History Through Neal’s Eyes

Amazing conversation I just had with Neal..
N: Can we see the Statue of Lady Liberty?
M: That’s in New York honey, we are taking a trip to Florida.
N: Oh no, New York has bad guys in it. I was watching TV, it said that in New York there were bad guys who flew a plane and it crashed’d into a building and then the building fell down.
M: Yes hon, that was September 11th, 2001.
N: Well did they rebuild the buildings?
M: Yes, but in a different area
N: Well ok, then we can go there, It’s not in the same place so it’s safe now
M: Well let’s finish the trip to Florida first and then we can talk about visiting other areas.
N: ok, fine but you know that Jesse *From Disney Channel* lives in New York.

Now I see the real reason he wants to go there…he has a huge crush on Jesse lol

Christmas time!

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I love Christmas. I am not an organized religion kind of a gal. I have a strong spiritual side but logic and science plays a heavy role in my life and I know that Jesus wasn’t born today. But the meaning behind Christmas is what I love. Giving, spending time with family, and seeing my sons face light up from what Santa brought brings me so much joy and love that I can burst!

My morals led me to divorce….

Tonight in class, when I talked about going through my failing marriage, I was complimented on my transparency. I guess I have the reputation of NOT putting on airs. I started to think about why that is even worthy of a compliment.

I am a product of a perfectly imperfect marriage that both my mom and dad fought hard for and never claimed marriage was easy. I was instilled with the notion that marriage was something you take seriously and you have to be selfless with. Being wed to someone was not only giving yourself to someone but was someone giving themselves to you. It had great responsibility but even more rewards. Hearing about people who divorce after days, weeks, months, or a couple of years of marriage made me wonder how anyone could give up on “the good fight”?

Absolutely, there are people who jump into marriage without thinking. There are people who give up on marriage without thinking. Does anyone even hear what they are vowing and the promises they made??? The high divorce rate shows that they don’t. It’s crazy to expect that you are going to be happy every single day of marriage so why throw in the towel so soon?

On the other hand… there is a population of unhappily married people that choose to live unhappily until one of them dies. I can admit that for a short while, I contemplated doing that “for Neal’s sake”. I didn’t want to admit what was wrong in my marriage. I defended all of my husbands negative actions and my own enabling behaviors. I can relate to the song  “Unhappily Married” by The Pistol Annies. (Warning: Country music)

So how did I come to the decision to divorce? All the reasons why I was willing to stay (i.e. Neal, vows, I have to keep fighting, morals) was exactly why I had to get divorced.

In order to be true to my marriage ideals and my moral code, I had to leave.

I was not in a “good fight”, I was not in a perfectly imperfect marriage. I wasn’t happy ANY day. I allowed my marriage to change me. Not that my exhusband tried to change me, but the marriage itself did. I was putting up with situations and actions I never would have before I said I DO. I was showing Neal that being a door mat was ok. I wasn’t demonstrating what ‘respect’ and ‘honor’ looked like. He would never have the concept of trust and loyalty if he was continued to be raised in this truly broken home.

In order to keep my belief in marriage and instill Neal with the same morals I had growing up, I had to get divorced. I needed to make myself available to true love. I needed to be open to having a partner who truly accepted me,support me, positively challenges me, love me, adore me, as I will him, and love Neal as his own, in order to show Neal what marriage is supposed to look like. What I had with his father was not it. Will I ever find that partner? Who knows….But I do know that it’s better to be without that true partner than it is to be with a fake partner.

I can’t be sad that I am divorced, my life has improved greatly since I decided to do it.

I can’t be bitter that I am divorced, no one is perfect, I had a life speed bump, I learned a lot.

Most importantly, I can’t be ashamed that I am divorced. My decision to get divorced wasn’t easy and came from the most raw, stripped down area of my brain and heart.

Neal undoubtedly misses his dad. The one thing I had to come to terms with is that Neal and his dad not having much of a relationship isn’t my fault. My decision to leave his dad had NOTHING to do with my ex’s relationship with Neal. That ball is completely in his dad’s court. Right now, I can only allow what is healthy for Neal into his life. It’s his dad’s responsibility to be a healthy and active part of Neal’s life.

Now that doesn’t mean I don’t feel his heartbreak over missing his dad. I probably take a good chunk of the heart break away from Neal and only share with him enough truth that is reasonable for his age. The rest, I absorb and shield from him.

Yet, it’s still a better option than raising him in a truly broken home.

(Warning: More country music)

"It always seems impossible until it's done."- Nelson Mandela

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