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When you want to have the words but you don't right then...

I'm just sitting here writing to write. To see what will fall out of my tangled brain. To try and make sense of myself, how I feel, and the current circumstances of my life, in a way that makes sense to share with the world.

And I know I don't have to share it if I don't want to, but the parts that belong solely to me, I want to. Because all the best learning and healing and growing I've ever done, has been due in part to learning from other people's stories.

In the movie Lilo & Stitch (one of my favorite movies in a completely non-ironic way; that shit is deep!) two sisters are about to potentially be separated by the foster care system. The older sister says to the much younger one, "Sometimes...even when you try your hardest... things just...don't work out the way you want them to." And damn, does it ever hurt like a bitch to be living out that truth for yourself.

Ugh, never mind. I want to have words but I don't right now.

That was the draft I wrote on this blog on March 22, 2022. My nearly 5 year long relationship was over and I was suffering so much and dying to process it, make sense of it and find a way to feel better. At the same time, I was so aware of the fact that I was in the middle of something that so many mothers go through (becoming a single mom after being partnered) and I didn't want to write something in the messy middle of feeling all of that that was going to hurt somebody else, or give them bad advice. And I had so so much anger but didn't want to share any of it because I didn't want to hurt publicly the person I had built a life with for so long, the person I had loved.

So, I just didn't write anything. I closed the blog window and didn't open the site again for literal years.

There's a lot I could share about my failed relationship. About losing myself and sacrificing my mental health at times to the point of being a shell of myself, picking holes all over my body due to the anxiety it was causing, the deep in your bones loneliness of parenting in a non-equitable situation, that feeling of cleaning up the living room alone while the person who's supposed to love you plays video games in the next room, that sinking feeling that none of your beliefs and ideals mattered because it's not the 1950's anymore but somehow you still ended up here, picking up a grown man's mess, literally and figuratively.

Putting so many of my dreams on a shelf, looking at them all the time but unable to pick them up because of him. Editing myself in every space I existed in in order to be "respectful of his feelings" (aka coddle his control issues).

But the craziest thing is that it was still so hard, SO hard, to let go. He and I were both much of the time miserable, more and more so towards the end. I still cried occasionally about it ending for so long afterwards but there were months on end where I cried multiple times a week when we were together. And even with all that, I was still sad. I'm still sad about it a little bit, sometimes. Why is that do you think?

I think it's because even in the middle of conflict and conflicting interests and being treated in a way that you wouldn't even treat your nemesis let alone the person you love...there is still so much to love about a person. I can't help it y'all, I be falling for beautiful eyes and a sense of humor and creativity that can transform trash into treasure and a natural goofiness with children and a sense of adventure that got more and more lost as we lost each other but I knew was still in there cuz I'd seen it. I loved and missed and mourned those parts of him for so long, letting go of those parts took so much longer than letting go of the relationship.

Anyway, sometimes, even when you try your hardest (I mean harder than you've ever tried at anything in your whole life), things just...don't work out the way you want them to. But we always find our words again, us women, us mothers. Even when it takes years longer than we thought it would to fall out of love with them and back into it with ourselves.

I started this blog post in March of 2022 and am sitting here finishing it a little over 2 years later, as my Mother's Day gift to myself. If you are a post-breakup/post-separation mom who's struggling, know that I am sending you SO much love.

Lauren sits in front of a book pages backdrop, looking down and to her right, smiling.
Lauren sits in front of a brick wall, laughing and looking towards the light coming from her right

And to the me who started this blog post two years ago and couldn't imagine how things could ever be okay again, much less good or great:

Hi baby, it's me, it's you. It's okay that you can't stop crying and being sad, you do eventually. It's okay that you can't make a clean break, you do eventually (I know that that's hard to read right now.)

We're getting better, like BETTER better. Remember before everything that happened with him? Better than that.

I'm sorry you have to go through this part; I promise it will be worth it.

Happy Mother's Day, I love you.

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