Most of my writings here on momdotcalm.com, I feel, have been about grief. Even if that was never the purpose of starting this blog. Through my writings I have come to understand grief and have come to terms that it will always be with me. It is a part of me. It is not front and center. It is not all I think or talk about. It is real and the love I have for others that have passed is a real part of my heart. I am comfortable with the way my heart has healed over these scars and I am doing life with a man that has his own scars. It works for us and helps us understand each other and have a healthy respect for our losses. Amen.
What has come to light recently is the bitterness, that I usually have a good hold on, is still there. And I want to be rid of it. It’s helping no one. And the main subject (among others) that is the primary object of my bitterness has not stopped with consistent selfish actions and derogatory remarks to me. I then fire back and this does no one any good. I usually have that tug-of-war rope down and move along with life, happily. But it doesn’t take much for me to grab that rope that I keep in reach and the battle begins again.
I want to bury that rope…maybe plant some flowers there.
Last Friday was my youngest son’s father’s, step-ish father to the older three, would-be-birthday. He’ll be gone 6 years this coming September. I took the night off of work and was happily cooking dinner for the whole clan that was coming together to do some reminiscing and a balloon send off. I was doing remarkably well for what is usually a very tough day for me. I kept saying how at peace I was. Baseball for the 8 year old was cancelled due to rain and I was even more at ease and able to cook a nice stew for the crew!! A sense of calm and not feeling rushed.
Now my daughter had her High School Prom the next day after this dinner, so our weeks prior were kinda crazy with shopping, alterations, jewelry selecting, nails, etc. (cha-ching!). She had asked me to bring her to get her 2nd an 3rd holes pierced in her ears in the days prior to this relaxing night. I said no, too much going on and I didn’t think it was a good idea. I finally agreed that if she wanted to ask her Dad, so be it, but I wasn’t. Inevitably, she got him to say yes, but it was to be on this Friday that we were already busy. Whatever, have her home early enough to enjoy her brothers (one just home from college that day!) and the balloon send off.
This quiet in the house I was experiencing was like figure skating…on very thin ice. I knew that just below the surface was a lot of pain, anguish and grief…bitterness. I was feeling the true peace, but I was cautious with every skate, that the ice was fragile. I was doing a fine job.
And then the text. “If you don’t have baseball tonight, why don’t you just take her to get her ears pierced?”
Seems a simple question that would warrant a simple answer?
It bubbled every angry moment I have ever had toward this person. Bitterness in the most extreme and truest form. Ice cracked and I started drowning in all these negative emotions. It took me about an hour to pull myself out onto solid ground, but not without a lot of harsh words and me realizing this person will never have an appreciation for me always being here for these kids, doing 99% vs. 1%. Him saying to me “Get over yourself” was the put-down-the-rope moment.
My instinct is to itemize all the reasons for bitterness, but my mind stops me out of respect for my kids…and him… I will not. It’ll do no good. Nor the others I hold onto pieces of bitterness towards.
Instead I am going to try and work on this pessimistic emotion that does nothing but hurt me…and those close to me. It does nothing to the person I am holding bitterness towards. They walk free regardless of how I feel.
I know this person’s family and friends are very protective of him and will be angry for me voicing anything remotely negative. But it is what it is, the truth hurts sometimes.
Bitterness does, too.
And…in addition to that, it’s none of my business what others opinions are of me. I’m doing the best I can here.
For myself…and those I love, I am trying to get rid of the bitterness and forgive. Most of the time I do it well, but other times I don’t.
I’ll start shopping for the flowers that will be over that buried tug-of-war rope. Until then, work in progress…