The difference a year makes

Looking back on the past year, I’m surprised at how much I have changed. How much growth I’ve seen and how much sorrow I’ve survived. The most surprising thing though is how different my 16 year marriage looks to me now…versus how I viewed it when T first decided it was over.

As I go back and read through early journal entries I see so much fear and weakness in myself. I put so much of my identity in trying to be a husband and father that I was unable to see how miserable I was.

T saw it..I’ll give her that.

She said we were done and I thought I was done. I could never find someone to love again…as if I knew what love was. I would never make it on my own…as if I had any idea of what “on my own” would look like. I was destined to die, young and alone. And then a funny thing happened…I moved on pretty quickly.

T said she wanted to see other people and I knew she already was and somehow, despite my complete lack of self-awareness, I found enough pride and personal worth to dust off my shoes and walk away. It still hurt, don’t get me wrong, but my perspective changed. Suddenly I didn’t want to be with her anymore. She found someone else that she was happy with. She didn’t want me…so why sit around and mourn her? I wouldn’t. And it was only a short time later that I didn’t.

And now I look back and see how sad our relationship was. Again, I want to clarify, we both tried and did the best we could but it was an unfulfilling marriage. In my journal I listed off 7 things that I loved about T. 4 of the 7 were about her looks. 4 out of 7 were superficial pointless vanity filled reasons. And the other 3 had to do with her treatment of my children and her treatment of the girls she works with (she is a great mother and advocate). I sat there realizing how sad both T and I must have been if the things I admired most about her were her pretty face.

I also saw how much blame I put on myself. And realized how much time T spent tearing me down. Telling me how depressed I was and how rude/unsocial I was. And in fairness,  that’s how I acted when I was around her. What came first? The judgement or the actions? Hardly matters now that it’s over.

I now see T as often wanting to be the victim. It’s T against the world. It’s how she thrived…and I became her enabler. I never stood up to her. I never called her out. I was so afraid that any misstep would cause her to leave me that I was never authentic with her, or myself for that matter. And then she left anyway. In many ways I am grateful to her for having the strength to leave. She had checked out of our marriage years earlier and I was unable to see that I had barely checked into life.

One year later, I’m growing…trying new things…adventuring…and gaining confidence. I’m learning to communicate with others, despite the risk of offending (losing) them. I’m learning to hear my own voice, my own needs, my own feelings and finding freedom.

Now that she is gone there is a strange sense of relief. It isn’t a particularly pleasant feeling but it’s relief. It reminds me of when a migraine headache starts to fade away…there is this feeling of relief mixed in with a memory of the pain. It’s all still there…mashed together…yet  each time the pain fades a new feeling of strength fills its place. I’ve come a long way and I have a long way to go and I’m exited for my future.

The difference a year makes

Betrayal

are our children enough
to cover your sins
when you don’t deserve
to be my friend 

you quit
you’re a quitter
and fuck you for quitting 

I hate betrayal
such selfish self care

as you can’t see past your pain
to see all the pain 

so much you have caused
and yet we remain
friends
or friendly
or a waste of my breath 

I think I might hate you
I probably should
but A, K, and B…
and me…

and…

once again I’ll cry
and maybe I’ll sleep
tomorrow I’ll forget everything
pillows soak up so many tears
and you

so many years 

 

Betrayal

Somewhere

Somewhere I tried to scale your wall
built before we even met
inside your heart to find
lonely and neglect.

Instead a role was assigned
and I fit right in
each sip, each word, destiny fulfilled
to be another left behind
as you grow
alone

The hardening of your soul
as you refuse to be hurt
and you hurt and are hurting

And somewhere there is a key
an answer to your puzzle
but I am just another

A life that once was
will you forgive
for all that I’ve done

I won’t apologize and
I won’t beg

I’m not your family now

I can walk away although I can’t leave
and I walk away and leave
pieces of a broken heart. Family. 

You cry and I cry and we never cry together
another reason
another excuse
why

And I ask and you wonder and wander and I ask
and it’s late and it’s tired and it’s over.

So I step back from your wall and slowly gaze up
and realize I never could

Some walls aren’t meant to be climbed
some souls aren’t meant to be combined
and you and I are better off

somewhere.

Somewhere

I am scared

Finalized the details of our divorce. In the middle of mediation I realized I felt angry at T and blamed her for making us go through this. I also realized the hypocrisy  of this anger because I want this divorce too.

I’m scared. So very scared. To be alone…to be responsible…that we are messing our kids up…to have to find a new home…and figure out how to fill a spice rack? Tonight I found myself lost…staring at all our spices and wondering how I was going to figure out which spices I want in MY home.

I can laugh about it now…but I also have to recognize that the fear was real. I also don’t trust myself to make good decisions. I’ve often allowed the pain and fear to control me. I numb myself to survive. And I am so sad and scared and lonely…yet I am not alone and I am often happy…and occasionally brave and now, in this moment, I am scared.

I am scared

Letting Go

This morning I emailed T very vulnerable thoughts. So many tears as I typed a goodbye letter to my friend. I hope she is able to hear what I was trying to say. It felt good to get me thoughts down on paper. It helped cut back the angry hurt I felt from last night and remind me that I will always love her.

Yesterdays pain has turned to sadness and these tears are healthy.

Letting Go

Let go

I haven’t written lately because I wasn’t feeling much. I felt I came to a great place for our divorce. A place of peace. Understanding. Yes emotional peaks and valleys continue to flow though and still I felt peace. Today however I’m hurting.

Came back from a week in Mexico really missing my friend and really wanting to connect with her…but she wasn’t/isn’t there. The distance T puts on us hurts me. I don’t want to fight. I don’t want to be angry. But we do and I am.

I want to be able to hold her and tell her it will be ok…I want to spend a brief few moments in peace with her. Breathing. Calm. Together.

I need to let those feeling go.
I need to let my friend go.
And it breaks my heart.

I try to focus on her negative side and it just makes me angry. And when I see her it just makes me miss the fun moments we shared.

Tomorrow morning I will say good bye to our friendship, hopefully temporarily. It’s necessary. I am not being fair to her to try and force a friendship while our relationship is ending. She can have and want distance and that is ok.

I am in pain.

Let go

The Freedom Paradox

I am on this strange journey of alone. It’s a freedom and a jail cell combined. I see myself growing into the man I want to be and I also see myself hiding and running from the pain.

There are two versions of myself in a battle right now. One will ultimately win. And I…I will live or die based on who I become.

I am the happiest I have been in years and in that happiness I carry a heavy weight of sadness. A paradox to be sure. An impossible combination…almost. And yet, its there. Happy-Sadness and Sad-Sadness. But happy.

The sadness is good and valuable. To mourn the loss of my friend, my wife, my companion for literally half of my life is normal and healthy. And so too is the joy and confidence that comes with the freedom and responsibility to make my own decisions.

Through this process I’ve learned that 2 things I put a high value on are commitment and friendships. This is why divorce is an impossible task. But it’s necessary. Maybe not 100%, however, we were not in a healthy marriage and now…now we at least have the opportunity to be friends.

I am still holding on to hope that, in time, after we spend some much needed time apart, we will come back to a place of deep friendship. I believe this is possible…after all, I make a really good friend ;).

I am free to be happy and I am free to run. But I will not be happy if I keep running. Hiding. Scared.

The Freedom Paradox