I haven't blogged in nearly a year. It's been too depressing. Too real. Too....everything. There's so much going on in my life, much of which I'm just not comfortable sharing. Various people and situations pressuring me in ways I don't like and don't wish to encourage.
I still don't like talking to people about all of this. It's too draining. I have to deal with this massive pile of crap every moment of my life. Why on earth would I want to dump that on someone else? Or relive it yet again through a conversation? It's exhausting and lonely and I just don't have the energy to care. Yes, that means many of my relationships have suffered. Most. But really, if I'm being honest with myself, if I dread talking to someone about any details of my life, how much of a relationship was it in the first place?
Things changed when Brett and I separated. A lot. And I'm sure part of that is because it came so closely on the heels of my departure from the church. But it's difficult to have people in your life go from talking regularly, to less regularly, to not even mentioning when they're going to be in town anymore. To finding out about visits via a friend who reads a family member's blog. And feeling the pain of being left out and left behind, and yet at the same time feeling relief that you don't have to try to play happy family, or arrange schedules, or bargain to get people to come up to see you, or pretend that things are okay when they are so very, very far from it.
A lot of changes were negative. Especially at first. There was loss. Oh so much loss. Family. Friends. People I thought cared. People I realized I didn't miss. People whose company I ached for. Being ripped away from my children and forced to work full time when I had no desire to do so. Missing so many of the "firsts" for Olivia who will almost certainly be my last child. Anger and bitterness and loneliness and pain and loss and regret and pessimism. Wishing I had never met the man who so completely shattered my heart and my life. Wishing we hadn't had children so young because then maybe, just maybe, this mess would be easier. Thanking every star in the heavens that I did and we did because at least, out of this hell, I have three beautiful children to light up my life.
And then positive changes. Finding a decent job that I actually like (most of the time) and realizing I can help people. Learning to co-parent with Brett, and letting go of (most of) my bitterness toward him and his girlfriend. Loving my children. Realizing that I am a hell of a woman, that I am strong, that I am independent, and that I CAN do this. That I can rely on myself. That I am smart and can figure things out on my own. That sometimes I do mess up, and that's okay. Because in the end, I at least will have loved fiercely. I will have done everything in my power to become a better person. I will have followed the path my feet found, unashamed. I will have taught my children that life is a beautiful, crazy, delicate, indomitable thing that is to be LIVED. Not feared. To live with our eyes wide open, to seek, to discover, to question, to fall, to rise, to give, to receive, to love. To be true to ourselves, whatever that self may be. Whatever it may become.
Yes, my life has imploded. It is nothing like what I ever expected it to be. There has been such utter destruction of my way of life. My worldview. My everything.
But I'm a phoenix. I always have been. And when my world burns to embers around me, I rise from the ashes again, a new creature. I am. And I will be.