When Your “Normal” Isn’t Normal
It amazes me the things we learn to accept as “normal” in life.
Never in a million years would I have imagined that the way my life looks right now and the relationship my daughter have with me would be what I consider “normal.” But we adjust. We adapt. And we overcome.
We make the best of the situations we find ourselves in and we carry on.
I often want to write about this aspect of my life and I always struggle to get anything out. Not because it’s too hard or too personal. It is those things. But the real reason it’s hard to write about is because it doesn’t ever make any sense. Trying to explain the way someone like my ex operates is like trying to explain ghosts and the wind.
You can’t really see it all the time but it’s always there. You can’t see it, but you can see its effects. You can sense its presence when it brushes against your skin in the silence of the night leaving the hair on your arms standing straight up. You know its there by the chill down your spine and the tightness in your chest when it steals your breath.
It’s gone as fast as it comes and you’re left with no real explanations as to what is happening around you other than that something is in fact surrounding you, and though you can feel it, you have no rationalization for it.
Sometimes it isn’t until I look into the eyes of someone else as I explain a bit about my situation that I recognize the weight and reality of how not normal this all is. It’s not until I look into the sad eyes of my daughter.
This whole thing sometimes feels like riding in a car blindfolded. There are aspects of it that I not only have no control over, but I also can’t see before they hit. The worst part is that my daugther are in this car too.
Though she is young, she is not stupid. She understand that there is something missing.
She knows she has a dad. She knows who he is. And she loves him desperately.
But she also knows that her mother is keeping her away from her since 2007, she also knows he does not see her, because her mother is keeping her away from him, because he married someone else. She does not know why and can´t make sense of it as her mother was married to another man, so why can´t her dad be happy. She miss her dad and really wants to see him, but she is to scared of upsetting her mother.
The thing that feels the cruelest about divorcing someone like my ex is that the very reasons I chose to separate from her are the things I cannot protect my daughter, or myself, from. Separating from and divorcing a narcissistic person does not protect you from their manipulative games. In fact, when you have children with that person, it often just feels like the heat got turned up inside the pressure cooker you’re trapped in.
She´s the mother of Madison. She has rights. BUT she does not have the right to withheld her from me.
While I ask her to step up, she continues to alienate. Yet with each step, there’s someone else to blame. It’s somehow never her fault that she is cutting me out of Madison´s life. I’m somehow always the bad guy.
It’s like trying to give someone a gift who continually screams, “I don’t want it!” but then mopes in the corner like a sad victim blaming you that they have no gift, even as it still sits in front of them.
It’s extremely confusing and convoluted. I as an adult cannot understand it. I as an adult am hurt by it. Yet I as an adult have to figure out how to help my daughter deal with something I can’t even make sense of.
And it’s infuriating.
It’s much easier to walk in peace and forgiveness when she just leaves us all alone. I have to talk to her like I respect her even when everything she says is just another manipulative chip in the game.
I have to cover myself and my daughter in prayer because it’s the only thing I’ve got. When my whole body feels like a frayed electrical wire.
While there is in fact freedom and healing through divorce, there are effects of the aftermath that create deep pain and angst both for me and my daughter. I have no control over some of it, and no matter how tightly I tuck my babyunder my wing, I have no choice but to let them out knowing they may get hurt. I have to watch as they struggle to rationalize the irrational, and pretend like I’m ok as I do the same.
It’s unfair. It’s hurtful. It’s enraging.
But it’s our “normal.”