Wednesday, June 21, 2017

...opening the windows to air out the house.

In the matter of 2 months and 2 days I went from married to divorced.

I opened my eyes March 7th and finally saw May 9th.

There were so many masks worn over the 13 years he and I were married. So many excuses, apologies, rationalizations, denial... so much denial. I found myself in a constant holding pattern, reciting my vows like a mantra... mala beads clicking between my fingers with each promise.

For better or worse, sickness and health, good times and bad... bad, bad, bad, smile it can't get worse. And then it got worse. We can only go up from here, right... right? Wrong. So wrong. It got so much worse. I let each blow sit like a cancer in my heart, weighing me down and stealing my sanity. There's a reason I didn't write much these past two years. I was done lying to everyone and most importantly myself. I finally just stuck my life into auto-pilot and went through the motions. Wake up, get everyone else ready, get myself ready, work, home, curl up into the couch/bed to numb my mind, sleep, lather, rinse, repeat...

It's not for anyone to know how bad the abuse got. He never laid a hand on me, but he didn't have to. Sometimes actions and words are worse than physical abuse. There were nights I wished he'd hit me so I could release the floodgates. I was a ticking time bomb. And then... I no longer gave a fuck. I had zero fucks left.

The shift came when my therapist left the practice I was at and a new one stepped in. We began opening up my proverbial windows to air the anxiety out of my "house." When we reached the now ex-husband, I realized he was the last card in my house of cards. We reached him also as soon as he and I reached a boiling point and agreed to an "in-house" trial separation. And then she left back to Sweden. I went back on auto-pilot. I loved the man I married, and I was so blinded for THAT man that I couldn't see that even then I had lied to myself and began the process of excuses and denial. The man I'd worshiped in my head was not the man I married, and he definitely wasn't this ghost haunting my house.

March 9th I laid down for a nap after putting our youngest down. I tossed and turned. Words said and plans made by him that morning didn't sit well in my stomach. They were mundane plans. Plans involving needing my truck to go to the library. Boring. But... not right. Something was NOT right. Weeks had passed since I had my first gut vibe that things were off. Secrets were churning between us and I not knowing was keeping my anxiety vibrating beneath my skin. It had reached a point where I'd deleted most social media outlets off of my phone because I couldn't shake the uneasiness I felt when I saw his posts, or comments made by people I suddenly didn't know and weren't privy to their existence after 10 years of marriage. I opened my laptop, opened my browser, searched for Facebook... it was already logged in. I saw the message notification and clicked. It wasn't until I saw her name, saw their words, my heart was in my ears and I couldn't hear anything but my voice as I called my mother, sobbing, hyperventilating that it was bad. It was so bad. Something horrible was happening. I needed the kids to go straight to her after school. It was so so bad. He was cheating on me. The floodgates released. I crumbled. There was relief in knowing, but not the sort of relief I'd wish on anyone. My husband officially died that day. My husband. Even now, knowing he'd been dead for so long and I'd cohabited with an imposter who looked, smelled, tasted just like MY husband... it's a stone in my stomach that turns conflicted between grief and disgust. My grief overwhelmed me for two weeks. Fourteen days. And then after fierce fellowship at Church, I prayed. I prayed until I felt like my heart cracked open. I wasn't discarded, I was loved. I wasn't cast away, I was precious... worthy... wanted...

He wants me. He holds me. He didn't want this for me, he never did. But in order for me to grow in love and light, I had to get dirty. A diamond doesn't become a diamond out of thin air. It takes immense pressure and heat and time to see the beauty that only comes with experience. I have three beautiful babies. I am strong. I am and always have been independent. I am smart, gorgeous, witty, loved. God loves me as I am and he will love me through it, as he's always done... even when I didn't feel him there. God spoke to my heart during a sermon one Sunday during the midst of my grief. Throughout the now ex-husband's infidelity, verbal and emotional abuse, his heart turning from God, I prayed for him. I begged God to help him come back to Him, to let him see the love and light I'd been witness to my whole life. To return him to me. Many times during those few weeks I was told that my relationship with God, with Christianity as a whole, had disgusted him and further pushed him from me. He was blaming God, my faith in Him, for his disgust in me. And then my eyes fell upon this verse as I wandered through the Bible during service, no lie, based on servitude and selflessness in a marriage influenced by selfishness.

1 Corinthians 7:15 But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.

My heart lifted. It was as if the air sweetened and I was finally able to just BREATHE. God didn't want me to be enslaved by a Godless marriage. God didn't want me to sit idly by while my spouse brought infidelity and darkness into our marriage. God despises and is disgusted by divorce, but I am still precious to him and he still wants peace for me and our babies. I will raise them up to question everything as I was raised. I will raise them up knowing God, because I can't look at them and NOT see God at work. I will raise them up with eyes wide open.

I filed for divorce. I started talking to friends again. Friends I'd pushed away so they wouldn't see me through my excuses and lies. I fell in love again. I wasn't trying, I didn't even mean to, I only wanted to open my heart to God and let things fall into place as they came. My babies and myself were top priority and the ink was not even remotely dry on the divorce paperwork. My best girl friend came over and burned sage as I threw the windows open to let out the ghosts and to air out the house. My best boy friend came back into my life and dated me, still dates me. And it is so good. It feels strange, uncharted, spontaneous and right.

I am happy. I am exhausted by all the revelations and realizations and re-connections. But it's a good exhaustion. Like I had been running in the dark, and essentially, that's what I'd been doing before I entered back into the light. All of the anxiety has lifted. No more emergency meds. No more pulling over to walk the "bees" out of my body from hyperventilating while driving. No more walking on eggshells. I am in love with this body that has survived so much abuse and mistreatment, but continued on to build three amazing little savages, carried me across multiple finish lines, and has yet to seriously fail me. It's time to get back on the bandwagon of treating this body better for the long haul. I've began the process of quitting smoking (I know... finally...), I'm starting to eat again (I barely ate more than a cheese stick for the 2 months between discovery and divorce), and I'm finding my flexibility and inner peace in yoga and meditation again.

So welcome back, y'all!! Thanks for hanging in through the radio static and get ready for some new wild rides!

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