I began keeping a journal not for myself, but for my children. After the seperation from their dad, I started journaling because I wanted them to have some sort of proof to serve as evidence, if they chose to read, that would pardon me from the devestation done to their lives, to one day know what had happened from my point of view, the choices I had in front of me, and to perhaps, be seen with eyes full of grace by an adult that once was a child in a bitter divorce. It will be years, well into adulthood, before I would allow my children to look into the journals that I wrote during those first years of seperation and divorce.
That is why I began.
I've kept all those past journals and never once have I wanted to go back through them. To relive even one minute of the most painful moments of the last three years would still be too much for me. I am still so raw and tender in places. I thought I would be so much further along by now, but I'm not. Fears, deep fears of abandonment and rejection bark in the back of my skull. It doesn't take much for them to surface. Small triggers send me curling into a numb state.
In so many ways I know writing saved my life. I have told myself, just keep letting the pen stir what is deep inside. I hope for so much more strength to enter me where pain and hurt have held such a primary residence, but writing is responsible for exuming the worst of fears and pain.
But now there is Cowbird. A place I have posted bits of my heart along the way. My children log on and read other authors' stories and they will read my stories too. This is so flattering to me when they do. In so many ways, the stories I have written are my gifts to my children to say "I want to remember all of you, all of us that was together under a single roof". I know this time won't last forever and I will miss them so when they leave for good one day. In part, they will walk away from our home to make one of their own with many beautiful stories straight from their mother's heart.
My oldest daughter gave me a gift recently. Just out of the blue. I wasn't expecting it. I opened the box and inside was a necklace with an anchor charm.
"You're my anchor," she said.
I cried and hugged her, not wholeheartedly believing that I was strong enough not to be drug along a sandy bottom from violent storms, but I fastend the necklace around my neck anyway. I thought of the old journals, the ones I keep tucked away. Do I really need them as a body of evidence to serve as proof of vindication for my once overwhelming guilt or are the stories already written enough to tether us together in a way that I never imagined possible?