I’m not allowed to feel


It’s only been 3 days and apparently the role of a single person — single parent — is to have one’s feelings dictated: I’m not allowed to feel what I want to feel.

Oh you must be so sad

I know you’re just hanging on for the kids

Don’t worry, you’ll get back together when you’ve had a little break

& so on…

And I’m not sad, and I’m not ‘just’ hanging on for the kids, and I’m not planning on getting back together with Karl, and yet this gets the look. The raised eyebrow. The “there there dear” pat on the shoulder.

I am angry. I am lost in a world where the ‘me’ that everyone knows is defined by my relationship and my past. I am feeling exposed and vulnerable because everything that gives me comfort and keeps me secure is flailing in the wind.

But I am not fucking sad.

Posted in Personal

9 comments so far

  1. Raven Dunn said:
    On May 8, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    I may not be a common commenter, however, I firstly wanted to express to you that you have been my idol since the qbee days (about a decade ago now – sheeesh). You inspired me to build a career in web design/development. And today you inspire me further, on a whole separate matter.

    You’re building new armor from the wreckage of your faulting comforts. This response oozes with strength.

    (And now for the actual comment …) You get ’em, girl. :)

  2. Aisling said:
    On May 8, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    I know what you mean about being defined by your past. It takes ages for people to start to judge you for who you are today and not who you were, and it’s frustrating as hell. But I’ve never thought of you as an extension of another person. From where I stand it’s always been very clear that you are who you are.

    Feel what you feel and don’t let others define it. If you want. ;)

  3. Sarah said:
    On May 8, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    This was the worst bit. People want to console but they don’t fucking have a clue about what to say (or in this case not say).

    Dear people who fall into this category,
    Just be available, listen and/or maybe buy this lady a drink.
    Someone Who Has Been Here

  4. Karl said:
    On May 8, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    The kids are a constant and will always be. Myself, I find them endlessly comforting and cheering. They love us both evenly, unjudgingly, unquestioningly, unreservedly, and hugely.

    Even though I am at least partly responsible for the crap you’re going through, I’m hoping one day we can lay this firmly in the past, and remake our friendship, as well as being parents to 2 kids, but this time follow their example and get the friend bit right from the off.

    But right now, yes you’re angry. With me, and more. And so you bloody should be. I’m pretty damn angry too, with the same, but not massively with you. A bit, right now..but not massively.

    A LOT is flapping, but not everything. It’s the same this end. The lights will come back on, and we’ll always have the kids to make us smile and keep us sane and remind us that some things in this life are good..and right now, as you’ve said to me…we just need to crack on and keep going

  5. Amber said:
    On May 8, 2014 at 11:59 pm

    Your past doesn’t define you. It is what you do with the present tht defines your future. You have every right to feel as you want to feel. I don’t blame you for not wanting to feel sad. You need to feel the feelings you want to feel.

  6. Jennifer said:
    On May 9, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    I have often found that such comments are often said on behalf of the person who offers them.

    I think you may be a little younger than me, but I sort of want to be you when I grow up. Of all the women in my age group that I’ve interacted with, however shallowly, I think you are one of the most determined, certainly the most proactive in terms of doing what needs to be done. How many people start their own home business because it’s a better option as far as childcare? You will be, and I’m sure already are, an excellent single mum. You will take the title “single mum” and beat the world into submission with it.

    I just want to add that I understand that this is a mutual split, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be furious about it. It also doesn’t mean you can’t feel sad or lost or hurt. And it sure as hell doesn’t mean that you have to be besties. Only you can determine how close you want to be now; don’t let society or “for the kids” put you in a position that you aren’t happy with. My parents tried it for a few months and it was a fucking disaster. Most wounds won’t heal if you’re scratching at them all the time. Perhaps yours will; we’re all different.

    Take care of yourself, Jem.

  7. Jenn said:
    On May 12, 2014 at 2:41 am

    I am so sorry for what you’re going through, because while I have not been there myself I can only imagine that this time must be crazy: upsetting, chaotic, frustrating, etc. I wish you and the kids the best!

  8. Janet said:
    On May 12, 2014 at 7:34 am

    You are allowed to feel whatever you feel. The people who presume to know are expecting you to be sad because, well, a lot of things in the world tell us that sadness is the only normal feeling you can have at the end of a relationship. But normal is overrated and reality is always different from our expectations. If you feel pissed, that’s fine. If you feel confused, that’s fine. If you feel excited or scared or anything else, that’s fine. If folks say something that annoys you or makes you want to scream, then it’s okay to tell them to shut up. Just be yourself and feel what you feel and screw what others expect from you.


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