I know it is confusing. These were the children from his previous marriage. At 19, even I saw the look in their eyes when they got to be with their Dad. I am shamed by the lies he told me about their mom. Now I know, I should be proud to have ever met her. What an amazing woman! She not only survived him, she thrived in her own way, and did her absolute best with all her love for her children and her grand children. To this day I feel shamed that I signed her child support cheques from him, even though I did it because he was of the opinion that she should be paying him, not the reverse, the unfeeling it gave her was not my intent.
Is it love to maintain a relationship for the children, even those that are not your own?
Then,....then there was our children. From the first second of conception, I knew.....they were my life. Not once did I ever say "our children".....was I selfish? "They" were always "My children". Did I love him for giving me these children...No...God gave me these children...any man could have done what he had done. Would I say differently if he had been a "good" man. Maybe but No he wasnt....For my shame I tried,....from the time he met me, I tried.....and I would have continued trying had he not hurt My Children.
For all my years with him, I wondered..."is this all what love is? "
Then when I met each of my children I found out ... "This is What Love Is !"
There is no need to "explain" the children years. I can simply say, I found the true meaning of love that I had been missing since I left my family home,...and we (myself and the children) we thrived. Daily we lived in the bubble of love, imagination and hard work of being a real family. Perhaps this is why he segregated himself. I am unsure. Yet this I know, in the final years, even with all my children,....I asked myself (aside from all the really bad stuff)..."so this is love?"
You know, I tried several times after "he" left, to have a "love" relationship. I can name a million reasons why it didn't work. To my credit though, I tried and I believe they did too. With every fiber of my being,....I so tried!
I have learned something from all of this though. Isn't life all about "learning"??
I learned Love will make itself known. You cannot force it. And sometimes you have to recognize that you might feel it when the other does not to the same level you do....and that is okay!! The fact that you can still love is beautiful and should be celebrated.
I have had the good fortune to have one peek, one moment, one instance in my life "at real love". It was that exact moment when the breath of the other person engaged in your own. Even though, I cannot claim it for mine because in this life, it won't be....the knowledge, the feeling, the realization of "this is love" is enough.
After desperately wondering for years, if it even exists....Yes....I now know it does. Maybe not for me here and now....and that is okay. Because I have My Children, My friends, and My GTOC....and My Children's stories....and we are LOVE. We are LOVE enough when so many, like my previous self,....had none.
I am sure through my life, I will attempt several more "loves". I now know the feeling to look for, the feeling to be.
Yet I ask myself, why do I write all this? Maybe because, this is a struggle with most Aspiring Women. How do we trust and love again when we have been betrayed? My response is, because we can. Yes there will be failures and that is okay!
Simply know, you deserve to be treated like a woman,...and it is "that man" that will love you as it was meant to be. Until then, revel in your love of your children, your family, your friends, your work and yes in you. Because they see in you the engaging breath of life at the exact moment when it engages with their own.....