This was the first time I really realized that life needed to change, for both me and the kids. Reading it, now that I am out of that situation, created a lump in my throat. I remember the shame, I remember telling friends and family he and I were out celebrating, I remember feeling so defeated and pathetic. Reading things like this keeps me away when the guilt is being laid on thick.
A word that, to me, has always signified a physical healing. That word brings images of cancer patients, bald heads holding signs saying, “Last Chemo!”; or spinal trauma victims walking for the first time again. Maybe it’s my medical background or maybe it’s my logical mind, but I could never wrap my head around this as an endeavor of a heart, mind and soul. An endeavor that I needed to embark on as a self-proclaimed Chronic Codependent. That was until December 31, 2015.
Here I am, sitting at the bar in our family room, eating MacDonald’s for dinner. It is 6pm on my 33rd birthday. I am alone with my 2 small children for the 6th year in a row. For my past 6 birthdays, I have celebrated with tears, feelings of hopelessness, loneliness and heartbreak. He has celebrated with cocaine.
The weeks leading up to my birthday every year, He asks me what I want to do to celebrate. For years I would excitedly make plans to celebrate with romantic dinners or nights out with friends, but this year was different. When asked I replied “nothing”. I knew my wishes would not be granted, so why try? I waved my white flag and gave up.
Putting on a brave happy face, I make plans with my children to ring in the new year. We will finish eating, get into our PJ’s and watch movies cuddled up on the couch. I’ll set my alarm for 1145pm so we can watch the ball drop together on the couch wrapped in the softest blankets and accompanied by our most favorite stuffed animals.
“We are The Three Amigos!” I tell them through misty eyes and a quivering smile, “we are a team!”. My son is confused, my little daughter doesn’t grasp that Daddy is not home yet again.
I smile. I hug them. I kiss their precious faces. Outside, I am a happy outgoing and loving mother; inside I am a wilting flower.