losses and gains“Losses can be real or perceived,” my perky psych nursing teacher told the class. While the rest of the class dutifully scribbled that statement down in their notebooks, I simply looked up from the back row, where I was playing my game of Bejeweled, shocked.

I’d never thought about losses like that before.

To me, losses implied the death of a person or animal or something was once living and now 6 feet under.

I’d never bothered to consider losses in any other manner.

That statement has been playing on my lips a lot lately, along with my I Hate Artichokes mantra, as I think about the new chapters I’m to write after this particularly dreary chapter of my life ends.

If I don’t like this ending, the story is far from over (and I decidedly do NOT like this ending). I must continue moving forward so that I can write the next chapter of my life.

I knew that with every major life change – birth, death, weddings – came a series of losses and gains. While I’d known that this was likely going to happen with the dissolution of my union, I was unprepared for the types of things that happen when one gets an “internet” divorce.

The rampant gossip and speculation about why my marriage was ending. The certainty that when a marriage ends, someone must be to blame. The friends, who once stood at my back, promising they’d catch me if I fell, turning their backs. The guilt of losing my home. The shame in asking for help. The loss of a dream. The shame that I somehow failed.

With the losses, though, I’ve found so much more than I’d have expected. I have several boxes that you, my Pranksters, have lovingly sent me, of items I can use in my new home, for my new life, because you know that starting over, that dissolving a nearly 9-year union, that comes with a lot of pain. And every little thing, every email, every comment, they all matter so much.

For every friend I’ve lost, I’ve gained two new friends who know me and love me anyway. For everything I must leave behind, I have something else to take – words, love, encouragement – to remind me I’m not alone. In the darkest of dark moments, when I honestly don’t know how I’ll survive – if I should bother trying – the next three seconds, there have been whole minutes in which I can see clearly that I’ll be able to thrive. Maybe not today or tomorrow, or even next week, but someday.

And that is enough to carry me through.

So thank you, my friends, who have steadfastly answered the phone when I call sobbing. Who don’t pass judgement because I do sometimes need help, and know I loathe asking for it. Who text me to make sure I’m okay, and stay up until all hours, driving around with me in silence, just to feel like I’m not alone in the world. Who have been so kind, so thoughtful as to send me things. Who have loved me in spite of me.

You’ve carried me through.

And I don’t know how to repay that kindness.

—————

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

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42 Responses to Losses And Gains

  • Beth
    Twitter: star_momma
    says:

    As an (albiet far afield and virtual) friend, just keep being you. Keep fighting the good fight. That’s all any of us can hope to do some days, and you do it with style.

  • Sean Nordquist
    Twitter: beerforthedaddy
    says:

    That’s the thing about real and true friends, though. There is no expectation of repayment. They simply do what is right and try however they can to help you without judging or blaming. And there will be times when you help them right back. Not out of obligation, but for the same reason they helped you: you needed it.

  • Elizabeth says:

    This will never be easy, but we love you for who you are and who you have the potential to be.

  • james rosario says:

    no thank you y0ur blog has helped when i need ed it thanks or your blog

  • Ewokmama
    Twitter: ewokmama
    says:

    Real friends don’t need to be paid back, yo. We don’t even need a thank you, just the knowledge that you give what you can, too. You absolutely do.

  • Sven says:

    One breath at a time when one day or even 3 seconds is too much to contemplate…. just keep breathing. Much love and kindness, Aunt Becky. xx

  • Denise
    Twitter: acctodenise
    says:

    Hugs and love to you lady. It’s tough but you are tougher.

  • ErinInFL says:

    Well, you already know I’m right there by your side and the door here is always open. You’ll get through this better and stronger. MUAH!

  • Dilovely says:

    Hey Aunt Becky,
    This seems like a good time to (remember to) mention that I linked to Mommy Wants Vodka, as well as Band Back Together, as part of the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. You are such a brave blogger and mother and person in general… so even though it’s just a teeny gesture in the grand scheme of the interwebs… just know I think you’re pretty awesome.
    http://itsdilovely.com/2012/08/15/very-inspiring-blogger-award/

  • FFW says:

    Muah, big hugs and kisses to you. I’ve been through three divorces lately, and starting a 4th (not mine, but people we are close to) and each one of them sucked big donkey balls.

    Know that many of us support you through this. It’s called friendship.

    We managed to very delicately keep relationships with all parties, and those that want to, will try. Those that don’t, won’t.

    I will always fall into the “want to” area. Be strong, sistah!

  • roxie says:

    Maybe you’ll feel better if you have a sandwich? Maybe an artichoke sandwich with lots of mayo! :)

  • Jolie says:

    To know you is to love you. As little or as much as you want to share, us pranksters keep coming back for more. You mean so much to so many, I can’t bear to think of the internet without you. Love the blogging sign @ the top! And love you too. Yo, I got yer back. ;)

  • I think those things- the gossip, the feelings, the blame, the shame, friends not doing what you’d expect them to do- aren’t exclusive to the internet. At least with the internet you can shut off the gossip/questions/so on when it gets to be too much for your heart to handle.

    In short, USE YOUR “X” BUTTON, BECKY!

    <3

  • Paula says:

    Love you, Aunt Becky!

  • Your Aunt Becky
    Twitter: mommywantsvodka
    says:

    Loves you too!

  • D says:

    I’ve been keeping up with your blog for a bit now. I think you were linked off of The Bloggess or Oh Noa one day, and I kept reading because you made me literally laugh out loud (much to the confusion and worry of my co-workers in the cube-farm). And then you started talking about your divorce, and so much of what you were saying hit so close to home. You see, I divorced my high-school sweet heart about three years ago.

    After my husband moved out I can remember sitting on the floor of the shower while the water ran cold, the shame that I had failed at something so important all-consuming. I know I’m a complete stranger, but let me tell you now what I wish someone had told me then.

    You have NOT failed.

    Divorce sucks, but it is not failure. It’s being mature enough to admit that you have grown beyond each other. It takes strength to accept that continuing as you are will cause more harm than good to your loved ones and yourself. One day you are going to realize that you went all day without seconded guessing your decision or beating yourself up about it. And you’ll realize that you didn’t fail after all, but that you actually made the hard decision in the best interest of all involved.

  • Nikki says:

    Many hugs! This is a difficult time, but you will get through it. We’ve got you!

  • Dora says:

    You have not failed! It takes so much courage to end an unhappy marriage. I have several friends who are too … afraid, proud, passive, I don’t know, to get out of their unhappy marriages. To me, THAT’S a marriage fail. Love you, girl! xoxo

  • Alexis says:

    Ok AB I’ve been reading but only commented once and once again here we are you know how awesome you are. How many nights I got through reading your words, you were going through so much more than me with your beautiful princess, I just had a baby who wouldn’t sleep, you had a baby girl who needed so much and yet there you were every day going through so much and still telling us about it with such poignancy and such grace. I know you’ve suffered PTSD since but you even have maneuvered through that with grace and beautiful words. I know you get through this too and you will do it with grace and beautiful words and when you need to be ugly and get all the gross out we’re still here all of the pranksters we’re here and we hear you. You are loved always remember that even if we are just a bunch of internet strangers we still love you!!

  • Grace says:

    So much love to you, my dear!

  • Becca says:

    Don’t pay back, pay forward to the next person you see hurting. That is what keeps it all going. Remember how you want to be treated so that when it happens to someone else you know how to help. Big hugs!!

  • alexis (You can call me Al)
    Twitter: theangelalexistwitter.com
    says:

    Who are these creatures, Internet people or otherwise, who are giving you trouble? If you tell me, I can find subtle [and perfectly legal] ways of making their lives a living Hell.

    And artichokes dipped in mayonnaise? As if either one by itself wouldn’t make it onto the Donner Party List even of a person with no functioning taste buds [such as my late grandmother, who supposedly smoked so many Marlboros that she virtually annihilated her taste buds and could only discern the flavor of pepper, which caused her to ruin every single thing she cooked by drowning it in pepper] combining the two is the rough equivalent of drinking hydrochloric acid straight from a beaker. One theoretically COULD do such a thing, but is the mere existence of possibility of accomplishing a truly stupid task sufficient reason in and of itself for attempting it.? I think not.. Still, the world is full of mysteries, few of which will ever have satisfactory answers.

  • Lynda M O
    Twitter: Lynda M Otvos
    says:

    @Becca Sept 7 at 11:38 pm You took the words right outta my hands. Musta been while you were kissing… AuntBecky !~! (thanks, Meatloaf)

    You don’t pay back. you Pay Forward. We help you, next you help someone else, then they give aid to someone and on down the line, Bekkers. We love to help , knowing that it’s good karma. Always redeemable, always depositable. Or however you say it; it’s berry berry late here.

    Hugs Becky, it’ll work out ok and then something new will gum up the works. That’s life though and the alternative is too fucking sad to think about.

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