Wise Words

"Wait on the Lord, be strong and of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart...wait on the Lord. Psalms 27:14


WWW As My World Turns

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Confessions of a Mommy who’s having a hard time getting into the Christmas season

What do you say to someone at this time of the year whose life is turning a new corner? A corner that isn't exactly a pleasant one to turn. I find myself being more depressed this year than in years past. I know I should be happy because it's Christmas time and Emily is so overjoyed with the notion of Christmas and I have the most precious little girl who is a true gift. This is the first year that she really gets the whole Christmas spirit. She loves everything about Christmas from the decorations to the wrapping of gifts, to the lights on the trees and houses to Santa and the birth of Jesus that we celebrate – who IS the Reason for the Season. Emily embodies the Christmas Spirit, always sharing and giving to others, always loving and generous. What she doesn't understand is the changing dynamic between her daddy and myself and how that is spilling over into his family and how it is affecting me.

I went to take Emily to see Narnia the night it opened. By the grace of God I got home on time, we both were feeling better, and Matt was supposed to drop Emily off at my mom's house fairly early. I went to get tickets for the 7:00 movie and my mom was going to bring Emily to the theater. Well, I'm waiting in line for refreshments and I see Matt's younger brother in line for Narnia. The same movie Emily and I were going to see. Emily adores her Uncle Aaron. I tried to get his attention as he was only about 20 feet from me, maybe 30 at the most. I called his name several times and I swear he heard me but was not acknowledging me. Finally I yelled his name to the point that he would have had to have been deaf to not hear me. He turned and kind of did this half-smile and wave and went back to waiting in line.

Hmmmm, that's odd. He's usually so friendly and talkative. So I get the refreshments for Emily and myself and walk over to him. He asks what theater I'm going in to and I say 10, he says he's going in to 11. I tell him I'm waiting for my mom to bring Emily but Matt hasn't dropped her off yet. They start letting us into the theaters. I tell Aaron that if he wants he can sit with us. He says no thanks he's meeting some friends but they're not there yet. Ok, well, I know that Emily would like to see him so I say that I'm going to still wait for a little while for Emily before going into the theater. At this point it's 6:40. The movie starts at 7:00. I'm starting to get concerned b/c Matt hasn't dropped Emily off yet. Aaron declines to see Emily, stating he needs to get seats for his showing which doesn't start for another hour. Um, ok. He says that he'll see Emily at some other time. This is a first b/c he's usually all about seeing Emily and there were only a few people going into his theater so the seating was pretty much wide open. He acted like he didn't really want to be around me.

It was then that I realized that even though Matt was the one who chose to stay where he's "unofficially" staying ("because she's convenient" he said to me last night), with a 21 year old (very needy) female who was his former co-worker that he used to live with when we first separated, that I was going to be the one to bear the blame for this decision in his families eyes. Maybe not all of them, but they certainly don't tell him that what they think he is doing is wrong, even though they've told me before. Matt's like the elephant in the room that everyone sees but nobody wants to talk about. He's always been a loner when it comes to his family so it's like they'll do anything they can to "keep the peace". Including not confront him about anything.

I don't know which bothers me more, the changing dynamic with Matt's family or the fact that Matt's willingly chosen to spend his time where he's spending it now.

Throughout this 2 year separation – two years as of yesterday – I have kept up a good relationship with his family. They understood and agreed with my concerns and issues that I had with what Matt was doing. They gave me full support and always made me feel welcome and accepted, even though their son and I were separated. Now, I find the conversations stilted and halting and a little uncomfortable. I want to say, "I'm still the same person you've loved for the past 7+ years!"

This will be the first year since 1998 that I won't be spending Christmas Day with them. Instead I will drop Emily off after the Christmas day church service and pick her up early evening and spend Christmas day virtually alone. I’ve been invited to the annual Christmas day celebration given by long-time friends of the family - that I haven't gone to in the past 7 years. I don't know if I'm up to going, seeing all of the families and the closeness and genuine marital and family love within that circle of friends.

Trying to move on past the past seems almost like another case of out with the old, in with the new or at least out with me in with someone else. Just like New Year's Eve when the clock counts down to 11:59:59 and then slips inexorably into the New Year where you struggle to make it to the next year. Day in, day out, the daily grind goes on and on and the only light in the day is looking forward to being with a daughter who thinks I hung the moon, who loves me with every fiber of her being, who is the miracle child I never should have been able to have but did by the grace of God anyway.

That alone should be enough to make me thrilled about this season, but for some reason, this year it's not. Even though I have the love of that precious angel and of my Savior, I still feel empty inside. Maybe it's the culmination of everything I've been through in the past few years finally wearing down on me.

I took Emily to her very first class today. Sunday School classes don't count b/c I'm there at the same location with her. This is different. This is my baby, by herself, with a room full of other kids, miles from me. I was the weepy mommy. Matt tried to tease me into not totally breaking down and it kind of worked. He noticed for the first time that I was no longer wearing my wedding ring. He tried to play it off, but I think it kind of hit him that this is really real. It's so hard b/c I still love him, but we are so toxic for each other right now. We can't even talk at length without getting into an argument. I keep thinking about how it could have been different and better, but there's been so much negativity between us for so long that I'm just hoping to salvage what we have left and turn it into a productive friendship between two people who were married once, who still have some love for each other and who love our little girl more than anything.

If I had one wish for me this Christmas it would be to have a Merry Little Christmas, complete with the light heart and troubles out of sight. I wish that for you too my blog readers and friends. Though it's not much of a "gift" here is my rendition of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, sung by...a stuffy, sinus filled, scratchy voiced me. Hope it doesn't make the dogs howl. LOL!

May you truly be blessed this Christmas season with more than enough love, light and laughter to carry you through the tough times.


Epiphany said...

*hugs you very tight* I love you sweety, and I want you to know...you are not alone. You've got all of your blogger friends, you have your wonderful little girl, you have your family...and you have me. I keep you in my prayers everyday and no matter how long it takes...I'm gonna be right here to listen and give you support.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

A wonderful rendition, Nic! My father heard you coming through the speakers and agreed you did it beautifully.

Though it's been tough, have a wonderful Christmas from me. With my good wishes as always.

Michael Manning said...

Nic: Turning the corner is difficult and yet this is so necessary from what you write. You cannot control how insecure and cold others are. Nor do you need this. I just received a paperback (out of print) frommy CPA/Pastor in Lubbock, Tx. called "The JOY of Answered Prayer". Expect God's favor when you begin each day! You will be moving along step by step and soon you'll have that Christmas you deserve. You and your daughter sound precious! lol! I'll be Blogging through the holidays and will revisit! You sound like a wonderful person. Rest assured God is with you!

No_Newz said...

I wish the same for you this year sweetpea. Please don't talk yourself into being alone in your time away from Em. You deserve better than that. Thanks for the song. Great big hugs to you!
Lois Lane

Kylee said...

I know it is difficult. My son is with his father for Christmas. This is the first one without him for me. Go be with your friends...It is good to get out and about instead of being alone.

I know what you mean about being split from his family as well. It is so hard. I love my x inlaws very much. I know that they can not turn their back on their son, I know they they know what he did and what happened but he is and always be their son and brother.

You are not alone. It does get better.

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