Every once in awhile I am taken aback at my life, more specifically my social life. Be warned, that this post is not intended to invoke pity, or for me to brag. I am merely making an observation about my life.
It was roughly two years ago now that I went through what I refer to as my “dark period.” A series of unrelated events occurred in the span of a year that sent me headfirst into a pit of despair. I had just graduated from a two year diploma program, and at the same time broke up with my common-,law spouse. A few months later, my ex-husband, the father of Kid and Baby found out that his new girlfriend was pregnant. I then lost my job, which suited me fine as I was not happy in my position anyway. Unfortunately, it was during a time of recession so even with a diploma, it was very difficult finding a new job. And as if THAT wasn’t enough, my ex-husband then decided that having two families was too much of a burden so he fell off the face of the earth his new girl and their baby over my two children. (Now, please keep in mind that I say that with no hint of resentment…. anymore.)
So there I was, jobless, furniture-less as most of the furniture went to the ex, and without my much needed break from the kids every second weekend of the month. Not to mention, that when my ex-husband disappeared, so did his monthly child support payments. My children were, at the time, 4 and 2. Two of the hardest ages thus far. My son was what they referred to as “strong-willled” meaning he constantly sent my head spinning so much that I wanted to throw him against a brick wall.
Now, to back up a bit to give you a bit of history, my mother passed away when I was 14, pre-kids. My father passed away when I was pregnant with Baby, just as we started developing a relationship. I never knew my grandparents on his side, and my mothers mother passed away when I was 12. My grandfather ended up passing away as well, not that it affected my life TOO much seeing as he lived 12 hours away. So that left one abusive uncle, one uncle who disowned me shortly after my mother passed away, and one aunt who had her own four children to contend with. My sister was dealing with more than I was with a custody battle and a physically abusive husband. So needless to say, my support network was essentially non existant.
Seeing as I was jobless I could barely afford food for my children, let alone a babysitter to attempt a social life. I also had no internet at the time either. (For those of you wondering, this is about when I started crocheting) I spent MANY a nights crying myself to sleep out of sheer loneliness. The few friends I did have had kids of their own, so getting together was difficult.
Flashforward Two Years.
My kids are 6 and 4. Kid is still strong willed, but he is more manageable, and understanding. (He makes me breakfast in bed and opens my car door for me. ❤ ) And somehow, my social calendar has exploded. Not a week goes by that I don’t have at least one social event. In fact, one weekend I managed to fit in 7 social engagements. (Don’t ask me how. I don’t know.)
This week alone, I have a playdate at the park, movie out, dinner at my surrogate parents, a drive to a town 2 hrs away, a Movie Night, a book club and a housewarming party. This doesn’t include the day-to-day Mom things that I have to take care of such as appointments commuting to Bible school. I have actually been told my a single male friend at one point that he is actually jealous of my social calendar. My colleague has begun to refer to HER busy weekends as “Lyvia-Weekends” as it seems I ALWAYS have something on the go.
This revelation was brought to my attention as a good friend of mine, a friendship that has unfortunately been neglected, called me up almost in tears from sheer lonliness. She told me that she is so anger at her ex husband for “choosing” to abandon his children. In her voice, I hear not only anger, but jealousy that she wasn’t weak enough to make the same choice. She complained about “the little things” getting up and getting the kids ready, going to work, coming home, cooking, cleaning, and then putting them to bed. I almost laughed at this point. Her complaints, are VERBATIM, my complaints, just two years later. After the conversation, I hung up the phone and walked into my kitchen to be Mom. Doing the dishes while cooking dinner before I have to get ready for my Girls Night Out at the movies. I chuckled to myself realizing just HOW FAR I have come in 2-2.5 years. Sometimes I am desperate for a lull in my social engagements just so I can catch up on my sleep. (I view social engagements as obligations. If someone is taking time out of their schedules to invite me somewhere, then it would be rude to turn it down. Hence the 7 functions in 3 days) I just pray that people see me and they realize that when I say, I know how you feel, they realize that I KNOW how they feel. I have been there. I don’t know how I got through the Dark Period, all I know is, I did. And if *I* can do it, I KNOW everyone else can too.