Two days later it was my birthday and my gorgeous posse of girlfriends gave me the most perfect present. A hot pink full body punching bag with gloves to match.
I had received a belligerent call from Mort who discovered that I had cleared out the foreign account. He ranted and raved and accused me of all sorts of deceit all the while dodging the issue of the fact that he had been trying to clear it out first. I explained that given the account was for the girls future education that is exactly what I was leaving it for. I had put it somewhere safe, every cent accounted for and was not going to touch the money. He didn’t even bother trying to respond with the same reply when asked what his intentions were for the money. The outraged tone quickly morphed into the “poor me”….and what was I doing to him….how was he supposed to survive.
I broke in that pristine punching bag with anger, wrath and pure loathing…..mixed with a good dose of fear and angst for how I was going to hold it all together.
The next night I attended an Al-Anon session as suggested by a friend. What I was going through was an experiential landscape so very foreign to me or my friends so someone had heard of these and thought maybe I would benefit from another avenue of support. Al- Anon is a support group for those that have been effected by alcoholism (not to be confused with alcoholics anonymous which are the sessions for the cause).
It was downright depressing. It was a small group of about 10, all different ages and demographics. Deeply scarring stories of woe, abusive fathers, husbands, mothers who just withered away into nothingness. Most of the people were regulars, they knew the ‘anthem’ by heart. I was left at the end feeling like a fraud. These people really needed each other and this arena to share. I didn’t and I felt almost rude by not shedding a tear when telling my own tale.
At the end a lovely lady came up, took both my hands in hers, looked straight into my eyes and said, “you are of value, you are of worth”… and I had to reply, “I know, I am 42, a great mum, and I have a bright pink punching bag”.
I walked out with self-confirmation that yes, I had a story, but that I was going to be the one floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee…..I was not, for a moment, for the sake of my girls, going to be the one face down on the mat.