It has taken me quite some time to process the emotions surrounding the Bar Mitzvah. I know I have shared all of the positive, wonderful moments with you but there were definitely some really difficult parts to the weekend that I have yet to mention.
A few months before the Bar Mitzvah I shared a post called Letting It Go which referred to my decision to accept the fact that I would have to face the reason for my divorce at my son’s Bar Mitzvah.
It’s important to note that although I was referring to a person as the reason for my divorce in that post, I am actually well aware that faulting the other woman for the demise of a marriage is not the accurate or sole place for the blame.
The divorce part from my past was NOT my biggest issue at all when it came to being in the same room as this person for the first time at the Bar Mitzvah. The worst part for me was that this person harassed me by phone back in 2009 which was a really terrible experience, especially combined at the time with going through a divorce.
Although I had an order of protection for one year back then and I still jump when I see a phone number I don’t recognize calling me, these details from my past do not affect me as they once did and the recurring nightmares that I was having for years have dwindled down to few and far between.
I certainly had the power to stop her from coming to the Bar Mitzvah and although EVERYONE close to me told me to do so, I chose against it.
As hard as I knew it would be for me, I just didn’t want the negative energy of keeping someone out of the party to circulate for months during the planning leading up to the Bar Mitzvah.
I tried really hard to pretend that maybe it would be okay.
I forced myself to be really strong while attempting to keep the peace between a divorced family when the reality is, I was destroying my own inner peace, the peace that mattered the most.
I also felt as though I needed to continue to bring my son up as carefree, unaware and unaffected by our divorce as possible, thinking that allowing her to be at the Bar Mitzvah was somehow necessary to continue this process even though he begged for her not to be in attendance, not even knowing the past history as it happened or that I didn’t want her there either.
The strength I have gained over the years since my divorce was supposed to be enough to get me through the Bar Mitzvah with this person in the same room.
She can’t hurt me anymore. She can’t ruin the joy of our special day.
That’s what I kept telling myself in preparation for facing my worst nightmare (literally, my nightmares were about being in a room with this person and me screaming I can’t look at her) but honestly, as strong as people think I am, nothing was going to prepare me enough to get through the weekend unaffected.
I had a breakdown minutes before the Saturday evening Bar Mitzvah service.
It was all just too much for me to bear and I cannot be disappointed in myself about it happening because this situation was NOT a situation I should have put myself in to begin with.
It’s a miracle I didn’t ruin my makeup and still made it to the start of the service without anyone other than my friends knowing how I was falling apart.
Somehow I got up in front of everyone in attendance, with this person sitting front and center in my Temple, to stand next to my ex-husband as our son read from the Torah.
I did everything I could not to look. I kept my glasses off except for when I had to read my speech which no, was not easy to do even though I have zero issue speaking in public.
It wasn’t until I was there that I truly understood that not only do people not change but there are situations in our lives that we do not have to force ourselves to be strong enough to face.
1 – There are certain things in life that we don’t have to force ourselves to face and this situation was one of them.
2 – There was nothing empowering about facing this nightmare. It was not like getting on a scary rollercoaster and realizing it was a fun ride.
3 – We don’t always make the right decision no matter how hard we try.
4 – Sometimes making a wrong decision allows us to learn from the experience and understand how to proceed going forward.
5 – It’s okay to stand up for yourself even when there will be people on the other side who don’t agree with you. Who the heck cares what they think? They don’t matter, you do.
6 – It’s also okay to have that one situation in your life where you just can’t be super strong and emotionless.
7 – The only behavior we can control is our own.
It would be nice if everyone understood and applied the universal laws of etiquette but that’s not going to happen.
8 – I can’t protect my son from every detail of my divorce and that’s okay.
I pride myself on my ability to have kept my son from the ugliest parts of our divorce but I now realize that shielding him from every single detail is just not possible. Or fair.
He is old enough to formulate his own opinion while making real life accurate assumptions. While I will always filter details, I understand I cannot lie to his face any longer or stare blankly without answering his questions because he is old enough to notice the difference.
9 – Ugly divorces do not mean ugly co-parenting relationships.
I realize from this post that my divorce probably seems awful. It was. However, my ex-husband and I have a great relationship. He is still the first person I call to come fix my darn role of plastic wrap (because I just can’t tear the plastic properly and it gets all stuck on the role – ugh don’t ask!) and all things aside, he really did what he could the weekend of the Bar Mitzvah to try to make me comfortable.
10 – Remember that even through bad times, we can still find the good times.
As much as I regret allowing this person to be in attendance, I still put on a rockin’ dance party!
If you didn’t know the situation, the party itself was a blast and I am really proud of everything I worked so hard to put together for my son’s Bar Mitzvah.
This was not an easy post to share but I am glad that I ultimately decided to share it.
Lately, especially since the Bar Mitzvah, I have been living my life by doing what I feel rather than relying too much on what I think. Quite often there is a big difference and I am learning that going by feel may be best.
Of course it crossed my mind that anyone can read this post but these are MY feelings and this is MY story to tell. Writing this post has helped me to feel better but hitting publish was a necessary part of the process because I want to help others too.
I hope this post can help someone else who may be going through something because I have learned over the years that NO ONE is immune to life drama.
I was so young and innocent when I got married, completely unaware that divorce could happen to me and totally naive to what really goes on behind closed doors. My story just seemed so over the top INSANE yet the older I get, the more I realize that these things happen and they happen a whole lot, even to really nice people.My Story To Tell #divorce #barmitzvah #lifelessons Click To Tweet
No questions today! I can’t even begin to think of one 🙂