Peace Amongst the Pieces
After I filed for divorce I decided to add a divorce tattoo to my collection of artwork on my body. It has a lyric to Paramore’s song, “Hate to see your heart break” and the quote is, “Let the pain remind you that hearts can heal”. At the end of the sentence is a heart that is shattered like glass. I love this tattoo. Not because it reminds me of pain, but because it reminds me of the hope that is given through pain. Nothing in this world is guaranteed. There was a reason our marriage didn’t work and my heart, although shattered, will heal eventually. We are but fleeting shadows on an era timeline, and time will heal these wounds… well time, therapy, wine, and writing will heal these wounds.
The pieces that my heart is broken into are several categories.
I am broken for my children. This is individually as well as whole. I mourn for how my children will never again see their parents love each other, not run into the room in the middle of the night and have both mom and dad there. They will have to share their Christmases, repeat stories, find their place again and again as our families evolve to include step spouses and possibly step siblings. I get emotional just thinking about it. Being lost in your own family is probably one of the most isolating things for a child to endure.
I worry for my daughters who might not have a strong enough example of what love truly looks like. How they should value themselves because they might have conflicting examples. My girls might feel replaced by a step parent or step sibling. Finding that the attention they once got from each single parent is now to be shared.
I worry for my oldest daughter who is 7. She sees it all unraveling and has a greater understanding of what is happening. I watch her lose her patience easily, and feeling responsible for her younger siblings. She shares my love for writing and I often listen to what she writes and although she writes happy things, I hear certain phrases repeated like “my mom loves me for who I am” and “mom and dad are the best parents I could ever have,” I hear what she is saying between the words. And it is, ‘I need reassurance that I am still loved’ and ‘I desperately want my normalcy back.’ My heart aches with this realization. I love her more than there are words and languages to express that, but putting our family back together would only be a delay on the inevitable implosion of it years from now.
I fear for my son. Being a middle child and an only boy in the family concerns me enough that having no male role model on hand 24/7 could be catastrophic. He is so perceptive and can feel my emotions even when I conceal them. Once, I was sitting on our couch holding back tears and he climbs up next to me and gently holds my hand. He doesn’t say anything, just sits there with me, my hand in his. I just drowned in his love. I watch him express himself in outbursts and refusal to express himself in words. I watch him block out the world and bury his head into anything else. He is a happy boy, makes friends easily, and I have never seen a 4 year old be so tech savvy but I still worry for the years ahead. I pray that I have the wear with all to teach him how to be a responsible socially acceptable gentleman.
I get emotional for my youngest daughter. She is 22 months as of right now and I know she will never have a memory of me and her father ever loving each other. That understanding breaks me. To not witness your parents ever having loved each other leaves a whole in your being, I know of this all too well. Even though she is just under 2 I see her personality evolving into a beautiful independent little girl but am troubled by her relentless attachment to every stuffed animal, blanket, sippy, and passy. She must at all times carry her passy, at least one stuffed animal, and a blanket and/or sippy. I worry this new phase of attachment is triggered by feeling the loss of her father in her life. I believe children, even at this age, can feel things significantly.
My heart is broken in the promises of our vows. The idea of beating the odds and growing old together. The pictures in my head of how we would be at each stage of our lives together. My heart is broken in the together. Nothing will ever be done together, nothing will be experienced together, we will never be together.
As hard as that is to admit and come to grips with, it must be done. Numbing myself to this only postpones the inevitable. We have to learn to feel and not fall apart. It is the only way you can get to that point of healing. My broken pieces can only stay broken for so long. I will mourn for us and I will cry tears in anger and fear and loss but I refuse to sink. I find my peace in that as long as I hold my children as my first priority that is the greatest gift a single mother can give. With them ahead of myself I know that their needs will be met. With them above any man I know that they will never feel replaceable. With them being my priority over my other earthly obligations they will feel their worth. And that brings me peace. Forgiving the broken promises, understanding that my ‘what might have been’ s will either be spent with someone else or be changed gives me hope. My together will be a single. And everyone needs that time to be a one after being a two. If God sees it fit to give me another love for my life than I know I have learned something, and if I am not given that opportunity again I can be grateful for the chance to have loved fully as some have never had that opportunity.
There will be a day where you will feel this peace, this overwhelming calmness that warms your chest and brings a genuine smile to yourself. And this thought will come to you as you breathe deep, ‘It’s going to be okay. Everything is going to be okay.’ ….. And it will be….