I have been working for the past month to get my dad packed and moved into his new place. Moving is one of the biggest stresses. It puts strain on every aspect of life – emotional, physical, and mental. But this move has an added dimension of stress.
My parents will officially be divorced on Friday, November 20th. The reason he is moving is because their shared home is sold and gone. I don’t think I’m able to wrap my brain around this fact yet. I can’t figure out how to reorganize my mind with the knowledge that our family is irrevocably broken and changed.
So, most days I try to ignore it. I tell myself that it’s ok. That we’re okay. That this is the truth and real. No longer can we hide behind our mask of what we thought a family was supposed to be. My mantras work most days. I get through the day. I feel positive about the future. I can approach it from the adult side of my mind.
But some days it doesn’t work. I find myself lost in the emotion pooled right beneath the surface. Someday’s these pockets of emotions bring me to my knees. Today was one of those days. Turns out living in the truth can be painful. Not to be melodramatic or anything. LOL.
I spent most of the day unpacking the kitchen. I came across a lot of dishes that have memories. A piece of the silverware from my parents wedding. The dishes my mom loved to put out at Christmas. A pan we’ve had since I was a kid. As I unpacked I could feel myself getting angry.
I was irritated that I was the one that had to do it. It should be my mom. She should be here doing it, but this isn’t her house. I don’t know if she’ll even come here. This made me sad. Trying to avoid these emotions I got really scattered and unable to focus.
Tonight I talked to my mom for a bit and just started crying. I don’t want this to be happening. I’m dreading the holidays. My mom is going to be with her family in Indiana. My brother is doing his own thing with his family. My dad will be going with his friends. I don’t know where to go because I want to be in three places at once. I want us to be together. But I can’t make that happen.
Last thanksgiving was great. We had a bunch of people over. We ate lots of yummy food and played a ton of board games. It was a good day. Lots of laughter. It was easy. It was fun. I wish I had known it was the last one. I would go back and take more mental snapshots of the small moments. I’d relish the fact that we were all together. Now we’re just awkward, distant and unconnected.
Now that I’ve had a cry I can put it back away for a bit. I can move on and get back to unpacking the kitchen. I will again tell myself that we’re okay. That this is the truth and that we will move on.
Preamble – First of all I have to say that I am addicted to Tori & Dean Home Sweet Hollywood. I have watched since season one and will watch til the last episode. I think she’s fascinating. Maybe its the poor little rich girl thing, but Tori’s so real about who she is. She isn’t ashamed of her flaws. She embraces who she is. I love it.
Now onto the real blog post.
Last week was the season finale of Tori& Dean Home Sweet Hollywood, with Stella’s one-year birthday party. The big question was, will Candy, Tori’s mom show up? You knew she wasn’t. She said it was because of the cameras and she didn’t want to be on the tv show. I think that’s crap. If you want to be in your daughter’s life, for real, you do whatever it takes. There are no strings. There are no conditions. There is no question. You show up. You’re there, regardless.
So, when she didn’t show up Tori was devastated, again. She was crying. Dean was frustrated. But in the end, during one of the last interviews of the season Tori finally got it. She finally had a way to deal with her mother and it started with her. She realized that she had to stop being a victim. She was in a position to be hurt because she put herself there. She had unrealistic expectations. It was time to own it and deal with it privately. No one could stop the cycle but her. She had to stand up for herself and her family.
OOoohhhh! That’s it. A light went off for me. This so related to my life. I have to stand up and take responsibility for my life. I can’t keep waiting here in Ohio for my family to be a family. I”m here because I made the choice to come. I have to step up and take my life back. They are who they are. They are going to keep trucking down their road and I need to get on mine. Now to figure out how and what and where.
Another benefit is that by owning my actions and emotions it helps avoid anger, bitterness and resentment. It doesn’t mean I’m not hurt, but it makes me step back and analyze where I put myself in an unhealthy situation. I have to draw better boundaries. I have to be true to me. I have to stand up for me. UGH! All of that is much harder than I thought. I still want them to love me so I hesitate everytime I need to say something. Baby steps. See because love is conditional you don’t have the freedom to say no, it comes with great consequences. So, learning to stand up for yourself and say, in the immortal words of Baby in Dirty Dancing, “this is my dance space and that is your dance space.”
Now, for some this is a no brainer. But when you grow up in a dysfunctional family where love is conditional and often manipulative it’s not so cut and dried. You have to learn on your own, with therapy and through the friends that become like family, how to be a functional, healthy adult. These things do not come naturally. We have to be told not to give until you’re depleted. We have to learn that co-dependence does not mean they love you. It takes time to figure out that even though we change and work through our junk, they may continue in the same crap that you drug yourself out of, it’s called denial.
So thank you Tori Spelling for sharing your ephiphany with us and allowing me one of my own. See God will use any means necessary to speak into our lives, even through Tori Spelling.
Well I have now officially been in Ohio for a year. Hmmmm….
It was a non-event. Or as my dad said to me when I reminded him, “so.”
So what? I don’t know.
I thought I’d have more answers by now. I thought I’d have more direction, but i don’t. Same questions. New state. Colder weather. Maybe these are just the questions that will plague me for the rest of my life. I will always wonder what I want to be when I grow up. I’ll always be restless. I will always be vaguely bored. LOL. Who knows.
The year itself has been good. I’ve been back to California four times. I’ve stayed in touch with all of my favorite people. I’ve met amazing new people. I’ve gotten to spend a lot of time with my nephews and my parents and I haven’t killed each other. All good things.
So for now I am still working with my dad and just plugging along.