Image credit (here)
I can’t believe that in two days the girls and I will be on a plane to see our family! I am so thankful that we’re able to bring our family together. Hubby, being the workaholic that he is, is still considering if he can join us, at least for part of the trip (at least it’s not a hard no). In the meantime, I’m concentrating on seeing my mom, my brother and sister-in-law, two nephews, my uncle and aunty, old friends from 20+ years ago, getting the kids together with my BFF from college at a national park—omg, it’ s just…my heart is so full. I have yet to meet my BFF’s youngest, and she has yet to meet DD2. It’s amazing!
And along comes my anxiety. Exie is demanding every address of every place where we’re staying (providing the addresses is reasonable, the demanding and nastiness is not). The irony to this is that I asked for similar information from him when he took the girls on a trip last summer, and when did he provide me the information? After he returned. Ha ha, hoppity ha. (Of course I’m working on this and will provide it to him, before we leave.)
I wish there was a guidebook on how to deal with controlling exes after divorce. Controlling exes who constantly shake the tree trunks for any morsel and crumb of control that can be regained.
Something that says, do A when B, don’t worry about X when Y, and if Z happens, well—THEN you do F, G, H. I wish!
Every time I take two steps forward, something happens with Exie that brings me one step back. Because I can’t always react perfectly—the way I’m supposed to react—in every given situation. Sometimes, his antics really piss me off. Other times, I cry. And like two weeks ago, I reacted with a full-fledged anxiety PTSD episode that lasted for a few days. Waking up at 2am just filled with fear and worry for my daughters.
And then I get so frustrated with myself for letting him get to me. Grrrrrrrrrr.
It’s been five years since he moved out of the house, and I need to celebrate how far I’ve come, and at the same time, keep working on how not to fall to pieces.
I’ll be truthful, one of my triggers is when he pressures the girls not to talk to me on the phone. I had been letting the calls go to my voicemail, and I’ve been texting back to avoid that, but it was the long week end, so I’ve been picking up. They sound stressed, poor dears, and it makes me sad for them. Note to self: will let the phone go to voicemail tonight.
And another trigger—it stings when I see him acting like the victim or when he’s doing his “hey, look! I’m super-dad!” But, I also know that him acting well and on good behavior is actually what’s best for my daughters. So I have to suck it up and be kind and grit my teeth and be okay. It is okay, it WILL be okay.
This trigger, I think, has to do with being believed that I wrote about last week. In my head I know I must fill up my heart with: I know what happened, that’s what matters. My closest friends and family who helped me leave a very bad situation—my attorney, therapists, and closest advisors—they believed me. That’s what matters. I have to figure out how to set aside the anxiety that comes when I think someone might be drinking his lemonade. I have zero and zip control over any lemonade buyers out there. The rest of me needs to catch up with my head on the logistics of all of that. Baby steps. Some days better than others.
So right now, I need to hold onto the sights of my lovely daughters, growing up so fast—meditating on their voices and laughter and giggles, breathing in every moment, even the exasperation when I have to assist in settling arguments or “it’s not fair,” or embracing the (awk!!) “mom, what’s pubic hair?” type of questions. (insert laughing with tears out of your eyes emoji here!)
I can’t wait to get on the plane and fly away for a little while. To hug my mom and see my daughters hug her, too. To laugh with my family, to be silly, to see new sights with the girls that they haven’t seen before. Hurray for our new life! I’m so lucky and thankful and grateful for this day. Even if there are fingers of anxiety touching my heart, I hold onto the sun and the light and the love.