My Divorce Saved My Life

Part II – Divorce

I never met a man that both pulled me out of my introverted cave and made me want to run into it all at once.  He was the soul of kindness, tenderness, and gentleness.  He was protective and patient.  I felt safe and scared all at the same time.  It was exhilarating.

I not only trusted him with my body, I trusted him with my secrets.  My fears.  The stories that haunted me.  Deep wounds of being molested, ignored, unappreciated, unseen, unheard, desperate, and haunting tales of a little girl struggling to become a woman, to find her place in this world.  He listened, and he gave me a place in his world.  That was all It was the best feeling in the world.

I had a solid definition of myself then.  Not because of him, because of me.  I remember being clear about what was important to me, standing for what I wanted, and committed to the fact that nothing would interfere with that.  Over time, the grip I had on my dreams loosened, and little by the dreams I’d held as individual, as a woman, floated away.  Dreams of a home, family surfaced.  It became the dream for which I was willing to give up all other dreams.  It was the thing, the vision I held in my heart as tightly as I held on to this man, this relationship.  For all that I wanted hinged on his wanting me and wanting this vision too.  

I never really asked if he wanted it, I just assumed that he did.  He never said he didn’t. But he never said he did either.  So we coasted along creating the life I thought we both wanted, the life we were “supposed” to create.   

Then one day, all of what we built was destroyed, like the ocean crashing down on castles built in the sand.  I felt the current pull me under and I was drowning.  In sorrow, in loss, in betrayal.  In the pain of “again”?  In the question of “Is this really happening?”  In the anger of “Why is this happening?” And like being caught in the current, I closed my eyes and held my breath and hoped that the sand swirling around me would subside, that the waters would recede and that I’d be able breath again.  

When the waters finally receded, the sand settled, and I finally could breathe, it hurt.  It hurt to simply take in fresh air.  It hurt to get up and move on.  It hurt to know I’d once again opened, trusted, loved, and been betrayed, reduced.  I retreated back to my cave and I hid.  I hid from friends, from family, from work, from life.  The only person I didn’t hide from was my daughter.  But of course there’s no risk in loving kids, right?  Children instinctively love their parents unconditionally and with vigor and fervor.  She was the new love of my life, the only light in this dim cave of my existence.  I felt physically and mentally exhausted.  All the hard work, prayer, wishing, and willing couldn’t change the fact that my friend, my lover, my husband had betrayed me. Friendship, commitment, in fact love, had betrayed me yet again.  My marriage was over.  My dream was dead.  And the flower that I had become wilted and over the next four years, until it dried up and died.

It remains the most painful experience I’ve had to this day.

And was likely the very thing that saved me from myself.

Stay tuned . . .