Coming out on my blog last week was a really big deal for me. I'm sure you all realize that without the statement, but the extent to which I've hidden and tried to deny the reality is significant.
First and foremost was my holdout in the hope that things would change back to normal. Keeping things on the down low would have made it easier to reconcile. The fewer people who knew we were having problems, that he wanted out, would mean fewer people to explain how the break-up never materialized.
Another is that this stuff is hard to talk about. Hard to talk without triggering a quiver in my lips, or a crack in my voice, or tears puddling in the bottom of my lids only to stream freely as I lose control.
Then there is the shame of being dumped. Of being a failure. Of knowing that this is going to cause irreparable damage to my children. There will be scars.
Of course there is also the obvious, I didn't want it to get back to the kids. People talk. That's what they do.
It was much more preferable to pretend.
I did it well. Only my closest, most trusted friends knew - some real, some virtual. I needed some people for support, advice and to help maintain my sanity. But the majority - co-workers, pool league friends I've known for years, friends in town - remained in the dark.
I often wondered though, could people see through the facade? I would stare in the mirror wondering if people could see the fake-ness of my smile or the dark sadness in my eyes. On the surface everything seemed normal. I would engage in conversation, laugh at jokes, go to lunch. But underneath it all I was hurting, am hurting, the worst pain imaginable.
Coming out in some ways has been a huge relief. I no longer have to pretend, but it hasn't changed my underlying emotion of wanting to keep quiet. I haven't posted any blog posts on Facebook since I revealed the truth. To do so will open the flood gates and I'm not sure I'm ready. Maybe this post will make it there. Maybe it won't.
Slowly I'm letting people in. I'm trying to get comfortable and move forward, understand the life that is in front of me is what I have to accept whether I want to or not. And telling people makes it real. But it is oh so hard.
As it happens, in chatting online with a co-worker, I mentioned my blog. He asked for the link and I hesitated knowing what was out there. I stalled but then finally said fuck it. People are going to know sooner or later and it might as well start now. Later, his comment to me, he could tell something was wrong by my eyes and the laugh that wasn't really a laugh. He saw.
It seems pretending didn't work. The light has gone out of my eyes and is for all to see, independently verified. I know in my head it will return. Hopefully. Someday.