Friday, August 9, 2013

An end to an ugly chapter. On to better things...

It's a cloudy, slow morning.  Nora's asleep on the living room floor, Braden is riding his bike and Mabel is next to me-not crying for a change. 
I haven't written in quite some time.  Over the last few months I have tried desperately to pull back and establish a sense of privacy for the kids and I.  Daniel left our home almost 6 months ago and in that time we have made so many changes that seem astronomical. 
I haven't talked (written) publicly about the things that led our family to a place where we are severed and no longer a complete unit.  I have no intention to ever write about the details of it here.  What I do want to say here for the first and last time are a few things that I need to let go of so that I can begin to write about the next chapter in our lives as they unfold. It is important for me to be able to do that in order to be true to who I am and who I am is a writer.

I feel that there needs to be a bridge in the gap of my writing between the time Daniel left, our divorce and now. I feel that some clarifications need to be made before I begin writing the authenticity of our days from this point on.  Because our family has been so much in the public eye until now, I feel that moving forward it is only right that there be a bookend to this chapter so that we can begin a fresh new one. 

So here are my feelings on a few issues and some updates and changes that have taken place in our lives over the last six months.
  Please know that these are my personal feelings and not the opinions of Daniel or anyone else who may have been involved in the situation.
I want to make it clear that I am disappointed in the glorifying of choices that led to 3 children being put in a situation that they should have never had to endure.  It disgusts me to hear the 'hip hip hooray's' of people towards a father who left his home, no matter what his reasoning.  It isn't right or fair for Nora and Braden to have  had to go through this at a time in their life when so much else is uncertain and I expected the adults around them to simply pull back and surround them with support and love rather than pick a side to a situation that made so little sense to begin with.
I  take responsibility for allowing our family to be in the public eye.  I understand that because people read my words here they believed they understand the dynamic of our home and of our family.  I feel responsible for writing things here that may have painted an unrealistic picture, at times, of our family, however-I wrote them with the intention of honing in on the good aspects of our lives and leaving out the details that were, at times, dirty and hurtful.  As with any family and marriage, there were very private things that took place that should have remained sacred and private yet sadly, did not.  I will have to answer to the kids some day about a marriage that I thought was strong and could endure anything yet crumbled right before our eyes and I understand that.  But it was never anyone else's business to take what they thought they knew and make assumptions, on either end of the spectrum, about it.
Daniel made his choices and that is fine.  Everyone makes choices in life.  I can't comprehend them because I would never make those same choices or even choices based in the need to be 'happy' or to 'have more' but it happens far more than I realized.  The problem that I have now lies in the glorifying of those decisions when there are three innocent lives that were shattered in the mix of chaos.  It is absolutely unacceptable, completely shameful and downright disgusting.
Since Daniel left our home, I have been a full-time single mom.  Strangely not much has changed in the every day of my life only I can say, with certainty, that I have never been more genuinely happy.  What I suppose that means is that nothing and nobody is necessarily driving my happiness.  I am at a place where, inside of myself I am content and joyful and therefore anything else that comes along and makes me happy is supplemental; a great additive to my life.  It also means that nothing and nobody is capable of robbing my days of the joy that I now have.  I have learned in these last couple of years in my journey with Mabel and most definitely in these last six months that life is not what we had planned for or even hoped for sometimes but it that doesn't make it any less beautiful or any less amazing.  It also means that I have learned to base my joy in my God and in myself more than ever and not in people or circumstances.

In the process of Daniel leaving I watched several of our Christian friends take sides.  In fact I even had someone say that they believed I should let him take some time to find himself and figure out what makes him happy. Again, for the first and last time, I want to say that whether you were a friend, a family member, a fellow Christian, a total atheist, a complete stranger-it was never your business to comment on the situation that unfolded.  You didn't and will never know the details that led us to divorce, and to be perfectly honest, I probably won't either. 

I don't feel the need to defend my choices in our situation. 
They speak very loudly and clearly for themselves.  I believe that a husband and a father cannot leave their home to 'find himself' or even because he is unhappy and needs 'some time.'  We are living on very borrowed time with Mabel the way it is and that was just not an option.  Over the last year I had given all I could give, in the midst of caring for Mabel and raising Nora and Braden, to my marriage and when I saw that clearly more was going to be required to make my husband happy I was able to accept that I would never be able to truly do that.  Upon filing for a separation and realizing that the man I had spent my entire adult life with was not at all who I thought he was, I decided that for my own moral reasons I couldn't stay married to him any longer.  Our daughter is dying and that is my reality.  I needed to not be a part of a more trivial life that involved choices I disagreed with for any longer than I had to be because ultimately I needed to be well enough to care for Mabel in the very best ways that she deserves. 

Since our divorce, my main focus has obviously been the children.  It has been difficult to say the least.  At times, almost unbearable.  The emotional turmoil that I have watched them experience has been excruciating for me to witness. I know that some day they will understand my choices and the reasoning behind them but for now there are just no good answers.  There is no closure, no security.  It's all very sad and hard. 

Mabel has made our situation unique. 
For instance, because she is medically fragile, she typically stays in the home or goes out of the home with me.  Her needs are great and although she is easy to handle while being in the house, she is complex otherwise.  She has started to choke often and isn't swallowing well.  She is crying almost constantly and if she has a good moment or on the off chance that she has an entire good day, it is always unpredictable.  So if Daniel wants to see her and spend time with her, he comes to our house and I leave.  It is hard because it hasn't really given the kids time to make a distinction that this is all reality.  When Daniel takes the bigger kids, Mabel stays with me which means they are separated and they often express how they miss and worry about her. It's obviously not ideal but it is necessary.    It's all very hard, no matter how I have tried to help in all of the transitions.
Yesterday morning I registered Nora and Braden for public school.  Nora will start 2nd grade and Braden will start in Kindergarten.  Over the summer I have prepared them in the ways that I know how in order to help them with yet another change and I feel as if they are excited.  I know that the structure will help give them a sense of stability and security that they might be lacking now.  We have been working on an early bedtime which I already feel has helped tremendously.  This next chapter for them will be different and yet hopefully they will both thrive and do well.  Again, I can't help but feel like this is not at all what I had planned for my life or for theirs, and yet somehow I feel myself letting go and giving in to the beautiful reality rather than the life I once hoped for. 

Daniel and I are both seeing other people. 
For him it has been difficult because everyone has strong opinions of the situation.  And although it hasn't been necessarily comfortable or easy, it is what it is.  Because Daniel and I have talked about it and worked through it, I'm simply asking that you respect our children enough and just let it be. 

For me, "seeing someone" means that there is a man kind enough, compassionate enough, empathetic enough to hold Mabel when she's crying, walk her when I'm tired and wipe her drool for me while I'm driving.  It means that he is willing to see me while I'm mothering my beautiful yet very sick girl.   It isn't the type of dating that you would think a 28 year old woman might be doing but it is quite wonderful anyway.

  In order to maintain some privacy in our lives, I won't say much more about it, only that if you see us out, you now know that it is true. 
And you'll know that I am happy.

Moving forward I hope to continue writing here. 
I would like to be able to go back to the core purpose of this blog and that is to remember the days and moments that are so precious and fleeting in our lives.  Nora and Braden deserve to know me throughout the highs and lows of our lives and I always want them to know that this will always be about them. 
I want to be able to document Mabel's life as I always have.  I want there to be less scrutiny as of lately and hope to go back to a place of support and encouragement.  My hope, moving forward, is that I can write here about the experiences that I share with my children in a whole new way while maintaining that sense of 'me' that I've always shared while writing. 
Soon I will begin writing in a different place that will hopefully stretch across the pages of a published book some day.  In the meantime, I'm so thankful for every one who has gone into the trenches with me over the last several months and loved these kids like they have never been loved.  It has been a beautiful honor to be part of such a strong and courageous village.  I am so incredibly thankful. 
As always, on to bigger and better things....