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Journal Entry, 20021121
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spacer I was at a divorce recovery workshop the other day. They were talking about the holidays, and how many divorced folks have some of their worst fits of depression around this time of year. These feelings are typically amplified when kids are involved and are off with the other parent.

Describe my situation, why don't ya?

This will be the second Christmas that I've not had the kids. They will be off with their mother for the break. I really didn't need that reminder just at that point. As some of you might know, I've been trying to do a bit of e-Dating of late, and it's not going real well. Just that morning, I'd gotten yet another "You've sent me mail several times, I'm not interested" type of messages. To be reminded that I'd be without my kids over this gift-giving, lovey-dovey, Debeer's commercial laden holiday in addition to begin alone didn't sit well with me.

My family has been trying to help some. In partial reaction to my visitation schedule (partially due to the fact that one of my two sisters has to work on Christmas), my own mother has "moved up" Christmas to Thanksgiving for all of us. Has been a bit hectic in that I've got to get all the Christmas shopping done ASAP to do the gift exchange -vs- the gift email.

That's great for Thanksgiving. I'll be well and truly entertained for that day. Then I'll have another month of fretting over what the kids will be doing on their Christmas break. I'll simultaneously be planning what kind of trouble I can get into while they are gone (darn little, if the past is any indicator... any ideas?).

Its not just that they'll be gone. Its that their absence denotes again that this change of life, divorce, has continued to hurt me far more than I thought it would. Several months ago now, I wrote my last formal divorce journal entry, I'd almost come to believe that I had moved on.

Then, coming out of my divorce class, I went and rounded up the boys at their divorce class. They'd just drawn pictures that were titled "A Gift of Time". On these drawings, they were supposed to draw pictures that showed how they liked to spend time with the parent that they didn't live with.

Kevin drew a picture of a TV, along with a game boy type control pod, sitting on top of his mother's bed at her house.

David drew, monkey-see-monkey-do, a very similar picture with a caption of "I miss you" on the bottom.

Both pictures were quite touching and made me think, not for the first time, that they missed their mother much more than they ever let on to me. It's sad to think that I'll never be a "complete" package for them and what they need. I know that I cannot be both, but without those pictures, I was under the delusion that I wasn't doing too bad.

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