Someone I used to know

Today I submitted Ry’s senior ad for his yearbook (and yes, it was in fact the last day to do so, not that it’s any of your business).

They offered eighth, quarter, half and full page sizes. I was able to purchase the full page, thanks to the contributions of Ry’s extended family. I could choose from a variety of templates, with space for a message and pictures. So I spent the majority of my day looking through old photos. It was fun and sad and left me with a little ache in my heart.

I got very nostalgic, of course. for those early years, for Boston, for the little family we were. For my little baby. It was definitely different before nick came along. Not better, just different.

I liked their father back then. We were on the same team. We were together, and I was committed to being a unit.

But he just did so many awful things, so many times, that any love and tenderness I once felt for him is gone. I look at him now and he is a stranger to me. He makes me tense and anxious most of the time. I can tolerate him in small stretches, and in our interactions, I need to keep myself removed and distant. For my sanity and safety.

But when I look at him in these old pictures, there is a little flicker in my brain, letting me know there ARE good memories, times of love and laughter and happiness, sweetness and warmth. Comfort and a feeling of home.

But it’s faint and unwanted, these flickers. What truly remains constant is the pain. Well that’s not it exactly. It’s more the memory of pain.

Because by the end, things were just so fucking awful. Absolutely miserable. Post traumatic stress. Maybe I’m being a little over the top here, but then again, not really.

For all my flaws and weaknesses, I consider myself a fairly strong person. So to admit to being in an abusive relationship, to admit to being emotionally conquered and dominated by the male in my life? Well, it’s not easy. Even now, five plus years later, I still haven’t worked my way through it.

I need to get to a place where I can feel okay with the memories of the past, good and bad. I do think I made some progress this year. Letting go of some things, admitting some stuff to myself, accepting certain realities. But it’s a long road and heavy is the burden. And no thanks to this stupid fĂșcking pandemic. it has not been kind to my constitution.

My goal for 2022 is to stop thinking about how things could have been different. To close the distance between what is and what will never be. To stop obsessing over the many ways I failed my kids.

It’s pointless, right? We did what we did, we made the choices we made, and I’m here now. Focus not on what I can’t provide for them, but more on what I can.