Two years and seven months ago I bought a house. The biggest success (besides keeping my son alive) of my life. Huge. It was the best high I have ever had. My confidence was through the roof; nothing could bring me down. I knew who I was and I was kicking ass at it. I was a successful, homeowning, badass, juggle all the balls in the air with one hand, single mom. I didn't need anyone. I wasn't asking for help. I was the best version of my self I had ever been. It was great. I really thought I would always be her. Although she was lonely and wanted to find someone who would shift her entire world, never once did I (now) and me (then), think that she would exist in any other form.
I found that person who shifted my world and things shot off like a canon. Just as fast as I bought my house and moved in, we added another person in less than a year. It made so much sense for B to move in so quickly! Financially and,of course, emotionally. It's a decision I will never regret. I can't imagine not seeing him everyday. But I digress.
Big changes. You know I hadn't lived with another adult since I was in college? (my mom totally doesn't count) I didn't really think about the challenges of cohabitation and the changes I would go through when I committed myself to him. Those changes, when you aren't paying attention, can really sneak up on you. When you have so much of your identity wrapped up in something that changes once another adult is brought into the picture, you find yourself wondering who the fuck you really are.
I'm 32. Pretty soon I'll be 33. I have identified myself as a single parent for 9 years. And while B and I are not married, for the majority of our relationship, he has been involved in RP's life on a daily basis. That kinda makes him a parent. He disciplines, he helps, he guides, he teaches, he loves, he shows affection, he does everything a dad does. I am not a single mother any longer. I have a partner. I have a person to help me make parenting decisions. We make them together. Now granted, as a lot of other blended families know, there is that gray area of parenting a child that is not your own. B respects this area but will lend his opinion even if he knows it differs from mine and may not be the direction I take.
Sounds pretty effing perfect right?! Except for the facts that I have lost myself. Between the honeymoon phase of a relationship, the changes in living arrangements, the conceding of parental power to another person, the changes in my professional life as well as my volunteering life, I don't know who I am like I did two years ago. That version of me is gone. The person I grew into over 9 years of struggling alone isn't here. I'm not sure which has depressed me more recently, the realization that I am facing another chapter of self discovery, acknowledgement, and awareness or missing her or realizing that over the past few months I have been demonstrating a person whom I cannot stand.
I worry constantly, I create drama (probably due to the fact that this is NOT a volital relationship), I am needy. (and not in the good way), and worst of all, I am looking externally for validation of my self worth. I can't find it internally. What once was there cannot be found. Actually, I take that back. This is the worst part, I have take it out on B more than once. Projecting all of my issues to be his short comings. Way to win girlfriend of the year, am I right? Ugh, I get so mad just thinking about it. He isn't perfect, but he doesn't derseve a shit storm of someone's problem thrown at him as though he is the problem.
One of my biggest issues I have ever had is trusting anyone. He has done nothing but show me I can trust him. Yet, my alter ego - we shall call her Princess Paranoia, gets in my head and tears reality to shreds and replaces it with a story that I then believe to be true. That doesn't even make sense when I reread that! So you can imagine the shit storm occurring in my brain.
And although, my mom, my sister, B, and my best friend have all said this to me at least once over the past few months, it has taken me until today to realize this.....I need to focus on myself. I need to figure out the type of partner I want to be and the type of coparent I want to be. I need to give myself a break. I need to find a hobby or a new way to volunteer. I didn't learn how to be a partner or coparent out of shared experiences, we just did it. I have no doubt that we can and will be successful, but I can't be successful if I am constantly an emotional mess.
So after all that, I need to take a first step. I've decided that first step should be finding my zen. That thing that brings me back to my center when I feel myself reeling. No clue what it is.......maybe it writing here again, or yoga, or running, or volunteering, or something I have yet to discover, but I'll find it.