Life and other plans


I just love the line from John Lennon's song - Beautiful boy, "Life is what happens to you when your'e making other plans"

All my life, I have been juggling multiple pans on the fire. I have struggled to come to terms with the idea that removing pans from the fire progressively will make my life easier and improve my ability to focus.

There are so many exciting things to see and do, in our relatively short life span and indeed life gets in the way.
My youngest child is now nineteen years old and suddenly I dont have to deal with schools and other agencies on the scale that I did before.

My son qualifies in December and my older daughter in March. They have grown up and life is suddenly leaving these huge voids.

Most people who know me personally, are aware that my spouse and I have separated. I could write a daily blog about this, but I decided to maintain both our privacy and seek counselling instead. Twice a week one to one and a group session as well and five months down the road, I'm coping. Note coping - not recovered.

The five months have also brought another change. My life has been nothing short of chaotic the last five years, and the last five months have been relatively conflict free. Not stress free, but conflict free. Every single problem or issue I've had to deal with has been dealt with in a calm way. I haven't felt attacked or vulnerable, and some issues have been rather daunting.

I had an interaction with my spouse on Tuesday and it rapidly escalated into an aggressive situation. I was told I made her get rude and angry. It was my fault she was being angry and nasty. One thing I have learned in the last five months, is that we choose to behave the way we do. In every situation. Its very convenient to blame everything on auto response but...... its about awareness.

When we create an awareness of how we behave and develop very simple habits when interacting with others, we control our responses - mostly.

The first thing I have learned is that by learning to assess the situation, rather than respond immediately with a knee jerk response, I take control of how situations affect me. When someone is shouting at you, this could be an indication of further aggression, or they could be warning you of something. Its all in the context.

My spouse is angry with me. She was angry when we met. She is still angry. She shifts the focus of her anger as people move into and out of her life. We must have been attracted to each other, because when we met, we were both angry people. For very different reasons.

I wouldn't say, I have no anger left in me, but I do know why I have been so angry for a very long time, and by identifying it, I can focus on other things in my life.

My daughter returned from being on an extended holiday this week and she noted how much calmer I am. How content I appear to be. I have similar problems to five months ago and a perhaps also few new ones.

I have pretty much isolated myself, in order to cope with the demons that have come out during counselling, and I am now slowly returning myself to the world in a completely different way.

Nevertheless, I love my spouse. For five months, I have worked on fixing all the broken things about me, that she has dictated must be fixed before we can be a couple again. While fixing the broken me, I have realised a few things. She doesnt believe she is damaged in any way. There is nothing about her to fix and therefore she doesnt believe that has made any contribution intentional or otherwise to the state of our marriage.

This is difficult to grasp as I know I have done some very damaging things. I also know that I have to own my actions for myself. But here is the breakthrough. I dont MAKE her do the things she says and does. She does.

I am not responsible for what other people do. I am responsible for what I do. This has completely changed my approach to relationships.

I now know that I also have to take responsibility for how I respond to thinsg that other people do that I dont like. The problem that we all have with this, is that we worry about the "collateral damage". If I tell my daughters boyfriend that I dont like his behaviour, will she defend him and attack my position? Probably. But we all have to decide what our thresholds are and why, And these Thresholds change over time.

Currently there is an issue with one of my children. But this child needs my emotional support more than my advice right now. But in time the threshold will change and we'll being discussing the way forward as my childs mindset over their situation develops.

And so my life has changed. There is far less drama, I am responsible for my own situation and my own outcomes, I have to find my own way forward and I have to balance my desires and goals with the emotional fallout that comes with them.

At the moment I cannot go to Church, I still struggle to go to the place that my wife brought me to. It still hurts to remember. But I know that time heals all things and soon It'll be my place rather than Ours. And then I will start the next Chapter of my life without the emotional baggage Im working to hard to unpack right now,

Ruthie Richards-Hill

Ruth, a free range human being and a middle aged mum of three adult children and very young grandmother to two little girls, is a glass artist, and a digital strategist, She retains the right to change her mind about anything and believes in a compassionate approach to most things, you can contact her using the contact page on this blog.

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