It's been a year, plus a few days, since DH moved out of the house. That year has been an incredible experience for me, filled with both fulfilling and decimating experiences. My primary objective has always been to be the best, most-supportive mother I could be to our two sons. That had been my primary job for almost 12 years when we separated, though the logistics and the gravity of motherhood changed dramatically when I effectively became a single mom.
Learning to live on my own has been eye-opening and sometimes difficult. When I'm sick, there's rarely anyone there to help me out. Each brother is dragged to the other's concerts and practices and competitions—often griping the entire time. Gone are the days of anyone else getting up to feed the boys on a Sunday morning while I sleep in.
You know what? I'm okay with that.
It's hard sometimes, certainly, but I've also found an enormous amount of support from friends and family that I never could have anticipated. When you're going through life-changing shit, people often say, "Let me know if I can do anything to help."
I have a circle of friends and family who will help, no matter what.
For me, it's incredibly difficult to ask for that help, though. Historically, I've been let down by very important people in my life, left to fend for myself emotionally under the worst of circumstances. I generally expect that people will disappoint me. (I've had a lot of that this year, too.) I tend to rely on what I can do for me, because people are usually unreliable. Rather than be left with a half-finished mess than involves someone else, I would rather just do whatever my way and know it's done right from the beginning.
But when I've had to open my mouth and ask, I've been surprised at the people who have stepped up. It turns out that sometimes, when I let them know, they will actually come through for me. Apparently some people really do want to be of assistance—they just don't know what you need.
Letting someone else help carry my burdens, that's a hard lesson for me to learn. But I'm doing it. Slowly but surely, trepidatiously but grateful.
So to everyone who has offered their help this year, and to everyone who has graciously and selflessly given me or my boys something we really needed, thank you. Sometimes it was babysitting or care after a surgery or money when I just didn't have any. Sometimes it was nothing more than a kind word or patient ear. All of it has mattered. You matter to us.