Twelve years of age is the first year I found myself with a new boy or in strong like with someone. Twelve years old! While some were awaiting new Scooby-Doo or Care Bear episodes, I sat parched, staring out the window, waiting for a new cute dude to cross my path. I found all too quickly that men leave. Or, at best, they are in and out. You see, my dad was great. When he was around, that was not often. Whether it was work, women, or enjoying the nightlife; his presence was infrequent. So as a little girl, I knew I had to search and search often to fill that void. Then pounce on the first fish that bit my cheap middle school rod. The newest “catch” became the focus of my every waking moment. And when they left, as they often did, it was on to my next potential suspect.
These obvious unhealthy patterns have been the backbone to my trauma, the stagnation behind my goals, and even more disheartening, the reason behind the many tears of my children. I could give this long tale about how my children have different fathers, and they are all grieving the loss of these “fathers.” However, after the exit of my soon-to-be ex-husband, I realized that there was just one common denominator. “Hello. My name is Miss Common Denominator”. The desire to be validated and loved unconditionally is at the fiber of our being. However, with this desire comes no road map. This desire is further clouded by childhood trauma, rejection, and multiple failed relationships. The men I chose to father my children and accompany me in this journey called “life” were far from stellar and fit very few categories on my checklist when I met them. You know the checklist. The checklist you have for your daughter:
Make sure he has a strong faith. Is he good to his mama? How will he support you? Is he emotionally available? Is he interested in children-how many? How is his credit???
The checklist is inevitable as a mother. But immediately I throw it into the fire when I am sizing up what is best for me. So this time when he left, I decided to take a much different approach. I decided to dig into the deep-rooted issues of Miss Common Denominator. It was a come to Jesus moment…literally! It was time to pull out all the punches-the counselor, the divorce coach, the professional coach, and most of all, the coach behind the whispers to my heart. Whispering-“You am made for so much more than this. The cycle stops here”. It’s time to define all that I am and drown out the voices reminding me of all that I will never be. It is a HARD journey. But a necessary one. I truly have never given myself time to fully be alone (aside from my cute crumb snatchers). Some days the grief surrounding the thoughts of all the time lost hits me like a ton of bricks. Some days I feel the weight of my children’s hurt as they grieve the loss of another individual that boldly stepped into the role of being their father and then left. But as this journey continues, the grief is less intense and the internal peace replaces the sting. The hard realizations turn into revelations and goals. Of course, I am not okay, but I am definitely on my way. That factor alone gives me hope that I am sure I’ve never felt before. Cheers to change in hormones with age because revelations are absolutely awesome! I am not sure about older and “wiser”, but I am certain that this co-dependent cycle ends here.