I am glad that 2015 is passing into memory. 2015 was a year when I barely held it together, and looking back, I don’t know how I did. Good riddance 2015.
On Monday, in Times Square, New York, New Yorkers held the 9th annual Good Riddance Day. Good Riddance 2015 Day was a day when people lined up to say goodbye to the parts of 2015 they were eager to leave behind. Be it an old laptop or some moth-eaten clothes or ideas and ways of being: ‘negativity’, ‘anger’, ‘bitterness’, the goal was to shed unwanted items and feelings from 2015 and to get ready for the new year.
Good riddance 2015.
These are the parts of 2015 that I hope will gradually fade into distant memory:
The guilt that I am not able to give my son, lets call him Cygnet, a childhood with two parents who love each other was, at times, overwhelming. My son is amazing and deserves the very best…and I realised that I couldn’t give it to him. That realisation was crushing.
I have since come round to the idea that by separating I am at least giving our son a chance of having parents who are authentic, who respect each other and who can co-operate. We are working at this.
The poisonous months
We had to sell our jointly owned house so continued to live together for four and a half months after separation. It was four and half months of hell. By the end of the four and a half months my self-esteem was rock bottom. I was suffocated. I wasn’t sure who I was any more.
I am gradually re-lighting the fire in my belly.
The week of change
We were due to be married on 27 June 2015. Instead I celebrated my ‘un-wedding weekend’ without my then 10-month old baby because my ex was insistent on taking him away for the weekend; on using him as a weapon to punish me.
We moved out of our jointly owned house three days later. It was a week of roller coaster change which I would never want to go through again.
I will still have to see my ex in-laws, but I will see them less. I saw them at Christmas when I collected Cygnet from his dad’s on Boxing Day. Their reception was glacial and vinegary (future blog post in the writing!).
The control he had over me
He was controlling and demanding and domineering and always had to get his own way. He said he would “blame, begrudge and resent me for the rest of our lives” if I didn’t do as he wished and consent to a Catholic christening for our son. He made me feel small and insignificant.
I now think he is a fool.
Despite the dark clouds there were some silver linings in 2015, silver linings that I intend to unveil and enjoy in 2016:
My characterful little swan
Despite everything, my 16 month old Cygnet is growing into a characterful little swan. He is walking and babbling and demanding and temper-tantruming. He loves balls and books and swimming pools and blueberries. He understands the word ‘no’ but more often than not chooses to ignore it. He’s fun and the absolute apple of my eye.
The family relationships nurtured
Some distance had grown between me and my family whilst I was with my ex. They knew he wasn’t the one but they would never say it – we have to make our own mistakes in life! My parents have been my rock; absolute superheroes. I have no doubt that they will be in 2016 as well.
The developing co-parenting relationship
We are working at our co-parenting relationship and it is already clear that we are better parents apart than we could have ever been together. My ex has made time for Cygnet and they have a real bond. Because I have so little time with Cygnet, I really have to make every second count.
Separating from my ex was the bravest decision I have ever had to make and I am proud of myself for having had the balls to have made it.
I am excited and hopeful about all the adventures and possibilities that 2016 holds.