This is the first Thanksgiving that I won’t be with my son. I’m going to leave turkey for a weekend in the Florida Keys. –

Courtesy of Heidi Borst

  • For the first time in 13 years, I am single over Thanksgiving and my son will be with his father.

  • Instead of hosting, I have decided to travel to the Florida Keys without family.

  • I am starting new traditions as I continue to process and heal from my divorce.

When I was growing up, my family did not observe most holidays. So when I started celebrating them on my own as an adult, I was like a baby trying ice cream for the first time.

The novelty and excitement have not disappeared. For over a decade I have hosted Thanksgiving dinner, bake Maple Pumpkin Pies, Caramel Apple Bourbon Pecans from scratch; roast a buttered herb-stuffed turkey; and perfecting the b├ęchamel for my macaroni and cheese. The day has become a ritual of indulgence that satisfies the soul.

But this year will be different.

my son will be with his dad

For the first time in 13 years I am single and my only son will be with his dad this Thanksgiving.

Last year, our separation was new, and we celebrate together, awkwardly. It’s a strange feeling to be a visitor in your old home; over a year later, i still feel uncomfortable there.

I knew it was time to move on, to start new traditions, but I’m still rebuilding and my circle is small. Instead of looking for a friend’s Thanksgiving, I’m spending the weekend with my former therapist in the Florida Keys.

Realizing I needed to break things off with my son’s father

Over the last few decades I have seen a series of therapists, trying to attribute my unhappiness to anything but its real source. Each time I got inches closer to the truth. But I was terrified to admit that my marriage wasn’t working.

Even when I finally accepted reality, I was too afraid to do anything about it. But the pressure of acting like everything was fine, when it was the opposite, was exhausting. I was numb, disconnected from my emotions and living a life that felt like a lie.

Rubber hit the road during the pandemic. I felt like I was slowly disappearing and that if I didn’t make a change, there would be nothing left of me. But even if I had wanted to leave at that point, there would have been nowhere to go. In a new state without connections, he would go out alone for hours every day in introspection.

My therapist and I became friends.

Eventually, I regurgitated details about the same old dilemma to a new therapist. Until then, I had convinced myself to stay the course to preserve my family’s unity. But this time there was a change. After a few sessions, I realized that I had talked all I needed to. It was time to come up with an exit plan.

Not having to continue acting anymore was a relief. But my heart broke, and still breaks, for my son, whose world was turning upside down. My marriage had broken down for a while and I knew that was affecting my son as well. Until that moment, I had convinced myself that staying married was best for my son, but that was no longer true. Modeling an unhealthy relationship for him was not the right choice.

I told my therapist over the phone about my decision as I packed up my belongings: one foot in my old life, one foot in the new. As we discussed the way forward, she shared some details about her own divorce. The similarities between our experiences were amazing.

That’s when I knew our paths had crossed for a reason. I asked him if we could end our professional relationship and be friends. She did not hesitate to say: “Let’s do it!”

On this journey to discover where I belong, I am so grateful to have her in my corner.

Read the original article at Well-informed person

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