Saturday, July 4, 2009

Independence Day

Today I am reflecting upon a difference type of independence, not just of one country separating from another. Due in part to an "incident" with my ex-husband yesterday, I am doing some deep soul searching about what it means to cut oneself off from a person, how to know when it's necessary to do so, and then how to go about making the break.

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that I have been married twice and have three wonderful daughters from those unions. To the very best of my ability, I have maintained good relationships with my exes, not only in the best interest of the children but also because I thought it was the right thing to do. I didn't want constant turmoil and dissension, believed that just because we couldn't make our marriage(s) work didn't mean that we couldn't be, if not friends, at least friendly. This attitude served me well with my first husband, he has been an integral part of my family for the past 22 years since our divorce. This is no small feat considering the history that he and Beren share but we have managed to make it work quite well and I believe Kali is better for it, we all are.

Now, with Husband #2 it has been more challenging, to say the least. Our marriage lasted longer (16 years) and we had more invested in it. In addition to our children we had a business, a home, debt, savings, etc. etc. which has provided more opportunity for conflict and drama. Add to that the fact that he remarried shortly after our divorce, without telling our daughters, to a controlling woman who made it her life's mission to cut me out of his life completely despite the fact that we still had minor children to co-parent. That union only lasted a year but it did as much nearly as much damage to our family as our own break-up did, if you can possibly imagine that.

But, as they say, life goes on and for the past couple of years "T" and I have been civil if not always cozy, I have continued to involve him in every aspect of our children's lives whenever possible. He attends every family event including my own parents' birthdays, he was one of the pallbearers at my mother's funeral. At Kali's wedding he escorted his daughters, Lily and Bambi, down the aisle. I had hoped that after 5 years of divorce things would settle down for good, we would no longer argue and continue to hurt each other. Hasn't enough of that been done, after all? But apparently that was not to be.

Without going into too much detail, let me just say that money truly is the root of all evil, at least in the case of this man. It rules his life, it is what he values most, always has been and apparently always will be. He puts it above all else, his daughters included. This is something we've always understood but never accepted, continued to hope that one day he would get his priorities in order and see that there is so much more to life than the mighty dollar. Hours of texting and heated conversations yesterday proved otherwise. He is still angry and bitter and attacking me in the only way he can right now: through money, and through and at the expense of our children.

Today I woke up with my eyes swollen from crying all day, deflated and defeated. I give up. It is obvious to me that I simply cannot remain in relationship with this person in any capacity. It is toxic to my health and well-being, not to mention what it is doing to my family. I ache for him, for the good parts that I loved and married, for the man he could be, for the father he should be. But I am not responsible for him. Not anymore. I have to cut loose, I have no move on. Yes, we will always be parents together and I am grateful for the beautiful, amazing children we created but that is all. I owe him nothing more than that. Not my loyalty, not my love, not even my friendship.

So, I release you, "T," I wish you the best in your life from here. I will always treasure the memories, will always look at our daughters and appreciate the part of you that is in them, continue to hope that someday you wake up and realize just how rich you truly are in ways that are so much more significant than your bank account. You cannot put a price on family, there is not enough money in the world to take the place of your children.

Be well, "T," Goodbye.


Cynthia said...

Rapunzel, I'm so sorry you are suffering from an endless end. I know from looking over your blog that you have the gift of seeing and appreciating beauty. I guess it's the same with your relationship with your 2ndX - you try to lay emphasis on the good. Now, I think you are saying you want to just turn your focus in another direction. What a wonderful life enhancing decision to celebrate. Congratulations on your daughter's wedding. I wrote a post about my own relationship with my daughter and her impact on my life. Why don't we visit each other's blogs a bit more? I love what you have going on here. <3

Rapunzel said...

Thank you, Cynthia. I am hoping that I can let go of the anger and resentment I feel toward him and let my decision be a peaceful one, right now I'm still sad and seething.

Jen said...

A few weeks ago I had to teach a childrens Sunday School lesson about forgiveness. The manual called for filling a backpack with large rocks labeled "hurt" "resentment" "anger" "hate" and "revenge" and talk about how when someone wrongs us, it is like carrying around a heavy pack and learning to let go of each of those feelings that has been continuing to harm us.

It was extremely good for me to teach this lesson because I realized how many of these bad feelings I have been carrying around and how its done nothing but hurt me.

I think from reading your post that letting this go--and fundamentally letting HIM go from your life--will be very healing for you and a release of all that weight you've been carrying around. Good luck & many positive thoughts coming your way.


Sorrow said...

So hard to let go , of someone so destructive.
This was so beautifully written, so heartfelt, I had tears in my eyes reading it.
Your love for your daughters shines through so brightly.
And your compassionate heart beats so mournfully. I hope that mending can be yours.

linda said...

this post brought tears to my eyes have a heart as big as the sky and I am sure your lovely daughters are the same....I am glad you have reached a place of peace with this and let this poor man go....some people will never change despite our own best intentions for well and know you are doing what is best for you and your children and for T....

Rapunzel said...

Jen, what an empowering lesson! I think that the "weight" we carry around on the inside can end up on the outside as well, don't you?

Rapunzel said...

Thank you, Sorrow. I, too, hope that this decision leads toward healing, and really hope that someday he will come around and we can be friends. I am not good with letting go of people, especially one that was so important to me.

Rapunzel said...

Thank you, Linda, my wise and wonderful friend. You are so right yet it is so hard to let go. I know it's the right thing but it still is just so sad.

Anonymous said...

I'm fairly new to your blog but wanted to offer you support as you go through the process of reflection and release.
A while ago I read a quote I found quite meaningful that might offer some peace for you as well: Experience your emotion fully so that you might learn from it and then let it go. Sometimes we can be fooled in to thinking we must not experience a negative or heavy emotion (they are "bad). I like to let myself have those emotions for a while and then be done with them for good.

Rapunzel said...

movinginspirals, you are so right! Pushing away the feelings only makes them hang on longer, grow louder in order to be "heard!" Sitting and allowing them to wash over me, and then away, is much more effective. Thank you for the reminder! :)