I wanted to write this first post as a way for my readers to get to know me. I'm a private person, so for me to open up and share my life, my feelings in such a very public way is a big step for me. I have traveled through my own personal hell to find happiness and peace. I believe that people can change...if they want to. I'm proof.
Let me begin by saying, I think there should be a mandatory class taught in every high school called "Everything your silly ass thinks you know, but don't because your too stupid and immature to possibly know these things yet 101". Subjects taught in this class- Marriage is a HUGE commitment not to be taken lightly and Children are FOR.EV.ER! and they DO NOT come with a set of instructions! Of course these are obvious to you and I...now. But I'm pretty sure that from the ages of 13 to 18, your brain lacks the ability to absorb this knowledge. I married, the first time, at age 18. He and I have two awesome kids together, Jackson and Julianna. At that age, your pretty much delusional and think everything is going to be a fairytale. So here I was, young, dumb, and obviously oblivious to what the 'real world' was all about. This marriage last a whole 5 years. But I wouldn't change anything, no regrets. Jacks and Jules are my life. They ARE my heart.
So there I was, 24 years young, with 2 kids and a divorce under my belt. A year and a half later, I married my second husband. Everything was wonderful. He had two daughters that I was crazy about and he obviously liked my kids too. We started building the house of our dreams. Life was great. Here is the part where I'm supposed to say "And we lived happily ever after", but instead, God threw me some curve balls. I suck at curve balls.
I've never been one to deal well with the unexpected. I like to be in control. Ok, so I'm a little bit of a control freak (and I'm working on it, I really am). One can only imagine how well I deal with grief.....I don't. I don't deal with it AT ALL. I hide it, I ignore it, I pretend like the situation never happened. I.SHUT.DOWN. I isolate myself from everyone. I don't like feeling vulnerable. I wish that I had the capability of dealing with grief by having one of those 'Freak Out' moments like the graveyard scene in the movie Steal Magnolias, where Sally Field's character, M'Lynn, is standing graveside all sad...then she gets all sentimental...then she's PISSED as HELL and wants to beat the shit out of someone! So Clairee offers up Ouiser as a punching bag. And everyone laughs and they eat cake. Ok, I made the cake part up, but cake does make everyone happy. I wish I could get all of my emotions out at once like that. It would make things so much easier.
The first time tragedy struck our family was when my brother's fiancé died. No one could have been prepared for this. Least of all, my brother. Knowing he was in so much pain, I didn't want to show my emotions nor how I was feeling in front of him. Hiding my emotions...that was easy. I knew how to do that all to well.
Fast forward a couple of years. We were finally living in our beautiful new home. I had started a catering business a couple years prior and it was really starting to take off. I was busier than I could have ever imagined, working full time and catering part time. Then we got the dreaded news that my dad had cancer, again, but this time it didn't look good. Just when life was getting back to normal, another curve ball. I wish that I could say that I spent as much time with him as I could, but I didn't. This may sound a little silly, but I didn't know how to act around him, I didn't know what to say, I didn't know how to comfort him. It was almost like he was a stranger to me. My dad was dying and I was shutting down. I remember visiting him in the hospital, sitting across the room from his hospital bed and thinking to myself, "I wish I could be strong and brave like Renee (my sister in law)", but instead, all I could do was leave the room and cry by myself. When he passed, I didn't have time to grieve, or so I thought. We had estate and court issues to deal with which, inevitably, made me shut down even more.
Just when I thought things couldn't possibly get any worse, they did. One year after my father's passing, my 28 year old brother died. This was it, I was in hell. God had to be punishing our family for something, right? How could we take anymore? We just couldn't. Then came more legal battles. More of me shutting down.
Numbness, depression, unhappiness, hate, anger, panic, dread, confusion...every possible horrible feeling started sinking into me. My life was consumed with darkness. I didn't care about my business anymore, I didn't care about my appearance, I didn't care about my marriage. I wasn't taking care of myself, so my health was horrible and comforting myself with food was making me sick and obese. Yes, I said it, obese. I was depressed, fat, miserable and I made life hell for everyone around me. I just didn't care anymore. I was letting tragedy define who I was. The worse part of shutting down was that I was disconnecting myself from others, especially my family. I would make excuses as to why I couldn't leave the house, excuses like 'I needed to clean' or 'the dog needed me'.
But as unhappy as I was, so was my husband. He and I had steadily grown apart. We were barely speaking to each other and when we did, they were never kind and loving words. What was such a happy beginning was now becoming a bitter end. No one wants to admit defeat, but I was ready to throw the towel in. When we both made the decision that the best thing for us would be divorce, it immediately felt like this invisible weight that I had been unknowingly carrying around on my chest for so long was being lifted. I could breathe...if only a little, it was a start. I was finally beginning to heal.