“Moment after moment, everyone comes out from nothingness. This is the true joy of life”

- Shunryu Suzuki

I’m not going to sit here and tell you that everything is okay, Pranksters.

That would be a lie. And despite what my relatives may or may not think of me, I am no liar. I am also not actually named “Aunt Becky,” because while my parents were hippies, they were NOT sadists (to be fair: had I been a boy, I’d have been Leif, so honestly being named “Rebecca” is like dodging a massive bullet.)

In a very short time, my life turned upside down. I had a nervous breakdown precipitated by ineffectual antidepressants. Divorce. Moving out. Learning about the world. Trying to do right by my children.

My life’s been an open book through this period – I have nothing to be ashamed of: while I have PTSD, that does not define me, nor does it make me a better or worse person. It’s just a tiny facet of what comprises who I am. Having PTSD and being an ACOA are as much a part of me as my issues with migraines and A GLANDULAR PROBLEM. They don’t define me, they simply are a part of me.

Such is the situation with my personal life.

I’m getting a very civilized divorce so that Dave and I can each find Our (well-deserved) Happy. We will be doing what’s best by the children and allowing them to stay in the home they’ve grown up in, rather than trying to sell our home and shuffling the babies back and forth. I will be here at the home more often than not – I will simply be sleeping elsewhere. I choose an apartment that is about 3 minutes from my home so I could specifically come over each day. But those individual components of what I am coping with; they do not define me; they do not make me who I am.

I won’t lie: the very thought of leaving my children overnight is heartbreaking (I cry every time I think about it), I know that I need this time to learn that I *can* do this on my own – that I *am* a capable adult and that I’ll (some day) be able to shove my successes down the throats of those who do not believe in me. I’ll be able to be a better mother by increasing my faith in myself – I’ve spent too many years of my life allowing what others think of me control my life.

I will be moving on October 13, which gives me two months to get my ducks in a row, set up my online garage sale (got some GREAT shit, Pranksters), continue working on recovering from my nervous breakdown, finding additional work, and getting ready to be on my own. (It’s important to note that paying rent on an apartment is cheaper than trying to take over the mortgage (unless I am somehow granted a visit from the money fairy, in which case, my dimply ass is staying here). We’d bought our home at the height of the market and now it is worth appreciably less than it once was. We have debt – more than I’d care to discuss.

(Blah-blah-blah)

This doesn’t make me a better or worse person. These are all just bits and pieces of me woven together.

I spoke with my therapist, whom I see twice a week, and we discussed my life as it stands today. Specifically, we discussed those things that are within my control and those that are not.

From this moment on, I’m choosing to put the things I cannot control on the back burner and moving forward with my life, rather than wasting another anxiety-filled second upon worrying about the “what-if’s” of my life. If I do not, I will go insane.

I will no longer be living in the past or the future. I have one moment; that moment is right now. What I choose to do with these moments, strung together to form a life, is up to me. I can choose to be happy, or I can choose to live a life of fearfulness.

I choose happiness.

one-moment-in-time

And while my past has shaped me, I refuse to allow it to define me: I define me.

Comments are love, or some bullshit like that. Either way, they make my heart happy. You should leave (or at least THINK about leaving) a comment and SUBSCRIBE to my RSS feed or I will send my Chicago "friends" after you, yo.

58 Responses to One Moment In Time

  • Wishing you all the best.

  • Grace says:

    Go get ‘em sweetie!! Absolutely live for RIGHT NOW! Life is sucky and stressful and you just have to grab the seconds you have right in front of you and make the most of them!

    Can’t wait to see you!!!

  • Maria says:

    You got it right there. You define you, not the things you can’t control.
    And you choose happiness. It is the key.

    All shall be well in the end. And if it’s not well, then it’s not the end.
    (I wish I could remember where that quote came from)

    M

  • ABK says:

    ((((Hugs)))), you will be ok.

  • My therapist pretty much said the same thing. Man, they are smart. They should be doctors or something.

  • I just read about about happiness, and the focus was on what you can control … so yes, choose to be, just be, and then be a little more each day xxxx

  • nancy p says:

    You have a ton of people rooting for you. Sending hugs Aunt Becky.

  • Shelley (@momma_oz)
    Twitter: momma_oz
    says:

    I love you for your honesty and transparency. I love you for your strength. you really are amazing

  • leanne says:

    *happy tears* Well done, Becky. Lather, rinse, repeat — but in a good way. Hugs!

  • thill says:

    One of the best things a therapist ever showed me. Wrote on a piece of paper the things I told her I was currently worried about.
    All of them were either things in the past or things that I feared might happen in the future.
    Nothing in the now.
    Great technique.
    We’re almost always worried about things that have already happened — that we’ve gotten through — or things we fear might happen in the future, many of which we’ll never have to face.
    What is happening in your life now? You’re coping. You’re moving forward. You have a plan.

  • Meg J says:

    Good for you! I’m a firm believer that you choose to make every moment. Sometimes it can be a bit of a struggle to make that choice, but we make
    It all the same.

    So way to go you.

  • Dana says:

    Hmmmm …

    I would agree that you should not let your past define you, but part of doing that is letting go of those labels (PTSD, ACOA, etc.) that you (said generally) want everyone to know about so that you have a “reason” for being who you are today. They have to be set aside if what you are really attempting to do is to change who you are today.

    The future part? Well? With children you do have to play a little bit of the “what if?” game. You may be living in the moment, but they are living in your moment too, yet they have no say in how that moment goes (I speak these words from personal experience, not in judgement).

    Putting your efforts into things you have control over? That is a sensible goal, and one I’m certain you can achieve.

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I think that part of those labels will always be with me – like it or not. They define a tiny slice of a bigger pie. MMMM PIE.

      And I’m trying to do right by my kids – no matter what.

  • KB says:

    I think that’s flowery to say that you, not your past, DEFINE you…but…well, your past does define how you are today. Especially because you are working through significant issues through therapy about issues that all happened in your past that led you to your present.

    What would be best for the children, IMHO, is for Dave to get an apartment and have alimony and child support cover his half of the mortgage. If he wants what is best for them, he should do this gladly. Having them see you/him walk out the door every single day when the other arrives will only symbolize the split in a very tangible way day-in, day-out, and that’s going to lead to them feeling unsettled in their home. I too, speak from experience.

    I don’t know you other than what you share, but those are my two cents.

  • kelly says:

    My situation is not the same as yours, but you just wrote words I needed to hear. Thank you. I am sending the positive thoughts and energy your way. Love and ((((hugs))))

  • Katherine says:

    No matter how you did this it would be terrifying. We made the decision that husband would be moving away when he got a better job, and for the month between the job offer and him leaving I was a wreck- I cried so much; not because I love him and want him to stay- I don’t! But because I didn’t think I could do it myself. Running a smaller budget, whilst staying (renting) in the same house with my children, and studying, and trying to work… But I did, and despite all the shit that ties me to this job, and this village, and everything else I FEEL
    FREE. I am more in control now than ever.
    And for the record- my therapist (for pnd) told me that I wasn’t a mess, and that the best way for me to feel free and get myself out of the hole was to take the scary step of leaving him. I haven’t seen her in years but I need to send her a letter to tell her how right she was :)

  • Triplezmom
    Twitter: triplezmom
    says:

    Bravo lady.

  • Cindy DuBois says:

    Years ago, I read that the only 2 choices we have in life are Love and Fear. Will I make my choice based on Love or will I base it on fear? You are making choices for you and the kids and even the Daver based on Love, for yourself and everyone included. I know you are doing what is best. Also, living in your own space will be good for you. You’ve never had your own space before and even Virginia Wolff said we all need “a room of our own.” Suffering comes because we can not accept that life is always changing. We try to keep it one way and that will never work. Change is the only constant. I’m saying these things to remind me as well as you.

    Love ya.

  • Melissa says:

    I truly admire your bravery. And I disagree that Dave should move out. Since you are going to be with them during the days, it’s not like you are deserting them. YOU need this time to shake this horrible cloud away from you. You need to feel the affirmation. And unfortunately, you need to do this by yourself and with the help of your pranksters (and your shrink of course)

  • Tracie
    Twitter: fromtracie
    says:

    I love that you are focusing on the things you can control, and setting the rest aside.

    Anxiety sucks, and you don’t need any more of that in your life.

  • Jaime says:

    good for you … anxiety and PTSD should not rule our lives.. and I’m so proud of you for working as hard as you can.. :)

  • Ima Blogreader says:

    Aunt Becky, you are my hero!

  • Maggie says:

    AB I fricking love you, and you are coping with this so bloody well. We may have never met each other and be other sides of a very large ocean, but I’ve been following your story the whole way and am so bloody proud of you. The words “I choose happiness” just sum it up. You kick fucking ass Aunt Becky, please continue to do so :) All the love and hugs from across the pond xx
    PS You are AWESOME, don’t forget that :)

  • Ewokmama
    Twitter: ewokmama
    says:

    FUCK YEAH. I’ve been waiting for that Eye of the Motherfucking Tiger to come out! Get ‘er done, girl!

  • CIndy says:

    Carpe Diem~ Seize the day!
    Live in the moment. What a great positive way you have about you! Nothing defines you but you! Keep your chin up and move on. I could only imagine what you are going through . My twin made the same choice. The choice to be happy! So Go be HAPPY!!!
    Good luck to you.
    Cindy

  • Nikki
    Twitter: laughmoar
    says:

    Good luck in your journey!

  • Joanna says:

    You really may be the strongest person I know.

  • KLKT1010 says:

    You seem to be on the right path to finding your Happy, and that can only be good for you and your kids. It’s definitely not easy but I am so proud of all the positive moves you make in response to the negativity life throws at you. No one is cooler than you, AB! Much love & luck to you always!

  • Jenn says:

    I think it’s so great that you share everything so openly. You are helping a lot of people, I know. xoxo

  • Jolie says:

    You OWN it. I love the part about your past shaping but NOT DEFINING who you are. Rock on sista! Very well said. You got it going on, never doubt it. xo

  • Delfin Joaquin Paris III
    Twitter: tfpHumorBlog
    says:

    Beckers,

    I’ve been through it (albeit without kids), and it just flat out sucks. After a year of working through my stuff, I began to re-emerge. I even went on a Chicago NBC show and got interviewed about it – ha. I tried not to call my ex-wife the c-word.

    It just takes time. Learn how to sit in the pain, as it will move you through it more quickly. Lean on your friends/family when you need stuff. (just don’t call me – I’m busy as shit)

  • Amber says:

    Hi Aunt Becky. You are pretty cool. Thank you for The Band. I am so worn out and exhausted that the idea of leaving my babies (2&3) overnight sounds pretty awesome but I know its just the tired talking and if it were to happen I would be pretty devastated. I am sorry.

    Also I need your advice about my orchid. I think its dying. It looked great until I re-potted it. One stem died away and the other one isn’t looking good.

  • Becca says:

    Absolutely!! Our scars do not define us, they show where we have been and what we have survived. Simply this, hugs!! If you were closer I would visit you, but instead I’ll tell you we are here. Here to stand behind you, and beside you while you determine your destiny.

  • Kristin
    Twitter: dragondream
    says:

    I love you and I’m so damned proud of you!

  • swalumni says:

    No one else can define you, ever. Then it wouldn’t be the simply amazing AB anymore, it’d be this mish-mash fuck-up of unrealistic expectations. Don’t go there, its a shitty place to vacation. Much love lady.

  • starle says:

    Oh my dear girl. This is good. You will be ok. the kids will be ok. It will BE BETTER. I am so proud for you. Huge hugs baby.

  • Angela says:

    Hang in there, and take it one moment, one second, one hour at a time. Sending you hugs, F all the other noise :)

  • Marta
    Twitter: marta28
    says:

    I love you and I’m fucking crying about it. Let’s pretend i’m getting my period and how emotional this post made me. I hope you can find your happy. So much. I hope we can all find our happy.

  • Mel
    Twitter: OUBad
    says:

    While I’m not in the midst of a divorce, or a nervous breakdown (I don’t think?), I am at that point of my sanity where I have to take things moment by moment. You are not alone. You are loved. You WILL get through this.

    Much love to you, AB.
    Mel

  • Pingback: Shit I Found Saturdays - Mommy Wants VodkaMommy Wants Vodka

  • This is the best post I’ve read in a long while. I know that when I decided to get my own PEACE, everything else fell into place. Don’t ever be ashamed of reaching for happy. Go get it Becky!!

  • alexis
    Twitter: theangelalexistwitter.com
    says:

    Dear Aunt Becky,

    Everyone who responds here probably does so with the very best of intentions, but it seems a bit presumptuous for person who doesn’t actually know you in the flesh to second-guess the living and custody arrangements you and Dave have worked out for yourselves and your children. The two of you are intelligent and sensible people, in addition to being extremely conscientious parents. You’ve surely weighed the pros and cons of every option and have used information to which only the two of you are privy in order to agree upon a solution that will most likely cause the very least damage. (Let’s face it: it’s unlikely that even Jesus or Florence Henderson’s children escaped childhood without emotional baggage of some sort. The best any parent can hope to do is to minimize the inevitable baggage.) I cannot understand why anyone who responds here would tell you that you’ve made an incorrect choice.

    I blogged about you a few hours ago because this situation bothered me. I hope you are more able than I to consider a source and to disregard comments that are not terribly applicable.

    Alexis

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