How do I answer their questions? How do I explain to a six-year-old, even a very smart one, why I left his father without tainting his image of his father? I won’t do that. When I get a point blank question, seemingly out of nowhere, about why I stopped living at his home...it renders me speechless. All I could do, what I will continue to do, is tell him how much I love him, how my leaving his father had nothing to do with him, how I love him forever, no matter what. And I have told and will tell my daughter the same thing.
I left my children. I left them. I made a choice, and a little over a year ago, I left my children and I gave my now ex-husband custody and I hid in Arizona for 5 months. There is so much more to it than that...but those are the basics. I left, and I hid.
As my father so eloquently says, don’t spend too much time kicking your own ass; the world will do that for you. There’s something to that advice...but I have spent a lifetime kicking my own ass, and it is a hard habit to break. It’s second nature.
Logically, I know that the past is the past, what’s done is done, insert-other-cliche-about-living-in-the-present here. I know that I made a choice and now I have to live with that choice and the consequences. I know that no matter how hard the road or how much I kick my own ass, that decision ultimately got me out of a really bad marriage. A marriage I had been trying to get out of for 2 years. Could I have done it any other way? Probably. But...this is how it played out. This is how it went down, and I have to deal with that.
I struggle every single day with what I did. Logically, I know that I did what I had to do at the time and I did the best I could. Logically, I know that I can’t change anything and that all I can do is move forward. But that is just my mind. Try telling that to my heart. In my heart I feel selfish. I miss my children. I don’t miss the life I left behind, but I miss my kids.
So I will continue to tell my kids I love them and spend as much time with them as I am allowed. For now. I will continue to work on myself, for I am, as always, a work in progress. I will try to stop kicking my own ass. Because that’s not really productive, is it? To kick my own ass for things that are done and can’t be changed...it serves no purpose. I know I have to figure out a way to stop focusing on the past and live in the present. I just don’t know how.
This whole experience has reminded me of something very important: being judgmental is pointless and hurtful. I've said this before and I'll say it again - until you've walked a mile in my shoes, you have no right to judge me or what I've done. Some people get that. Some people don't. I know I don't need the people who don't get that in my life, but it still hurts.