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