Friday, March 25, 2011

Something Long that Made my Brain Hurt

All along, my focus has been on them. I've considered every step, given each of them room to feel comfortable - with the situation, with one another. I've insisted we all move slowly, that we think about each step and think about each one carefully. I've walked a fine line between them both, trying to read each one and guess what they each need of me. I've played various roles: guardian and protector, facilitator, guide, cheerleader.

At no point in this process, though, not beyond the very initial moments, did I think about myself - what I would need to be able to transition to this new life. And that - however unintentional - was my big mistake.

I say "big mistake" because lately when I think or talk about everything that lies ahead (in the not-at-all-distant future, as in, in the later part of this year) I've been feeling like a semi-truck has hit me. I keep having these moments where I'm talking about very real and very normal things that are happening, or that are on the horizon, and at some point, it's like my brain catches up to my words and is like, hold on a sec, we're doing what? With whom? When? Why?

I covered pretty thoroughly my feelings about being single, and a single mother, in my "transformation" posts, so I won't rehash any of that here. The thing about these thoughts and feelings that I frankly obsessed about is that I never thought too much past them. The notion that I would be where I am right now struck me as such an improbability that it never occurred to me to ask, then what?

That sounds so stupid, seeing it like that. But it's true. There's only so much worry I can cram into my brain, so many scenarios I can prepare for, before my brain does that thing it does where it seems to freeze up and shut down. When I was neck-deep in that time of transition, uncertainty and fear, the most I could think about the concept of allowing another man in my life in a serious way was that I wouldn't settle for less than a kind, intelligent, mature man with a sense of humor who would treat both my son and I with a great deal of love, patience and respect. I suppose I figured that with an order that tall, if such a man stumbled into my life at the right moment, I would be o.k., my son would be o.k., and so, why bother thinking any more about it.

I had no clue that that kind, intelligent, mature man with a sense of humor who would treat both my son and I with a great deal of love, patience and respect actually existed, or that he would come into my life when he did, like he did, and change it so completely. And yes, I am o.k., and my son is o.k., but in practice, that's simply not enough.

Apparently, there's more to all this than how my son and my boyfriend take to each other, or whether or not they can or will form their own special bond, or whether or not Jevo would truly want and acclimate to a ready-made family, or whether or not my son will fall apart when Jevo moves in and we marry.

Apparently, there's this, too: there's whether or not I can really put my wall down and be truly vulnerable with someone; whether or not I can have the faith necessary to build something solid, believing in him, in me and in everything between us, despite whatever differences we have; there's also the fact that I have to learn to parent with Jevo, have to develop a good system with him where he can feel like a parental figure to Max and I can feel his support in my efforts to continue co-parenting well with M's dad (and more than this, really, if we're to have children of our own); I have to give him a fair say in our home (our home, which was once my home); I have to loosen my grip on a lot of things and stop being (albeit subconsciously) possessive - of my (our) home, my child, my way of parenting, my way being the only way.

I have these last almost-three years built a very protective world for myself and my son, and in the last months I have felt it being truly tested. It began with the slow realization (or maybe quick realization and slow acceptance) that I didn't need such defenses around Jevo, which was great and all, but I've had no idea how to deal with that. From there it's just been the repeated experience of uncovering a new layer about myself and my feelings and my needs and figuring out how on earth to address them within the context of the relationship. It hasn't been enough to just work on myself, because oh shit, it's actually not just me anymore.

It's not just me. Me alone. I am not alone.

Go figure.

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Posted by Tere @ 3/25/2011   | | | links to this post

Thursday, March 24, 2011

10

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Posted by Tere @ 3/24/2011   | | | links to this post