Friday, November 20, 2009

D day

The day has come that I have dreaded since May. Today I have to sit down with my babies and tell them about the divorce. I have put this off, primarily because I didn't want to tell them prematurely only to upset them when we were all still living in the same house. But, a few weeks ago I finally gathered my courage and told Walter he would have to be out by the Sunday after Thanksgiving. That's only 9 days away. And I'm taking the kids out of town while he moves out, so in less than a week we will be in Indiana. I've thought of different ways to approach this, but quite honestly there is no easy way.

My daughter is my primary concern. My son is only 3. And his bond with his dad has always been tenuous at best. My daughter though recalls a loving daddy who tickled her, fried her chicken and took her to Chinese buffets when she was littler. Since our son's birth, Walter has distanced himself from the kids more and more. But our daughter is hard to resist. She is an affectionate, effusive, sweet child. She is also emotional. I know that she will cry. And quite honestly when she cries, I have a hard time not joining in. I know that I am causing her pain, and that's the worst feeling I've ever had. I've been upset all week knowing this day was coming, and feeling like I have failed her. There is no quick, painless way through this.

While I can defend my decision to myself and to my friends and family, my daughter is another story. How do I defend splitting our family into two pieces to a child? How can I explain that Christmas morning won't be the same? The whole mess is so complicated that I don't always get it, I certainly don't expect her to get it.

Everyone, well-meaning as they are, tell me she will be fine. And I hope she will, but of course I know that part of her innocence will be gone. I don't know how people have gotten through this intact. It just seems so hard. Staying was hard. Leaving is hard. Some days I wonder if this is the right path for me. I wish I knew for sure. I've been reading some Buddhist writings recently. They talk about living within the moment. And about not running, not holding back. Not grasping onto things out of fear. Hard to explain. Harder to practice. Perhaps in my struggle to hold on to my sanity, I hold back that which is the most precious.

A few weeks ago I felt paralyzed. I was so depressed I couldn't see light. After 5 days it passed. But I worry about falling into it again. It seemed so deep, so all-encompassing. Despite my struggles, I couldn't get out. Finally I just let go. I let myself sink down into it. And after a few days, it lifted.

This post is random, and seemingly disconnected thoughts. Perhaps that is representative of where I find myself at this moment. Without apology, without excuse. And still I was able to get up today. To work, to love, to smile.

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