I wrote yesterday about finding out that my husband was having an affair. I thought a lot about what to write and how to write it. I was accused on FB today of airing dirty laundry in the public forum of a blog and Facebook, since my blog feeds there too. I am not interested in airing dirty laundry, assuming I even know what that means. The idea that I shouldn’t write about this in a public forum is ludicrous to me. I am going to write about my marriage falling apart because I write about my life on this blog. If I just left it out or omitted some of the most pertinent details, this blog wouldn’t serve the purpose I want it to for me or for my readers.
I decided at the beginning of this year to learn how to be happy, to stop living the patterns I have suffered through over and over for thirty-nine years. Every day of this year, I have posted about something I engaged in that day in order to take care of myself or learn how to be happy. This marriage business is a serious challenge to that and also a call from the universe for me to be serious about my goal. It would be very easy for me to get in bed and stay there, for me to start planning a life exit strategy. I don’t want to live the life I see in front of me. I feel shocked that the person I thought I knew could lie to me for so long and on so many levels. I can’t imagine living in our house without him or getting to the end of the day and having him not come home. And I don’t want to imagine any of it. I love him and I want to be married.
How do I take care of myself and learn how to be happy in the face of this?
First, I write about it, in a public forum. I write my experience and don’t try to tell both sides of the story. I strive to be my best self, to behave in a way that I can be proud of and to only tell my experience and not try to put words or intentions in anyone else’s mouth. I do not let myself be isolated by the horrible circumstances that are occurring in my life. Instead, I seek support because I need it, and that is an act of self care.
Beyond the blog, today I engaged in one act of self care after another. I took homeopathic anxiety pills to calm down. I carried my agate in my pocket to ground me. First I was sitting in our house and trying not to cry, failing, and then having my three-year old son, whose job is not to take care of me, come pat my arm as he kisses my tears and say “It’s okay Mama.” That’s misery. That’s not taking care of him or me.
So, I took Cavanaugh to a friend’s house for a playdate because he needs to play and I don’t have it in me. Then I called Mike to ask him to hang out with Cavanaugh, who had crawled back into bed this morning and said he wouldn’t get out until his daddy came home. I dropped Cavanaugh off at Mike’s work while I went to an Alanon meeting. Man, those are the best self care I can engage in right now. I picked Cavanaugh up, took him to my friend Anna’s toy shop where we played for a while, then took him to a playgroup so we could be around lots of kids and mamas. Cavanaugh got to play and I got to talk and listen and get loved on. Then I went to a mama happy hour, where I didn’t actually drink because I’m not sleeping or eating much these days and driving seemed like it could be dangerous. So could my emotions if I’m not sober. So I ate some cracked pepper fries with dill ranch and then went to a second Alanon meeting. Now, I’m at home writing.
I got through the day. I was reminded how many friends I have and I reached out to my personal support network. This is not airing dirty laundry. It’s living through devastating circumstances. It’s getting up and putting one foot in front of the other and taking one day at a time, which is the only thing possible for me to do right now because if I try to think too far in the future, I am near panic attack or hysterical sobbing.
Actually, I both panicked and sobbed today too, but I kept asking myself how to meet my needs, how to meet my son’s, how to make it through. I don’t really know any of those answers, but I’m going to figure it out and I’m going to write about it as I do.