the circus

My mind is quiet. My broken, beating heart is calm. My house is happy, my son is carefree. The sun shines bright inside our house even on cloudy days. My son feels safe, and he is open, confident and loving. He hardly has any tantrums or outbursts.

I’ve been so torn up by the fact that my husband left us, that he financially, emotionally, physically abandoned us. I have been so angry by the fact that he continues to lie to me about the woman he cheated on me with. I have been so obsessive over her and thinking about the secret moments they share, wondering what she knows about me… wondering what lies he has told her about me. I have been so frozen with panic at the thought of my narcissistic, alcoholic and emotionally abusive husband having (read: taking) my son.

I have been so furiously creating (and recovering) from such angst that I didn’t realize until now the beautiful silence my husband gave us when he left. Of course it wasn’t his intention to give us anything, right? But the quiet calm that he left in his wake…

I realize I’ve been in a circus for 9 years. Flying monkeys, roaring tigers, scary dancing clowns, flaming hoops that I had to jump through, loud whimsical music, a dark tent that forgets the sunlight, the list goes on. It became my new normal. It is what I came to expect, to live with, to deal with. It is what I accepted as my life, my future. And I owned it. And until he left us and took his circus with him, I was raising my son in the middle of it.

How far I fell from reality during those 9 years.

The noise has stopped. The noise. All of the noise has left my mind. No panicked “I’m sorry” responses to the aggressive outbursts, throwing things, punching things, yelling and shaking fists, breaking things, leaving “before he does something he’ll regret.” No anxious minutes, hours, days where I am waiting on something to happen, waiting to forget something, to say something or to do something wrong.

It has all stopped. The noise is gone.

Sometimes it is hard to live without the noise… I was so used to it. I wake up with a quiet mind most days and sometimes I don’t know what to do. I find myself reacting to the slightest comment, recoiling at a family member’s innocent and unrelated observation or question. It’s like I’m waiting for someone to attack me.

But no one in my new circle wants to attack me. No one wants to tear me down. And my son? He has so much care-free confidence. In our circus days, my son would have regular meltdowns over nothing, like most kids, of course is what I thought. Now he still has meltdowns, but they are few. His noise has left, too.

We are quiet, and we are confident in our new (smaller) family. We love without due, we give without keeping score, we live our days thankfully and in the moment.

We are happy, and our minds are quiet.