Today and for the past 6 months I have been thinking a lot about time. So many things in life seem to be about timing more so than genuine choices. Or maybe I have defaulted to this theory to rationalize all the choices I DID make that have left me feeling lost?

When I was young and did not have children, everything in life seemed black and white...or simple. On the other hand, is it not true that when the only person that you have to be responsible for is yourself that everything REALLY is more simple? My choices didn't impact anyone except myself, and making snap decisions was much easier. Now my children are teenagers, one age 17 and the other age 15. They are both in high school and frankly, virtually everything I do can effect them (especially big things like where I work, where I live, how I spend my money and time and who I spend it with).

When children are little they believe in you faithfully so long as you have met their basic human needs and been a trustworthy caretaker of them that they can deepen on. Any decision you make is acceptable to them. I guess it is because they blindly trust and believe that anything you do is for the best. Now that my kids are much older they are also much wiser. They see me as human with frailties and the potential for making mistakes. They love me of course, but no longer do they have that blind faith that they used to naively carry with them everywhere. I don't know if all teenagers are this way or if it's mine and if it's because of the mistakes I have made and how they have disrupted and broken their reality that once was. All I know is that I a am sorry for that and wish they still felt that way about me. I don't think I can ever get that back again. I mourn that and I can't even feel sorry for myself for it because in my heart I know that it's my kids who had their lives shattered and not mine.

I was married for 12 years. I was 4 months pregnant with my second child when I got married at the age of 21. My husband was 6 years older than me. I had been a single mother for little over a year. I was in college full-time to get a bachelors degree and I had 2 more years of upper level courses to complete to finish my degree. The new welfare reform had just taken effect and although I had been told I would still qualify for welfare as long as I was going to school full-time, I receive a letter from the state informing me that in4 weeks all my assistance would be cut off if I did not start working full-time. Apparently school did not matter and getting an education so you could build a life and bit have to be dependent on the state anymore did not matter. The expectation was to work at any minimum wage dead-end job so that you would stop spending your entire life on welfare dependent on the state. I knew there was no way I would ever NOT be dependent on the state if I was forced to work a dead-end job and give up on college. I also knew thatthe state if Idaho had one of the worst state sponsored child-care programs in the U.S. At the time and that the first 3 years of life are critical for brain development. Timing came to play big time here. In 4 weeks I would be homeless with a 8 month old baby and one on the way.

The choices were to be stuck in the cycle of poverty forever or get married to someone I didn't want to and atleast have a chance of being able to give my babies a better start in life than what I had. Of course I made the latter choice. I told myself that regardless of anything, atleast thus way my babies would not be raised by minimum wage daycare employees and once they got older I might be able to finish my education. Also I would have health insurance and a roof over my head. I felt awful for being pregnant again and I knew with how hard it was to take care of one baby on my own that I could never manage a second one by myself.

Suffice it to say the marriage lasted 12 years as I said atthe beginning of this. My children did not have a clue how unhappy I was. All I told them when I started school was that it would all be worth it once I finished it. I told them how much better our lives would be and how much more money we would have. They believed me. But secretly in my heart I felt that I was doing it so that I could get away from my husband and support myself someday. The fact that I had gotten wrapped up in an affair and fallen deeply in live with another man only made me more determined and motivated to follow through with my plan. I look back and wish things had been different now and I wish I had kept things together for my kids. I wish they could have had a stable normal life as teens instead of this stupid half-life they have now. Nothing isay or do can ever fix that for them.

I finished school and left my husband an my children and ex-husband were all devastated. Things were never perfect in my marriage and it is true my husband should have done some things differently. But the fact is that I made bad mistakes too. Theaffair changed everything. And once I dis it and fell in love I could go back no matter what. The thought was intolerable, and I told myself that I deserved to be happy for once, that it wa my turn to have life be the way I wanted it. That in the end my kids would benefit because they would see their mom finally be in a relationship with someone who treated her right and could be a good role model for them as young men. It all sounded good. Besides, back to timing again, my ex-husband was getting ready to retire. I knew he would not want to pay the child-support he should or any part of his retirement to me regardless of whether I had an affair or not. His retirement was half mine by law and I knew I could not five the kids the same standard of living they were accustomed to without that money. In this respect a with me approaching close to age 35 I felt if I wanted a chance to make things right in my life that it had to be done now.

All of this turned out to be a huge disappointment and once again I am lost and do not know what to do. I want to be loved and I want to be in a healthy relationship and I want my kids to be happy again. I am such a loss now and in a relationship that is way more dysfunctional and disappointing than my marriage ever was. Part of me wonders if I have mad ethe choices I made after divorce out of guilt and self-deploration or if it is all just karma. Maybe both. In many ways I think I truly believed everything was going to be great and I finally found true love. But then when disappointments came and reality struck that in the face and I decide to maintain the relationship despite all of that I wonder if I an just partaking in self-hatred.

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sameasalways

May 2013

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