My heart drops and my stomach twists and it feels like I cannot possibly take a deep enough breath – if only for a moment. When I see that number displayed on my phone my mind becomes a place of disarray and days past and life already lived – why does your voice come back to wreak havoc on my newly found nirvana? Why do I have to listen to your words and the sound of all the irrelevance and neglect that I whole heartedly, with clear conscience and tons of good old Irish Catholic guilt – left behind?
We had children together and therefore even though we are divorced we still remain tethered to each other. And when a marriage deteriorates over time and ends long after it should have ended – being connected in any sort of way feels most unnatural and unhealthy to say the least. You must remember that I severed my heart from your heart and tore my body from your touch and threw that diamond ring at your perfect face in all the certainty that I did not love you or want you in my world anymore. Yet there you are – here is my dilemma – and I have no choice but to listen because we have these two wonderful faces that we created together – and in that sparkling reality the unacceptable circumstance is that our lives can never be fully separated. Good parenting should never end with divorce.
The only thing that kept us together for far too many years was my inability to be true to myself and in a way I am not too proud of – the children. Sounds horrible and painful to write these words – but it is my truth. I didn’t know how to be the person I am today – I didn’t know how to find my way back to the girl I always was before I fell into you. I held regret and guilt, expectations and fear intertwined in my existence. I let my reality, hopes, dreams and truth lay far off in the distance for fear of what taking that journey might do to my family as I knew it. What that journey might say to my friends, family and perfect children. I harbored feelings of failure and uncertainty, judgment and ostracization – and so I stayed – I stayed with you in a most unhealthy and smothering place so that the rest of the world would just keep turning….
So when that phone rings and the sound of your voice comes crashing into my brand new peaceful world – I cringe from a place deep inside. I shut my eyes and wait for the noise to end. I do not have the energy for you and your opinions anymore – but I listen for as long as I can bare and nod my head as I try to tell myself – “this is the father of your children…this is the father of your children” – just let him say whatever it is he is trying to say. I have done my time – raised two babies into two amazing young adults for all intent and purpose – all by myself. The banter and bother that you feel the need to interject at this point in the parenting process is too little too late – but – still I take your calls. I take them at my convenience – but – I do take them. We are connected through the love we both share for our children – and no matter how disruptive and uncomfortable your presence in my world can be – I take a deep breath and let you say what you need to say – because I know you only want the best for them – as you always have.
And though I rarely agree with your approach and the verbiage you spew – I put all my history with you aside and play the mommy daddy game and patiently wait for my cell phone coverage to suddenly lose all hope of connectivity.
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About K. Guzman
Kathy grew up all over the US - lots of east coast time. She is a surfer girl with an unabridged curiosity. A woman whose mid life awakening continues to bring her to the place she was meant to be. Her degree in Journalism/Creative Writing from the University of Central Florida is being yanked from the archives and put to good use. Her two kids are grown and rock stars in this wild world – her Harley is ready for some serious summer miles – and her heart remains open to life, women and the possibilities each day brings.