I've been feeling and suppressing things so much lately and it's starting to boil to the surface. I've purposely kept busy with work and taking care of everyone else so I don't have to deal with myself, but I can't do it anymore.
One of my aunts (my dad's sister in-law) passed away last week and I had a hard time deciding to go to the funeral. There were issues between the families going back a couple of generations, but that's not my story to tell. All I'll say is that there's been distance between the families my whole life. It was hard during the funeral to not feel anger and resentments. I wanted closure, but didn't get it until afterwards.
I didn't want to bring up past issues when a family member had passed away, but I finally broke down crying while with one of my cousins. I told her how I grew up thinking her mom never liked me and how hard that was to know. She filled in some pieces of the whole story that I wasn't aware of, that helped me understand a little bit and she assured me that no, her mom never hated me, or my family. In fact, she never had anything bad to say about us. That was quite a relief to hear and now I mourn for what could have been. It seems like it's been generations of misunderstandings and miscommunications and that makes me mad.
I hate keeping secrets. Whether unintentionally or not, they destroy relationships. I guess that's why I'm sad right now. I feel like I missed out on a whole lifetime with part of my family. But now that all of the cousins are grown, I'm hoping bridges can be built and we can be more in each other's lives. Except my aunt. There's no reconciliation there and I cry for that. I ache to think about all the memories everyone talked about at the funeral, but they I never experienced. But maybe if her passing does one good thing, it's opening up that door.
I'm also sad because I miss the person I married. I still love that person, but he's gone. It's not the divorce that hurts me so much as wondering what happened to my husband and where did he go? I keep thinking back to the happy, tender, loving times, but I have to remind myself that he chose another path, one that does not include me.
I also mourn for the kids. I tried to stay in contact and visit as much as possible, but it got to the point where it was too mentally damaging for me to do so. And I don't think it's fair for the kids to have their birth mom, their grandma who's been their mom, plus me, plus the girlfriend. How much confusion and back and forth is healthy for children? But that doesn't mean I don't think about them every day. I thought I'd be helping the girls when they got married...picking out a dress, helping put the veil on, etc. I thought I'd be there for the graduations and helping them move to go to college. I thought I'd be a grandma.
But it was not to be. Now, if things go as they have been, this other woman will be there for those things. And that...that kills me. I was going to do those things. I wanted to do those things. I wanted to take them to different countries and show them that there's a whole big world out there.
Shortly before I got married, a friend and I went to see Safe Haven and I completely broke down at the end because of the whole birth mom thing and this other woman coming in there to raise her kids. I just watched it again for the first time since then and now I brake down because I know what it's like to lose your family.
I could go on and on about all these things that have finally broken the camel's back, but it comes down to mourning someone I never knew and mourning someone I knew but who's no longer here. And the kids...those precious kids. Oh, how I loved being a mom, but now I never want to do it again. I don't think I could. Same with dating and getting involved with someone new. I feel like my husband died, not that we got divorced. Everything reminds me of what was.
But I keep thinking about and rereading the poems of Maya Angelou and they give me strength to keep going.
I am a phenomenal woman, and still I rise.