Thursday, August 18, 2016

I Am Free

For the past several months I’ve felt like every part of my life became dull where it used to be filled with so much light. It had become a nagging, aching feeling that I wasn’t able to control or fix. But I am beginning to heal.

I am divorced.  But I'm also free.

Part of the healing process, for me, was to write about it all. My friends and family know that I’ve been faced with something that no one should have to go through. Others have noticed the turmoil. And it’s time to share my story.

I’ve always wanted to be a published author. That’s the end goal. I want my name on a tangible piece of literature and I want people to have the opportunity to read the words that I’ve sewn together. And when my heart broke on February 5th, 2016, I knew that this was what I was meant to do. I was meant to invite people inside my personal life and have them read about every beautifully intimate moment I’ve had in the last 10 years.

Some of you may start reading what I have written and question it. Why is she sharing so many details about her marriage? Why would she want people to know any of this? The answers are simple.

This is relevant. It’s relevant because it just happened to me. It’s also relevant because it could very well happen to you. It could happen to your sister or best friend. It may have happened to your mother. It may be happening to your neighbor right now. I don’t want to feel ashamed or embarrassed by this part of my past and I don’t want anyone else facing similar issues to have that be a part of their conscience as they try to navigate their way through the rollercoaster of emotions they’ll eventually be hit with.

Also, I come from a very small town. And instead of using up the next decade telling all the ones I love and respect about what happened to my family, I’d rather them read about it. I’d rather them know the details without a game of telephone screwing up the intricacy of it all. There are two sides to every story, yes. But this one is quite cut and dry where the ending is concerned.

I welcome you to 10 years’ worth of memories. They are magical, memorable, embarrassing memories. Not every great love story ends well. There doesn’t need to be a happy ending for it to have been real or worth it. In fact, sometimes the best ones, end in the worst ways. And that’s what happened with mine.

Read the parts that I decide to divulge now. Share it with everyone you know. I’ve had so much support from my community over the years that I know they’ll have my back more than ever now.  And I’ll continue to uncover pieces of what I’ve written with all of you as I simultaneously scour the nation trying to hook a literary agent and get this thing published.

Today I’m sharing a prologue piece. This was the first few paragraphs I wrote within the first few weeks. I was still in shock and still falling asleep at night praying that it wasn’t happening. I was still waking up in the mornings wishing it was all a dream. But it wasn’t and I’m okay. I became a single parent overnight feeling abandoned and thrown away. And I can say with 100% certainty that I am proud of how I’ve managed to not only stay afloat but sail through it all with my character still intact.

And for those with a question in their heads concerning him. He knows about this. He supports it. He trusts me to tell our truth. But I still don’t have an explanation as to why. I’ve been given no respect or courtesy of a conversation. That’s okay at this point though, I’ve come to my own conclusions and maybe you will too.

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He: Prologue 

We’re all taught that when life hands you lemons you should be creative, smart, strong and motivated enough to make lemonade out of them. But what happens when the person you love and trust most in the world hands you suitcases full of rocks that weigh you down so much you start questioning who you are? I’ll tell you what you do. You start picking up each damn rock and throwing it right back at them. And they learn to never question your strength again.

I won’t pretend like I’m perfect. I can be infuriating. I can be stubborn and harsh. I can nag, I can push and I can make someone feel very small with just a few spewed words. But I didn’t deserve what happened to my marriage. I was a devoted wife; proud even. I adored him and his silly socks. I adored the way he would pat my arm during movie previews when he’d get excited about a new Marvel film. I adored his love of chocolate ice cream and the way he would scream, “I have binge eating disorder!” on late nights when he couldn’t control a severe case of the munchies. I even adored his anal tendencies when it came to alphabetizing the Blu-ray collection or sorting through his Disney trading pins. He never missed a goodnight kiss, an I love you, or a whisper goodbye in the morning, but that was all a part of the fa├žade.

I gave him everything. My heart, my time, my commitment, my future, my virginity; I wrapped my life up tight, topped it with a gilded bow and handed it right over to him. And he unwrapped every inch. He was a con artist and I was his muse.

...


I grabbed my phone and started taking a video of her petite frame, kissing her own reflection and shaking her booty to the music that seemed to run on a loop inside of her strawberry-blonde covered head. I loved this part of our mornings together. We’d snuggle up for another hour or so after he jetted off to work and once fully awake for the day, I’d sing, “Give yourself a kissy in the morning time,” as I placed her in front of my vintage, full-length mirror. Although a daily occurrence, this particular moment was far too adorable to go un-recorded.

Throughout the day he was still saying his I love you’s and kissed me goodbye on his way out the door. He texted to ask what Claire and I were doing that afternoon and he called when he got to 12th and Porter after work to let me know he’d be done by 7pm and on his way home. It was a typical day, with a routine that could become numb and taken for granted. And then with no warning, my entire life was crumbling around me. My daughter’s life was being shaken to its core. At 13-months old her father was making a decision that couldn’t be “fixed,” no matter what kind of mother I decided to be.

I married a goddamn great actor.

 No, he wasn’t making money off of commercial appearances or featured extra roles on Law & Order, instead he faked being the best man I had ever met for ten years. And the winter I turned 27, a week after he totaled my car and two weeks after we celebrated our third year of marriage, he ripped my heart out. He blindsided me with, “I think we should get a divorce,” on a Friday night after I noticed that his breath wreaked of alcohol and realized that the reception he needed to attend for work that evening was merely a night out with a someone or somebodies that I had never met. A change of clothes in the car, cigar smoke in the air, I had no idea of the person that he had been evolving into over the final six months of our marriage.

 This shocked my side of the family so hard that we all cried. No one saw it coming. We were the couple that everyone else wanted to be. We were the family my brother and sister dreamed of having for their own – love, trust, companionship, no drama, easy days. Waking up to a baby that will kiss you without hesitation and coming home to a wife that loved with so much honesty and trust that she, genius IQ intact and all, was duped. There was never a doubt that this was what was meant to be, so much so that I often thought my life was too good to be true. But apparently there was a doubt. He just never filled me in on it. There was no warning. There was no explanation. There was just the view of his back as he walked out the door.   

Who wants to be a 27-year-old divorcee? I sure as hell didn’t but I was well on my way to becoming one.


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