Ten years ago …

Ten years ago my boys were 8 and 6 and I was ten months into a new life.  A life I had chosen.  A life I didn’t plan, nor really wanted. It was a life I had to have.  Ten months prior to this point I had left my husband of ten years. 

It is believed the number TEN (10)  implies completeness of order, nothing lacking and nothing over. It signifies that the cycle is complete and that everything is in its proper order. Ten represents the perfection of divine order. * 

A few weeks ago I found my diary where I wrote down my fears and failings as a mother as I navigated my way through this new and scary territory.   Given where I was 10 years ago, to where I am today, I believe Ten does represent the perfection of divine order. 

I also believe I need to share this journey with you.  It is not a coincidence that I found this diary to coincide with the number Ten.  Things happen for a reason.   I had to start this today.  

22/9/00

I am currently in the strangest place in my head.  I feel extremely displaced and unsure of where I am going.  This feels weird because a few weeks ago I thought I knew it all.  I thought I had my life planned out.  Maybe this is how life works.  You reach a place where you feel comfortable and then life sends obstacles along the way to challenge your complacency.  The complacent walk around them, while others, like me, question them.  Try to move them.  Climb over them.  Perhaps we even take some of them along with us on our way. 

At this moment I am wishing I was more complacent and happy to go with the flow.  In many aspects of my life I can do this, but for the big stuff I can’t.  I’m always challenging, asking why, doubting myself and my abilities.  Especially now more than ever. 

I am doubting my ability at being a mum.  I am not sure any more if I am or ever have been a good mum.  So many more challenges are being thrown my way.  I don’t know that I have what it takes inside to be be able to deal with them all.  I couldn’t deal with the challenges my exhusband and his parents put to me in my marriage and now I am having to deal with their challenges all over again. 

The self doubting has started again.  My self worth is being challenged.  My children, my only true family, are being pulled into a world of materialism, one that I don’t want for them, and I don’t know how to stop it.

I have become needy.  I am scared.  I behave badly in front of my children out of pure fear that they will reject me.  I am not coping.  I am clinging to my children.  I am pushing them away.  I am drowning.  I am dying.  I am losing.

I have to stop reacting when they want their dad and when they want to go to his place.  I somehow need to support this, but at the same time encourage them to enjoy their time with me.  This is so hard when I have nothing and he has everything.  I have to stop comapring what they have with him to what they have with me.  I left because I didn’t want them to have everything.  I need to relax more with them and start teaching them to relax with me.  They say children act according to how they are being treated and the emotions around them.  I’m not providing them with helpful emotions at all.   I am always living in the past, looking back at what I wanted to be, hating what I’ve become.

I am very critical of the type of mother I have been.  This is not helpful.  I know I’ve been dealing with so much in the past 2-3 years that I haven’t been the mother I always wanted to be.  Maybe we can never be that mother.  They are dreams we have before we actually become mothers. Once we become a mother it is never like we imagined.

Motherhood is the toughest experience in the entire world.  I was so unprepared for how difficult it would be.  Nobody told me it would be difficult.  I was only ever told how wonderful it would be.  I enjoyed it for a couple of weeks. I basked in the glow of the excitement and the arrival of our first baby.  Then, 5 weeks later, it became my worst nightmare.  No sleep.  No help.  No guidance.  No time out.  Nothing.  I felt trapped in a world I could see no escape from.  I did not enjoy my baby at all.  There were times when he was asleep that I would look at him and feel overwhelming love.  When he was awake and crying and demanding all my time, I used to wish I was somewhere else.  A reflux baby can do this to you.  So I am told.  I didn’t know this back then.  I felt like a failure at the time.

In hindsight, I think having a baby strips you of your identiy.  If you are secure, in a good healthy marriage this feeling is only temporary.  However in my situation, my identity was already lost and having a baby made me feel like I would never get it back.

To be continued …..

I was just transported back to that moment in time.  Such a scary place for me back then, but a place I needed to go to.  A place I needed to navigate to become the me I am today. 

* If you want to know more about the number 10 read here.

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About Annieb25

A mum to 2 teenage boys, would be writer, thirsty for knowledge, Radio Solution solver on Radio 1116 4BC and so much more!!
This entry was posted in Divorce, Family, My Boys, Parenting and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to Ten years ago …

  1. Carol says:

    Oh … the number 10 has a lot to answer for.

    “”You reach a place where you feel comfortable and then life sends obstacles along the way to challenge your complacency. The complacent walk around them, while others, like me, question them. Try to move them. Climb over them. Perhaps we even take some of them along with us on our way.””

    Indeed.

    I’m still trying to recover from what the number 10 threw at me.

    Thanks Annie, you make me think … and realise that I’m not alone.

    x

    • Annieb25 says:

      Reading all those 10’s and looking up the meaning of 10 this morning , was a tad surreal.

      Navigating life’s path is all this and then some. We are never alone. x

  2. Bern Morley says:

    Am having an Annie marathon.

    So honest and real.

    I reckon it’s true, you get to a place where everthing feels nice, safe and sussed and then wham, out of the blue, comes a big fuck you.

    Although I think a lot of things when reflected upon can be thought to happen to get you to another point in life. At the time it’s shithouse, but later on, you can see how it helped you get to the point you’re at right now.

    K, must take these kids to school.
    Thanks for the read.

    • Annieb25 says:

      Gosh I feel honoured, I don’t think I’ve ever been the subject of a marathon before.

      I think if we didn’t get the big “F you’s” we would be very beige and boring people. I wouldn’t change a thing in my life, not even the bad bits. x

  3. Wow Annie that was beautiful, your writing amazes me and is so real. Thank you for sharing such a hard time in your life in such a personal way. Your blogs always bring a tear to my eyes – but in a good way.

    I think we all doubt being mothers at some point, I know I went through the same thing. You do feel like you lose your identity something that I went through and sometimes still feel like I am going through, and no doubt with a second baby on the way will be sure to go through again very soon. I love my son without a doubt in my mind but sometimes you need to be you and not just being there for everyone else. Something I am trying to work on.

    Thank you for sharing this with us and inspring me as always.

    • Annieb25 says:

      Thank you Nicole for such great compliment on my writing. To know that something I write is inspiring to another person makes me want to keep writing.

      Being a mum is, by far, the absolute hardest job in the world. I’m still learning!!
      x

  4. Thea says:

    That took me back!
    My nephew turned 10 yesterday.
    It’s 10 (and a bit) years since I met my husband.
    I know that “I am drowning. I am dying. I am losing.” feeling.
    It’s so awful at the time.
    But, wow, what a learning curve.
    Life is anything but simple. xx

    • Annieb25 says:

      Ooh there are more of those 10’s!
      Yep motherhood is such a learning curve – as I said to Nicole above – I am still learning, 18 years later! Thankfully we pass through those drowning, dying, losing feelings and come out stronger. You are a great mum. We all are. x

  5. Jan says:

    Thanks for sharing this extremely personal story. Particularly relevant for me is the “I am drowning. I am dying. I am losing.” Its true that when your marriage breaks down its such a traumatic wrench that you can’t believe in anything at all. As for believing in yourself, well thats simply not possible. At all. I understand the need to cling to your children and also the destructive nature of that as well. Sometimes, I think its just too hard, the journey is too hard, and that light at the end of the tunnel? Well, I haven’t seen it yet. 18 months into my journey. That journey is growing very dark indeed.

    • Annieb25 says:

      Jan, thank you for sharing how you feel on my blog. When I read your comment today I knew that you were the reason I had to share my feelings today about that dark time. You will see the light at the end of the tunnel. You really will. And, you will believe in yourself again. How can you not? xx

  6. BundyNelle says:

    Great blog once again Annie and thank you so much for sharing. I noticed the date 22/9/00 on your diary entry, that would have been my 10th wedding anniversary, if I stayed with my first husband. Your blog took me back to my very own scary territory 15 plus years ago. You took me back to a cold Banyo bedroom where I wrote a sad and lengthy suicide letter that was addressed to my second brother. I was sick and tired of waiting for the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ and I wanted out. Thankfully that ‘light’ eventually arrived, thankfully I did not have children to my first so called husband.

    Your thoughts on motherhood remind me so much of what I am going through at the moment. Your thoughts remind me that I am not the only one who feels they fail their children, that I’m not perfect and hopefully one day my youngest will be fully toilet trained and I won’t have to lock myself in the loo to have an emotional breakdown LOL. As my 81yo mother keeps telling me “Tomorrow is another day”.

    Once again, fantastic blog!

    • Annieb25 says:

      Wow. I have been getting teary with each comment. I did cry when I read yours. I’m so very happy that your light came and you got out of the cold Banyo bedroom, and yes to not have children in that mix is a blessing.

      I think the majority of mothers feel like they fail their children at different times – I still do. Seems to come with the territory. Being a mum fills us with doubt and despair at times, but more than that it also fills us with love and joy, which does ultimately outweigh the bad stuff. Thank you again for sharing. xx

  7. Wow Annie, that is very powerful. That must be something to read that and feel transported back, and also realize how far you’ve come. Sometimes we need to leave everything behind to find ourselves. A cliche, I know, but I think it’s true, as our sense of self can get cluttered by the roles that others place us in (and that we take on) which don’t really fit who we are. And we need to get off by ourselves to tease out what is really our own truth and what is not.

    I’m in the midst of a divorce right now and it is, at times, excruciating but I don’t feel lost. I actually feel empowered. I realize what I feel may continue to change along the journey, but I suppose it’s all part of the adventure.

    Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

    • Annieb25 says:

      I found the diary a couple of weeks ago and have read it twice now. The feelings all come back, but not in a bad way. I can even remember one day when I sat and wrote at Cremorne Point in Sydney. Amazing how feelings can sneak back in.

      I know that I found myself back then, and to a point I think I’m finding myself again. We are ever evolving. I am so glad you don’t feel lost. Empowered is a much better place to be. xx

  8. Wow – beautiful. Such a big thing, to look back on those old thoughts and emotions. Annie, may I ask a question? Ten years ago you looked back at how you were feeling as a new mother, what is your hindsight telling you now about the way you were feeling 10 years ago? I ask because I think we all have these huge moments/days/months of self-doubt at crisis points in our lives, and to read how you felt then, and how you feel now, is incredibly affirming, that we too can come out the other side of the doubt knowing that we did the best that we could.

    10. Big number. My youngest turns ten next week. I wasn’t good with babies, and (again in hindsight) struggled through those first few years. Those days are nearly 10 years behind me, and I feel like I am finally hitting my stride. But I was/am lucky enough to have a partner who kept me going. It must have been such a hard road for you to walk without that support when you needed it most.

    • Annieb25 says:

      I am so happy I wrote down my feelings. I didn’t do it all the time, I seemed to write when things were changing or when I was lost. When I felt great I didn’t seem to write so much.

      Despite the hard times, the dreadful moments of particularly bad mothering and absolutely not having a clue, my boys have turned out ok. They are not going to be receiving a “child of the year” award at a fancy do and they are not straight A students, but they are loving, kind and beautiful boys. We did ok.

      The road alone was hard, but I believe the road with the wrong person would have been much worse. xx

  9. a-m says:

    …. and look at your boys now! You were a great Mum back then, even though you doubted yourself. “Give me a boy until he is seven and I will give you the man”. Those first 7 years were the most important and your boys became the men they are today because of the way you parented them even through the troubled times. They understood, in their hearts, even when they were little. You should be so proud of where you are today. Hold your head high. You are a wonderful Mum. I only wish my Mum left my Dad just a little bit sooner… a few less kids bashed, a bit less psychological damage on my and my brothers part. Takes a BRAVE woman to do the right thing by her kids. I salute you my sweet. A-M xx

    • Annieb25 says:

      Thank you for your lovely comment and salute. I am humbled. x I wish your mum left your dad sooner too – so you didn’t have to go through that. Nevertheless, whilst I don’t know you in person, I know you are a loving and beautiful mum. I just have to read your blog posts to know. Thank you again. xx

  10. Benison says:

    Dear Annie,
    Thank you for sharing this. How wonderful that you kept a diary of this time. So few people do these days. I love reading historical biographies, especially of writers, and biographers use diaries and letters to piece together a portrait of that person. I used to worry what we’d lost, given that people so seldom write letters these days, but I guess we now have emails and blog posts. And boys…what can I say? I have three and none of them is without his challenges, but all so beautiful.
    Best wishes,
    Benison

    • Annieb25 says:

      Benison. Thank you for your comment. I too hate the thought of stories being lost, never to be told. I try to write bits and pieces here and there. I don’t have constant diaries, but snapshots of different periods in my life. And our boys. The sources of much joy in our lives. xx

  11. Sarah (Maya_Abeille) says:

    Annie once again your compassion, your willingness to be so raw and honest in order to share and help others is amazing. It really helps those of us who are travelling our own unique paths some distance behind you. Today I was in the midst of a major, inconsolable meltdown from my 4yearold, and there was nothing at all I could do to contain him, and I found myself just despairing at the helplessness of motherhood sometimes. Despite all you do give, there are going to be times that you can’t help. Either because you are too tired, weak, emotional, human, or you just don’t have the answer. I wondered if I was being too soft, too lenient, or if I had missed something, done something to cause him to be so distressed. It’s so frustrating at times like these to realise there’s only so much you can do.
    I find it so comforting when you share where you’ve been and to know you’ve come out the other side.

    • Annieb25 says:

      Beautiful Sarah. Your comments are always like a warm feather doona. They wrap me up and make me feel all warm and fuzzy. You are such a beautiful person and I know you are a beautiful mother. We are all human so we will all be less than perfect. That doesn’t matter. What matters is how we love. I know you do love well. Your children are very lucky. xx

  12. MsDovic says:

    Firstly, I just turned off the telly and told my husband to shoosh after I read the first few lines.

    You are such a gorgeous blogger. Honest, raw and compassionate.

    To have the opportunity to read what you write is a gift.

    Now on to your letter. My mum was at the same point you were 27 years ago. And sadly, she never moved on. I am so so proud and glad that you did. The alternative aint pretty. I also think so many of us go through so much of what you write about. It is people like you that bring to the fore feelings that that we’re often taught to supress but that in reality are always there. And that, also, is a gift. Thankyou.

    So glad to have you in my universe xx

    • Annieb25 says:

      Oh Ms Dovic the feeling is mutual. I am so glad to have you in my universe. Thank you for your beautiful comment. After reading your beautiful posts I am humbled that you consider reading my writing a gift.

      I’ve been through a lot in my life and have managed to come out the other end pretty well. If I can share that with someone else and make their journey better, I am doing what I believe I’m meant to do. (Sorry that does sound a bit D&M) Thank you again. You rock Dovic. xx

  13. Once again you take the hardest times and turn them into a lovely post. Thanks for sharing Annie. Always makes me think.

  14. Kylie L says:

    Annie, I am late to this after catching up on Twitter all day, but it’s a beautiful blog. Your writing is fabulous and you really must share it more widely!
    My son is now 10, and I also struggled significantly with my altered/submerged identity when he was born… for many women it’s a huge transition, and so important for them to know that they’re not alone, or freaks, or bad mothers. I thought I was. Wish I’d known you back then. xxx

  15. Disy753 says:

    10 years ago I was in a dark place and you made me think about where I have come. As for your journey (considering I am just getting to know you) i now understand more about how strong you must be to make the decision to choose a life you had to have.
    And like Ms Dovic I started contemplating my own mum who has never moved on. Watching that misery is debilitating.
    thank you for providing an insight that is helping me figure out my own journey. xx

  16. Pingback: Ten Years Ago … Part II | Living Life as Me

  17. Cinda says:

    Thanks for sharing with us a look back to where your journey started. It just shows how far you have come and how much you risen from the “ashes” and become the true you.

  18. Pingback: Ten Years Ago … Part III | Living Life as Me

  19. Tracy says:

    Ah, Annie…our lives intersect in strange and beautiful ways. Ten years is how long I spent with the boyo’s father, a number I am very conscious of; it was very much a case, in the end, of being aware that our journey together was done, complete. (Though not, perhaps, as complete as I would like…)

    I share so many of the thoughts you’ve expressed, about my inadequacies as a parent, and how far I feel from the sort of parent I imagined I would be. I remember thinking, pre-child, that I finally had the patience to become a parent; what a laughable thought now, as I continue to explore all the ways I am LACKING in patience with my poor little man…

    Your beautiful introspective musings, your raw & courageous writing, allows us all to share and grow and learn together…such a blessing. Thank you, honey x

  20. Dorothy says:

    It’s as if I was reading about my own life…. Kinda scary…

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