My journey toward discovering my cultural identity has come to a screeching halt while I try to digest the chaos that is my life currently. This chaos will no doubt be reflected in my writing, so bear with me. I actually prefer the authenticity in verbal diarrhea. The unstructured, non-strategic expression of emotion for no other purpose other than an outlet. Here’s my verbal diarrhea.
Have you ever wished your partner cheated on you? Something I never thought I’d wish for let alone wish for daily. I wish he had cheated on me instead. That I could’ve forgiven. Instead he did something that was so hideous and so far beyond what I ever thought he was capable of that I can’t forgive him. I can’t even consider that I might be wrong because to do that would put my kids at risk.
This is the hard thing about being a solo parent, a solo mother especially. No matter how cautious you think you are about introducing a man to your kids, there’s always a risk. I didn’t introduce him to my kids for a long time. In fact, he got shitty about it. I wanted to make sure I did my due diligence and that “we”, my kids and I, were ready for this next step in “our” relationship. My daughter took a long time to warm up to him. My son adored him and, in his innocence, still does. He wasn’t perfect, but he was perfect for us. I truly thought my run at horrendous relationships was over and that I would be with him for the rest of my life.
Looking back at my history of partners, (which to date have all been poor choices), I can easily justify leaving every single one. I left my daughter’s father after she was born because of domestic violence. We had been together for 6 years prior. I lost count of how many times friends and family begged me to leave. Who would have thought that all it would take was a beautiful little girl who depended on me to love and protect her? I ran away with her and never went back. Then there was my son’s father who I was with for 5 years. He cheated on me. I left with 2 children in tow. The next was an undercover P addict. I had no idea what I was dealing with. When I came to my senses, I left. The last one was amazing. We had so much in common. He was not my usual type (type: Dickhead), he was a “good guy” and turned out to be everything I wanted, or so I thought. He was also the only one that truly broke my heart. I can justify leaving them all, yet I still can’t help but think that I’m the common denominator.
History repeats itself until you finally learn the lesson the universe is trying to teach you (or something like that. I’m pretty sure I just merged two quotes together). I always thought the lesson was around breaking the cycle of “type: Dickhead” and finding a “good guy”. When I dug a little deeper, I realised I equated having a “good guy” to “being worthy”. Usually the normal person’s “aha” moment. In my case it was more of a “it took you this bloody long to figure that out” moment. My poor choices in men has been largely due to my lack of self-esteem, lack of self-love, lack of acknowledging my worth and waiting for a “good guy” to affirm me. (I sound like an IG influencer posting the random inspirational caption that somehow always ends up being more about them than actually helping the reader). It also doesn’t help that kids of solo mums are labelled as baggage, and to find a good guy meant that I was the lucky one. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve let people know my kids aren’t baggage and any man would be lucky to have their love. But here’s the real aha moment. With all the self-love garbage flooding our social media platforms, no one talks about the real dangers associated with these types of insecurities especially for solo mums. The types of dangers that extend beyond a breakup and that are felt by your kids. The types of dangers that are traumatic, devastating and can take a lifetime to heal. I took pride in the fact that I could leave a man, if I had to. Instead of acknowledging that I needed to do the hard work and sort my shit out. The good ol’ prevention vs reaction. I think this time around the universe was so sick of my shit she bitch slapped me with the biggest dick she could find and fuck it hurt. It also woke me the hell up. If I don’t sort my shit out (self-esteem, self-love, self-whatever else is missing), then I’m not being a good mum and I could potentially put my kids at risk again.
It needs to be said however that my kids have come out relatively unscathed considering. Don’t get me wrong, they’re devastated but they will be ok. I think I’ve taken the brunt of it. Well I pray I have. If I ignored my gut and he was still here, that would be a different story.
There’s also another big lesson. Have you heard of flight or fight? I fight. My default is anger. Shower or fight. Eat or fight. Breathe or fight. 99% of the time I make the right decision, a conscious decision, but the anger sits on the shoulder of my soul like a little devil. I’m not entirely sure when it started, all I know is it has been there since I was young. As I grew older, I built up a thick skin, I withdrew, and I projected my anger in self-destructive ways – this is where type: Dickhead also comes in. I need to give myself credit though, I have grown a hell of a lot over the last few years focusing solely on my anger. Rewiring my brain, building a positive perspective, practicing patience and homing in on my empathy. Ironically, I was supported and loved by the man I just left throughout this journey. He taught me a lot (the universe has a fucked-up sense of humour). But when this happened, my anger took centre stage. I wanted to hurt him and I probably would’ve tried. Without a doubt would’ve failed, but I would’ve tried. A few days later after I had calmed down, I realised the universe was challenging me again. This bitch loves games. What am I going to do with this new anger? An anger I never wanted and given to me by a man I loved and embarrassingly still love. The answer: I have no idea.