I’m struggling today. And of late, I’m struggling more often than not. I feel like I should finally be in a place where I’m content with my life. I’m finally working my dream job. I have more freedom, more time to spend with my kids, and I’m doing work that I enjoy. But there’s one stone that keeps weighing me down. I’ve been divorced for over ten years now. And my ex cannot resolve his feelings around it. He can’t put his feelings aside for the sake of the children. He can’t go about his day to day life without trying to get back at me for what he feels I have taken from him.
And I am weary.
It’s a cycle that repeats over and over and over, like I’m pushing a stone up a hill, only to have it roll down and have to push it back up again. I feel like I’m never going to reach the top of the mountain. The stone feels even heavier each time I get to the bottom again. I am older.
And I am tired.
It chips at my children. Of late, he’s taken to having my son read our correspondence, and write his responses. I can feel the spit and the fire and the hatred in the written words, and I can only imagine what it’s like to hear and have to transcribe those words. I struggle with hiding my feelings from my children. I struggle with not responding with the same spit and fire. I fight with myself. I beat myself up when my words betray my feelings to them. Because he is part of them. And I never want them to feel that I might feel they are less because of that. Because they are my everything. But the burden is heavy, and it gets harder and harder to hide it.
And my energy is sapped.
I do know that I can fight it. I know that I could go back to court with this as evidence of abuse. But I also know that the courts are overwhelmed. I know that cases such as this are viewed as middling, something we should “work out for ourselves.” I know that all of our issues have been rehashed over and over and over again with the help of lawyers and judges and mediators and doctors. I know that nothing sticks. I know that no matter what he hears, he will always believe that he is right and that these people approve of him. I know that he will never change. Because while a child-centered divorce is an ideal worth striving for, it’s not possible if both parties aren’t working for it.
And I am fatigued.
I fear that this means that my feelings will never change. That I will never be free. That I will continue to spend nights grinding my teeth until my jaw is sore and having nightmares about being trapped in a marriage with him. Because in truth, I am trapped. Not in marriage, but in a never-ending divorce. A fight that I started, but for which I will not see a denouement. Just a series of escalations.
And I am done.
But I can’t give up. I can’t get out. I have to keep on going no matter how little energy I have for it. I can’t let it go. Because I am their mother. And I need to keep going. For them.
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