Happiness is My Birth Right

Happiness is your birth right. Stop worrying how it looks. Be happy.

Why not?
It’s sad how we withhold that. Our happiness.

I’ve held mine hostage for a very long time and in the process tortured my husband.
You see I chose my own happiness about ten years ago. We both had young families. Mine was fourteen years old, just graduated from elementary school. We were moving six hours away that summer because I had found love. We were all so happy, plans were made, the schools were expecting my fourteen year old in the fall. House was bought, rental trucks booked. Then on mother’s day I got a shocker of a lifetime, my fourteen year old told me that this was not happening and in fact I would be going alone. I was devastated and pulled the mom card as hard as I could.

You see it had always just been the two of us since birth. The father spent the first Christmas in jail, an alcoholic who hadn’t found sobriety. I had to make the tough decision of keeping a family together and in constant pain or letting him go. I chose to let him go. I assumed full responsibility until he took me to court because he wanted more custody.  The court granted it. I felt helpless, no money to fight it in court. A judge actually granted access to a man who served time for drinking and driving on several occasions and in which he almost drove into a police car. So now I had to legally hand over my baby to this man. On multiple occasions my baby would share with me the accounts of the weekend and expressed how the car went wee and then wee from one side of the road to the other. Heart breaking to say the least or the countless times we waited and no one showed because something else came up. How do explain it to a child when you don’t understand it yourself.

So here I was years later and this same man who had not been in our lives for almost a year now somehow convinced our fourteen year old to live with him and not me. You see I felt we had a responsibility to find the father and for the two of them to spend time together before we left. I forced the issue even through resistance from my child. I knew it was the right thing to do. I located him and set up the visits.
I went to my family for support and my mother was very attentive and understanding. She stood with me and told me that my child would be better off with me and that there was finally a good father figure. Until after I moved. It seemed after I moved from my old world which I loved and thought was wonderful and safe, was just falling apart.
I ended up spending thousands of dollars of my new lovers money in court, on what I’m not sure of anymore. My Ex was seeking full custody, this after he told me to my face that our child wouldn’t amount to anything anyways after I expressed that I wanted a better life for our child. He still proceeded in the courts after telling me that “no it’s not my idea, why would I spend all of this money on something I didn’t want” When I asked him why he was doing this. During this process, my fourteen year old baby had been told not to be alone with me, and did just that. We’ve never been alone since.
I cried for many years over this and it still saddens my heart.
I sought out refuge with my family but now only received statements and questions like “what did you do? Why can’t you be alone with your child?” Instead of the softness I had endured a short time before, I was being judge and criticized. My family never did call, no one checked to see what happened. No one asked if I was OK and hasn’t to this day. Except for my Grandmother and oddly enough she had gone through something similar. She’d call and check in from time to time until her passing. I miss her dearly.
I was blocked from any interactions with my only child. I would call and somehow would never be available. I drove the six hours on multiple occasions and could never find where my baby was.

I held myself in prison and tortured myself everyday, never once believing that I was worthy of happiness of any sorts. I would catch myself every once in a while with a smile and remove it quickly.
It’s been ten years now. I married the man I found whom I was happy with all those years ago. Only my parents showed up with my niece on our wedding day, not one of my three siblings and their families came and my only child was a no show as well. What was to be a happy day in my life was shadowed by heartache and sadness. Yep it hurts. Why, I do not know – yet.

But I do know that staying in bed and wanting to die helps no one. I knew that when the day came and my baby needs me I had better be able to get out of bed. I had to trust that the fourteen years I did put in were good ones and after all it was me who taught the true life lessons, right from wrong. How to talk, to be kind, to be well mannered, and how to walk. I had to trust that it would all work out for the best.

I now know that my happiness is now my right. Those who are not happy with me, should not affect me and how I live my life. This is mine. There are still days I struggle with it, I’ll actually question myself why not loosen up and have fun, smile and laugh it’s OK, so goes the conversation in my head. There are times I miss my family, like at reunions that I don’t know about only find out afterwards from distant relatives. Seeing photos online of their happy faces and even seeing it in print that I do not exist, when questioned about a missing sister in the picture and the answer is no.
I’ve learned over the years that
you cannot expect people to know what they are not willing to learn.
I have always tried to do the right thing and to do my best. Included everyone whenever possible, saw the brighter side when among the shadows. Standing up for those who couldn’t and to whom felt alone, I would cheer them on. This time I’ve had to do it for myself.

And to the hero who’s never left my side, my friend. You are wonderful the courage it took to stay with me through all of this. The strength you had, to hold my hand in the darkness for reasons you had no idea of. To see past the sad and tough exterior shell I had, my unpopular body, aging ways and a stern tone. You have always known that I was worthy of happiness. Not easy at times, I’m sure and you even made me fight for us when you thought about leaving. You have filled the emptiness that I thought I had to keep empty. I apologize for dismissing that light you’ve put there. I’m sorry I kept throwing it out. I never believed I was worthy of such kindness. You never raised your voice to me, not once did you yell and tell me to change. You allowed the process to just happen. Your patience is from another world. Thank you. For so long you were my contradiction, I saw happiness in you, you made me smile but yet I blamed you for my sadness.
No more as I’ve grown my hair grey and wrinkles earned as badges of honour, I’m still here and so are you. I commit to my own happiness. I’ve learned that pride is OK to feel and it’s actually my super power.
I honour everyone in a sacred place in my heart however in the nearest and dearest is now me and right next to that is you. Thank you for loving me when I couldn’t love myself.

Being happy is a muscle that needs to be worked on like any other one.
It’s worth it.
I’m worth it.
I matter and the world needs me.  xo