Posted in Healing Process

And in the meantime …….

Over the past few months after commencing employment  I have experienced UPs⇑⇑ and downs⇓⇓accompanied by ‘out of my comfort zone’ episodes. Being someone who would rather DO life prepared for how things were going to work out I have had to develop another level of patience and trust. If it hasn’t been enough to deal with everything involved in a marriage breakdown having started a new job in an industry I have never worked in before has stretched me beyond my limits and my wildest of dreams.

The fact is all I have ever known for the past 27 years is how to function in the role of wife and mum. Having been uprooted from Brisbane to Canberra some eight months ago as a single mum I’ve been travelling through a process of discovering who I am?

Questions continually bubble to the surface such as;

Have I got what it takes to make it on my own?

Is my life going to look like the typical ‘single mum’ movies in which I am working my arse off to make ends meet?

Will I ever be able to trust another man completely?

How long will it take until I feel whole and free of everything attached to my previous relationship of 27 years?

IF I get the opportunity of being in a relationship in the future will it work out?

OR should I just swallow the painful bullet and stay single for the rest of my life?

These are all valid and important questions.

Everything I knew previously has been uprooted!

I experience moments of uncertainty, fear and plenty of ‘unknowns’….

Most days I appear calm and confident on the outside while often trembling on the inside. The truth is that I had the wife and mum role all sorted out. Regardless of any relationship issues I was familiar with my life and knew how to function without too much thought. Similar to driving the same route every day, there is no need to think about it, you just do it!!!

It becomes AUTOMATIC!

Life was routine and manageable. On the difficult days I had worked out how to ignore the pain. I kept myself occupied and busy with study and housework. I managed to find reasons for being THANKFUL despite the thousands of questions that circulated around in my head like the spin cycle of a washing machine. For so many years my kids kept me sane and filled my life with purpose in the midst of feeling insecure and confused.

Life continued on as the sun went up and the sun went down. Days and months meshed into years’ worth of doing the best I could with what I had. In the meantime I was growing on the inside. I got stronger and wiser. I began to recognise my worth and value. The more I recognised my value the harder everything got in my relationship. I was no longer satisfied with how I felt treated. Eventually I found myself sticking up for myself!

I was able to say enough is enough!

In this new season of life while my heart is healing the sun comes up and the sun goes down. I’m growing in confidence in what I can achieve on my own. So far after eight months I have gotten my own place to live and a job. In the meantime I am growing stronger every day functioning in my new role as single mum. I don’t know what I am doing most of the time so it is a bit of a walk in the dark as I navigate new territory.

At work I often feel like I am in a boxing ring with myself and my doubts. The doubts start beating me into the corner while my determination fights back. I can’t afford for doubts to win.  I’m not used to being in the boxing ring by myself. I do have friends and family who have my back and support me outside the boxing ring yet it’s up to me to keep fighting through all of the challenges as I create a new life for myself and my two boys who live with me.

In the meantime as life continues it is all about going through the daily motions staying hopeful of better days to come. I often remind myself that it doesn’t matter if I don’t have it all together, it doesn’t all need to make sense. I can learn to enjoy the season I am in right now regardless of how it looks or feels.

In this new season I am a novice but soon enough I will have gained experience and confidence in my own decision making. I suppose as a young person I wasn’t very good at making the right decisions which led me to where I am today… Nothing is ever wasted or lost as I pick up the pieces and not only make a new life for myself and my two boys but use my story to encourage others who are in a similar situation.

In the meantime, as you remain hopeful for life to gain clarity and direction enjoy the moment!!! Every moment matters, enjoyment isn’t limited to the loud and exciting highlights we experience.

 

Posted in Grief

The Bitter & Sweet taste of December

The most sentimental month of the year is upon us…. December….

December sneaks up quickly every single year. Most people tend to shake their heads in disbelief that the year is nearly over. As you consider the other eleven months of the year it is December that succeeds at building anticipation into the lives of people. The anticipation begins in the shopping malls. Christmas decorations create an atmosphere of joyful celebration. Individuals visiting shopping malls may be battling all sorts of issues in their lives or their families yet the Christmas spirit provides a tiny distraction from the reality facing them.

Boxes marked ‘Christmas deco’s’ are pulled out of storage cupboards. These boxes are filled with Christmas treasures collected over the year’s. Some of the decorations may hold special meaning especially the ones handed down by someone in the family or the ones handmade at school by young children. The inside and outside of homes are decorated and tell a Christmas story unique to each family.

Over the years life changes and life happens. These changes can affect our families and lives drastically representing various joys, challenges and events. Depending on the types of challenges and events we each face determines the various emotions we have to deal with.

The intense and difficult events we face, the ones that take the wind out of our sails can leave us hesitant at facing the month of December.

December represents family, celebration, giving, sharing, holidays, laughing and fun. It also represents the end of the year. Most people begin considering what the next year will look like while others go a step further and make plans.

If you have been blessed to have had a relatively pain free year then Christmas is always a great way of winding it up. A good year lays the foundation for excitement to build in the home. Family members begin thinking about which gifts to buy each other. Christmas presents are stashed in secret places to keep them hidden. The smells of Christmas cookies or cakes send out signals from kitchen windows signifying the arrival of this special anticipated day.

I’ve had some difficult Christmas’s in times past in which the lack of money made it difficult to relax. Or the crazy Christmas house move that invaded all of the typical traditions that would have normally taken place, leaving everyone feeling as though Christmas didn’t really happen. Those types of Christmas’s although challenging were lived through as one family unit, a family of seven.

We all hear about families that break down. Sometimes we hear about it and gasp in shock at the news.

The shock and surprise is even worse when it is your own family that has broken apart. This is the reality of my year.  My recent blogs share about this journey filled with more downs than ups.

Christmas time marks five months of being a single mum to a 9 year old. All four of my other children are adults and live in Queensland. This Christmas I will be celebrating with my parents and sisters including their families. We won’t be alone. Knowing that I won’t be celebrating with my adult children is daunting. Just the thought alone has sort of been put to the side for the moment as I don’t want to feel the hurt of that too early.

On a normal Christmas month I would have already put up all of the decorations in the house and around the house. In fact that always happened on the 1st of December. I was never one to have had the presents purchased early. This would normally happen about a week before Christmas. I would spend hours with my husband shopping for all of the kids. We would stop for coffee on regular intervals just to keep our energies up as we navigated the shopping crowds. It was fun in a crazy way. I would also purchase all the ingredients to cook up a Finnish feast for our large family to enjoy!

Given the massive changes this year my Christmas is very different. No crazy decorations around my small two bedroom unit, just a small tree. No crazy Christmas shopping for all of the kids. Just a little shopping for my 9 year old as my peanut budget restricts me. For my adult children it will be equally hard and difficult as they spend Christmas without their mum and young brother. That thought alone breaks my heart in two.

As others plan and consider the New Year I can’t even fathom the year ahead. I’m still dealing with loss and hurt. While the pain has lessened it hasn’t disappeared. Some days I just hurt. It is no easy task to have had your identity as a mum of a large family switched to a mum of one 9 year old. My identity has changed and my responsibilities. I’m also my son’s only provider financially and emotionally. He is the one I am focusing on for the time being.

When you are in the middle of heart break the anticipation of Christmas becomes diluted. It is diluted in pain and hurt. My story is one of many. Many families experience breakdowns, tragedies and loss.

If you are one of the many who happen to be experiencing heart breaking events leading up to Christmas I only hope that my blog has a way of letting you know that you are not the only one. You are not alone. Others too are facing a Christmas not quite the same as previous ones. And that’s OK. There are no rules for how to feel. Allow yourself to feel the pain and the hurt. Talk about it with your family and friends.

As I consciously repeat to myself over and over again that “this pain will pass”, I’m aware that there are no short cuts through. I acknowledge my pain and have come to accept that this Christmas will be different…..

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥