One Year Later: Mia’s Story

by mssinglemama on December 3, 2009

It’s been nearly one year – to the day – that Mia found out her boyfriend and the father of their, then four year old daughter, was leaving. She found out a few weeks later that the catalyst of his leaving was an affair with another woman.

When it happened, she was in complete and utter shock. Physically, emotionally – she was absolutely wrecked.

During that time she wrote a series of blog posts, which I published here for her. If you missed them, catch up here.

Her good days now outnumber the bad but this morning she sent me another post after waking up to an all-too-familiar feeling. One that all of us seasoned single moms know all too well. Read on and I’m sure you’ll relate. Somehow, like she always does, Mia was able to capture that raw emotion into words.

Nightmares

By Mia

153

Mia - in March of last year, shortly after

I woke myself up from a deep sleep at 7am weeping. Like the kind of crying that you can only do alone. Curled up in a ball not sure if I was still in the dream or not. The crying felt good though. It felt like home. As I cried I longed to be back in that state again – the state I was in last year this time. A year ago tomorrow.

December 4th, when I came home from work on my lunch break because he didn’t sound right on the phone. Something was more wrong than it had ever been and I knew it, but I had no idea what I was coming home to. I walked into the kitchen and he was sitting on the counter crying, telling me he wanted to move out. It felt like someone had shut all the lights in the world off and I was left with a small, dim, flashlight searching for the meaning in what was happening. I sat in the kitchen chair that day, weeping in the same hollow, painful way that woke me up this morning. And it didn’t stop for months.

That seems like so long ago. And I have come so far. So why am I sad now? Why did it feel good to cry like that again? I have been asking myself that question all morning. What was comforting about the way I wept this morning? Is it that I don’t want to be over it? I don’t want to be moved on? Maybe. Not yet. The sadness was a blanket that allowed me to hide. To keep myself from feeling that it was actually over.

I know it is over, and I don’t long for my old life back, but I am not ready for it to be gone completely either. I don’t want to think about what lies ahead, good or bad. I just want to lean on the crutch of ‘I can’t believe this happened’ for a little while longer. To use it as an excuse to be sad at the drop of a hat, drink wine for no reason, hug my daughter a little longer than she wants me to.

So, my dream…

I was in a car accident. I didn’t remember it but I knew I was in one. I was wearing my old Allman Brothers tee shirt, underwear, and nothing else. It was cold on my feet but I didn’t care. I was walking to find him. I walked up to the bar I was sure he was at, it looked more like a shack on a junk yard, tires piled up and gloomy. A man I didn’t recognize greeted me by name but I could tell he was worried by how I looked, a look of shock on my face.

I walked past him through the bar to the back where he was sitting at a table, half under a tarp, with a group of people. He was playing a hand held video game and looked up as I neared. I could see his mouth moving and I thought he was asking me to play with him, and I smiled, feeling better that I had found him. As I got closer I heard him more clearly say “I am done playing these games with you.” I began to beg him for help, trying not to cry. He asked me to please leave, telling me it was inappropriate for me to be there. Inappropriate. I have heard those words a lot lately. It doesn’t sound like him.

I wasn’t surprised he wouldn’t help me, but I was crushed. I felt like I should have known better. I had felt this longing and rejection before. I felt it last year at this time. I let it consume me and I dropped to my knees crying the same cry that woke me this morning.

This isn’t supposed to be a sad story.

I feel like I am just where I need to be. I accept that I am doing the best I can and I am not going to apologize for not being “perfectly fine”. I am better than fine- I am normal. I have my ups and I have my downs. Knowing my limitations, and what I am not ready for is a good thing I guess. I am not going to let myself go back to the sad place I was in before but I won’t beat myself up for enjoying the good cry this morning either.

Maybe I am just done playing games. The games that keep both of us from fully moving on. The invisible string that keeps us emotionally wrapped up in each other needs to be cut. Maybe we are both ready to do that. Finally. A year later.

I got up from bed, washed off my face, and went in to my daughter’s room and hugged her for a long time. She hugged me back and I felt all the goodness I will ever need. I felt perfectly fine, if even for just a moment.

Related posts:

  1. The Rebound Year
  2. The Trip Story, Part 4
  3. Mia’s Story, Part I
  4. The Trip Story: Part 3
  5. Mia’s Story, Part II

{ 4 trackbacks }

On how to not feel helpless « Organised Chaos
December 17, 2009 at 12:21 pm
On how to not feel helpless « Mother Appeaser
February 17, 2010 at 12:33 pm
Burning Your List | Ms. Single Mama
June 14, 2010 at 5:25 pm
My Comfort Zone
August 11, 2010 at 6:54 pm

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Violet December 3, 2009 at 4:59 pm

Thanks for sharing this with us Mia. I have been wondering how things were going for you. Letting go of someone you loved and spent a good portion of your life with can be very hard. It is important to give yourself the space to heal in your own time. Good luck!

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amber December 3, 2009 at 6:58 pm

I know your pain and I feel your triumph. Its one step forward and 2 steps back in this journey we are in. I never thought I could wake up without the crushing pain of abandoment on my chest, but now i do. We do. Thanks for sharing your story. You are one tough cookie!

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Lara December 3, 2009 at 7:00 pm

It’s been a year for me, too, since I’ve split w/my ex. And I also embrace those moments when weeping becomes an anchor…to something familiar even if I can’t put my finger on what it is. I think the first year is riddled with so many landmines – so many different emotional phases, and sometimes barely hanging on (whether to our children, a bottle of wine, or a yoga mat) is all we can do. Now that it’s been a year, I know I feel like it is time I moved on from that roller coaster. But it’s scary and final and laden with its own new emotions, and depending on the day, I feel varying degrees of certainty that I can manage. In the end, I know I will, of course, as will you.
Thanks for sharing this. I hear you.

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Megan December 3, 2009 at 9:10 pm

mmmm… I LOVE those hugs! The ones that make all your parenting stresses melt away. You are in the perfect place – that place where you accept life with both its “good” and “bad” counterparts and you can appreciate yourself and the path that you are on. Bravo!! Life really is fabulous when you take a minute to appreciate it all.

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Anonymous December 3, 2009 at 9:53 pm

OMG, this is my story too. It will be one year this month (Dec 29th) that my ex huaband did the same thing with me. I can relate so much. Like mia I feel that I made so much progress but I am not completely over, yet. She said it best
“The sadness was a blanket that allowed me to hide. To keep myself from feeling that it was actually over”
I am glad that we have our baby girls to make us feel normal and happy.
HUGS

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Jenny December 3, 2009 at 10:12 pm

What a profound dream – all the strength you need is already in you. Have all the hugs and wine you want….

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Erin December 3, 2009 at 11:32 pm

Thank you so much for sharing this story. The crying is certainly something I can relate to. Now that almost two years have passed since my ex asked me to leave our home in Alabama to move back to Idaho with my 15 month old son and an 8 month pregnant belly with my twin boys inside, the crying happens MOSTLY on the inside. I just got dumped by another single dad, who, after KNOWING I had three boys told me he just couldn’t handle a big family… and the aching hurt began again. I felt like I wanted to curl into a ball (in exactly those words) just like I used to, but I could only do it in my mind. The tears wouldn’t come. It’s a strange stage of this healing process… but I’m thankful that I at least don’t have to suffer the crippling effects of those long cries anymore. I woke up the next day, had a big cup-o-joe, and the world was right again. I’m alone, and it’s ok. Many prayers for you in your continued journey, and to all of you who are still keeping your heads low.

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Stac December 4, 2009 at 6:12 am

Wow, this really touched me today…I woke this morning wanting a good cry. But didn’t have time for it. And now i’m blindly going through my day, waiting for my son’s bed time to arrive so I can curl up in a ball and just let it all out. My son’s father wants us back, wants his family back. And I want this too, but I’m not sure either one of us is strong enough. We’re both very broken.

Mia, the way you are able to express yourself is amazing.

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Cicily December 13, 2009 at 7:53 pm

Stac,

I totally feel the same way you do. Sometimes it feels like there is no time to cry or you are simply out of tears. My son’s father too wants us back after a year of leaving us and me filing for divorce. I miss my “old” family..but love my “new” family I have created with my son. Hugs to you!

Cicily

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The Lion December 4, 2009 at 8:17 am

Healthy…
Amazingly healthy! Keep going, keep feeling, keep allowing the experiential journey to take place and move, keep traveling inside yourself your doing well, keep focusing on progress not perfection, keep smiling and making others smile too! Continue hugging your sweet little girl and finding that goodness. Find that goodness within yourself as you give yourself hugs of patience, understanding , and kindness, yes gentle kindness…

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Bobbi Janay December 4, 2009 at 11:30 am

This post made me cry and sometimes it is nice to have a good/bad cry.

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Lori December 4, 2009 at 1:22 pm

I’m glad you updated us Mia. I’ve often wondered how you were doing in the past year.
My decade long relationship ended two Sundays ago. The fiance and my son’s father, he came home drunk again and went crazy. He ended up, for lack of a better term, beating me up/ throwing me down, etc. Our almost 5 y.o. was witness to it all. I did what I am supposed to do and filed charges and got a protection order. Now I’m sitting here almost 2 weeks later and wondering what in the hell has happened. Our relationship was no where near perfect, but it was far from physically violent. So in a few minutes, the relationship I’ve been working on for years, the family I’ve been intent on keeping as one, it’s all over. Anyone ever been here before? Because I’m lost. I’ve never felt so out of control of my thoughts and feelings. Unable to think. Etc. If you have any words of wisdom, please share.

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Amy December 4, 2009 at 9:38 pm

Having been in my share of abusive (emotional/mental) relationships I hope you have the strength to move on. You are worth so much MORE than what he did to you. A person that could hurt you physically is certainly capable of doing it again.

You mention he came home drunk AGAIN, warning signs my dear..

You also mention spending years ‘working on’ the relationship.. That also should concern you. Being in love and having a committed relationship is trying at times but at no point in my 18 year marriage would I say I have spent years ‘working on it’. Did he work on it too?

I would hope you would get some one on one counseling, perhaps check out your local woman’s shelter. They have women who have escaped abusive relationships that can guide you. He may be your child’s father and your fiance but he may NOT be the best man for the position.

You deserve so much more.. really.

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blackbird December 5, 2009 at 7:50 am

I spent 13 years in an abusive relationship (physical and verbal) thinking I could “fix” him and things would get better. Four beautiful kids (and witnesses) and I finally woke up and realized what they were absorbing about men and women and who has the power and how they get their way and I began the long process to get away. Understand this – it will NEVER get better, it will only get worse. It will be hard, and long, and lonely, but I promise, it will get better and better and one day, you will, like me, look at your child, proud of the human you are preparing to send into the world, grateful to be away from the evil. Good luck. You have the power within you to turn this around. Look for, ask for and accept help.

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arscuore December 4, 2009 at 2:18 pm

Lovely post.
I too have had some recent anniversaries, of sorts. In our case, my son and I did better the first year, and are experiencing more turbulence now. I think we were breathing a sigh of relief last year, and now we are focusing on adjusting, REALLY adjusting to it just being the two of us. Add to that his dad becoming more and more unreliable, and the boy is having a hard time, and hence I am as well.

But do you get those “aha” moments, ever? Where you realize you are doing something or handling something or enjoying something you never would have before your world changed forever? I do, and I cherish them, and it helps.

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Mia December 10, 2009 at 2:12 pm

I do get the “ah-ha” moments. I ususally share them here, thanks to Ms Single Mama :)
Good luck to you, I will be thinking of you and your son. thank you for reading!

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Anonymous December 7, 2009 at 5:57 am

I just stumbled across your blog- WOW I needed to hear some of these stories- my husband and I are in the end days of our marraige and I am just feeling so lost and confused. Ten years together, some years happy but our share of ups and downs- I am resilient and consider myself to be am honest, trustworthy, good hearted smart girl- but I just found out after a brief (four weeks)marital and geographical seperation this past summer that my about to be ex found himself a 25 year old (he’s 46) department store sales girl and she popped up preganant within three weeks of “seeing” him. He’s successful and makes a darn good salary- both of us do. I can’t even blame her- he showed her our initial seperation agreement- she’s from a small island in the Asia area- she had no idea what the hell she was reading. Now he wants to run from her because he knows he is trapped and she wants him to marry her- I can’t help to think she knew what she was doing the whole time, seeing the material side and the easy life for herself in having his baby. He wants me to stay and wait for all of it work itself out- the DNA tests etc. but at this point I feel like I would have no respect for myself if I stayed. I tried to get preganant for years, I am now going on 39 and see little hope of ever having the little girl I always dreamed of- and I can imagine she will have a girl- it’s the ultimate universal slap in the face. I am trying to look at it like this is my chance to change my life, become the person I always wanted to be with no hinderance of a man attached to me. There were times in our marraige I felt alone and lonely and there were times I was utterly head over heels in love with the man. I am trying to gather the strength to walk away- I leave with no real bills- I don’t want the house and the mortgage- I can walk out of this with no liability. I pray the answer I am looking for comes soon.

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Mia December 10, 2009 at 2:15 pm

Stay strong. I cannot imagine the confusion you are feeling.
I find peace in Reiki (energy work), it helps me to see the “connectedness” of life, and make sense of those events that feel like slaps from the universe. You are in my thoughts. Keep visiting and sharing your story. It helps me.

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Lori December 8, 2009 at 8:23 am

Anon.-
Your answer is in your post. I’ve been doing it for 10 years, staying in it when I knew it was over, and as of 2 weeks ago- I’m done. I feel free, light, hopeful, and full of wonder for the future. (NOt that I don’t have moments of fear, lonliness, resentment, etc.) But my home is already different. Easier. Do what you know you want in your heart. Don’t wait any longer.

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natalie December 14, 2009 at 7:34 am

Mia-
Thank you so much for the advice and post, it made my day. I think I will try it out- I need positive things to keep me going forward- I did enroll in an art class, so looking forward to revisiting my childhood love of drawing. I cannot imagine living in your shoes as well, you are an amazing woman and deserve so much more than he could give obviously. I never take joy in others misgivings, but I do know from experience that things that begin out of the spark of deception very rarely stand the test of time. I just entered this crazy weird “longing for my old life back ” stage, especially now during the holidays. Argh

Lori-
Thank you for the post- it means a lot to hear these stories and be reminded there is hope. I wish I could say I have that “done” feeling, I can’t even explain to myself why I am holding on even the little bit that I am. I want to feel that wonder and go after what my heart wants so badly at moments and then a memory, song, place, or picture will send me into a tail spin crash. Stay strong.

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wyliekat December 15, 2009 at 12:40 pm

Healing happens in it’s own time for everyone. Glad you’re appreciating your own pace.

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JD February 23, 2010 at 8:42 pm

I just found this site, so I’m still going through all the back stories. I am so glad to have found your story Mia. Today is the second month since I found out about my husbands three (3), count ‘em, three affairs in two years.

The worst part is we were one of those couples that “this never happens to.” When I’ve told friends, they all have the same response. “This isn’t a funny joke.” – you think?

We are still in the same house and talking. We both have therapists and one together (a lot of therapists are getting paid). It’s so difficult living with someone that you love desperately, who doesn’t love you back. Or at least, doesn’t know how he feels about you.

We have three boys (twin 6.5 year olds and a 3.5 year old) and they are struggling and I hate that. I feel like I can’t do anything well and living in limbo is killing me.

I want to be strong and everyone tells me how strong I am to even talk to him, but it feels weak. Mostly, because I can’t seem to make myself tell him to leave. I worry what this says about me?

The post describing it as one step forward and two steps back is the best description. I don’t want to do anything rash – but, seriously, I don’t know how long I can do this. I’m afraid that end the end, I’ll have to be the one to break my heart all over again by telling him that I’m done.

How will I look my boys in the eye when I do? How will I look them in the eye if I don’t. It’s just a hot mess – JD

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Single Mommy Makin It July 1, 2010 at 8:49 pm

O God – it’s just so hard. I found out my husband was cheating when my little one was 8 weeks old. I discovered the photographs of their recent trip to Costa Rica (the trip he took when my baby was 6 weeks old.) I kicked him out and it took me about a year to get over him (we’d been together 10 years). To be honest I thought it would take me longer. Much longer. But suddenly one day I just made some strange sort of shift and now I just don’t care anymore. It’s hard to know when that shift is going to come or how it’s going to occur – some women never make it. But I can tell you… the other side is just a golden golden place to be. Do whatever is in your power to get there. Meditation and gratitude and whole lot of venting via creativity are great places to start.

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Lisa August 17, 2010 at 11:49 am

I’m blown away by how much reading all of your posts helps me in my healing process. I mean, I am totally addicted! I too had a nightmare this lat night about my ex-husband and him cheating on me. I remember feeling beyond upset, but wanting him back so much that I could barely breathe. When I woke up from what seems like the deepest sleep I’ve had in ages, it took me over an hour to finally get out of bed. This was the first post I read this morning and I’m so grateful that I did.

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