In the Blood

“How much of my mother has my mother left in me?
How much of my love will be insane to some degree?
And what about this feeling that I’m never good enough?
Will it wash out in the water, or is it always in the blood?
How much of my father am I destined to become?
Will I dim the lights inside me just to satisfy someone?
Will I let this woman kill me, or do away with jealous love?
Will it wash out in the water, or is it always in the blood?
I can feel love the I want, I can feel the love I need
But it’s never gonna come the way I am
Could I change it if I wanted, can I rise above the flood?
Will it wash out in the water, or is it always in the blood?” – In the Blood, John Mayer
The lyric from this song that rings the most true for me is “Will I dim the lights inside me just to satisfy someone?” Apparently, I will but, only for so long. So, this is deeply personal and not exactly running related but I’ll come back to running at the end. As many of you know and the rest of you may have figured out, my husband and I are separated. I moved out with the kids in January and we’ve been living in a rental townhouse with just the three of us and the two dogs, sweet Pepper stayed with him. My husband is an immensely private person and I don’t want to violate his privacy so I won’t say too much about it. It wasn’t traumatic. It wasn’t some awful thing that caused this. It was death by a thousand cuts over a number of years. We’re still trying to be friendly. It’s hard on all of us but I knew I needed to do this.
To use a children’s movie as an analogy for my life, if you’ve ever seen the movie “Trolls”, I am a Princess Poppy and my husband is a Bergen. Princess Poppy can be a lot to take if you don’t like to sing and dance and throw glitter around. Neither one of us was living as our true selves and it was taking a toll on everyone in our family. Ripping the band-aid off of my marriage was the hardest thing I have ever done.
I am coming out, so to speak, because we’ve sold our marital home (finally) and we’re all moving on to the new chapter in our lives. To quote Taylor “we’re never, ever getting back together” so it was time to come clean and avoid the awkwardness of this not being common knowledge. And, in a way, this brings me back to running. Without my marathon training, my Oiselle teammates and my Fleet Feet family, I wouldn’t be in as good of a place as I am right now. My marathon training suffered because I am now a single mother with residential custody of my special needs children who has to cobble together what I can to run but I made it work. I am also perpetually exhausted. My Oiselle teammates have offered invaluable advice and support, as many have been down this road before. My Fleet Feet family and, especially my core group of badass women in the back of the pack, have sustained me. We’ve spent hours running together, all alone, with ample time to talk. They’ve made me laugh. They’ve kept me from crying.
In many ways, being single is easier. I do what I want without commentary (hello, tattoo number 4). I have to do everything but I did everything before and, now, I don’t have to hear any negativity. But, in many ways, it is so much harder than I imagined. Finding out Colin is on the autism spectrum has been heart wrenching and I’ve had to navigate it on my own. Parenting teenage Carly on the daily by myself is harder than I thought it would be. This world is also made for couples. I am 46 and I have been half of a couple for 25 years (although we haven’t been very couple-like for the past few years). How do you do the world without being a couple? I really don’t know. My friend, Sarah, says I am a couple person and I will be one again. I want this to be true.
I’m scared and content all at the same time. This process is much like running a marathon (maybe a 100 mile ultra marathon in the Mojave Desert) because I feel elated and like I am flying (like foolishly running with the 4:45 pacer during Chicago), I have my rage miles, I have many self-pity miles, I have my stubborn AF I’m going to finish this miles, I have my faith in humanity miles with all the support I get and the good things I see every day just like high fiving all the kids on a marathon course and seeing the spectators’ signs of encouragement. Many people who are stronger than me have navigated this course before. So many people have survived the marathon of a divorce. We’re all going to be okay.

2 thoughts on “In the Blood

  1. Huge love to you and your family Kelly, and thank you for putting on the brave face and sharing such a vulnerable time. Your open, honest take makes me want to rally behind you even MORE.

    And wow. I sure hope your now-former husband never tried to eat you to gain your happiness! (Yes, I’ve seen “Trolls.”)


    • kellyjpollock says:

      Fortunately, he didn’t try to eat me! Some people just become incompatible but it’s hard to leave the safety of the institution of marriage. Thank you for your support!

      Liked by 1 person

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