Once again I am woefully behind on my blog. I have mixed feelings about what and how much to share about the goings on of life. Originally the main purpose of this blog was to keep my family and friends updated on my health. It was getting old having to explain things ad nauseam to each well-meaning individual who would call to see how I was doing. I much preferred to talk of other things and enjoy my friendships focused on our mutual love and interests, not “how the heck are ya’ today?” Somewhere along the way I began to share a little of my life story. I had been asked to do so by many who know me and I figured this blog was the best place to start. However, what has transpired over the past several months has been both freeing and exquisitely painful.
I suppose this is why I’ve procrastinated writing about these experiences. To be honest, I also worry that some will not understand what I’m doing and will pass judgment. In fact, judgment has already been dealt from some with a swiftness and severity I hadn’t thought possible. I am feeling particularly vulnerable and I’m not sure how much more I can take. I fight the urge to retreat into a cocoon of sorts until I’m better equipped to manage the potential backlash. That said, I have always promised to share even when I am feeling vulnerable, perhaps even more so when I’m feeling this way in hopes that someone will benefit from my sharing. In the end I’ve decided that I don’t need your understanding.
I came to the conclusion long ago that being vulnerable is only human. And, at least for me, I sometimes forget that everyone has “human” moments. We can either use these varied moments as a way to connect, or an excuse to alienate. After all, don’t we all want the same things, really? Validation in our sorrows? Compassion for our pains?
What I guess I’m trying to do is preface the following with this clause. Many will not understand, and there may be some who decide to withhold compassion. However, I refuse… I absolutely refuse; to discuss details at this time. There may come a time in the future when it will be appropriate or I may feel so inspired to share what has happened to me over the last ten years as a way to help other women. For now, I will hold those details close to my heart. I do not feel the need to defame someone or “sling mud” in order to have you in my corner. I also realize that in order to truly comprehend where I am at you will have needed to walk in my shoes. Since that is virtually impossible… You either know me well enough to stay in my corner without needing to know what happened, or you may choose to walk away. C’est la vie… That’s life.
Ooops, I’m on my soapbox, let me jump down and then hop right to it…
I’ve left my husband and filed for divorce. There is so much more to that sentence than meets the eye. Even reading between the lines won’t cut it on this one. Those few short syllables are loaded with implications, possibilities, and impossibilities. That sentence makes it seem as though it were just that easy.
Well, it wasn’t… isn’t “just that easy.”
Anyone who has been through this can tell you that it isn’t for the faint of heart. The decision to leave has been one ten years in the making. It is painful and psychologically difficult in ways that I can’t even begin to adequately describe. In many ways I feel as if I’ve lost and found myself all at once. One moment I seem to be fine, the next I’m flailing in emotions that feel too painful and frightening to bear. I have the sensation that I might actually physically fly apart and dissolve in anguish and yet, I know… No really, I know… that I’ve done the right thing. I feel more secure in this decision than I did in the decision to marry in the first place.
That ought to say something, right?
We can only do the best we can with the knowledge that we have at the time and then we live life to the best of our abilities until we feel the nudge to make course corrections. Who knows why things happen the way that they do? Who knows why I felt strongly that it was right to marry only to feel even more strongly now that it is right to leave?
The problem is that if I tried to explain why I went ahead and married to begin with you probably wouldn’t understand that either. I had some serious misgivings, I’ll tell you that much. I’ve been hearing a lot of “what were you thinking” and “why did you do it in the first place” type questions. My reasons at the time seemed right, everything seemed right and I felt sure that I was making the right decision. In fact, I still feel that I made the right decision. Hind sight is 20/20 and I would have made the same choices even knowing today what they would cost me.
Most of that has to do with my children. No wait, actually all of it has to do with my children. Without the trials of the past years I would not have had the most amazing opportunity of my life. For some reason, unbeknownst to me, God determined that I was fit for the task of motherhood. Many of you who have been reading from the beginning know my story of adoption. The experience of becoming a mother has been redemptive in many ways. Though I may have chosen a different route in the beginning, I now realize that I would sacrifice everything I have for this opportunity. Even when I see that it meant giving away ten precious years of my life.
I left in May. It was time, it was past time. Although I know without a doubt I’m following God’s plan for me, divorce has a way of bringing about some serious self loathing. I know that I wasn’t perfect. There were so very many mistakes that I made, things I could have done better, and things that I shouldn’t have done at all. I’ve spent the past several months and, even still at times struggle with, making peace with those mistakes. I feel like I’ve apologized enough to make up for thirty years worth of bad behaviors. In the end it was time spent on my knees pleading with my Father in Heaven to show me the way and heal my wounds.
The healing process is a work in progress. Again, if you’re a regular reader, you know that I was suicidal when I decided to leave. I’ve been in and out of therapy both individually and in my marriage, and every single therapist has counseled me to divorce. I didn’t want to hear it; I didn’t want to accept defeat. I feel like a failure. I feel like I devoted ten years to a sinking ship and I can’t help but blame myself. In the end I just couldn’t make it work. A few years ago I had felt inspired to leave my marriage but I just couldn’t understand why the Spirit would give me that answer.
As you may know I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, LDS for short. And like many other Christian faiths, divorce just isn’t supposed to happen. I think no matter who you are, you never marry someone with the idea that you’ll someday end things. After all, don’t we all dream of our own little “happily ever after?” I’m mourning mine right now. I didn’t expect white picket fences. I knew things would be hard, very hard. But I never expected or wanted this.
Of course I’m pretty sure everyone looks back on life and thinks, “Well I never thought I’d be here…” For instance, as a little girl holding her dolls and playing at being a mommy, I never dreamed that I’d have to have a hysterectomy at the age of 24. In high school I thought for sure I would marry in my early twenties and start spitting out babies by the dozen, and yet, I wouldn’t be married until I was just shy of my 28th birthday. I never imagined in a million years that during the adoption process we would have not one, but two birth mothers change their minds at the last minute leaving us financially destitute and emotionally bereft. And I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would marry someone only to discover that it wasn’t meant to last.
Ultimately this is a good thing, a very good thing, but it is hard to see my hopes and dreams dissolve in a fashion. I threw everything I was and everything I had at my marriage, and so to see it end feels like such a monumental failure. I don’t mean to say that I won’t look forward to the future and the possibilities the Lord has in store for me.
Right now… It hurts.
If I’ve learned one thing throughout the difficulties of my life it is that I am made of some pretty tough stuff. Sometimes in the midst of trial I have a hard time finding that tough stuff, but it is there waiting for me when I need it. I believe we are here on earth to reach toward our full potential and the only way to get there is to suffer a little bit, or a lot.
No pain, no gain.
I wish I could tell you there was an easier way, but there isn’t. So I’m reaching down once again to the very depths of my depths (whoa, that is deep) to pull up my bootstraps and move forward. After all, we can only do the best we can with the knowledge that we have in the moment, right? And so life goes on…