July 4, 2013 . 9:31 am
Excuse the creepiness of the head being cropped out. I think a picture was needed.
These pictures came up on my FB memories today, taken about 7 hours before my daughter’s dad left. I look at this sweet little toddler, and think “how could he walk away from this? How could he give up so much time with her?”
I understand why people end up hating their ex or blaming “the other woman.” Anger is a normal part of loss, and I can see why someone might need to sort of keep one foot in that in order to move on without feeling completely broken. This just doesn’t work for me because it’s important for me to have the story I’ve written about our breakup be as three-dimensional as possible. I want to acknowledge the mistakes I made, and I also just genuinely think that my ex is a good and loving person.
It’s easier to blame the other woman for seducing your partner…well, it isn’t for me. I think that the trope of a woman who wants to “steal” your man (or part of him) is just another sexist way to provide deflection and excuses for grown men to not take responsibility for their behavior.
Also “siren” isn’t a thing in real life.
My ex and I are fundamentally kind-natured humans who fell in love. Irreparable damage was done to our relationship early on (his part), and I stayed with him even though there was no way it would ever be okay after that (my part). Problems persisted in our marriage. I was resentful because of past hurt (it’s on me that I was unable to truly forget, but I married him anyway), and I was cranky all the time. Like many do, he looked for a sign from god that we were doomed to start the process of checking out, and he left once he’d found another human to run to.
So, if he’s not a monster, and it’s not on “the other woman” for being such a depraved seductress…what does that leave? How does that explain moving out from the little dumpling in the bunny jumper?
It’s not the father, it’s not his girlfriend, it’s obviously not the toddler.
That’s what’s left.
He left because I’M THAT BAD.
I’ve worked on myself (and succeeded quite a bit) in the last five years. I have shed myself of so many dysfunctional behaviors, and even some of the negative thoughts. Most days, I feel that I have a long way to go before I’m living my life the way I’d like to live it and how I function in the world, but I think of myself as a fundamentally decent and kind person.
But not today.
And I hate to say it, but I wasn’t really done grieving my three losses (miscarriages) until I had a baby. It didn’t fix anything or undo the past, but it did end that chapter, and it fulfilled my wish to have a child.
I fear on days like this that I’d need to find love in order to be sure that I’m not garbage (at least, in the eye of one beholder). In the last five years, my husband walked out, and then I was: in an abusive relationship, trapped into painful ambivalent/friends with benefits horsehit (or, in one case, both), or I was completely single and not even trying. What has life shown me about how loveable I am in that time?
I truly don’t think that finding love is something that I’m going to do, and I at least have the self respect to save myself the inevitable pain of dating(/being lied to/finding myself trapped in one of these 21st century non-relationships), so I’m just going to have to cope with the discomfort on July 4 and some other times that I’m struck with what a wondrous creature Boo was in 2013.