Lessons Learned

This was a week of lessons for both myself and T. I think too that it has been a hard week for him as the amount of time the Ex has spent with him has been minimal. I cannot even work up anger. I am resigned. I am sad for T. I cannot make him change. I cannot make him see the young man who is growing up right in front of our eyes. T is playing Farming Simulator as I sit here typing this.

I was excited because I am able to listen to my music on my notebook while writing and also watch T play Farming Simulator. I believe I have explained before? Long story short you build up a farm. People create maps and you go farm. Drive around. It is a popular game judging by the amount of Youtube videos I have been subjected to. At the moment I am sitting here with our shared headphones on (the ones that cover the whole ear not inserted buds that would be gross) listening to Florida Georgia Line. Basically I load the entire album and start at the beginning. Today may be the first time in a long time that I get through the very long list.

We had two rather comedic episodes that left me gasping for air I was laughing so hard.

Yesterday morning I was about to wash the bathroom floor and asked T if he wanted to go use the bathroom before I did. He said yes. As he is climbing down his ladder I stand there  and tell him he is not to pee on the floor, the seat, the side, nowhere but into the toilet as I had just finished cleaning it. As a matter of fact, I suggested that he straddle the toilet and push it down to pee straight in. With hand pantomimes. T stared at me in absolute horror and as I turned away informed me that that was the absolute worst advice ever. And if I had one I would totally understand why. I giggled again typing this up.

Later in the day as I was driving him to the Ex’s for his night with him T was muttering away about what an absolute boring evening it was going to be. That none of his friends could come over. It was going to be dad, grandpa and grandma. I

I am trying something new. We are all programmed to notice the negative, the absurd, in other people’s pain. We mock others to make ourselves feel better about our own selves. When T and me had our long conversation the other week I told him that we needed to change. That we needed to look for the positive no matter how hard it is going to be. And it is going to be hard. I mock others. I make fun of them to others. I am no saint as I told K and P. It is a habit, a trait, who knows but it needs to be changed. Now the other day when I dropped T off at school I mocked the bright color of one of his classmate’s snowsuit. I tried to recover by saying at the very least we would not lose him in a snowstorm. Told him that he was not to make fun of the boy to which he emphatically told me he would never. I told him I was sorry. That I should never have made a comment and about a child’s snowsuit nonetheless.

So back to T and me, driving to the Ex’s. Grandma and grandpa are visiting. T is going to be bored. I suggest that he could hang out with grandma. And glanced over to see him looking at me like this. Yes I pulled over and took this picture. Mom, he leans forward his arm on the back of the seat, that male posture when they want to tell you something really important in the car, Grandma is old. And she is annoying. The laughter escaped me and I tried to stifle it. I looked at T and explained to him that grandma really loved him. That she wanted to spend time with him. As he is muttering away, frowny face on, arms crossed. That was when I learned something new about T.

I suggested (I am great for suggesting things) that he might want to spend some time with grandma because she would not be around forever. And he said no that was not true. Um yes, unfortunately we all die someday. Nope, we get another life. I looked over at T and said you think after we die we get a different life. Yep. So you believe in reincarnation. Yeah like having past lives and all that. We get to be together in the next life too. There are times when T reminds me how so very special he is. He also believes that had he been born a girl, the Ex and me would have still been his/her parents. The life would have been the same just pink. He expanded my mind right there.

Today he was annoyed that I had picked him up from his friend’s so early. Had thought that he was going to be staying there until 5 p.m. He was angry with me and refusing to talk. So I thanked him. I could have argued until I was blue in the face with him about his attitude but again I am trying different things to find what works for us. I want to stop that cycle I have seen myself falling into. But no, I thanked him. And waited. Finally he asked for what.

I told that I had taken his suggestion and had started writing a story the night before. Wanted to know what it was about so I gave him a quick a synopsis. Explained that what had started off as a short story about one thing had morphed into something else totally different. My main character had a story to tell we were just figuring it out. I thanked him again and he said you are welcome. I felt it was a small victory and we chatted and laughed all the way home.

Once home with chores taken care of I went to grab the headphones and T was loading his game. Asked where the headphones were. As if I didn’t know, he had taken them into his room one day watching Youtube and left them in there. He fought with me. Told me I had taken them and put them somewhere and it was not his fault that I could not remember. I took the remote for the XBox and sat down on the couch explaining that he could have the remote back once he checked his room.

He argued with me and I kept my cool. I did not yell. I did not let my temper get the best of me. I spoke calmly and repeated that he would get the remote once he had gone to look for the headphones. Finally I said that if he was sure they were not there could he please just humor me and go take a look. Stood in the door and said looked. Uh-uh get up there and look.

I heard him climb up into his bed and silence. After a few moments I got up and double checked the table and counter just in case I was being a hardass for something I had in fact done. I stood watching him from the doorway as he climbed down and threw the headphones at me. I think he thought I was going to crow and say I told you so. Or some form of that. Instead I said thank you I really appreciate that you looked for them. Warned him I might sing and was that okay? I was informed that it was most definitely not cool to sing out loud. I made no promises. He giggled.

I need to be his example. I cannot expect him to act one way and for me to act another. I will slip. I am sure that I will make a mocking comment about someone, and snort giggle when reading memes on FB again I am no saint. But I will actively work to do this. For both of us. And in a world full of negatives looking for the positive is hard. And that is when I learned my second lesson.

What I do now is easy. I am in my home. Being a good example is not hard when I am not interacting with others for extended time periods. I will be going back to work. I will be around toxic people who are going to attempt to shame me. Those who are going to judge me. Not celebrating with me as I recover from this bout of depression. That I am emerging a better stronger woman. And it is going to be hard to not to give in. To not laugh at that little aside about a coworker. A dis about an employee. An irate customer. Being tired. I could come up with a thousand reasons why I slipped back and forget what I was doing this for in the first place.

Yes in part this is a step in my mental health and realizing that I was following a cycle that my father got from his mother. I was yelling at T and several times during the week I cut myself off from phrases he said. I need to break it here and now. But this is for Tember. Our children are our future, and I want to encourage T to see the good first before having to process the bad.

 

Evolution

I am a dweller. When I have been through a situation, I will look at it from every angle to see where I could have done better. And will still be looking at that same situation three weeks later. I go over and over it in my head. It is the same with conversations that I know are forthcoming.
One of the steps in my counselling is learning to be present. Be in the moment. Once a situation is done it is done. No amount of dwelling on it is going to make a difference. As for the future, I am unable to predict that let alone know what is going to be said and how I will respond. So I need to learn not to dwell. Something I have done my entire life.
Yesterday as I was getting ready for my appointments, I began to think ahead to when I return to work. What that is going to be like. How will…….and I stopped. I shoved my face into the water, felt it cascade over my skin. Felt my wet hair clinging to my shoulders. My hands on my face. And the inside voice began: ‘Jay you are stopping this. You do not know what is going to be said. This does you no good to think about it.’ and like that, it vanished. The thoughts lol, not the voice.
In the evening when my Ex dropped off bread and milk for us, he was pretty curt to me. Thrust the two items at me and left even as I was saying thank you. I put the milk and bread away and asked T what was wrong with his dad. I know I should not have. T had no idea. And he had been off on Sunday too. I began to dwell. Trying to imagine what I had done or said that had upset him.
After a little while of this I realized what I was doing and shot off a long message to K1 (BFF in the United States). I explained to her what was going on. And as I did, the need to justify or figure out what his deal was, was not mine to make. I am no longer responsible for him. I no longer need to be concerned when his nose is out of joint. I only need to be concerned about what  T and me are doing. And as I did, it vanished.
This morning while working out, I began to think ahead again. To what I do not know. I had the same conversation with myself. I am responsible for myself and my actions. I do not know what someone will say to me or do in any situation I may find myself in so why do I bother dwelling on it? That doing so is not good. And as I had this conversation I could feel the beads of sweat that threaded along my temple. My hair glued to my back. The wet spot on my tank top. And I came back to now.
There are some exceptions to the thinking ahead and that is when you are planning something. A holiday to Mexico. Your wedding. The birth of your child. Submitting your work to a magazine.  To look ahead and imagine what that future looks like is normal. And exciting. That is not dwelling.
I really am proud of myself. I use that word a lot don’t I? The truth is though, that I never have really been proud of myself. I lacked the confidence and really felt as though I was not deserving of my own pride. I use to think I took pride in doing a great job at work, but that is who I am. It is an ethic that is ingrained in me. I learned it from my mom.  I take pride in T and all that he has accomplished but did not feel proud that I have been instrumental in this development.
Now though, as the days and weeks go by and I am learning about myself, I am beginning to feel proud. Proud that I believe in myself and that I am worthy of everything I want. Within reason obviously, wanting a castle, a pet dragon and a King to sweep me off my feel although well deserved is not going to happen. 🙂 Proud that I have not self-medicated in almost 60 days. 2 more days.
I am learning that I am stronger than I ever thought that I was. That I can look at myself see what is needed to change and go for it. Yesterday, I was telling my counsellor how after trying to teach T ’80’s’ math I started to flip through the pages. The first 15 or so pages were about addiction. A poem that I was trying to write. In 2015. Even then I knew but I was not at the bottom yet. Had not reached the point where my self-loathing came with a price that I had to pay.
I am going day by day. I am sorry to all who read this I bounced around a little bit. I am a woman on a journey. A growth that is spiritual in my own way, creative, as a mother and friend. I have come a long way in 60 days from who I was.
“I am a woman with dreams that I am finally ready to persue. I am beginning to think that this is my evolution and I am awakening from hibernation.”-Me today to a friend about myself.