I first want to tell you that this post is NOT about gaining sympathy. This post is about awareness, not feeling alone and changing your mindset.
Earlier this spring my husband asked for a divorce. We have been married for over 20 years. I have spent my whole adult life with him and his family. Like anyone going through this, I was devastated. Although this did not completely come out of the blue, for my husband it is very much a one sided decision. What was more amazing were my mom’s comments to the situation.
Prior to my husband asking for a divorce, I had been planning a month long trip out west. Alaska, Washington and Oregon. Most of my family lives in these states. When I was confronted with a divorce, I wasn’t sure if I should say something to my mom when I was out there.
My mom has been through two divorces herself. In life she has always said “wait” when I tell her I am going to do something, like marriage, go to school, have a child. The one thing about my mom is that she has always had a negative attitude. Her negative attitude was so bad growing up, I adopted that mentality growing up and for the first part of my adult years.
Because of this, I really was on the fence about telling my mom. I knew that if I said something to her while I was out there, it would cause a lot of unnecessary stress on me. Thankfully, I was advised not to, and after taking both sides into consideration, I chose to wait and tell her another time.
That “another time” came a month ago. I decided to tell her Saturday morning. I figured I would get some suggestions about how to fix the situation or suggestions about books to read or types of counselors to go see, but what I got would have made me fall over if I had been standing up.
My mom’s first comment was, “I knew this is what you were going to tell me!” I asked her if she had spoken to my husband and she said no. Her next comment was the most devastating. She said that part of the reason he is asking for a divorce is because I am fat and lazy.
I told her that I do not deserve to be talked to that way and her words were very hurtful. She said she is not going to take them back and hung up on me when I told her I am ending this conversation. It doesn’t end there, she called back a couple minutes later and left a voicemail saying “I am sorry you are not adult enough to take a little criticism, but……
Please understand, I was hurt for a couple hours that day, but at NO time did I ever believe what she was telling me was the truth.
The truth that I knew was that my mom has pushed EVERYONE out of her life, this was very clear when I was traveling this summer. Another truth I knew is that being fat (I could stand to lose about 20 lbs) and Lazy is not remotely close to the person I truly am. And being fat and lazy is not the reason my husband asked for a divorce.
After getting over the initial shock of her comments, I started to think about the things I knew that were true. And what ended up happening was sadness, not for the comments from my mom, but sadness for my mom. She is living alone, she has pushed all her friends and family away and the energy surrounding her is not a happy one.
So what is my relationship with her now?
Although I feel sad for her, I have chosen not to speak with her. Divorce is hard, I also have chronic illnesses, I am trying to sell our house and find a job. I do not have the time or the energy for people in my life that are not going to be loving and supportive during this season of hardship.
I am still sending the afghan I started for her earlier this spring. I will still send her a christmas gift, but I am choosing not to speak with her for the moment. I feel when I get back on my feet and I don’t have so many things to deal with I will speak to her again. But right now, my health, my psyche doesn’t have room from someone like her.