3/2/12

The hurt (in the) closet.


I’ve thought long and hard about sharing this particular part of my journey, but I had to wait until the chapters wrote themselves.   It’s been an incredibly painful left turn, and one that I never, ever could have predicted.



But it happened nonetheless.


I remember, years ago, watching the movie Kramer vs Kramer.  Remember when Meryl Streep left Dustin Hoffman, and left her son as well?  At the time I thought, “How could she leave her child?  HOW?  I would NEVER, EVER leave my child.”  I hated Meryl, and had to remember that she was playing a character that I didn't respect.   In fact, it wasn’t until recently that my mind raced back to that very person, and I looked at her as if I’d never seen her before.

How young and na├»ve I was back then - to judge someone’s actions without walking in their shoes. (Sure, it was a damn movie, but come on.) 

I left my home, the life I knew.  I left a marriage, a house, gardens, neighbors and a life I was comfortable with.   And, after many discussions, my children chose to stay behind.   They chose to stay in the only home they knew, and while we discussed over and over and over the fact that I was not leaving THEM but the marriage, it was an incredible blow that I never imagined I would have to take.  

But I respected their wishes.  The girls were in college, and while my heart was broken I knew they would have to find their way.  I had to be patient, and allow their hearts to guide them.   And for reasons that will remain private, it wasn’t long before they joined me.

But my Golden Boy?  He was 12, and we had agreed that I would see him almost every day.  At least that was the plan.  And of course the most well-laid plans often go terribly awry.


And they did.


I remember the words he spoke to me so early in this painful journey, “Mom, I know that you love me.”

I held those words close to my heart, as it was broken over and over throughout this ordeal.  I remember thinking and preparing for the fact that the girls might need more time to adjust- and then being blindsided by the fact that HE was the one who turned this journey upside down.


And now as we find a comfortable rhythm in this dance of divorce, I have come to realize certain things.  


Yes, a boy will always, always love his mother; but he also needs his father.  



And sometimes, probably most of the time, the father needs the son. 



While I was busy trying to save my own life- I’ve realized that the boy was busy saving his dad’s.  And I can never, ever fault him for that.



In fact, I would expect nothing less of any child of mine.






Nothing less.







43 comments:

Liss said...

Wise wise words that have left me with a proud tear in my eye. Love that you keep it real here. xxx

Sue said...

Sometimes when I read your posts, like this one, it makes my heart ache. As I know too well the journey that you are traveling. People that have never traveled on that road will never understand until they do. It is a journey of broken hearts that all want the same thing, healing and love. It is the "other" side of life and the way I see it years later after my own same journey, there is still a part of my heart that aches from my travels. I wish you the best my friend, and hope your heart aches just a little bit less each day!

Take care, Sue

Rene Foran said...

Oh girl...I am so proud. Of all of you. :)

Everyday Goddess said...

It's so complex until we remember that only Love is real.

Mrs. Lynch said...

One of my favorite blogs. No fluff, all heart.

Ann Imig said...

You--and especially your kids--all of you are so much better off due to your generous insightful perspective.

Beautiful post. xo

Kate Coveny Hood said...

Sending you SO much love...

Brian Miller said...

i know this is hard to live...and hard to write...and people never really know until they walk in your shoes...and you know...ah heck i got nothing really other than a hug...

Juli Ryan said...

Negotiating the custody arrangement is the worst part of a divorce. Great post.

Lynn MacDonald said...

What a moving, emotional and mature post. I know this has been a difficult journey for you and I love how you've grown and changed. I know it hasn't been easy.

Lots of love,

Lynn

Charlaine said...

I had the same thing happen, and I also could have never imagined it. My sweet 14 yo old staying with his dad was unimaginable to me at the time. But I also realized they both needed it. You are so brave to share so openly,mi can't seem to get past something, I'm not sure what, and write it out. Maybe it's the fear of others judging my mothering. Anyway mine came back to me last year, after a long painful journey. He and his dad are both healthier for the experience and I'm glad at this point it went the way it did. Don't be surprised if he comes back though, boys need their moms too :)

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

What a difficult journey; somehow I think you all will come out on the other side closer than ever.

Vodka Mom said...

i cry every night. I don't tell HIM that.

But I do.

Every.

Single



Night.

Loukia said...

You're very brave, and your children love you, and you, no doubt, love them, too.

SkylersDad said...

Thanks so much for sharing, I really feel I have come to know you so much more.

Cora said...

*tears* Oh, VM, this is just so beautiful and heartbreaking all at once. All I wanna do is run over, knock on your door and hug you!!

Suzy said...

Based on things my sister and I did, my father was persuaded, by first his third wife and then his fourth wife, that we were bad children.

Divorce is a monster but I've never for one minute thought my parents should have stayed together.

Ultimately it was best for my sister and I because we didn't have to live in the shadow of their indifference towards each other.

Neither my sister nor I ever married and had no desire to based on any of this.

Char said...

Beautiful insight, lovingly said, and I send you many ((hugs)).

Vodka Logic said...

A moving post. I can't even imagine what it is like.

I have not been thru divorce bur I have been thru dificulty with a child and to remind them I love them as they seem to drift away..it hurts my heart.

It is so strong what you are doing and so awesome how you trust and believe in your children even though it hurts... hugs.xx

Japolina said...

Hugs to you vodka mom.

ChiTown Girl said...

Kudos to you for putting your children first, and respecting their needs and desires. How mature of you to not use them as pawns in your divorce, like I've seen FAR too many people do. Your children know how very much you love them, and you've done one hell of a job raising them. No one ever said doing the right thing would be easy. Not many people are strong enough to do it. Good for you, and mostly, good for your kids.
xoxox

Scope said...

And your daughters are saving yours (but they have far less work to do.)

Dawn said...

The things we do for our children just so they can have what they need... It doesn't remove the pain, but somehow lessens it. HUGS!

Just Two Chicks said...

How very hard... I can't imagine. I've always been scared to death my kids would choose to leave me and go live with their dad. Or that he would try to take them from me. For so long, they were all I had. Now I have to force my 17 year old to go visit him, and the 14 year boy doesn't want to go, but he does, because he knows his dad is lonely... now that his sister rarely goes over, he really doesn't want to go. Last night we discussed helping my ex sell his home by helping with the money he would lose on his little home, that he has let go downhill... sell his home, move closer to Dallas, so he can be closer to his kids, and so the girl can drive herself and her brother over to his house. I don't know... It's very hard, and your unselfish act will always be remembered by your babies...

Magpie said...

big ((hugs)).

i wish my mother had been so generous. my siblings and i could have used more time with our father when we were younger, but she was too selfish.

Simone said...

I just realized from your post that my stepson not only needed his dad but his dad needed him as well. I came into their lives when they were the "boys" living the lives of devastation. After reading your post, I now see that they both needed each other.

Jen said...

wow, what an emotionally moving post.

What an incredibly hard thing to go through, as an obviously doting mother.

Keep moving forward, one step at a time.

Love to you
xoxo

Captain Dumbass said...

I was the Golden Boy once myself, but I was the oldest instead of the youngest and I stayed because I was old enough to know my mom would barely be able to cope with two let alone three. That was hard, but I still understood what was going on. And I always knew my mom loved me.

Courtney said...

This breaks my heart and scares the bejesus out of me at the same time. I am the mother to 3 boys and it terrifies me to think if their father and i ever seperated or divored they might choose to stay with him. I consider 2 of my 3 to be big mama's boys but still as you said a boy needs his father and a father needs his son. I am glad you were able to share this story with us.

Brittany {mommy words} said...

Thank you so much for sharing. My heart goes out to you during this difficult time. I can't even imagine having my kids choose to stay without me, at least at their young ages.

The most important thing is all of your love for your kids and theirs for you. It is clear there is a lot of that.

Hugs.

NotesFromAbroad said...

A "Mother's Love " ... there is nothing like it, nothing as strong, nothing as wonderful..and sometimes, nothing as painful.
Love you. C

Erin said...

Wow - our boys have so much in common.

Had a dream with you in it last night, VM. Had to stop by and say hello. After reading this post, I know why...

xoxo

Masala Chica said...

Deb,

I haven't been around in a while but I am glad I am reading this today. Making tough decisions in life requires that we expose ourselves to judgement - even when it is not appreciated. I am glad that you are not being hard on yourself - you did what you did for the best reasons you had, I am sure. While there is never a "best" time for this, there is a worse time for this - and that is never.

If things aren't working - they just aren't. You gave many good years to this and your daughters are older now. Your son is just growing into a man, but he is being a brave and loving one as he goes through this transition.

I fully believe that children need more than "stability" to be happy. Stability does not always come in the form of two parents remaining together but it comes in the form of space, room to breathe and an consistent kind of love. You are giving your son that, just as you gave your daughters. Not making light of the adjustment they have all had to make but I think that is the best kind of strength and stability you can give them.

many blessings to you on your journey.
Kiran

Formerly known as Frau said...

I know your heart is aching.....but as long as he knows you love him and feels loved...you are doing what's best. ((hugs))

Auntie Dee said...

I too am going through a divorce with twin twelve year old boys. Their dad and I have always put what is best for the children first. We have shared visitation however it was very difficult and still is...I ask myself every. single. day if I did the right thing.

Julie said...

Damn, this was a waste of a perfectly good mascara day.

You raised a good young man, Mom.

GraceesMommy said...

Knowing you and knowing how you were raised I would expect nothing less of any child of yours. There are times the fruits of our labor are not seen until we our much older and we may never see them...but I think your mom is smiling in heaven right now because she raised a girl with a huge heart and a forgiving and understanding soul. love you my friend. ♥

Amy @mommetime said...

oh wow... I wasn't expecting to cry. I saw this posted over at BlogHer voices of the year.

Life looks so very different looking out a set of aged eyes... I don't judge so much anymore! I really admire you for opening up and sharing so REAL! {{{HUGS}}} Wishing you peace and comfort... wishing your family peace and comfort!

Secret Agent Mama - Mishelle Lane said...

Sending you love, Deb!

Lizzy said...

I have travelled almost the same journey, one thing I always remind myself is that I did a terrific job raising my children and they will be 'just fine'

andrea from raising peanut said...

I just found your blog, and this post moved me the most bc I am going thru this as well. My child is younger -- 4 years old. He's with both of us.

Thanks for sharing. I hope you come to see my blog and read my story sometime. I'll continue to read yours! :)

andrea

Anonymous said...

YOU REMIND ME of the story of King Solomon and the two women who both claimed to be a boy's mother. The true mother was willing to let him go with the other women so he would not be harmed. Everyone will be better due to you unshelfishness. SMART WOMAN

♥ Braja said...

You've come a long way, baby....xoxoo