Dear Mom and Dad,
Only now after my own marriage has ended can I come to understand what it is like and what it must have been like for you to have made the decision to end yours.
In some ways my story seems to mirror yours while in other ways it is as different as can be.
All I know is that I really tried. I tried to be perfect, I tried to be good. I tried to make you happy. I tried to make him happy. In fact I tried to make everyone happy. The only problem was that deep down I harbored the biggest secret of them all. Although I smiled from ear to ear, I was miserable. I was so disconnected from myself and therefore from my life and everyone around me. I was struggling. I was heavy, I had shut myself off so much that I couldn’t feel a thing. I couldn’t even feel those sweet sensations of physical touch that I am only just beginning to understand. But I must have turned myself off long ago as that was who I was and how I felt for so long.
This feeling of happiness, the bliss I now experience feels foreign to me. This feeling of finally allowing myself to be who I am and loving and accepting me for me.
I can now begin to understand the struggle you went through.
Mom, I can only imagine what it was like to take care of the three of us with very little, if any time off and support. I can now understand the emotional conflict that any parent faces when trying to figure out this very complicated situation. The conflict of doing what you need to do to thrive and be happy versus keeping your “family” unit as you know it. It is quite the trade off, although one that I have come to understand well.
What I have come to understand is that happiness is what allows your children to thrive as it allows you to connect with them on a much deeper level as long as you allow yourself to connect with yourself on that level.
Dad, I now understand why you were never home. It is much easier to keep yourself busy and distracted when your “family” crumbles, when your children are not around, when you spend your days and nights in the solitude of a foreign and sterile hotel room. It is much easier to keep yourself moving than allow yourself to be constantly alone with your thoughts. I now know the feeling of missing the laughter of your children, although I only know it 50% of the time. That search for connection, no matter where or how many that may come from.
I now can begin to appreciate and understand what the two of you went through. I now understand that there is no one to blame. We are all human beings struggling with our pains and hurts, enveloping ourselves in our stories and creating lives we may not realize we are creating…until it is too late…if we ever fully choose to realize it. And then realizing that it is never too late to make that choice to live fully.
Relationships and the dynamics that come with them are complex. They are complex living, breathing entities of their own. And they become more complex as they continuously change with each breath we each take.
It’s the key to keeping your children laughing, smiling and thriving.