What comes after tears? Gratitude and choosing not to be insane.

First, I want to shout out and thank those of you who reached out to me after yesterday’s post. Your support and encouragement helped me make the transition I needed to be able to be functional and present for when Keith brought Luna home.

  • Betty LaLuna from Narc Raiders, one of my newest readers and encouragers as I’m finally coming to terms with the fuller nature of the relationship Keith and I have had.
  • Diana Schwenck from Talk To Diana, one of the most supportive and encouraging people I’ve met since beginning this blog two years ago.
  • El Guapo from Guapola, one of the best occasional hit and run encouragers on my list of bloggerss I keep forgetting to catch up with.
  • James from Morning Meditations, one of the most grounded and grounding spiritual seekers I’ve been blessed to meet on the interwebs.
  • PurpleMary from My Electronic Jukebox, whose eclectic musical reviews and personal perspective on the music she shares has been very interesting and inspiring to me personally.

Each of you contributed something different in response to what I posted yesterday, and each thing helped me in some significant way, so I just wanted to honor that you took the time and effort to reach out through your keyboard to touch my heart and soul and contribute healing and affirmation into my recovery journey and process. I am so very grateful for the internet, WordPress, and each of you and all the others who have been part of my journey over the past couple of years.

Seventeen days ago I made the decision to leave Keith because I can no longer live in an environment filled with tension, anger, and continual conflict. It is not all on him. My contribution to the dysfunction is that I have reached the point where, regardless of whether I believe he will have a negative reaction or not, I automatically repress and suppress my emotion. This worsens the depression I am already experiencing due to the seasonal triggers of cold, wet, dark, weather. This is also the period, starting in late September/early October, through December 31, when a crapload of anniversary/holiday triggers for the depression symptoms occur, in a continual sequence. Things that I have never, truly, resolved, despite believing I have done:

  • My mother signing guardianship of me over to relatives, then leaving the state to move across the country, back to Texas, when I was 12. Technically this probably happened in late July or early August, but it was definitely the precursor to the rest of what followed.
  • The anniversary dates of her birthday and death day, which occurred the same year. Her birthday is in October, the 19th I believe. Her death is either a couple of weeks before that or a couple of weeks after. I never knew the actual date until three years ago, and cannot readily remember it now, though I obtained documentation
  • The precipitating event between my guardian and myself, after a two year period of additional chaos and instability, which triggered me to run away with my first “adult relationship” abuser at the age of 16, occurred shortly after Halloween.
  • My son’s birthday on November 9th, when I was 17, 27 years ago. The trauma and drama which happened leading up to his birth, the delivery itself and the subsequent hospital stay, followed by the homelessness and instability of the next two years, was more affecting and devastating to me than I have ever allowed myself to acknowledge or believe.
  • The anniversary of when his dad almost killed me, 25 years ago on December 12th.
  • The anniversary of the marriage to my son’s father, which has never been legally dissolved, 27 years ago, December 31st.
  • Every “family” holiday with the reminders of my fractured family relationships, past and present.

Every interaction with Keith, and the other people I love and care about but have strained relationships with, are like pouring multiple flammable liquids into an uncontained space near an open flame. The resulting explosion is inevitable and unavoidable. Even if you aren’t close enough to get burned by the flames, the concussion wave from the explosion itself is enough to knock you off of your feet and leave your vision blurry, your ears ringing, and your mind disoriented.

I’m a walking, talking, living, breathing container of flammable liquid and Keith is the open flame. I’ve also been a moth drawn to the flame . . . a moth so inured to the toxicity of the environment it has been through all of its life stages in, that not only does it not recognize the potential harm of the flame it’s being drawn to for itself, there is zero recogniztion of the conflagration it will cause to everything around it, just by touching wing to flame.

Now comes the hard work of more recovery and healing processing, for myself and for Luna. Part of that means learning how to let go of feeling responsible for and actually leaving Keith’s process up to him to take care of, or not, according to his choice and capacity. It also means learning how to do that while navigating the logistics of living in the limbo land of unofficially sharing custody of our daughter and our lives are so enmeshed with each other’s financially and materially, without any legal clarity for any of it.

I know that as long as he remains as he is and I as I am, we cannot share the same living space at the same time. It’s unhealthy for all three of us, especially for Luna, despite the fact that she definitely asks him where I am and tells him she misses me and vice verse. The fact that she’s had significantly improved behavior at school after the first week of our separation and that the child care person who watched her while I was in a group session today, who watched her in the same center the day I left, let me know there was a sigificant difference in her responsiveness and cooperation between then and now, tells me that I have to stay the course I’m on.

I am resisting the panicked voice of my inner control freak who is screaming at me that I have to go out and get a job, RIGHT NOW!!! That same control freak is also joining voices with the fearful manipulator to tell me that I HAVE TO cut him off, cut him out, file for custody, apply for public assistance and do everything to get completely independent from him ASAP. I’ve done these things before and wound up right back in this situation. I’ve decided to do things differently this time. After all, isn’t the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome?

This time around, I’m going to learn to be grounded, in this present moment. I’m going to reach out and ask for the help I now understand I need, not just to “show” that I’m doing the right things, but also to actually grow and heal and not just look like I think I should look to make everyone around me believe I’m okay, but to believe inside of myself that I’m okay.


  1. Kina,

    I am here whenever you need to vent if you ever feel the need. I understand how challenging it is and many who are not in our shoes have so many suggestions on what one “should do” and how “one should do it.” It seems to me you are at that place…that fork in the road…the ultimate fork in the road…and yes, we get to the fork a number of times sometimes before we decide on a path, but just in what you share, even if it feels unclear…there is a lot of clarity ringing through in your voice and I wish you the very best. You are wise to focus on the moment…it is what will get you through. Be blessed and know you are not alone on the journey even if it feels that way sometimes…there may not be a whole host of people directly in front of you but there are many who do ‘get’ how challenging this is, and how much time the process takes. Be gentle, kind, forgiving and loving with yourself…all the best to you.


  2. Like they say in the Hitchhiker’s Guide, “Don’t Panic!” I’m glad you’re taking the time you need to get your mind in a more stable place before you start taking further action. Wait until after the New Year. You’ve got some support from your church, and I know there’s services out there you already utilize. Breathe deeply, and try not to let everything wear you down. ((Hugs))


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