt me about Caroline. Believe me, I am fully, completely, soul-crushingly aware that I am splitting up our family, and I know what that means for her future. I don't need anyone to remind me of that. It haunts me. It kills me. I wake up during the night and lie awake for hours, completely overwhelmed with guilt.

So here I go again, with my explanations, justifications, rationalizations... not for them. For me. Because I can't forget why I'm doing this, and it keeps my spirits up, and keeps me going when things get tough or when I face more judgment and disapproval and guilt.

I was unhappy. Miserable, in fact. Not just a matter of looking at your life and asking, is this as happy as I can possibly be... what if there's something more out there? But a matter of, I just cannot continue with this, I cannot keep going, I know that this is not forever and if it is, then I just don't want to keep living. Should I have kept suffocating under the weight of a promise I made when I was too young to really know what I wanted from my life? Just for the sake of not backing down?

Once the decision was made, I felt relieved, free, alive. I had doubts, sure... I still do have doubts. But I felt like I could not just close my eyes and go back to sleep. Could not slip back under the surface and pretend that I had never come up for air. If I had done it, if I had gone back just for the sake of not hurting feelings and keeping the peace, every minute would have been a lie and I just. could. not. do it. Life is too short, and you only get one shot at it. I'm not going to waste my time-- and his-- with something that I know in my bones is not enough.

But people can call me selfish. They can call me whatever they want. It hurts, sure. But it doesn't hurt as much as staying in an unfulfilling marriage would have, over the long run. For me, for her, or for him. It wasn't a good situation for any of us, and I'm proud to have the courage to say so.


myranda said...

As a child of parents who waited 20 years to do what should have been done when I was Caroline's age, I have no doubts that you are doing the right thing for all of you.

MJS said...

Yes! And I'll say it again: YOU are not the one breaking up the family. It was broken a long time ago and you are simply acknowledging reality and moving forward in a positive way. You are so right in doing this.

Hugs and best wishes, as always. :)

MSLibLady said...

You know what is best for your daughter, you alone.

Katie said...

I can totally see where you are coming from. Obviously it's a very difficult situation but good for you for taking charge of your life. These first steps will no doubt me the hardest. There's lots of light at the end of this tunnel for you.

KatieH said...

Just keep looking and moving forward :) You are doing the right thing.

Merks said...

We love you.

A Chatty Future Mrs. said...

As a random follower, and a child of divorced parents (who stayed together waaaay too long), here's my two cents. A family is a family, no matter what. Family is people who love each other, they don't have to live in the same house. Keep your head up, and follow your heart. You're doing the best thing for you and your daughter by doing so. (And I'm sure you're helping readers who may be in a similar situation.) Thanks for always being so honest. As they say, "brush those haters off" and live YOUR life.


cjkoz said...

I am a random follower from the bump and I just felt the need to comment on this latest entry. My parents first seperated when I was five and sadly it was one of those messy custody battles that lasted another 4 years. It was pretty completely ridiculous because my dad was an alcholic who managed to keep a good job. And then he became a gambling addict that broke up his second marriage. My point is that your daughter is going to be JUST FINE. I never felt cheated about not having the "family" that most of all my friends had. My mom was and is a wonderful mother who filled our home with a lot of love and great memories. And she, my brother, and I were a happy family. In fact, not to toot my own horn but my brother and I even with my dad's messy life have become two nice, giving, and well adjusted people. ONE GREAT PARENT TRUMPS TWO MEDIOCRE ONES ANY DAY. And you might have become mediocre if you were in a miserable marriage. People can be stupid, naive, and stuck in their ways. And doubt is natural. I mean, I'm sure not every day was terrible. But thats enough for a good marriage. I wish you the best.