Lately, I’ve been having a really hard time navigating our roller coaster. In part, it’s the usual stressors of parenting and waking up in the middle of the night because someone had a bad dream. Working full time with deadlines and projects and supervising staff. Managing the manipulative Exie trying to encroach on my week end while using the ‘best interests of the children’ line, when it’s clear he’s talking about himself, not them. Residual PTSD from the last hearing and bracing for the new one that is on the horizon. My hubby back and forth in his support of me in all of this, in one turn angry and upset because Exie is getting to me, on another wishing some sort of justice on Exie, and finally getting my back when it comes to taking the high road and remaining out of the fray. The fray is how you lose. A better life is how you win. Hubby dismisses this as ‘rainbow and unicorns’ when he’s upset, and when he’s calm, he is making steps to understanding that really is how you win…the better life.
In the meantime, I’ve looked back at the last year and see it full of happiness, and at the same time, full of strife. Moving in, re-arranging the house, squabbles and fights about how to blend our family, how to handle the Exie. On top of that, Hubby has been unhappy and stressed with his job, and he has made a great switch, which alleviates the old job stress and also adds new work stress, too. He has his own baggage that he’s dealing with, and I had thought he was taking his own steps to deal with it, and he is, baby steps.
I have made every effort to include hubby in certain decisions, also been the dutiful wife in supporting him, but I will be frank—it’s exhausting supporting my girls and navigating through the thorn bush that is dealing with my ex, and constantly looking over my shoulder and/or reassuring hubby that he has a role in our blended family. Standing up to his alpha maleness when he pushes because he thinks something is the right way and disagrees with me, and also allowing him to be heard, because he loves us, comes from a genuinely good place, and is a part of our family. It seems I’m maintaining boundaries everywhere—with raising my kids, with the ex and his encroachment, with my husband in making sure my opinions are heard and valued as well as his.
We have argued and argued and argued. I feel like we have taken two steps forward, for every one step back. That doesn’t meant the steps backward are any less painful and frustrating, but at least we are moving forward.
My gripe right now is that over the last few years, I’ve made efforts to be supportive and inclusive in his relationships with his coworkers and good friends—I feel like I have a great relationship with them and could actually hang out with them, even if hubby was absent! My husband is absent from social media (which is a good thing, in it of itself—such a time suck!) and I’m friends with all of his friends and family out there in the netherworld.
However, despite my saying that in 2015, I would like him to be a bigger part of the children’s and my lives in terms of extracurricular activities, getting to know the girls’ friends family, my friends—it has not been reciprocated. I go to the children’s events alone. I understand that at first, it was to avoid exie and any altercation that might come up. Well, it’s been over a year now, and I think it’s time to move forward. He expects me to be there with him as a wife when certain events come up, he is now part of our family, and he should be supportive of the recitals, performances, ceremonies, too. Part of it is to show the girls that the adults in their lives can all support them, and to role model civility with each other. Part of it is so the girls can see their stepfather supporting them. And part of it is—my situation is so complex, it would be nice to have my hubby there and supporting me, period. I always have a brave face on, always civil, for the girls’ sake when going to the events alone, sometimes ex shoes up, sometimes he doesn’t, but now I’m married, I shouldn’t have to do it alone. (sigh, I know I sound like I’m whining!)
Of course I CAN do it alone. I just feel like I shouldn’t have to anymore. And I don’t want to force the issue that hubby has to be best friends with my people, I guess that sounds petty, I just wish he would be his charming, lovely, kind and happy self with my people, too, so they can become “our” people.
In the grand scheme of things, this isn’t so bad. And in the grand scheme of things, I have to celebrate that my girls are happy, growing, thriving! Big sister squirrel won an award at school for being an awesome, smart, motivated student. Little sister ladybug just got over her swim class phobia and was swimming—even putting her face in the water at her last swim lesson. They seem to grow an inch every day. And our puppy is ballooning in size, too—she’s 30 lbs! Her floppy ears and her froggy legs when she lies down generate hours of giggles and hugs and pats.
So I am thankful for that. I think I’m just overwhelmed at this moment. Thankful for the good things, frustrated at the things that I see as minor and major injustices, and at the same grasping and fumbling towards peace of mind and peace of heart—attempting to maintain tranquility.
Do I know that hubby loves us and wants to take care of us? Absolutely.
Do I know that my girls are growing every day into a better version of themselves—learning, living, playing, and loving? I think they are.
Do I have a wonderful job that is fulfilling and makes me feel like I’m adding something to make the world a better place? In every way that I can.
Okay, so I’m thankful, at the end of the day, at the end of this blog. Just tired and worn down at the same time.
p.s. wish me luck, I have to see the co-parenting counselor today—have to talk over the private school and extracurriculars with her. I feel my PTSD rising at the edges when I know I have to see her.