Posts Tagged ‘family’

crying

August 4, 2013

My mom and I go on summer trips every year, and we were on the flight home when we started talking about my divorce a little.

Actually, we’d talked about it on the trip before: the topic came up and I realized I had the perfect opportunity to tell my mom why I’d gotten divorced in a way she could understand.

“Mom, he cheated on me.”

He cheated on me once when we were engaged, and then later, with his godsister’s nanny, in Vegas, while I was home too busy with my job to leave town.  I’d even gotten sick enough to ask him to come home early, and normally that’s the sort of thing he would do, but he didn’t.  I remember thinking that was weird and wondering why he wouldn’t come home to help me.  Turns out, he was cheating on me.

I should also add here that his godsister was actually his ex-girlfriend, and sometimes I wonder if they were sleeping together.

So anyways, my mom was finally starting to get the picture about why I left him and filed for divorce.  I mean, everyone understands “he cheated on me”.  All the other reasons I left him– the actual reasons, mind you, the abuse and misogyny and control and his laziness and entitlement– apparently those are hard to explain and hard to understand.

But then, on the flight home, it came up again, and I think I was starting to get through to my mom about all those other things.  And then I started crying

My mom told me she loved me.

So that was good.

That was on the flight back to Northern California, which is where my mom lives.  I had a brief layover, bought a beer, and then boarded my flight home.

I started crying and could not stop.

I was sitting in between two strangers, trying to be quiet, but my whole body was shaking.  It was one of those hard cries where you really ought to be alone in bed.

My book was good and I kept having breaks where I thought I was done crying, but then I would just start up again.  Finally I started playing a tower defense game on my phone and that succeeded in distracting me.

So… I guess it was a good vacation.

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telling the family

December 23, 2009

When I first became an atheist, I wasn’t sure how to tell people– or if I should tell them at all.  I eventually decided to wait until the topic came up, with my family especially, and then mention it.  That went over fine, for the most part.  The one glitch in that plan came quickly, the first weekend after I’d told my husband (now ex).  I was on the phone chatting with my mother and once the call was over, my ex asked if I had told her that I’m not a Christian anymore.  “No, I didn’t.”

He looked at me with this expression of authority (that’s the only way I can really describe it– like he was about to give an order.)  “You need to call her back and tell her.”

“No, I don’t.”

But he insisted, and basically, made it clear that he was going to be a bullying pain in the ass until I did it, so I did.  (This story makes me so angry, even two years later.)  The conversation went like this.

“Hi, mom.  I’m not a Christian anymore.  [Ex] thought you might want to know.”

“Uhh… okay… thanks for telling me.  Do you still believe in god?”

“I’m not sure right now.”

“Oh.  Okay.”

We say awkward goodbyes and that was it.

I told you that story so I could tell you this one.

Talking about my divorce was really hard for me when I first left my ex.  Word got out to some family members before I got a chance to break it to them, and I tried to explain a little bit to my mom, but I was really, really falling apart.  I would talk slowly and with wierd pauses, eventually stopping in the middle of sentences, and finally I would just freeze up completely.  I couldn’t even move.  I managed to get a few words out with my mom, telling her I was unhappy, that it wasn’t a good marriage despite the way it seemed.  Then my younger brother called, and I felt like he was demanding an explanation.  I finally told him, “I’m not ready to talk about it.  We’re not even really that close.”  This really hurt his feelings, despite the fact that it is perfectly true.

So now I’ve been back home, and I’ve been able to chat about it, with varying degrees of detail, to everyone except my brother, since he’s just got into town.  When we have some time just the two of us, I’ll bring it up.  I figure I’ll say something like, “You asked about my divorce before, do you still want to know about it?”  That method worked pretty good with my mom.

It feels good to be able to bring up difficult topics like this.  It even feels brave.