On August 2, I turned 34, and soon after, had a mini breakdown. It could have just been really bad PMS, but it felt like more than that.
I am perfecting the art of the mini-breakdown. It involves a few days of intense crying jags, not feeling real, barely being able to work, calling all my trusted friends and telling them how scared and out of control I feel, and then miraculously pulling it all together in time to pick up my child. Repeat the next day, until the worst of it passes and I am somewhat back to my baseline level of sadness and fear.
Sami has a baby sister. A half-sister, who was born this week sometime - when exactly, I don’t know, because we don’t communicate on that level. My ex sent an email to tell me.
Just to let you know that we are at the hospital right now, they are inducing labor, so am not sure how my schedule will go for next week with Sami
just wanted to give you head up in advance so you can make alternative plans, I will keep you inform, but I don’t think I can pick him up this month.
This month!? I freaked out. I went into a tailspin. He just announces that he will not see his son for a month?
Turned out it was a typo, and he later said that he was under stress and apparently meant “this week.”
But I realized that I am always bracing, bracing for him to abandon Sami again, especially since he now has a new baby with a new wife. In a flash, I had already written him off, sure that this one month would turn into two and so on and so forth. I projected this into a world of hurt for Sami, of endless comings and goings and disappointments. I thought about going to court to get his parental rights taken from him. I called a lot of people, and cried as if it had really happened–as if he had abandoned Sami again.
And it was a typo.
A few days after that announcement, I got some bodywork done. My body was aching, not as in feverish-aching, but the bones and joints were all aching, and I still couldn’t stop crying.
The bodyworker told me that my Third Eye is blocked.
“Is there something in the future that you really fear will happen?” she asked.
This is a good dharma lesson if there ever was one. What is happening right now? For now, he is not abandoning our son. He has done so in the past, and he might do so again in the future, but today, he is not. He has said he will pick him up next week at the normal time.
Sami didn’t even ask about him this week. We had an amazing weekend together. We stayed busy doing tons of fun things - going to swim in the Chesapeake Bay, going to the pool, spending time with friends old and new. It is a real treat to have him with me all weekend - a rare occurrence. I am grateful for the time we had together, this weekend. Thankfully, my mini-breakdown was over in time for me to really, really enjoy myself.
At 34, I’m coming to a few realizations on things.
First, I am proud to say that I am over Mr. Unavailable. I am not even sure how it happened - I imagined being tortured by him for the next year or five or so, but just like that - the bonds of attachment snapped. I keep trying to summon up those feelings of longing and caring, but they’re not there. They’re just gone. I’ve allowed myself to be hurt, and continued to hurt myself, way long enough in this situation. I deserve better.
I also realized that I deserve better than Mr. Booty Call, who texts every so often wanting to hook up. The other night, a Friday night, I responded to his texts because I was lonely. Sami should have been with his dad but was not, because of the new arrival in the family.
We started to mess around (very preliminarily), and then I heard Sami in the next room call for me. I went into his room, fell asleep with him in his bed, and ended up staying there all night. Leaving Mr. Booty Call alone.
Around 7 am, Sami woke up and I texted Mr. Booty Call, asking him to leave, saying: “I don’t want to confuse my son.” I kept Sami entertained with some YouTube videos on my phone until I heard the front door close, signaling MBC’s departure. I have a feeling I won’t hear from MBC again any time soon.
I deserve better than random booty calls (that aren’t even really any good) and Mr. Unavailable.
I finally get this, on a raw, visceral level.
It is a good feeling.
I want 34 to be the Year of Leah’s Fierce Independence.
I want to say “I don’t need a man” and mean it with all my heart.
I am focusing on my son and myself and that is more than enough.
I am choosing to stop focusing on these dudes (Sami’s dad, Mr. Unavailable, and MBC) and handle my much-neglected mental and physical health.
One day at a time, one small step at a time, I need to re-invest my energy in my family, in our well-being.
I am going to stop running in futility from what I fear and have a practice again.
My wounds run deep, but they are not at the gangrene stage yet - they can still heal and they will not kill me. But they won’t heal if I don’t tend to them. I need to remind myself of this every day.
I am making a decision in my 34th year, to live into wholeness, to accept whatever the fuck I cannot change and change what is in my ability to change, to tell depression to kiss my ass, climb the hell out, to fill in the hole with nice, fresh earth, and jump up and down on top of it, triumphant.
Welcome to this blog - my chronicle of the illuminating, character-building path of single parenthood. I'm making this up as I go along. My life is my practice, and my five year-old son is my greatest teacher.