The end of this year has been difficult for me to say the least. I've struggled with numerous issues in my personal life at the close of this year, and it has made it hard for me on multiple levels. At this point things are going to get pretty personal, so if you don't want to read, NOW is the time to turn back. In October my father confided in me about issues going on in my parents' marriage. Usually these are the things he keeps to himself, but the issue was weighing heavily on him and he needed a confidant and advice from someone he considers trustworthy. My mother had been having an affair for several months and he wanted advice about what he should do. After dropping this news he also told me that he was retiring in July (as soon as he was eligible) and that he was planning to apply for jobs on oil field in the Midwest so that he could work and build up his saving so that he could afford to not work for his entire life. This was as difficult to process as my mother's infidelity. My daddy also discussed not telling my relatives what my mother was doing. This was the hardest thing for me personally, but I can understand his reasoning. The grandmother I live with is my mother's mom, the aunties and uncles and cousins that I surround myself with in times of crises are my mother's siblings and relatives. My daddy was (unnecessarily) worried that my family would in some way turn away from him, leaving him alone.*
For the past three months I've been doing a poor job dealing with these issues. As a 28yo who works in the mental health field I can understand my slow processing as stages of grief and I can recognize the low level symptoms of depression I have been experiencing. I know that if I can't deal with these events on my own there are multiple outlets for me to receive help. As I've struggled to deal with these issues I have become somewhat withdrawn, I'm rarely on Twitter, I don't text my friends, I rarely make plans, and the homebody tendencies I usually embrace have increase more than I thought was possible. While my closest friends do know what has happened, I've only made vague references to my absences/change in behavior on social media websites. I suppose in a way I was hoping that the problem would go away. The holiday season has been miserable this year. I have had to deal with the loss of a parent who was sitting in the same room as me as well as try to celebrate the season with the knowledge that my mother was planning on leaving and could be gone at any given time, without saying a word to my brother or me. The silver lining I suppose is that my brother and I have grown closer over the past few weeks.
Earlier this week, my mother left.** While I know that I am not the only person who has dealt with her parents separating, it was a huge blow. She didn't even bother to say goodbye. I sent her a text message on Wednesday that she has not bothered to respond to or acknowledge in any way. I suppose this is the worst part of it all. My mother is...difficult to say the least, and our relationship has been strained for several years, but I suppose we always yearn for parental love. Her leaving has affected me in ways I did not expect. I am so very ANGRY at her. And disappointed. I am not naive when it comes to love. I recognize and understand that people don't always stay in love forever. I also understand that people make terrible choices. However, it feels impossible to accept this. My daddy is also not without faults, but I have never doubted his love for my mother, or his willingness to work to fix any problems that their marriage had. I can say that he has done more for her than I would have been able to do, and has suffered more that he should have ever needed to. My heart is so broken for him. And for myself. And for my brother, and grandmother, and every other person her selfishness has negatively impacted.
And now I have ranted to the vast emptiness (and fullness) of the internet. And in a way it feels SO GOOD to have let go of this. Usually, I am not so personal here and try to save the nervous breakdowns for my close, personal friends or my family*** but I felt the need to let this go before the start of the new year.
In 2012 I'd like to focus on positive things, because this act of my mother's will have a lot of negative impact on the lives of me and my family members. No matter where things go from here in my parents' marriage, there is a lot of hurt to be overcome and to heal. I want to look ahead to good things in the next year. I want to find good in others and remember that fantastic things happen and to see the wonderful things around me without feeling jaded. I want to strive for happiness in my day to day life. And if any of you see me being more Debbie Downer than Cheery Chelle, I want you to feel free to tell me to perk up. That's not insensitive, sometimes we all need to be reminded that there are good things surrounding us. As this posts I will be frantically attempting to finish reading my last book of the year and will also be surrounded by the rest of my family. People who have surrounded me with love and kindness and beauty and pockets of happiness throughout the past few months, and without whom I don't know if I would have been able to cope as well as I have.
To everyone who read this, thank you for allowing me the chance to get this off my chest. It has already allowed me to wish 2011 a happier goodbye than I was expecting.
*His parents have both passed away, and he isn't particularly close to his siblings.
**Obviously, at this point my entire family is aware of what has been going on. While it is somewhat invasive we generally operate as though we all live in one giant household and everyone knows what is going on with the rest of the family.
***They are truly blessed! ;)