There are photos to edit and much more fun posts to write, but all week, this...feeling has been brewing in my chest. It's jealousy, anger, sadness, all rolled into one, and it's not a good feeling to have. I am jealous of my best friend, angry at my ex-husband, sad and sorry for myself. It's sickening.
I have to forgive it all again.
Last August, a mere two months after John and I separated, I wrote this post on forgiveness. In it, I talked about how forgiveness was something you had to do all over again every day. I said that forgiving was about me and not him, that it was the only way I could let go. I said a lot of things. Actually, you should probably just read it, since I'm a little wordy and I'm not great at a synopsis.
But now, now, this week, it hit me. In a moment, it hit me. It was when we walked in the door of the school for graduation and everyone just dive bombed Nora...she was surrounded, and her family was being showered with attention and love.
I'm sure people did that with Vivi, too. I'm sure of it. I just can't remember it, because I never got to shower her with attention and love. My life fell apart right after I found out she was going to be joining us, and I was never able to be happy. Then she came and it was so scary I just turned off. Then I had to take care of four kids on my own. She is an easy baby, and it's been too simple for her to fall by the wayside. And I knew John thought another baby complicated things, and because I was so focused on him and he wasn't happy, neither was I. It's only been recently that I've actually begun to bond with her, and I'm so mad, so mad that I let my circumstances rob me of my last pregnancy and the first six months of this beautiful baby girl's life.
Anyway, it was after that when all the heavy feelings I'd been feeling and not naming started to surface. Why does one husband love his wife more than anything and not another? Why does one family get by fine and one fall apart? Why did I get the losing end of this deal?Then, when we all sat down, and at one point, someone came up to see the baby and she said "Oh, she looks so tired. It's tiring, being so wanted, and so many people have been wanting her." Mara smiled and said "I know. I was just sitting, holding her the other day, thinking about all the terrible things we went through to get to her, and now it's all worth it."
And then it hit, with a big heavy thud. All these emotions that I've been refusing to admit were swirling around. My very best friends have everything I want. Love. Enough money to get by. Healthy, happy children who don't have to learn what the word divorce means. Two adults in the house to keep each other from going insane.
And that's when I gave in to all those stupid feelings. As we ate lunch, I said to Mara, trying to sound light, "So I've decided that God likes you guys better than me. No one ever wanted Evany like Nora. I don't think I'll ever be able to say it was all worth it." What I wanted to add was that no one wanted me, either. And that people probably felt sorry for my kids, being stuck with someone whose husband hated them enough to leave, to hate me enough to walk away from an unborn baby. I wanted to say that I didn't want to lose my house, but that somehow God was letting that happen to me, too, like Eli dying wasn't enough and Seth wasn't enough and going through almost my entire pregnancy with Evany alone wasn't enough. Thankfully, I stopped at the first comment and tried to act like I was being ironic.
And Mara was sweet and gracious and she said of course people loved and wanted Evany. She didn't say I was being a terrible brat for making this week about me, when it should have been about her and her family and their new baby. She didn't, but she could have, and I would have understood. Instead, she emailed me and told me she'd been thinking about me, that she was sorry I'd been robbed of the excitement and joy of my last pregnancy and Evany. Which makes me feel worse, because on the eve of her daughters one week birthday, she shouldn't be worrying about me.
I've stopped forgiving it all every day, and it's caught up with me. Sometimes I feel like if no one is paying attention to me I might cease to exist. I feel sorry for myself and I am just now, as I watched Nora with her parents, realizing how angry I still am with John for not coming to the hospital and being with me when she was born, never visiting her in the NICU. I feel like, no matter what happened between us, he should have been there for me and for her.
Of course this is all Satan. If I'm jealous of my friends they soon won't be my friends. If I'm mad at John I don't work with him in the best way possible for the kids. If I'm feeling sorry for myself, I get depressed and before I know it, I'm no one I want to be around, much less someone I'd want the kids to be around. But I want to pound my fists and scream that it's not fair, tell John and God and anyone else who will listen that this is not what I had planned, that my children were supposed to grow up and I was supposed to grow old in a loving, stable, unbroken family where I got a foot rub every night, and that Eli dying should have been the end of the bad things happening to us.
When I put on my grown up hat and stop being so self centered, I know it's not about me, or John, or my kids. We're all just pieces in a large puzzle, threads in a tapestry that I can't see yet. Does it make it easier? Nope. Not at all. But I hate this, feeling this way, and so I'll do it all again. I'll forgive John for doing what he felt like he had to do, and I'll forgive God for not filling me in on this plan in advance and for being so infuriatingly quiet in these matters. I might even forgive myself. Jury's still out on that one.
And so yet again I've been reminded of how imperfect, how flawed I am. It's a never ending struggle, this life of ours. And I'm not quite conceited enough to say that my trials are any harder than anyone else's out there. Mine are just obvious and gaping and big. And sometimes I disappoint myself in the way I deal with them. I think I always will. The only think I can be in control of is how I react to the things that happen, and I want to be better, do better. Of course, I also want someone to pay attention to me and love me and do for me, for once. But I think that's just being human.
It's not in my control. It's about God's will. So let's hope I can start being a little more gracious about it.
6 hours ago