I say I am waiting for the happy ending to complete my book. Maybe this is the happy ending. Peace. The fighting over. The vivid nightmares which used to paralyze me for days transformed to bad dreams from which I awake relieved they are no longer possible in my waking hours. Being in a place where I can go about life and not feel as though it will take me under; this new life without the constant torment.
Maybe the happy ending is not in a relationship with someone as my dreamy romantic self fantasizes. A chance to get it right with a person who I can come to with an open heart, the longing to have my parent’s solid relationship, to provide my children with some semblance of the family that shaped me. One of the three of us precariously teetering at any given time; stabilized with a fourth.
Maybe letting go of that dream isn’t the failure, the defeat, the falling short it feels like. Maybe simply having survived the shooting and these last few years is enough that I might stop looking beyond for something more.
This all ran through my mind as I drove to pick up the children from a weekend at Comfort Zone Camp, their third camp to process grief. They were highly resistant to attending, but I insisted. The mourning is never really over. I feel providing the resources for them to continue to navigate the loss in these different phases of their life is imperative to their emotional growth and health. It is multi-faceted and rears its head in the most unexpected ways and at the most inappropriate times.
So it must be for them, as for me, layers of mourning the loss. The death of my marriage, even more so the death of our family; mourning the man I loved, the father of my children, his inability to be the father to his children mine was to my sisters and me. Mourning the loss of my children’s innocence, all our innocence; the absence of a strong male adult role model in their lives. Mourning losses that are unrecoverable on many levels.
Camp counselor feedback indicated my daughter participated and shared her experiences with her healing circle, but my son refused to share about his dad at all, instead focusing on last year’s death of his uncle, my sister’s husband.
Perhaps he has some wisdom about his father beyond his years which I am not able to access personally. He seems to be able to find a place where he can center himself and not feel the acuity of the absence in his life, or perhaps it is such complicated grief he tries to steel himself by shutting down all discussions of his dad in any form. Perhaps he is of the mindset no dad is actually better than that man. I cannot say as he isn’t sharing.
As he asks about my weekend I share I had a pleasant day with a male friend. Unlike my daughter who shrugs it off and continues to complain about being forced against her will to attend camp, as though I have sent her to a slave labor camp, my son wants to know how important the friend is to me. He tries to access if it is someone who I might care for, or who will care for me, reading me for clues which might differ from what I am saying.
It is difficult to know if he would like to be relieved of his perceived role of being the central male of the family, or simply considering if it is someone who might care for him as a parent, or a combination of both. My failure to provide stability and relieve him of the onus of the lone male for his sister and I elicits a great deal of sadness from me. I am truthful to say I don’t know the answers to his questions, and downplay the interaction so as not to plant any ideas about that sort of future, all the while feeling terribly inadequate as the lone parent.
I am left wrestling with my hopefulness, which I generally gleefully share without consideration of the possibility of disappointment, set against the backdrop of what our emotional life is actually like day to day. In this moment, I feel my hopefulness is misplaced, wrongly pinned onto an unknown future which minimizes gratitude for how far we have come. I question if maybe this is the happy ending.
Thank you for sharing this. How I remember the days after my divorce. I was so happy to be out of the abuse, (not as physically violent as yours, but very emotionally violent.) Yet, a part of me really longed to be married to someone special, who as you say, I could “get it right” with. I so wanted to trust in God, but struggled greatly with this! Somedays I could, others I looked at every man I met and thought, “Could he be the one?” Well, God finally DID bring me the “right one.” It hasn’t been without trouble, as he brought along with him several of his own hurting children. One of the first things he gave me was a poem he had held onto during his single years. I would like to share it with you. I hope it will be a comfort, and not add more grief to your shoulders. If you find it painful, just ignore it please. Here goes:
True Love ~ Author Unknown
Everyone longs to give themselves to someone
To have a deep soul relationship with another,
To be loved thoroughly and exclusive-but God says to the Christian:
“No, not until you are satisfied, fulfilled and
content with being loved by Me alone
Having an intensely personal; and unique relationship
with me alone
Discovering that only in Me is your satisfaction to be found
Will you be capable of the perfect human relationship
that I have planned for you.
You will never be united with another until you are united in Me
Exclusive of anyone or anything else, exclusive of any
other desires or longings;
I want you to stop planning, stop wishing, and allow
Me to give you the most thrilling Plan existing-one
that you cannot imagine.
I want you to have the best. Please allow Me to bring it to you.
Just keep watching Me, expecting the greatest things.
Keep experiencing the satisfaction that I AM.
Keep listening to the things that I tell you.
That’s all. Don’t be anxious. Don’t worry.
Don’t look around at the things that others have
gotten or that I have given them.
Don’t look at the things you think you want.
You just keep looking off and away up to Me, or you’ll
miss what I want to show you.
And then, when you’re ready,
I’ll surprise you with a love far more wonderful that
you would dream of.
You see, until you are ready and until that one I have
for you is ready,
(I am working even at this moment to have both of you
ready at the same time)
until you are both satisfied exclusively with Me
and the life I have prepared for you,
you won’t be able to experience the love that
exemplifies your relationship with Me,
and this is the perfect love.
And dear one, I want you to have this most wonderful love.
I want to see in the flesh a picture of your relationship with Me,
And to enjoy materially and concretely the everlasting
union of beauty, perfection and love that I offer you with Myself
Know that I love you utterly.
I am God. Believe it and be satisfied.
God bless you today! Caroline
“Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.” When you are in an abusive relationship it is often difficult to realize there are many kind, loving people and that God wants only good for us.