For the past two weeks, I have been feeling a bit down. At first I thought it was just from being really exhausted after going nonstop when Josh and family, along with my cousin Jeremy were here and then missing them terribly when they all left. I have been trying to put on a smile and pretend that everything is fine...something that I have had much practice at throughout my life. The only person who knew that I was struggling was my husband, and even he did not know the extent of it. To be perfectly honest, I did not realize exactly what was causing it either. That was until yesterday...
As I was trying to figure things out, I remembered how in the past my therapist had asked me I was happy. My answer surprised me when the word "no" quickly came tumbling out of my mouth. I told her that although I put on a good "front", there was always an underlying sadness. I realized that was what was going on once again in my life and the reason I was struggling. I also had clarity in that moment, about the source of the it, and knew it was time to just let it all go.
Our Josh, Lauren, Tate and baby Peyton came home recently for a visit before Josh deploys and so that Chris and Josh could celebrate their birthdays together. Josh has always gone to visit his grandparents on my husband's side of the family when he comes home, even though that side of the family has cut us all off, that is, except Josh. His last visit to them had been when Tate was a baby. Things have transpired over the last two years that have hurt all of us, including Josh. Josh made the decision not to reach out again while he was here. I could tell it was something that was weighing heavily upon him. I let him know that I would always support him in whatever decision he made and that I understood how he was feeling.
It broke my heart to see my son realizing the ugly truth of this ongoing mess and why we all had been hurt so deeply. He now understood why the most of us here had to accept that we would never see Papa again. I was the "holdout" in the group here, not wanting to accept the painful truth that the man that I loved as my second father, had not reached out to his son, to let him know of his mother's death and had not tried to contact us in any way, shape or form for over six years. As a parent and grandparent myself, I just could not wrap my head around NOT having a relationship with my kids and grandchildren. So, this was the "trigger", that reopened old wounds for me and left me depressed.
It's a blessing that I had been through therapy in the past and learned some coping skills. Once I was able to identify what the trigger was, it also allowed me to look at the situation objectively. I came to realize that it truly was the "end" of all hope for the situation to change because the person who we wanted to still have a relationship with, was unwilling or unable to fight for us as we had been trying to do for them. It was another very painful reality check. However, I found myself being able to finally let it all go...the hope, the struggles, the depression over the situation, the underlying anger, everything. I felt like a HUGE weight had been lifted off me. I think it comes in part because I no longer have to worry about Josh being hurt any further by this "no win" situation that was thrust upon all of us. I think he may finally have some clarity and closure, as do I now and, as my other kids and hubby already have.
I told my hubby about my realization and that I can finally have the closure that I so desperately needed. He looked relieved, but you could still see the sadness in his eyes about the pain we had all endured. My hubby is a very tender-hearted man that puts his family first. Seeing our kids, grandkids or me in pain, hurts him. He wants to protect us all, and he, through no fault of his own and for reasons beyond his control, was not able to in this situation. I do think that now that I will not be wrestling with trying to hold out some kind of hope in a hopeless situation, that it will also help him to have some relief knowing that I have learned to put the situation behind me and no longer let it have any kind of negative influence over me. This has been a long and painful process and journey, but it is one that has reached its final destination, and I can finally lay it all to rest.