I just wrote: “I feel like I’ve lost an entire year of my life but gained my entire future”.
What a complex feeling (by which I mean, shitty and confusing, of course). This last year has been a blur. A painful and heartbreaking year chock-full of mistakes…or growing pains, I suppose. A year in which I never thought I would survive yet now I am nearly thriving…nearly.
I want to to look back on our 16 year marriage with fondness. I want to tell people that we “just grew apart”. I want to say, “we are still such good friends”. But we aren’t…and I don’t want to be. And we didn’t grow apart…we never grew together. And there are few fond memories despite the fact that we almost always got along. And yes, I’d say that was one of the biggest problems and one of the things I have learned I need to work on.
I was watching The Americans and this scene comes on where a separated couple (Stan and Sandra Beeman) have a fight. Stan tries to do something to connect with his estranged wife…she isn’t impressed…he lies about his feelings and she calls him out on it by saying “This was the big problem in our marriage. You were always “yessing” me to avoid conflict and you weren’t being yourself“. He then tells her exactly how he feels and she walks away.
I watched this and felt like I was watching T and I having a fight…except that we never had that fight…because I was always yessing her…which means that clearly this past year has also brought growth for me. I can recognize issues that I brought into our marriage and work to not repeat them with others.
I’ve also spent time looking at T and asking myself if I am better off for knowing her? And…sadly…I struggle to answer that question…I hope in time that changes but for now…all I see when I look at T is the same insecure 17 year old girl who always plays the role of victim and desperately needs attention from everyone around her. And please don’t get me wrong, she has a number of great attributes I’m just not sure that any of them helped me grow.
So as I continue to reflect on this past year, and as I inch closer to the seemingly never ending struggle to get paperwork signed off by a judge to make this divorce official, I see a year marked by pain, sadness, and fear. And yet, as I look towards the future, I see a life full of joy, peace, and growth. Continual personal growth.
Yes, I’ve lost a year to divorce…but I’ve also gained a future.