I saw a show on t.v. last night that made me think. Pssst...not ALL television rots your brain. This was a medical drama / solve the mystery / based on real events kinds of thing where a beautiful, young, up and coming model drops dead. It's not until her autopsy that they find out she's riddled with disease. What was perfect on the outside was full of rot and decay on the inside.
That's exactly what my marriage was like - Pretty on the outside. It made me think about other marriages I've seen break up lately. It's a perfect euphemism for the cancer that grows inside some relationships, and how insidiously it can spread. You just never can tell what's really going on sometimes. Ethel called me earlier in the week to tell me about a family member getting divorced. This woman went to amazing lengths to have children - only to realize it's much harder than she anticipated. She moved out of her house and will pay her husband child support while he becomes the full time parent... WOW. I just can't imagine ever making that choice.
I'm sure there are many, varied issues going on that led to the divorce. There always is. It just seemed so out of the blue to people on the outside.
Which caused me to spend some time considering my own divorce, and the time since then I've spent trying to heal. I think I've been going about this the wrong way... I've always been highly aware of my "image" while I was married. It became very important to me to maintain the perception that everything was perfect. That has followed me into this new phase of my life. I've spent a lots of time and energy trying to make sure neighbors, friends, family, teachers, and former in laws see the "right things". I've forced the kids to participate in events they didn't want to for appearances. I've made mistakes and choices I'm not proud of to present the image of a happy, well adjusted, family.
I was going by the old saying, "Fake it till you make it." only it isn't working.... and if I was honest with myself up front I would have accepted that it's a bullshit excuse for not doing the hard work of dealing with our problems head on.
I think it's time to try a new tactic, I think it's time to start working from the INSIDE out. I think the issues my oldest child and I are having partially result from not dealing with the anger, fear, and level of disrespect that was rampant in our home prior to the divorce. I have to work on all of these issues inside our house, and inside our relationship and ourselves and not worry about how it looks to outsiders.
So our life isn't as pretty and glossy as it used to be - so what! At least we'll be healthy. In the end there is one universal truth... Beauty fades, you can't maintain the image of perfection forever. We can't pretend everything is okay if it's not. I'm not willing to live a lie like that anymore. I want better for myself and my kids.