Friday, October 1, 2010
Finally saying it
Finally saying it
"We have to look at our own inertia, insecurities, self-hate, fear that, in truth, we have nothing valuable to say. When your writing blooms out of the back of this garbage compost, it is very stable. You are not running from anything. You can have a sense of artistic security. If you are not afraid of the voices inside you, you will not fear the critics outside you." ~Natalie Goldberg
I stole that quote from Kelli Hampton’s blog. It’s perfect for me right now. There is so much I have been wanting to say to write for myself. So much I have wanted to get off my chest. But I have been scared..mainly of what people will think of me. I grew up in the South and in the south you don’t air your dirty laundry. You laugh and smile and pretend all is well…and well, that’s one of the reasons I moved. Don’t get me wrong…I do love the autumn trees and mountains and locally owned coffee shops and grocers and cowboy boots and wrangler jeans and so much more about my home town, but I also know that I am more myself a little further north. And Missouri is not too much further north, but just enough sometimes. Here people don’t really care too much what others think, which can also be a fault. People are a little more blunt and a little more forthright. But I have met some wonderful people here. And right now, when life has pretty much thrown me the worst, tear stained curve ball, I want to take time to thank those people. My neighbors, Eric and Jamie – you have been a voice of reason for me, of empathy, and I will never be able to tell you how connected I feel to your family and how safe I feel in your home. And thank you for calling every day to check on me. Thank you for introducing me to Jen – I can’t wait to get to know her better. Thank you. Laura – you are my best friend here in the city. You pretty much peeled me off the floor for the 1st week following this horrible event. You have cried with me, held Jack when I couldn’t, and basically been amazing. You are a rock star and I am so grateful for you in my life. You love my son as if he were your relative, which is why we call you “aunt Laura” and you are the only person he will willingly go to besides me. He loves you. Your sweet Chad has mowed my lawn and you guys have kept me company many lonely nights. You and Sheli made me laugh for hours at our work event, which I desperately needed. Shannon and Rachel – I would have never met you if Michael didn’t work in your dept. Shannon you make me remember who I am deep down with your encouragement and compliments and love. You have given me resources and have watched Jack too. You remind me that life is just beginning and you have helped me sort out many details. You remind me of hope. And you talked me through taking off my rings. Thank you. And Rachel – I have gotten to know you so much better through this. You have watched Jack and sat on the floor with me in my living room while I told you stories and cried and you brought wine and artichoke dip…2 of my favorites. You and Todd are an encouragement to me. Barrett – you and I share something very special…2 fabulous boys who have an extra chromosome. You are my down syndrome soul mate :). I am blessed to call you a friend and to have someone who knows the trials we face and the joys. You know what life is like each day for us, how each dr. appt makes you a nervous wreck and how sometimes you just want to stop all the therapies. You make me feel normal. Thank you. And through you, I have met Katie – who opened her home to us so that I could cry…and eat Italian…and so our kids could play together. WOW. Thank you for that. And of course, my parents and grandmother. My mom and dad and grandmother have heard me curse through this more than they have cared to I am sure. They have listened and cried with me and reminded me that Jack and I deserve more. Reminded me that I am worth more. And my fabulous in-laws and family – I am blessed to know you all and Jack is blessed to be a part of your wonderful family.
By now you are all wondering..what is she talking about. So, I’ll type it quickly, as if removing a band aid…though this wound won’t heal for a long time. My husband left Jack and I unexpectedly one month ago. And I won’t bore you with the horrid and incredibly sad details, but he is gone. And after all I know now, I realize it’s for the best. I realize that he is not who Jack and I need in our lives .
I know many of you will have questions, but for now, I won’t be answering them. It’s too hard. My heart is completely broken and my life torn apart. And every time Jack says, “dada” I have to fight back tears. He still waves his hand towards the bathroom each morning where Michael was typically shaving and I have to redirect his attention because I know he doesn’t understand. I took down 2 pictures yesterday and took off my rings. Michael took his off in 2 seconds and it took me weeks and I was still not ready, but I had to. The commitment was broken, the vows were destroyed and the symbol of love that those rings represented was gone, because he was gone and he left and all he left behind him were broken hearts and lies. I cried for hours taking them off. I love being married and I don’t want to be “single”. I love the commitment and companionship and teamwork a marriage brings, and I thought our marriage was great, but I didn’t know the truth. And although I know Jack and I deserve more, it was hard taking those rings off. I felt like I was immediately going from married mom to single mom and I hate that label. SO, I bought a cheap band from Target and it sits on my finger until I can afford a real one. It’s plain and simple, but my friend Shannon said it best, she said, “well, let’s get a new ring..that symbolizes your commitment to Jack” and so that’s what I did.
Many people have asked if we will stay here in MO or go back to TN. And as of right now I have no plans to move. We have an incredible support network here, and Jack is at a great daycare and I have a decent job. But I do hate the reminders around the city of a love that is lost. I hate the empty bed and the lonely nights. And people have asked if I have a hard time getting up in the morning, and my answer is simple, “No. I wake up to the most beautiful voice every morning…Jack’s voice and that is more motivation than you know”. I suppose I am glad this happened before more years were lost or before Jack is older, but it basically still sucks. I am 28 and right now feel so old..so worn down and just exhausted. This blog has been a place for me to say things that I can’t say out loud or a place to share silly stories, triumphs and struggles. And I really wondered if I should share this sort of detail with ‘strangers’, but so many of you aren’t 'strangers' to me. I follow your own blogs filled with the same things..and I know there must be someone else out there who will relate or who may be going through the same thing as we are and this could be helpful to them. Jack and I will get along fine, we are a great team, but we are sad…we are hurt..and I am wounded. I feel as though in the past few weeks, I have been hit over and over again…like a poor soldier who can’t catch a break. But I am strong and I know God has better plans for us. And I cling to that hope. And I focus on Jack and getting something done each day and eating 1 meal. That’s what I do right now. And eventually I won’t have to remind myself to do those things. And when I see my sweet, sweet son, I am filled with so much joy and pride and the strength I get from him…is priceless. Thank you for listening and for letting me say what is so hard to say. But it’s our reality right now. Next post will be much more exciting and fun, promise…after all it is Down syndrome awareness month, and there is much to celebrate!
Posted by B. McKenzie