Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Dear Heartbroken Children (a therapeutic letter that I will never send)

Dear kids, (I will never share this with my children because it's far too honest for innocent victims of their parents crashing and burning.  It's really more about reminding myself (and forgiving myself) why i broke up my family.   It's just...therapy)

I’m so sorry.  I’m not sorry that my relationship failed, because I know I gave it my all.  I’m not sorry that I left, because I know I had to.  But I’m sorry that you have to endure the fallout from your parents mistakes.  I’m sorry that I had to shatter your perfect world, the very world that I created for you.   I’m sorry that I spent your entire lives striving to create an enviornment that is safe and happy and loving, only to have to make the hardest decision of my life to rattle all off that for a moment.  

I’m sorry that I’m asking you to try and understand things that there is no possible way you could understand.  I don’t even understand a lot of this right now.  I’m sorry that the best I can do right now is to ask you to trust me, all while you watch me flailing a little. 

I’m sorry that your father never wanted to marry me, and I’m sorry that I ever thought that was ok.  I’m sorry for not sharing your last name even though you are my whole life.  I’m sorry that all those years of bringing my babies into this world and devoting every waking moment to ensuring that you are thriving and happy, made me so blissfully blind to the possibility that he just didn’t love me the way I loved him.  You shouldn’t have had to overcompensate for that, but thank you.  I will forever be grateful to you for always being to key to my genuine happiness.  

I’m sorry that I hung in there for so long, trying to endure the anger and intolerance and resentment and pretending that I could tolerate it. I wanted to shield you all from that as best I could.  I took a lot of those bullets for you (and will until the day I die) and it was only a matter of time before that battle knocked me down.  I’m tired and scarred, but i’m recovering, trust me.  

I’m sorry that I took myself for granted, so much so, that I it was ok if the man I loved and cherished and nurtured never told me that he loved me.  I’m sorry for being so very patient and relentless in trying to earn that and ultimately convincing us all that I could go on doing that forever.  That was a mistake, and it will never happen again.  Trust me.  

I’m sorry for suggesting that someone’s relentless selfishness can be tolerated and forgiven with the occasional grand gesture.  It can’t, trust me.

I’m sorry for your father’s disinterest and for all of the excuses I made for it.  I’m sorry for ever going along with the idea that daddy’s work is more important than your pre-k graduations or concerts or any other brief shining moments in your childhood.  I never once believed that, I just knew I couldn’t change it.  

I’m sorry that you’re scared for me.  I’m sorry that you worry about how I will survive without daddy.  I’m sorry if I taught you that I can’t take care of myself just because I have dedicated my life to taking care of all of you.  I’m going to be just fine.  We are all going to be just fine.  Trust me.

I’m sorry that I hurt your father.  I loved him and fought for him until the bitter end.  I would have done anything for him, all while knowing I couldn’t really expect the same in return. That hurt me.  Trust me. 

I’m sorry that we are all hurting now just because my pain got too unbearable to handle anymore.  I would give anything to carry this burden on my own.  I spent more than a decade trying to ensure that my family was nothing but happy, and trying to protect all of you from pain and heartache only to make you a casualty of my own broken heart.  I never saw that coming, trust me.  

We will all be ok.  This moment is dark and uncertain and often tearfully blurry, but the future will be everything I ever dreamed of for you.  Trust me.  I will singlehandedly survive and care for myself and my children and you will be proud of me.  Your father may learn not to take loved ones or fleeting moments for granted.  I hope that you will all learn how important it is to love unabashedly and selflesly, and to never settle for less than you deserve and that it’s ok to walk away from anything less, even when it feels very, very not ok.   And I know that we will all learn how resiliant we are when we come out of all this feeling as safe and loved and happy as we ever were.  Trust me.  

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Lock Her Up!

I have a beautiful daughter.  Like, discovered by a modeling agent while eating a muffin in a coffee shop kinda beautiful.  And whenever I share a picture of her, I hear a lot of suggestions to  “lock her up!”   Let me tell you something folks- would if i could.  WOULD IF I COULD!  

Sure it sounds a little extreme to lock up an innocent 12 year old child simply because she is dangerously beautiful, but it would certainly make for a better nights sleep.  Instead, I have many a sleepless night composing my gentle warnings about growing up gorgeous in a horny world full of pigs who will all too often believe it is their right to oink at her anytime, anywhere.  It is terrifying to watch my little girl blossom into a beautiful young woman long before either of us are ready.  

It’s not just about inspiring her to find a man worthy of her and as greatful for her kind heart as he is for her knock out looks.  While I would love to spare her the aggrivation of wasting time on all of the mr. wrongs, I wouldn’t want to cheat her out of the knowlege that grows from weeding them out.  But  more importantly (perhaps) I need her to beware of the endless supply of goons who will have the balls to say and do innappropriate things everywhere she goes.  The cat calls on the streets, the comments in the workplace, the corny lines from strangers anywhere and everywhere, the rumors from the most pathetic fellas who actually make up stories to boost their egos, her brother’s friends, her girlfriend’s boyfriends, her boyfriend’s friends, her bosses, her teachers, and (brace yourselves) her father’s friends (I know, I get the willies just typing it).  I may sound paranoid or extreme, but I too was young and hot once upon a time, and I have seen and heard it all (or at least, more than enough).  

While I would like to teach her how to take down every one of these assholes, I don’t want her going through life fighting a battle around every corner.  I want to teach her how to roll with it with enough strength and self respect to fend it off.  I want her to accept compliments with genuine graciousness and very clear disinterest.  I want her to gently tell the corny guy with the corny lines that he’s corny, kindly and for his own good.  I want her to go easy on the flirting because an accidental glance in a young boy’s direction will have him convinced that she desperatly wants him.  I want her to be vigilante and safe and aware of the dangers lurking around her and to never feel as invincible as i foolishly did once upon a time.  

And finally, I want her to recognize the difference between the guy who hit on her because he had nothing to lose, and the guy who had to muster up the courage to talk to her because he feels as though everything is riding on it.  

I want her to ooze self respect, confidence and humility in a society that is going to constantly challenge all of those things based on her looks.  I want her to learn, very quickly, that she should set her standards high and never settle.  I want her to be grateful to be cursed with physical beauty, but to continue to nurture her beautiful soul.  I want her to surprise people with how much more she has to offer.  And as much as I like to imagine effective daily lectures while she’s locked in a tower for 30 years, I know that the only way for her build that kind of character is to endure the challenges (while I lurk closely in the shadows with my mace).