I recently had a conversation with someone where they used a word….a two syllable word that in my opinion….is not a word that should be used lightly. I have been there, done that with this word. And even when used lightly, or without thinking, the power of the word…the power of the emotions…the wash of feelings that come with the word DIVORCE, pour over me like a scalding hot shower. And although now, I have a pretty good relationship with my ex-husband, on this almost Valentine’s Day, one month until my first wedding anniversary to Rocket….I think about all that goes with that being married. That word that is the opposite of all that is good with the world. That word that some use like it is nothing….. but to me…..it is something.
Now, I know that sometimes divorce happens. Even to those that never expect it. I am not condemning. What I am doing is saying that it is a big deal, and cannot be taken lightly.
My first marriage started because I was afraid of being alone. It is true… I admit it. I had been left once before, engaged…until my Hodgkin’s disease became too much for my fiance’ to bear. We were young…and though some don’t understand, I don’t harbor ill will towards that time. It just was. But I was left alone. And I was scared of becoming damaged goods that no one would want to be with. And so, while training for my first marathon, I fell in love. And I do believe that I was in love. But that love…was probably never really meant to be. It did not take long for that love to turn into a marriage that was….really just about being roommates. There was not fighting per se…but there was control….or lack there of. I felt as if I was always wrong or always tip-toeing around making sure that I kept everyone happy. My ex husband had definite opinions… I can’t say I blame him. He lost his mom when he was young, and his dad passed away one month before our wedding. So I understand the need to try to take control over the life you have. Unfortunately I lost myself in all of it. I no longer laughed. I felt like an empty shell. I felt needed, but not desired.
Realizing that my marriage was nothing but two people that had created a miraculous baby girl (and for that I will be eternally grateful)….. I finally realized that it was too much for me to endure. I had met with an attorney to gather information, to be prepared, but I was not ready. ….I felt ashamed, felt guilty at the idea of creating a more difficult life for Principessa. I felt like a failure.
In the end, being away for a month in Venice, I started seeing glimpses of the old me. The me who giggled. The me who felt good about herself. The me that felt like I deserved happiness. There were alot of tears. But I made the decision. And within a week of coming home, I moved out. It was quite possibly the hardest thing I have ever done. Closing the front door on “our” house for the last time… wondering how it had possibly come down to this. Beating myself up for not having made it work. Worrying about Principessa who at almost three, would never remember her parents living together happily. But in the end, she was my motivation. I could not raise a daughter in a home where the love she saw modeled was empty, without depth, without passion. And so I left. I closed the door, and opened my new door onto a life that awaited me. One that felt foreign. One that was difficult. But in the end, one that made me whole once again.
And now, I hear people use the word divorce lightly. Sometimes as a threat to the person they love. Sometimes as a joke. But I can’t. It is not a casual word. It is not something that I want to go through again. It is not something that I would wish on anyone. And although I have no doubt that it was the right thing to do for me at that time…. I have been there, done that…and do not plan on ever going back to that deep dark place again. And so, although I am not a big Valentine’s Day person….I remember how important it is to show love. To believe in love. To love.
The good news for me is that now I have the love that I had always hoped for. The love that engulfs me. The love of Rocket. And for that I am incredibly grateful.
Happy Valentine’s Day!