As the Tides Flow in and Out – So Do Emotions (Part 1)
I haven’t taken the time to write on Solgave for awhile now. It’s taken a few months for everything to have both “happened” and “sunk in.”
There are two versions of this story, and two people and children who could use positive intention. I need to make a strong disclaimer, that this blog site was established as a safe place to share experiences and individual growth ON THE OTHER SIDE of pain, or struggle, or challenges.
Since launching this blog site dedicated to being as transparent as one can and should get, there is a deep catalog of two individuals processing life in what I see, and maybe I am biased, as a beautiful and raw way.
It’s almost impossible to write honestly about something when you are in the middle of a storm, because all we can really do is try not to get wet.
It takes time and perspective to even begin to get a vantage point that is somewhat objective.
I have not wrote a lot about the specifics of what happened in mid November, but I’m going to be in a specific blog about that topic as I try to help others who may be struggling to find their way. I’m working on a new category on this site dedicated to that very topic. I don’t have a lot of positive experiences yet, so that category is not in place YET, but my hope is to start writing weekly about my growth through this PROCESS I am undertaking.
There may be some vagueness and ambiguities to anyone not really dialed into the lives of those associated with this blog, but again, I will only be sharing MY PERSPECTIVE and trying to make it as spiritually guided and honest as possible.
It’s dangerous territory to sit down at a keyboard with hurts still fresh, resentments raw, or guilt over actions done still brewing in the kettle of all that comes with the territory.
Today is just the beginning, and as I sit here pre dawn I have no guided intention on where to take this, except I felt called to push something out so that others could come behind it.
Throughout the course of my life I have had to keep my eyes keenly focused on what achilles heel, and if I take my eyes off of it, it has reared it’s head up eventually. Again, that will be a blog category all it’s own soon so that I can honestly express the growth side of that journey.
This isn’t a car wreck, and no rubber necking is necessary.
I want to be delicate and sensitive to all involved.
My name is Jared, and I am living in the United States of America after what some would call a “surreal” 3 year period of life.
Boy meets girl in London. Boy falls in love. Girl is younger. Girl lives in beautiful Sweden near the fjord. Boy was just weeks from leaving an ex wife he had spent 11 years with (7 married) and girl had been separated from a boyfriend she lived with in another country for just 8 weeks prior to my arrival.
Social media was taken by the storm of this unique story. Our first 8 days were on a narrow boat and we were cosmically connected in ways I still can’t fully explain as I try to pen them out in another writing project where I’m back in that period of our life. It was magical, let me just say that.
Every action was not guided by mind, or thoughts, buy by instinct and heart.
Through sheer determination to not be split up, we furiously set out to start a brand and a vision, and it ended up being called Solgave. An ethos, or a philosophy on the values of the world we shared. It led to contracts in two countries where we had visit home children meet us at the farm where she lived with her mother and beautiful young daughter.
My wife and I were onto something. My life story, which at the time was not fully known (the darker underside of the coin at least) was in the beginning a catalyst for Solgave. It was about forgiveness, and giving people who had not had a fair shake in life a second chance, people who had struggled to overcome something and not had success in traditional channels might find success here, a chance to see healing through the powerful geography and magic that science was only tapping into recently, therapeutic uses of animals.
Well, in one paragraph catch up, a baby boy I never thought I could have or would have was conceived around my birthday. We decided to chart our own course and with some market research looked into launching an animal care business in Northwest Arkansas, a booming economic center in the middle of the US that I had spent 20 years working in and around.
These are foot notes or foot prints to a story that is deeply embedded in dozens, if not well over 100 blogs that tell this story of ours, and it’s one I always say is stranger than fiction.
International love stories always involve extreme highs and lows. The travel and new cultures are intoxicating and have value, and they always leave someone behind.
Our move to the US meant a grandma who was left without a soul grand daughter, and by soul I mean she had been there nearly since birth and that connection was strong. It was tough on that side of the globe to see us go, and fast forward a year and half later and we went through the same thing again.
A full year of school for the young one, a business that launched from nothing and into a competitive and growing business model with community service engagements that made us very unique to the region, if not the US, was left behind along side another set of grandparents trying to make sense of the sudden departure back to Europe.
Unless we settled into England or Australia, our situation is one where one family is always, always going to be very disconnected. It’s just the way it is. And that’s the tough part of international love stories, especially if resources make travel back and forth tough and in a small business startup period (first 3-4 years) you can’t expect to have a lot of extra during your early growth years.
So emotions. I witnessed the gravity of them on the other side when we left, I felt the pull of them here when we left the driveway towards Chicago.
Grandparents are almost collateral damage in a way, and in our differing cultures and ideologies that was something that a complex aspect of our relationship.
The simple facts are we have two beautiful young souls, and two very unique sets of grandparents who love these children with everything they have.
Yes, I’ve seen and felt the emotions from that perspective.
Then I got to go through some of the same myself. Our counselor brought up that you can compare it to the actual stages of grief that happen with the loss of life. It’s not uncommon to emotionally go through the five stages of Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance.
Again, I’m going to start a blog category that shares MY JOURNEY, not my wife’s or my children’s BUT MY JOURNEY only because I think it might help others who are finding their way through the shadows of similar life paths.
The decision to suddenly come to the US for a break happened after my early process of recovery that has had some unique bumps along the way, bumps that are not unique to me, and if addressed become part of a larger picture of growth.
So after designing a business where I would not miss a single moment of my little boy’s life, or step daughters….I got on a plane and without a time table decided I would come to the US and put efforts into myself and the business.
I had NO IDEA HOW HARD THE FIRST FEW STAGES WOULD BE. For 3 years we have never spent a day apart, not my wife and I nor my presence around the children.
So without even knowing it, I entered the stages of grief. Denial is strong, and carries you awhile. Then comes anger over the situation. Then bargaining. Then a period of depression. And at the very end of this journey that is no different for anyone dealing with grief of the loss of loved ones and make no mistake about it, grandparents, parents, and husbands and wives who suddenly lose people from their life (3D, everyday life with contact daily) go through grief.
Some may disagree big time, but I belief in my own experience and perception that I stepped through each of these stages to the best of my ability. I know that my wife has done the same, and again, I won’t speak about her or for her EVER in any blog I write about my journey.
Everyone involved is doing the best they can with that they can. (their now instincts, their conditioning, their modeling of their own parents, their culture, their spirit) Everyone is DOING THE BEST THEY CAN WITH WHAT THEY HAVE TODAY.
In periods of anger, I spout out things that don’t align with that, but that’s what anger is.
I’m coming out of the depression and realizing what I can control and what I can’t. I wish 100 things were different today, but they can’t be because they are outside the hoola hoop over my head.
Our marital separation is just that, a period of separation and nothing more until decided otherwise.
I know as I sit here and type this I can be a father to my son, and I HOPE to be a father to my soul step daughter (soul connection) because that role, the role of father, is the one I believe God, or let’s say The Universe meant for me to be.
It’s something I waited 40 years for, and this temporary break would not have happened if I had done some things differently.
That story is one I will begin to tell soon and it’ll be in chronological order starting in the middle of the summer just before we moved.
Again, it’ll only be about my psychology, history, hopes, and struggles that came roaring into focus mid November in a house in Sweden. People were effected deeply, and decisions were made that I don’t agree with but have to accept. It was my actions, and it was not our home or my home we were living in. I was in a foreign country, and everyone was scared for different reasons.
Again, I want to honor those involved and will rarely speak of them, and never about them, this is my story.
For the first time since it all happened I felt that yesterday I had come out of the depression part of the grieving process. Accepted that I missed the first words “mama” and that “papa” is not something he’s going to say right now. It hurt to think he’s not learning English as planned in an international home. It hurt to just not be there when everyone woke up every day. It hurt to not be there when Gabi took off on a bicycle for the first time. The “dad” moments that we wait our whole lives for.
But I am accepting it, because it’s my reality.
Sunniva and I did not live in a home that was our own, so I had to be sensitive and respectful of the feelings of everyone. And if my presence or the energy of Sunniva and I at that time was deemed less than ideal for the homeowner, I have to respect that like my own place I live in now, it’s a safe sanctuary and I compromised that.
This writing journey for me has no outline, no guideline, but a promise to be sensitive to the people involved or characters that are part of this narrative that are not me.
My name is Jared Ritter, and I have had a lot of successes in my life, and plenty of failures. I’ve been very resilient, and I think despite the perceptions of others (or some at least) I have handled the adversity very well.
I am a student of psychology and my own self actualization, so like everyone, I know myself better than anybody on the planet. We all should, if self aware, and I know my weaknesses really really good. I know my strengths really really good.
I’ve hit 2000 words and need to get to some other things related to my day, but I wanted to share some things and lay the outline for filling in some gaps of what I think is one of the most beautiful, honest, raw, real stories out there in the world….it’s one called Solgave.
Don’t confuse it with an animal care company…:)….this is a story about a family and it’s desire to face things head on, and see change and adaptability as part of life.
I’ll finish this piece on the emotions and what could be perceived easily as manic behavior during a fairly traumatic serious of events.
It’s unusual to move across the world with one bag and a few days notice or thought but it was decided that would be best and at that point all I had was faith that things will end up as they should, with us together again soon.
And about a month into my journey, I realized that Option B was not that bad either. Raising my son with my wife, as a co-parent and it would mean me relocating to Sweden for the rest of my life (or Norway) to be the dad I was put on Earth to be.
Thank you for our friends, our family, and those that just wonder what the hell is going on.
I’m willing to be as transparent as possible in this new blog category I’ll start in a couple of weeks. I’m no different than anyone on the planet who’s facing something, my story got put into the virtual headlines so to speak but that’s sort of how I laid things out as trying to dance the dance of being honest but not so raw that you effect others inadvertently.
My hopes today are to rebuild a friendship with someone named Sunniva, mother of my son Neo and step daughter Gabi.
My hopes are that the families can communicate.
My hopes are that I can see them this summer along with their other grandparents here in the US.
My hopes are that I keep taking steps forward, not backwards.
One of my mentors gave me a visual that I can’t get out of my head. People like me, with minds like me, are on an escalator and it’s going down. Imagine being in the middle of it and walking up. If you walk at a normal pace….you stand still.
If you take some big steps, you walk up the escalator going DOWN, BUT IF YOU STAND ON YOUR LAURELS, or take anything for granted, or pause too long, what happens?
You will go down the steps without even stepping backwards.
This journey is about a life long process and steps moving in one direction. Forward.