Today I start my next leg of my travels; over to Toronto to see my sister. Not off to the best start as I am sat in Minneapolis–St Paul airport waiting for a flight that might be cancelled. I am not a stranger to the flight delay on this trip. It’s to be expected when you are traveling to places prone to snow storms. Thankfully no tears at the airport saying goodbye to Sam today. We’ve spent the past 8 years keeping our friendship alive through distance. We are not the needy friend type. We know we are good without having to call each other all the time; but I have rung her needing her support at 2am & she’s been there for me. It’s just a new age friendship; distance isn’t a problem.
I feel like I have been saying a lot of goodbyes recently which has been both positive & negative. The positive goodbyes have been to a life that I was somewhat forcing, goodbye to a job I wasn’t enjoying, goodbye to a love that was weak, goodbye to a house & area that honestly I was simply putting up with because my happiness wasn’t a priority in my eyes, goodbye to constantly feeling a like a ghost in my own life & goodbye to allowing myself to be emotionally drowned to the point of completely losing myself.
You can offer someone your support, but when it starts to drag you into the water that is drowning them you need to think if this is something you can handle. You can’t save someone else if you are struggling to support yourself.
The most painful goodbye has to be to a little person who when I first entered the relationship I was terrified about. I honestly thought I would fail him. Looking after children was always something I had been scared about. I don’t think I have ever verbalised this aloud to myself before. Women have this pressure to be good with children place upon them. I have actually always found dealing with young children really daunting. I always thought I would fail. Not being a good enough person to help & support them. I remember meeting him for the first time & being so nervous. Children have the most wonderful of way of breaking down walls, their innocence is infectious. The most painful thing about it is that I never wanted to leave this way; but the choice was forced upon me. The choices made by someone else have lead me to make a decision about leaving in a certain way that was no longer mine. I do no cry about the loss of the relationship; if anything the whole thing has opened up a stronger line of communication between us but when it comes to him even typing this out it I get tears in my eyes. I still get updates; I am not sure at the moment if this helping or making it all worse. I will have to see how that goes with more time. I spoke to a very good friend of mine that took on the role of step dad for a number of years & even 7 years on after the relationship finished, it popped up on his facebook that it would have been their 10th birthday & it brought a tear to his eye. Even telling me the story I could feel his pain.
It’s a hard role being a step parent; yet it has to be one the best experiences in my life. I was lucky he was so kind to me & really was always so well behaved. A few issues with power balance at the start but nothing you outside of what is expected given the situation. He opened my life up to a whole new meaning to what family can feel like. I was thrusted into it really. A 30 year old career woman now stood in-front of toddler. You are balancing a relationship between two people that broke down whilst just trying to be a good person all round to everyone involved. Comments I had given to me second hand were very hurtful. Equally disrespectful actions followed. Remaining kind was the most important thing to me. At the end of the day, the most important thing was a little boy trying to figure out his way. Phone calls being taken in other rooms out of my ear shot often left me running scenarios through my head for days. Only hearing the back end of information, or oneside was again something I started to struggle with. If anyone bothered to get to know me at all during this process; if meetings arrangements had been kept to you would know that I would never disrespect anyone in that way. The biggest lesson I have learn’t is to build a relationship with both parents. If I could go back & change anything it would be this. If I ever find myself in this role again I will have the confidence to handle it my way; through respect & kindness. My family also embraced my choice with open arms & I know they are missing him also which is something I have deal with everyday. The guilt I feel about this weighs very heavy on me. I feel like I failed. This feeling of failure is something that comes in waves & it’s tripling. I am truly lucky to have the parents I do. No matter what they support me 100% & have embraced the whole experienced also. That’s the thing with this, its not just me that has to deal with the loss too, my family are equally having to process this.
Would I change any of this experience, absolutely not. It was such a wonderful experience. The sad part is knowing that in a few more months, I’ll be gone out of memory. I will have this with me for the rest of my life; sure it will fade but it will never really leave. It will my turn to shed a tear for a birthday missed.
The positive thing to take out of all this pain is that I now know I enjoyed having children about & it is now something I do really look forward to later in life. I can thank a wonderful little boy for that. I got to watch my wonderful family be great role models & welcome the change with open arms. If I could even be half as good as my parents I’ll be really proud.
Goodbyes are never easy, but sometimes they are needed to move onto the right the path.
Update on my flight; it’s now cancelled!