If there’s one thing I don’t want this blog to become, it’s some sort of marker for that one person who “has it all, does it all, can be it all” without batting an eye or dropping a bead of sweat. Authenticity and transparency mean a lot to me, and if there is any one universal truth about what it means to be a working mom, it’s that no one’s journey is bullet proof and everyone has experienced some level of earth-shattering difficulty at some point in time. In truth, being a pro in the earth-shattering difficulty department, my usual MO is to curl up inside my own head, turn on the self-sufficient, multi-tasking, workaholic machine-mode and just phone it in for awhile, all with a dazzling smile of “all togetherness.” But this blog is about doing things differently and if I really mean to make my life as a working mom more manageable, it’s time to get real. With myself and with you. This working mom is going through a divorce. A life-demolishing, heart into a million pieces, room is spinning, oceans of tears, no oxygen, gut punch, gaping hole divorce. Surviving infidelity. That’s where I’m at.
As someone who champions the true beauty of every woman, both on this blog and in my career as a pro photog, my own self-worth is presently in tiny pieces on the floor, littering my happy world of strength, ambition, clarity and drive. Realizing that surviving infidelity would be more of a war with myself than with my soon-to-be ex-husband (seriously, my stomach just dropped even typing those words – one of those “How is this happening?” moments), I find myself battling inner demons without ceasing and clinging to any semblance of normalcy.
Instead of detailing the horrors of my recent married life, reliving those ugly minutes of discovery and the soul-shredding pain that comes with the awareness of intentionally brutal deceit, I’m working to table the “what ifs” and “whys” and instead focus on my recovery and the rebuilding of my family. Sparing you the juicy details of what happened, and totally owning my role in my life up to this point, it’s time to start fresh. #katystartsfresh
Here are the top 5 challenges I am facing this week as I define what surviving infidelity means for my new normal:
- Realizing I haven’t mowed a yard in over 10 years and grass grows very quickly.
- Getting a grip on my finances and making sure bills don’t bounce and get properly transferred over.
- Explaining to my toddler boys why Daddy isn’t home and explaining that he loves them with a smile on my face when they ask why he doesn’t want to live with them anymore.
- Fearing that this divorce will somehow rip my stepdaughter from my home and her safe place.
- Feeling resentful that alone time is at an absolute minimum, and I’m left to cope with my emotions quietly and internally for the sake of the children, instead of getting to be a bit selfish and wallow in bed for a few days.
Here are 5 things I am grateful for this week:
- I no longer feel stress when I enter my home. It feels peaceful, happy and mine.
- I don’t spend all day questioning when I might hear from him and whether or not he’ll be nice to me today. I don’t have to walk on egg shells anymore.
- My house is CLEAN. Me clean. New couches, new table, carpets cleaned, new pictures hung, new security system. It’s turning more me and my kids every day.
- I already knew this, but have been humbled by the intensity of the love and support my friends and family have shown. Their selfless commitment to my survival has left me feeling very loved in a very unloving period of my life.
- There’s a certain sense of accomplishment when I conquer small tasks. It feels good.
Here’s what I have learned so far in my very brief, very dark week and a few days change of newly-estranged, defined singleness. These 5 steps have started me down the path to surviving infidelity:
- Cling to faith. I don’t imagine how anyone navigates this type of loss without the love of God to carry you.
- Ask for help. I am forcing myself to ask for help EVERY. DAY. I cannot do this alone.
- Accept love and support. Likewise I am forcing myself to ACCEPT love and really breathe in all of the positive words of encouragement I am receiving.
- Fight the urge to hide. Dark Katy wants to hole up. Not an option.
- Say thank you to your friends and family. They deserve my wholehearted thanks and it also continues to remind me that I am surrounded by a great support system.
The obvious theme here is to avoid isolation. My quiet thoughts are my most dangerous ones. They question my worth, my sanity, my past…they dream up nightmares, horrors and scenarios I don’t want to think about. I am forcing myself to go through this with everyone in my life for my own survival, which is in part why I am writing this blog post. So that you can see that this working mom is coping with a major loss and perceived failure among all of the professional success and ordered chaos. Sometimes things just don’t go right. Or in my case, they go blisteringly wrong in the most epic and painful of ways. Usually I’m blogging from a “If I can do this, so can you!” position.
Today, I’m blogging from a “If you can do this, so can I.” Thank you for motivating me to fight back and reclaim the life that I deserve.