Bits and Pieces from “Home”

I am coming off a long weekend stay in my hometown.

Here are a few bits and pieces from my time at “home.”

  • I told my mother how much I appreciate her unconditional love. I told her that I respect her and love her. Fittingly it was Mother’s Day on Sunday, so it made the weekend extra special.
  • Being home made it abundantly clear that my parents divorce is the biggest road block in my life now.
  • I realized that I am just now facing some of the feelings that I’ve buried since it happened.
  • I spent time by myself at the house where I grew up. My brother and soon-to-sister-in-law live there now and has generously allowed me to keep a key. I went up there for the better part of the day on Friday and yesterday morning before I left. It felt good to sit in the place where my family used to be one. I reflected on some happy times and felt peace. I tried to let some of the sad times go. Like the time I sat through Thanksgiving dinner with my whole family, Dad included, and felt like I was playing “fucked up family.”
  • My brother and soon-to-sister-in-law have made a ton of changes and renovations to the almost 26 year-old house. They’ve painted, redone the kitchen, redone the master bedroom, ripped off wall paper and slate tile in the entry way, and are putting in a new bathroom upstairs. Between everyone in the family getting their stuff out and my brother and soon-to-sister-in-law making changes it’s no longer the house like I know it — it’s moving on and a new house is taking shape.
  • I couldn’t help but sit there and liken it to my own personal “renovations.” I’m moving on and a new version of me is coming together. Same walls and foundation, just a spiffier interior.
  • On Friday, I went running with their Golden Retriever. It was the first time I have ever run with a dog, and it went well. That is until two deer ran across the trail in front of us and the dog nearly dragged me down. It was very scary and I still cannot believe I didn’t fall and get hurt. Or that I didn’t let go of the leash in spite of how fast the 80 lb. dog pulled my 128 lb. frame. It completely took me off guard, but I held on.
  • I never got a chance to really talk to my brother when I was home. I do still believe he can help me (rewire a certain part of my brain), but the moment never played out. The great thing is that I spent a bit of time bonding with my soon-to-sister-in-law.
  • Sunday morning we ran six miles together, including a climb up the steepest hill, elevation wise, in the area. It was empowering. We are getting close and have a shared interest in running. Instead of talking to my brother I got to talk to her — nothing serious, just bonding. It felt good and gives me encouragement that I’ll get a chance to talk to my brother because, in a way, I think my soon-to-be-sister-in-law, is the gateway.
  • I walked their dog again yesterday morning. No running, and I was well aware that there is a fox den and three kits (they are adorable!) near the turn of the driveway so I was at the ready should the dog decide to make a run at them. I’m still scared when thinking about the deer incident, but I didn’t want to let one near mishap keep me from missing out on an opportunity to continue connecting with the dog. As the dog and I walked, I breathed in all the fresh air and nature and filled my lungs with oxygen and closed my eyes. When I opened them I scanned the lush green fields and budding trees all around me. There’s no place like home.
  • One morning during my stay, I talked to my second-cousin on my Dad’s side of the family while our kids played together. She said some insightful things about what I am dealing with. She understands and witnessed some of my Dad’s ways. Plus, we are both mothers now, trying our best to raise our littles. It was nice to connect with her on a family/friend comfort level.
  • I talked with a childhood friend over lunch yesterday. Not only is she a friend, but her parents divorced after our freshman year of college due to an affair. She reacted with immediate anger, the complete opposite of all the burying I have done. We talked about resentment and moving on. She’s been at a peaceful place with her parents divorce for a long time, but given she has a psychology background she was very quick to tell me that I am finally dealing with some of the feelings that I buried and to keep going to therapy because it will help me.
  • Recently talking to my Dad helped, too. I’ve been able to discover the two things that I really want him to know, should the convo ever continue. (1) I have carried resentment toward him that I want to get rid of, and (2) I need him to stop dismissing my every thought or feeling.
  • I talked to my 90-year-old grandmother (my mom’s mom) before leaving town. She’s a wise one and after all the emotions of the weekend, I broke down crying at her kitchen table. She held my hands and listened. I love her so much.
  • In summation the weekend was FUN, EXHAUSTING, and EMOTIONALLY PRODUCTIVE.
  • The fun part was attending the town’s annual Maple Festival. The kids and I started by having a pancake breakfast that quickly segwayed into a pony ride for my daughter and an obstacle course for my son. We saw lots of families and kids we knew. At one point I assessed our fun factor. I was carrying a blow-up purple unicorn, a package of cheap super hero guys, cotton candy, a milkshake, and the new dress I bought. Just call me Festival Mom, I thought, as I held onto the two little hands that kept pulling me to the next interesting booth. We stayed all day, even through the parade that I swore we wouldn’t see because I would have to take the kids home for nap. Bah. My son with a dragon painted on his face and my daughter wearing Mardi gras beads galore sat in a line on the curb of the street just waiting for candy to be thrown. And candy there was!
  • Before bed last night I recapped the weekend to my husband. He opted out of the trip to stay home and chill-out and do yard work. (Can you blame him?!).
  • He did not know me when my parents were married so he can only give me so much help. Not to mention he and I spend the majority of our time raising our kids, and when they are asleep we just want to hang out.
  • At one point before my trip “home” he admitted that he couldn’t even begin to imagine my parents ever married. I laughed. It’s true. What a weird union it was. But I am a product of that weird union, and I need to keep flushing out my weirdness and stop burying it. I have to OWN IT.
  • He seems to understand this and is supportive. In the long run if I don’t do this work, it won’t bode well for our family. It’ll always crop up and fester with my emotional state. He cannot even begin to imagine what I have been through — he told me that — so he stands by me.
  • Many people in this world, almost all of us I’d say, are hit with one trauma or another in their life. The best we can do is find ways to live with it. Peaceful ways, and in ways that we can separate ourselves from it, while at the same time, letting it become part of us. I’m sorting all of that out now and trying to figure how to live my best life from this day forward without letting the past define me. Trying to figure out how to let my heart shine without so many tree branches in the way.
  • Laying in bed last night I teased my husband by saying, “Aren’t glad you didn’t know the extent of just how CRAZY I really am when you married me?!
  • Lights out.

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