Tuesday, November 22, 2011

independently verified

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.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

this seems appropriate

I find it amazing that in the midst of all this devastation and pain there remains some semblance of normal.  It gives me hope that eventually I'll be okay. And that is good.

Monday, November 14, 2011

i'm coming out

We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned,
so as to accept the life that is waiting for us.
Joseph Campbell

 Today is the fourth day I haven't worn my wedding ring.  I am painfully aware.  My husband hasn't worn his since February.  He wants a divorce.

I am very much a person who wears her heart on her sleeve and to keep this secret has been intentional.  Maybe if I don't say it, it won't be true.  But it is and I cannot believe I am in this place now.  At some point every day, usually in tears I cry to myself and wonder how did I get here?  Almost 19 years of marriage and more than that of him being my best friend and he has shut the door - just like that.  It takes two to make a relationship but only one to break it apart.

I know this because I was the one who broke us 10 years ago.  I was the one who left.  I was fortunate enough to realize my mistake and most fortunate for my husband to forgive me - except he never really did and that is the crux of the issue.  I thought that because we made it through that mess we would always be solid.  We were really good for many years.  A fight was just a fight; a disagreement just that - not the end of the world and, for sure, nothing to end our our marriage  They were opportunities to practice arguing, practice saying I'm sorry and, well, just arguments.

Clearly I am wrong.

I spend my commute days wiping away tears and choking back the vomit I feel in the pit of my stomach.  Anytime I have too much time is bad for me but the weekends are the worst.  These are the days when I have no idea what to expect.  No idea if we are going to pretend to be a family under strained circumstances.  No idea if or when he's going to come home.

Oh right!  He actually hasn't left yet.  Not only is he still here but we are still sleeping in the same bed.  We are still pretending.  Or more accurately, I am still pretending.  Still pretending but still knowing.  Trying to figure out what this will mean for my sons - one a junior in high school, one in 8th grade and one in 2nd grade.   Trying to figure out how I can best manage this situation. 

The practical questions keep flowing.  How am I going to be able to afford to live in this same affluent town to keep my kids in the only school district they've ever known?  How are we going to manage "together" things like the Back-To-School Nights?  Who do I have to turn to when every_single_person is married and with family.  No more couples gatherings.  No more family BBQs with other families.  People will feel awkward and unintentionally, quite naturally, choose "sides".  It reminds me of a post I read from BigLittleWolf's Daily Plate of Crazy titled "Which is Worse - Death or Divorce".  I quote from her post:

Bruce, of Privilege of Parenting, was kind enough to point me to the Washington Post, a particular piece of writing describing divorce as a sort of death.

Read it.

Or should I say – read it and weep.

Citing from Rabbi David Wolpe’s post, from his own former wife Eileen’s words to a friend:

Divorce is a hard path, a long, circuitous journey that is not something you can control…and your married friends look at you like you have leprosy. It threatens their world view for you to divorce.  It threatens their marriage… everything changes.  In ways you can’t imagine or anticipate. Everything. Everything. Everything.

Eileen Ansel Wolpe goes on to say that divorce is:

… the destruction of together-dreams, forever-dreams, family-dreams, love-dreams. You cannot leave a marriage without doing violence to all those things, no matter how amicable the divorce.
 And the truth in that has broken my heart into a million pieces - destruction of together-dreams, forever-dreams, family-dreams, love-dreams...
I am grieving and it is the worst grief I've ever experienced.  I remember the feeling well from the death of my mother and, more recently, the death of my Uncle.  My friends are supportive.  My sister is awesome.  Unfortunately, as anyone who has dealt with grief understands, it's just a hole in your heart that no one can help heal.  It is incredibly lonely.  No matter how many people I have around me, this is mine to deal with alone. 

I feel so, so sorry for my children.  I've let them down.  I feel like a failure.  I feel like an ass for writing posts like this and this.  What a fucking joke.  I am 41 and I've been with this man for 20 years - half my life.  I have no idea what to do.  I have no idea what's going to happen.  Maybe we will recover, although I doubt it.  I know my husband and when he sets his mind to do something, he typically follows through - and he is determined to leave me.  I've hoped before, only to be crushed.  I don't think I have it in me.  I can no longer pretend that my life isn't total shit.  And so I am coming out.

Monday, November 7, 2011


I'm sitting in the TV room, feet up on the coffee table.  The TV is on, Henry is playing Civilization on the XBOX.  Danny is back in his bedroom with a friend studying for their science test.  Sam is here on the couch impatiently waiting for 7:00pm so he can have the TV.

And I am sitting here thinking.  I have this time, precious time that I know will not be here forever.  Time to engage.  Time to visit.  Time to talk.  Time to understand.  And all I do is think.  I watch from the periphery.  I do what needs to be done but I live in my head.

And I'm irritated.  My thinking time is being disrupted with Sam yelling at Henry - ordering him around.  Henry has non-stop babble.  He is a kid who can carry on a conversation with no one but himself - and he does all the time.  It is never quiet.

But I shouldn't be thinking.  I shouldn't be wondering how I got to this place.  I shouldn't be arguing with Sam, but I am.


All.  The.  Time.


The angst around here.  Boys fighting with boys.

"Go away."

"Get out of my room."

"Put my video games away."

"Wash your hands before you use the controller - it's all greasy now."

And I think, how did I get here?

"Mom."  Interrupted again.

But I should be here.  The problem is that I'm not.

**Post inspired by Just Write.**