Problogue (see what I did there?):
This is my new blog. I finished my previous blog/incarnation in the early summer. That character arc took me from married to divorced, Los Angeles to England with two youngish children in tow. You can read all about it here: www.bashonregardless.wordpress.com.
This new blog is entitled: AND THEN SHE WAS FREE. Not because it’s unicorns and rainbows – the reality of freedom is far grittier than that. I’ve burst forth from one cocoon to discover slowly slowly who I’ve now become (“I have legs? Oh my word, I can see!”). But here’s the catch. NOT into the old world I inhabited. No, no. It’s a whole NEW one which clearly requires this new person I’ve become. Old patterns fail fast, new capacities only begin to emerge and I want to cry, “Seriously? This is freedom?”
Yet I believe it is.
So, as I begin, I have come to some decisions.
I have spent a year feeling guilty for all that I have put my children through (divorce, transplant, multi-generational living). A year, I now realize, where I forfeited my right to be the parent because I simply felt so badly for the choices I was forced to make. The right choices yes, but horrendously challenging ones. Compromise, compensate, compromise. Oh my word how the three of us have suffered on account of me.
It has been a year where, by force of necessity, the children and I moved back in with my elderly parents. A sanctuary! A safe place! A kindness! But a time to recoup? Well yes and no. It turns out your childhood issues don’t go away when you return home as an adult. Either with your parents or your siblings. And now there’s no escape.
It has been a year where I was determined to create new community fast, fearing isolation as death. I forged forward and was blessed to discover whom the Lord had placed in readiness in my path. Sadly, not so for my children. Racism, alienation, and grief have consumed them much. And I have watched and grieved and felt co-dependently guilty as if, somehow, this were all my fault.
So now I emerge into Year Two. How am I to make my way, like an elephant through the jungle, forging a path for my reluctant children to follow? What must I decide?
- That I cannot live for anyone else. Elderly parents, unsupportive siblings, dysfunctional exes, friends with a different view, even my children. I have to find a way to make this life work. I must focus and gain ground.
- Boundaries must be put in place. No more “anytime you need me, I’ll be there”. It’s not possible. I need to keep my eye on the finish line.
- That my schedule must be basic to succeed.
- That I need to close my door. To process what is truly needed and to reflect on what is left.
- To look neither to left or right, but to listen, watch and discern each step. There are wolves, alligators and swamps out there.
I have to say it’s not sexy, this life as a single parent replanted on the other side of the globe. But is anyone’s?
I would love you to walk alongside me as I navigate this new way of being. Surely it cannot be as bad as where I’ve been. And if it is? I’ve surely had the training to meet it before it meets me.