Happy Monday, readers.
The love, the sadness, the frustration and pain, oh the love. In this post, Marie writes so evocatively about it all. We’reused to hearing about parents that didn’t stay together from the kids’ perspectve. What about the mums (and dads) who suffer with the consequences?
Over to you, Marie:
I hate it when my child goes away to visit his Dad for the weekend.
There. I’ve said it.
I tell myself that it is good for him, that his Dad loves him and he loves his Dad. That he gets something different from his relationship with his Dad that I don’t provide, not better just different.
I tell myself it’s good for me. That I need the break. That I can be a better parent when we are together because I have that time. That I need the time to study so that I can get my career on track to provide a life and an example to him. That I love the lay-ins, the luxury of free un-frazzled time.
I tell other people that. I tell them I am lucky, grateful for the brilliant experience that I get to have of parenting. The best of both worlds.
For a while I believed myself. Suddenly today I didn’t any more.
I stopped lying about what its like to have to pretend to enjoy cooking and eating, when its just for one. To have to stop myself from listlessly wandering round the flat picking things up absently. To struggle to concentrate on any study I try to do anyway. To feel I have to make good use of my time because I am so lucky to have this time to be able to do all the things I need to do. To count the hours, while I’m busy doing things, till he returns. Always aware that I MUST be sure to be relaxed in readiness. To sit and relax. I must relax. Relaxing is very important. (Have you ever tried to relax when you feel you have to? When you feel lost, anchorless, like half your soul has been ripped from you? It’s a bit like someone is sat opposite you shouting “RELAX” every 30 seconds.)
Maybe I can see it like that now because I have been reading about psychological defences a lot (denial ain’t just a river in Egypt, girl).
Or maybe because we have had a month without contact.
A month where the only signs of Daddy were missed skype calls. Or connected ones where Daddy fails to remember the name of the new teacher, again. A month without having to pull sobbing arms from my neck as he begs not to be made to go. Without dealing with a ball of rage and exhaustion for the first few days after he returns. A month where he hasn’t been torn by his split life. A month where my beautiful boy has been settled, content and most of all happy.
Its not just that I have created this lie to protect myself emotionally. This is my life and I have to see the positives. But actually, if I had the choice, I wish he didn’t have to go. I don’t sleep in anyway.
Tomorrow he goes again. Somehow I have to believe again.
So I won’t tell my friends how hard it is. I won’t cry to them about how awful it feels not to know where he is, who he is with. To know that if he falls or is frightened someone else will hold his hand.
But I thought I would tell you. Because maybe you feel the same way.