My friend is going through a break-up. It’s been devastating for her, magnified x1000 because she also suffers from anxiety and depression. It’s bad enough feeling severed from something even in the best of circumstances, so yeah..I feel terrible for her.
My last break-up was with my babydaddy, and it was so traumatic that I refused to be in a relationship for 8 years after. I spent a great deal of time in mourning, but eventually became a cheerleader for the single life. As hard as it was to be a single mom, it was easier than the alternative: trusting someone. I soon realized I was the in the minority. Most people prefer being partnered. I didn’t. I understand now that it was probably due to the circumstances that surrounded the end of my relationship (raising a daughter alone, watching her father get married and have a baby with a new woman..etc). I had bad taste in my mouth about relationships for a LONG time. It also didn’t help that I witnessed many of my friends cheating on their girlfriends/boyfriends, and watched my own parents’ marriage dissolve into a baffling series of events (more on that later).
I generally regarded articles like this with a degree of scorn and superiority. The following statement just didn’t apply to me:
Someone with a partner would have a person to lean on during this time.
I mean.. when I was single I’d lean on my friends, and that was enough for me..99% of the time. They gave me enough support, love, acceptance and strength so I could get through my daily life. Sure, I had moments where I’d feel alone, scared, hopeless and miserable. But those moments weren’t unmanageable. I realize now that I was lucky as HELL. For some people, it’s not just about moments that pass.. It’s about EVERY DAY being made up of thousands of moments of pain and sadness.
Now that I’m coupled, I understand the luxury of having someone to lean on. My friends were amazing, but they didn’t offer the 24/7 access to comfort the way my boyfriend does. When I’m scared in the middle of the night, he’s there. He also makes it easier to deal with many things, like mentally checking in when he sees me going down a Cortisol-induced spiral. It’s incredible having someone to put a dampener on your inner voice, the one that tells you “OMG THIS IS THE END OF THE WORLD!!!”. When you’re single, you don’t have that. It’s just you on the front lines of your own mind.
But life’s not a suffering competition . Nobody’s pain is more or less valid than someone else’s. We all have feelings, and we shouldn’t try to legitimatize of someone’s pain based on what we think they’ve been through. Unfortunately, I did a lot of comparing when I was single. It was my coping mechanism. It helped me get through the struggles and sadness I felt.
Confession: It gave me comfort knowing another person might have failed, or fallen apart when I succeeded. It was a selfish, prideful, self-promoting feeling, but I indulged in it, because I was alone. Because my friends were coupled, and I didn’t have someone to learn on.
Well guess what? I’m not a rock, not a f***ing superhuman, and I’ve failed just as many times as I’ve succeeded. Being in a relationship forced me to confront my false perceptions and vulnerabilities. Being single let me build a bubble around them. My bubble needed to be popped..
But more on that later..
So I’ve been trying to write again.. good lord a YEAR between posts, really? SHAME ! (GoT reference there) I must have a life or something outside this blog. Actually a life that in the past 18 months included: moving to a new state, new house, new job, in with a (relatively) new boyfriend, getting my kid started at a new school… you know…basically starting a new life (no big).
Oh and my kid is TEN now. When I started blogging, she was less than a year old.
Here’s some perspective:
BLOWS MY GD MIND..
I started this blog in 2007 because I had recently become a single mom, was struggling to find a place to live, and was generally overwhelmed with how I was going to handle parenting alone.
Is it cavalier for me to say that parenting was the easy part?
Yeah.. it’s relationships that are hard…
OK so parenting is hard too. But after being single for 8+ years, I was comfortable with it. I had gotten into a groove where I was competent at handling my job, child, LIFE .. etc on my own. In fact, I was good at it. By the time LB was 5, I had a decent paying job, nice apartment, excellent schools for her, and my cooking had been upgraded from cans and boxes to mostly fresh food.
Yeah, it was hard work, and there were times when I was lonely, but I eventually I began to really enjoy my life as a single mom. I also think I was very lucky, obviously being the recipient of white privilege. I managed to make a chunk of money on donating my DNA, which has floated me through emergencies and drama, and I’ve been awarded a good amount of free time while my daughter spends summers with her dad (Roofie and I are on civil terms now).
But best part of it was.. I called all the shots in my life. I made all the decisions, the choices.. AND I took all the credit. I was the hero of my own story.
And that is a glorious feeling.
But now I’m in a serious relationship…..and it’s hard. But more on that later friends😉
Guess what? Yes, I know, I actually blogged, but more importantly….. It’s that time of year again in the southwest!
I could feel the slow Capsaicin burn creeping up my fingers, making me smile at the pain that would linger on my skin for hours. This is gonna be a hot batch, I thought to myself with glee. Funny how a plant probably developed this chemical in order to keep humans AWAY from it, and yet we “put that sh*t on everything.”
Ahhhh the therapeutic ritual of prepping chile:
Peeling off the blackened, fire roasted layer of skin.
Stripping the seeds off the slimy vegetable flesh; reminds me of octopus tentacles.
Pulling out the pulpy green innards…
Straight up GUTTING, Yo.
I LoOOVEEEEEEEEE chile season.❤
Yesterday was all doom and gloom. So here’s some enlightenment from Skeletor himself. Smile errrbody. Today will be grand!
My mom has been writing me letters. Real letters, not email. When she wants pics of her grandchild, or make sure I’m still alive, she will call or text. Sometimes we Skype with the kid. She decided she wanted to write letters because she felt disconnected to me. She doesn’t like the distance between us. I think my moving 400 miles away was an emotional slap in the face to her. She thinks it was physical evidence of my desire to escape her.
Anyway, over Christmas she felt I was being cold to her. I’ve never had that mother/daughter relationship where we did each others nails and told secrets to each other while brushing our hair. The more trouble I got into, the more I tried to keep her away from my problems. Eventually I had no choice but to let her help me, and since then I’ve had a hard time getting over the guilt from that.
I like to blame Astrology, so this all can be tied back to Saturn Returns. When you are 29-30 you are forced to deal with your “mommy issues” and my mother sending me a big box of stationery seems to be its materialization in my life.
A lot of things came out during our exchange, most of it painful. She’s worried about me being alone. She thinks her relationship with my dad has set me up for a life of failure when it comes to men. I don’t think she can blame herself for my screw-ups, but I was kind of scared she was right in one respect: That I was doomed.
Yes I’ve come back. You’ve noticed? I’m still posting over at my new blog Pisces Pictures, but I miss this one. Its been here for me so long (4 years now) and somehow it’s comforting to see its face again.
I’ve also been catching up on the other single mamas who I started reading almost half a decade ago. SO MANY CHANGES! Engagements, weddings, graduations, higher education pursuits, job changes, moves, break-ups, pregnancies… it’s amazing. The more I’ve been catching up, the more I want to make a whole post dedicated to their lives.
So here goes:
Single moms who are now married:
- Rachel Sarah @Single Mom Seeking
- Kristin Darguzas @ Tall n Lucky
- Morgan Siler @ModernsingleMama (though she was already in the process)
Single Moms who are engaged to be married
Single Moms who were engaged, but decided it wasn’t for them
Single Moms who are in serious relationships
Single Moms who are pregnant or who have had another baby
Single Moms who are pursuing degrees
I’ve kept up with these bloggers via Facebook, mostly. But some of them I’ve stopped reading their blogs and in my absence, they’ve become private or password protected.
Now I must go and beg for forgiveness.
I’m still single. I haven’t had a baby. I haven’t gone back to school. I don’t have much news to report. But it makes me hopeful to see everyone else moving forward. Maybe I will get there too.