Sometimes, they bring the most healing.
When I was 17, my parents separated. At 18, they divorced. Less than a week later, my father was re-married. The next 12 years of my life consisted of sadness, attempts to rise from the sadness, giving in to the sadness, and being surrounded by the sadness.
I don’t want to be sad anymore.
I will always be sad for the pit bulls and other animals that have invaded my heart. I will always be sad for the homeless people, and will probably continue to cry when I see one standing on a corner, holding a sign, hoping for their own sign of humanity. I will always be sad when children die too young, when parents die too soon, when families lose their loved ones to war and hatred.
But I don’t want to be sad that my parents aren’t together, because honestly, I’m not! I don’t want to be sad that my family was ripped apart and still manage to cut each other to pieces at every available chance. But it happened, it sucked, it’s DONE.
It’s only done if everyone allows it to be.
One thing my husband struggles with is why this sadness never leaves my side. I have told him many times, I stand firm with my decision to not have my mother in my life, yet will always be sad about the fact. He sometimes shakes his head, forever standing by his mantra of “Choose to be happy, choose to be sad.” And he’s finally starting to understand that he never will understand.
I don’t want him to ever understand.
I refuse to think of myself as someone who chooses to be sad. No one wants that on their “About Me” list. Yet there is it, always walking beside me, trying to hold my hand, whispering in my ear, making me just want to sleep.
And then come the holidays! *laugh* A time of joy, of family, of generosity, of reminiscing. A time to pinch the grandkids’ cheeks and tell the nephew how tall he has grown.
A time to be proud of that raise at your job, the two beautiful dogs that you rescued from death, the happiness you feel every day with the love of your life, the precious friends that stood by you through so much, and the very few family that love you unconditionally.
And there I stood, permitting the sadness to creep in again. It didn’t completely take over, for I have grown too strong for that. But not strong enough to squash it completely.
Sometimes, it just takes words to get you back on the right path. My mom and I have exchanged more anger-filled emails than I can count, but this time, it was different. This time, it was an email to my aunt, and my aunt is one of those precious few that love me unconditionally.
Reading words of anger about me instead of to me shook something in my heart. Then the puzzle pieces started to dance in the air, magically falling to the desk and aligning right where they should be.
She will always put herself before her children. She will never beat down my door and tell me she was wrong, even if it is said to just get that “one more chance” to talk. She will always find fault with my writing. She will always resent me for having close relationships with others, unless she deems them acceptable. She will always bring sadness to my life and to my heart, and if I don’t want to live my life that way, I’m the one that has to close the door.
I never wanted to write these words, because I never wanted to hurt the people I love. Sometimes, in order to find your own healing, others get hurt. Too many people have hurt me in order to find their own happiness.
So now it can be done. The sadness will never fully leave, but at least there can be a smile through the tears, because I know I have done my best.
From now on, the bar is a lot higher. I’m expecting the best from the people in my life, instead of always waiting for the hurt.