In my 30 years I've gone a lot of places and I've lived with a lot of people, but I realized something in my search of self this weekend; I've ALWAYS done my best living alone. That doesn't mean that I always had the best of everything when I was alone, or I didn't ever struggle, but I'm talking about the actual experience of living. I have always had to be alone to feel that experience fully. Maybe that's what's missing. Maybe I need to wake up excited, I need to feel my emotions, my struggles, and triumphs. I need to actually LIVE, not just exist. I'm hoping to find that again in this new chapter. I want to feel my life. I want to be immersed in myself.
I think I got so wrapped up in the roles I play for other people; wife, mother, sister, friend, daughter, neighbor, employee, volunteer.. and I forgot to save a part of my life for me.
I never talked about this with anyone because I was afraid of the backlash and judgement, but I have had self-harming thoughts for months now. I never followed through with any sort of action, but I would be driving and think how easy it would be to just yank the steering wheel to the right and end it all. I would be standing in front of the stove making dinner and think about just laying my hand down on the burner, or "accidentally" slicing my fingers when chopping veggies. I know I've said that I was "miserable", but really, truly... I was freaking MISERABLE!! And all because I, as a human being with needs and wants, was not allowed to exist. I made no time for that.
I spent the last year trying to force time for myself, but no matter how hard I tried I couldn't figure out how to add me in without having to choose another role to cut out. So, I started cutting roles. The easiest one to do without was the volunteer one so I stopped going, and I wasn't happier because it turns out that's what I was using as my time away. When that didn't work I started pulling away from my friends, but that backfired. I couldn't pull away from work, the kids, or my family so I was stuck. The Makeshift Dad and I talked and talked about what we could do to fix this and he started taking time off of work and staying with the kids so I could rediscover myself, but his days off turned into catch up time for me and I spent the day doing chores... and I wasn't feeling more fulfilled.
I know when people hear 'My husband moved out last week' it brings to mind pictures of awful fights, destroyed families, and marriages in shambles. Our marriage was never 'bad'. Of course he did things that made me wanna rip his face off, and I'm sure I did things too even though he never told me, but we weren't fighting constantly, there was no big problem per se- he just married a woman who was never meant to be coupled forever. We're still a family, we're still the best of friends, and we still spend an insane amount of time together, but I wasn't meant to share my living space with another adult forever.
I am happiest alone and always have been. The triumph is greater when it's done alone and the suffering is more intense when there's no one to share it. The good and the bad, I need to experience it all.
I can no longer allow my life to consist solely of things I do for others. I need to reclaim my existence. I need to feel free to explore everything that makes me who I am. We tried and tried, and this is the only way to make that happen.
I am happy. We are happy. What everyone else thinks does not matter. My kids still smile and giggle, they're still secure with both of us, and I'm excited about what the future will hold for us all.
Sure, I'm scared. I've been alone at many points in my life, but this is my very first time being alone with children. There are some huge unknowns looming over my head and I'm definitely feeling the stress, the vulnerability, and the angst. But did you catch that? I'm FEELING those things. I am coming back to me. Slowly but surely, I am. I know I will evolve. I have no idea what that will mean for me, or who/where I'll be at the end of this, but I have no doubt that whoever I become will be closer to my essential self than I am now and that will be a gift. The greatest gift I could ever receive and I'm doing it for myself. There is power in knowing that. I have power now and it courses through me right alongside the fear. I will be unstoppable. I will be everything I was meant to be. I will be courageous and I will always listen to the power before the fear. I will not allow myself to walk around with my head down. I am incredible, amazing, strong, and I will do this. I will do this no matter what anyone says or thinks because I'm listening to me now and my soul is screaming, not whispering, that this is right.