October Triggers

I read a lot about triggers. Usually it’s the betrayed spouse who is trying to reconcile. Here is a lesser known fun fact: Did you know that you can divorce and still experience triggers?

October has been ripe with them. It’s probably not October, per se. It’s just that I’ve been out and about and well, it’s October.

People are starting to share senior pictures of their kids. The pictures are beautiful. The smiles are wide. The parents are so proud.

The mobster’s daughter is in full blown senior mode, making it a point to not miss one minute of her senior year. Last week was Homecoming and she and her friends were dressing up for Spirit Week. They had so much fun planning what to wear and picking out the outfits. She opted to go to the Homecoming game instead of a Kane Brown concert. She is loving every minute of her senior year. She doesn’t like talking about graduation because she doesn’t want it to end. I don’t blame her. She’s got a great life- fantastic friends and a full social calendar (plus an amazing dad!).

All of this makes me feel so sad for what my own daughter lost. Her senior year was nothing big to her. Unlike T, she couldn’t wait for it to be over. She was graduating with these people she had known a year, not six years. She didn’t have fantastic friends, or rather, all of her fantastic friends were hundreds of miles away. Her social life didn’t exist.

Maybe it’s all an illusion. Maybe if we had stayed in Virginia and she had graduated from her original high school she would have felt the exact same way. I don’t tend to believe that, though. She loved it there. She loved her friends. She loved cheering and competing in high school gymnastics. These would have been people she would have spent four years with, from freshman year through senior. She would have finished what she started. Instead she was moved and forced to start all over. She couldn’t have cared less about her senior year, and it makes me so sad because high school had started out so promising for her.

Fortunately, she’s happy now, and I am crossing my fingers that nothing will derail her at college. I am hopeful that college will be the amazing experience she should have had in high school.

You would think that would be enough as far the triggers go but you would be wrong. Starting in September, possibly earlier, the stores start hauling out their decorations- Halloween, fall, Thanksgiving, Christmas. Yeah, I can’t believe they have Christmas stuff out either.

I can tolerate the Christmas stuff. I’ve always decorated for Christmas, even when I had my own apartment years and years ago. But the Halloween and fall decorations always make my heart ache just a bit.

You see, I was very bored and lonely when we moved from Utah to Virginia. I had nothing to do so I decided I would decorate for the first time in our lives. Like, really decorate. It started off with me deciding to decorate the porch for fall and to decorate the inside with Halloween decorations for the first time ever.

I decorated the hell out of the house. I had different bathroom rugs for every holiday, every season. Different hand towels, too. My sofa table was where most of the decorations resided, but I also decorated in the dining room and the formal living room.

Now, every year I am bombarded with all the different Halloween and fall decorations and it reminds me of all I lost. I had a home to decorate and now I don’t. I spent all this money to make our house look lovely and in the end it was a waste of time and money because all of those things were sold off for pennies on the dollar.

I know I shouldn’t miss things, but I do. I do my best to focus on what the future will bring. I tell myself that I will once again have a home of my own and I can decorate that space from scratch. Nothing from the old life will taint the new. Best of all I don’t have to worry about losing it because it will be mine.

Nonetheless, those triggers are a bitch. Even when you’re divorced.

4 thoughts on “October Triggers

  1. I get it. I’m sorry. Triggers blow! I think sometimes about how content I was doing the little things like decorating for holidays or deciding what kind of new wreath I’d like for the door, or what holidays traditions I wanted out children to have an expect in their comfortable family life. I always think of it as the warm amber glow of home. My joy of doing and planning these simple things has turned into fear and worry that I’ll be able to do anything, have anything, or be able to enjoy any of it. It’s all stress these days and wondering stuff like…am I just going to have to tell them Santa isn’t real so they understand why they aren’t going to get nearly as much….would that be better than just thinking they were bad this year. So yeah…triggers as the holidays begin. I understand you completely.

    I bet your daughter is going to have a great year! Everyone is new and she has a chance to start over as her own choice. She’ll meet people who have had similar things happen and she will begin to feel excited like she was before again. It’s just heartbreaking watching them have to go through so many things as children. I can’t imagine how that feels. I was lucky enough to have parents who stayed committed to each other.

    Hugs to you!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. As a child of Forces patents, we moved house every 1-2 years when I was growing up. I remember so clearly the trauma of leaving friends behind and having to start all over again in a new place. So hard! Glad your daughter seems to be having fun now at college.

    Liked by 1 person

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