After I decided to end my marriage, I have never had so many people compliment me on my appearance. I knew nothing about my physical appearance had changed. What had changed was within me. I had been a shell of the Lindsey I once was. When I left the marriage, people could see me again. Yes, I was in turmoil over my divorce and my over my children. It was the hardest pain I've ever experienced. But even through that pain, I had light in my eyes again. A light that had diminished and completely gone out over the years. When people would tell me I looked great, I knew it was this reason. This helped me to carry on and ignited the flame of determination that I would not fall down forever. I was going to get back up.
Lately, my little 4 year old has been very inquisitive about life "before" her Dad and I got divorced. She was so young when we split up, she doesn't remember her life when her parents were married. I have yet to decide if that is a good or a bad thing. We were watching videos of her as a baby. She recognized that she was at her Dad's house. She wondered why I was there. She wondered where her step-mother was. She doesn't understand how I know her Grandparents on her Dad's side and all of her cousins. It's a sad conversation to have with my little girl. Trying to explain the details is not appropriate nor would she be able to comprehend it. But that little girl is desperate to know why. She is desperate for me to give her a way to reconcile it. I wish I could fix it all and that she would have no thoughts clouding her mind with uncertainty and sadness. I do not know how to help her. I work so hard and I hope that I can eventually take that away, but it will take time. Everything takes time. This has been a hard lesson for me to learn in respect to my kids. I want them to be okay NOW. I want them to be happy NOW. I want to give them peace, RIGHT NOW. But all I can do is take my life day by day. Take the little moments that I can and mold them into happy memories and peaceful moments of reprieve.
Kids are resilient, but it doesn't mean they aren't wounded and broken for a time. As a parent, there is nothing worse than seeing your kids in pain. Emotional or physical. I would have done anything to take it away from them, I would feel it a hundred times over to save them from their sorrow. They grieved over a life that was now gone. And I am the one who took it away. I took it away to give them something better. I had to be the Mom they deserved. I took it away because I knew the life I could give them was the life they needed. They would be able to grow up and see a Mother who loves her children more than herself. A Mom that would work as hard as she could to provide them with everything they needed. A strong woman. And while I wish I could say I was perfect, I am not. Some days I feel like I've failed. But I work hard, all day, everyday. The difference is the strength I feel when fighting my battles. I'm alone now, yes, but I have the strength today that I have never had before. I hope one day my kids will see that I had to take that life to present a life full of real moments and healthy examples of goodness and love.
I know this life is better. I am happy. Kids need a happy Mom and they need a happy Dad. Sometimes the impossibly hard happens and their parents are not, or cannot be happy together. The mood of the parent(s) so often sets the precedence of what will happen in the household. The way I feel now has been a deep influence on my kids, I've seen it evolve in them. When we laugh, it's genuine. Kids need genuine. They crave it.
So, any of you out there that are divorced or who think divorce is absolutely the only and best option, don't beat yourself up. You STILL can give your kids a happy life. You aren't alone in the world. People have felt exactly what you're feeling and they're still alive, somehow you get through it. Mostly because there is no other choice, your kids need you. Make yourself better, stay strong for your kids and one day you'll be strong. You will be more compassionate of others. You'll be more diligent in the quality of your time with your kids. You'll be stronger than ever before and you can give your kids everything that they deserve. Yes, many things will change, there will be things you cannot control. There will be sadness and there will be grief. But, this is also the moment for your to seize the chance to start with a beautiful beginning and live a beautiful story.