Sunday, March 22, 2009

Thieves of Peace

Serenity Stealers

My biggest thief was my ex-husband.

We were married in 2003. He fell into a deep, alienating abyss of depression in 2004. We separated in 2006, which was followed by divorce. He fell into a place I could not reach and he retreated to a place where I was not welcomed. It was the most draining, numbing, robotic time in my whole life.

Thankfully, I found the courage and a truce with my inner warrior to know when to say enough was ENOUGH. And not feel guilty about it. Because, in fact, by the time it ended, I could barely feel anything. Which is pretty much the antithesis of who I am. That was how I knew the time had come.

And looking back at my path of creative achievement....I was on a most excellent road when this "ex" took me on a complete roundabout detour to a dead end destination.

I was coming into my own, going after my creative dreams, working through a grant to build a theatre school in my hometown...the universe was aligning itself in the palm of my hand.

Then he refused to hold my hand and instead made me talk to his.

He left. I followed. We had been through too much only to give up. No, I'm a fighter. I did everything I could to fight for us. He followed my lead....he retreated....he followed....he retreated. It was a rollercoaster of motion sickness so extreme it felt like a curse.

And then I realized how far I was willing to go to support him....but he did not reciprocate.

I had crashed and burned off my creative dream path, was taken in by my former theatre company, working full time to pay the bills, going through the motions, just trying to keep one foot in front of the other to stay alive. Or at least to survive, as best I could, even if he was choosing to drown.

I was living in a gorgeous apartment, in my favourite neighbourhood, with awesome friends, yet couldn't enjoy any of it as every weekend - any time off - I would be in tears.

I cried myself awake.

I kicked him out.

I welcomed myself back in.

Then...with him gone...I continued to work at the theatre. This has been an even longer relationship, with various toxic influences at times...with draining expectations that have often left me too exhausted to celebrate my own creative aspirations. (Though it also led to my 'baby daddy' :)

I believe I am in the process of healing this one as well.

Actually, my son has helped me heal this one. Because of his birth I have been enjoying one of the most serene years of my life...with time to contemplate where to go next. Now my year is almost up and the theatre folk are beckoning for me again, but thankfully not in the same capacity, not with the same exhausting commitment, and rather doing the type of teaching and performing job that I truly excel at. And thankfully, I also have an "out." I am waiting to hear about teachers college. And my beau and I have some exciting plans for the I think I'm back on the right path again.

As for other 'thieves' of my peace....I think the others are internal and they are harder to fight:

  • There is the voice that I am acknowledging more now, thanks to this club, the one that my new 'inner parent' worries about: "You need to have a 'stable' job to support your son!"

  • There is my procrastination.

  • There is the internet and the TV. The TV I can easily wave away, but the internet sucks me in. (How can I help it with awesome clubs like this?!)

  • There is my guilt about leaving the baby daddy alone "too much" with the baby and essentially 'deserting' them both.

  • There is our ample "unstructured" time because the beau/baby-daddy finds that ideally we have lovely walks and lingering meals but it leaves me with 'butterflies on crack' (to coin blisschick!:) because I fret over where all that 'productive' time was "lost"

  • There is the time I dedicate to helping others....which I actually enjoy, but I wish I put myself on that priority list

  • The nagging voice that plagues me with questions of "When are you EVER going to work on that ________ creative project? Are you ever going to make it happen?" And the endless ideas and projects that stay on the 'backburner'.

  • My defiance/neglect to just DO IT.

  • My excellent talent for getting distracted and excited by the 'next new thing.' Having TOO MANY ideas and feeling overwhelmed by all that I'm NOT accomplishing! :P

  • My self-diminishing ability to just stay in the background, unnoticed. Appreciated - but nameless.

Oh gAWEd! I had no idea there were so many internal battles going on!!! No wonder I get so tired! Sheesh.....the big question however, remains....where does one - or to be more specific - where do I - go from here? I am actually quite good at stating my boundaries with others; now how do I declare them with MYSELF???


  1. I could feel that you got stronger with every word written. EXCELLENT posting ...! Thanks, for sharing your past ... and NOW ... let's welcome the wonderful YOU.

    Lots of love, PEtra

  2. "I kicked him out. I welcomed myself back in."

    That in itself is HUGE! A huge, gigantic step. As for the rest, one step at a time, my bloggy friend :)

  3. What a powerful woman you are. May the struggle diminish and create more and more space for you.

  4. Thanks for sharing this post and it's very insightful for you and others I think! I can relate to the getting distracted and not getting anything done and also have a 7 month old daughter. :)