Today would have been our anniversary, only we aren’t together anymore. Memories popped up on social media, photographs and loving words shared of one another over previous years, the plan was to set a date and get married later this year, but then our son came along and that all got pushed to the back burner. A distant dream for the future. But now that future doesn’t exist. We’ve both found ourselves staring at a blank page, in an opening chapter of separate books.
I’ve had my heart broken before, or so I thought. It was relatively easy looking back, I’d grab my friends and drink away my sorrows, i’d wallow for a while and then move on whilst avoiding anywhere I thought an ex might be. I’d simply pop them in the recycling bin and click permanently delete. Only I can’t do that this time. We share something remarkable together, our son. So the option to ctrl alt delete isn’t a viable one.
We are trying our best to move forward amicably for the sake of our son, it isn’t perfect but we’re working on it. We spend days together as a family, we chat during the week, sometimes daily, I update him regularly with pictures and videos of our boy. But how do you move on when so much contact is necessary? Some may say to limit contact but I find it so difficult. I’m sat here writing this with the sound of my boys snores echoing through on the baby monitor and I am distinctly aware of how much my ex is missing out on just because we’ve parted ways, I feel such guilt over all I get to experience and all he misses. Cutting contact isn’t an option, at least not for now because I refuse to make him suffer more just because I need some distance. I struggle to go a day away from my son and yet he goes for days on end without seeing his face, the least I can do is update him.
Ultimately everything I do is for my son. I want him to grow up knowing that his mum did everything she could to ensure his happiness, because as a mum that’s all I want. Yet I find myself in a state of limbo. Definitely single and yet constantly messaging to and fro and arranging family days as if I weren’t.
Compared to other relationships spanning decades ours was short and fleeting but so much happened it feels anything but. Only now i’m out on the other side do I realise how much I sacrificed in the name of love.
I moved for love, I followed him and added distance between my family, friends and studies. Now I’ve returned home, but my family has lessened and my friends are non existent. That wasn’t his doing, I wanted to be with him, home is where the heart is and at the time I would have done anything for him. But now I find myself spending my days at playgroups with a son who likes to constantly run and cause havoc and the opportunity to find new friends is small. When I was younger it was so easy, a quick; ‘do you want to be friends’ and that was it. But that doesn’t work when you are approaching 30 and a single mum of one. I don’t have baby free evenings (nor do I want them) and anywhere I go so does my son so that doesn’t leave much room for a social life. But it would be nice to have someone to go to the park with or someone to go for a walk with whilst discussing how much sleep we haven’t had and the latest toddler tantrum.
I am so much happier now than a few months ago and yet I often feel lonelier than ever. My son is currently cutting multiple teeth and is as expected very clingy and temperamental (I mean who wouldn’t be with a load of teeth breaking through at once) and the screams can break even the strongest of people. Earlier this week after hours of relentless screaming it dawned on me that there was no relief coming, it is just me and him now. I don’t want to be away from him but knowing that you are no longer counting down the hours until your love comes in from work, where you can pass the buck for a little while and recharge isn’t an option. It is just me 24/7.
I find myself sitting in the evenings pondering about how different life could have been, if only we’d worked a little harder, spoken more honestly, more often, or in spite of our obvious unhappiness we’d just tried again. I know it’s foolish, I know we all deserve more, our son especially. But we spent many years together and we went through a lot of trials and tribulations only to find ourselves here anyway, apart.
And apart is where we will stay I just hope that moments like this, on what would have been our anniversary start to sting a little less.