I have been avoiding this blog for months now. Part of it is self-censorship. How can I possibly start talking about what happened without getting too personal or saying too much and hurting my children? (I can’t. Warning: this is going to get personal). Part of it is that the pain and anger and tidal wave of grief and trauma does not leave much room for anything else, let alone writing.
But enough is enough. I feel muzzled. I feel like probably many women do: weirdly ashamed and not wanting to burden people with what are relatively small betrayals and traumas in the grand scheme of all that is crap in the world. Mostly I feel like I am not supposed to talk about it.
To that side of my brain I say, Whatever. Get over it. Trauma is trauma. Hurt is hurt. I can talk about whatever I want, stupid voice inside my head. Go away now.
So excuse this rambling post. I have decided to just write it already, and publish something today even if it fills me with just as much dread as the thought of a U.S. Government led by Donald Trump. (Ok. Maybe not that much dread. But a lot.)
So I’m going to rip off this year old band-aid that’s been covering my mouth and just blurt it out:
My husband left me. It was not expected. I didn’t see it coming. I went to bed with the person I loved one night and woke up the next morning to a stranger walking out the door.
Just to pour salt on the wound, here is a post I wrote about my marriage back in 2010. Yeah. Naiveté in retrospect feels like a small insect with large pincers gnawing at one’s heart, don’t you think?
Suffice it say, that yes, it is a textbook midlife crisis, with all of the accompanying bells and whistles. (I tried to tell him this, but I think it is akin to telling a woman that she is emotional because of her menstrual cycle; there might be some truth to it, but nobody wants to hear it. I get that. But still…)
Most of me still can’t accept it. Still wonders what I did wrong, why I did not see it coming. Wonders how a person can love you one minute and not the next. How he could just leave without even trying to work it out (in all fairness, I didn’t even know there was something to work out- guess I missed the memo on that one too). Wonders why he didn’t love me enough to try and get through this together. Wonders why he could not talk to me. Wonders why our family, the life we built together, the trust we had and the commitment we made to each other were not enough to make him want to try his best to see our way through this crisis together.
Repeat all the above and you have the hamster on the wheel inside my head, cycling over and over all the things that I just don’t understand, that I can’t make sense of.
This year has been the year of the anvil on my chest, of feeling like every second is like that garbage compacter in Star Wars, but with no rod to stop it from closing in on me, no R2D2 to open the door. (See how I lightened that mood with a Star Wars reference? You are welcome).
In short, I am broken. I feel broken, like I should just hop a boat to the land of lost toys, and live amongst the one-eyed dolls and the three-legged plush animals.
One of the reasons I have not written about this is because I am not a good enough writer to convey this pain. I spent literally half my life with J, 20 years to be exact. I loved him with everything I had to give. I tried to support him the best way I could. Having him withdraw his love so abruptly feels like he reached into my chest and ripped my heart out.
So here I am, 41 years old, single mother of two teenaged daughters, with a big crater in place of a heart.
But I am still here, right? Though I am broken right now, I know it won’t always be the case. I am learning how to see the darkness in front of me as a place of possibility. I am using up all my energy to not let the anger turn to hardened bitterness.
Anyways. I am going to end this post now, but now that it is out, I can start talking about all the different aspects of this situation: what has helped me, the lessons I’ve learned, why this is such a large phenomenon with men (honestly, it is crazy how many women I’ve met in the last year who’ve had the exact, and I mean exact thing happen to them. It is like an epidemic or something, a plague that affects forty-something year old males only).
So, just to make myself accountable for another post, stay tuned for my Hellish Year Part 1: Self-Helping like a MoFo.
And just a note to all my lovely dear people out there who may not have know that this was happening. This post was not meant as a cry for sympathy or pity. I just needed to get it out so I could start writing again. So here’s to moving forward, despite the loss of important body parts.