Here it goes. I'm anxious, the good kind. Life's about to take a turn. One path, grow old in this house, maybe watch my children's children play under the trees, miniature golf course in the front yard.. all of that is gone. It won't happen. I couldn't have promised myself it would happen anyway. I was grasping at ropes that were frayed. Frayed by money problems, frayed by drinking problems. Frayed by lack of sleep, then lack of sex. Frayed by stress and not enough friendship. Frayed by resentment and ultimately the rope broke, even though I trusted it. And it was my choice to walk away. I don't doubt it wasn't what is best for me and for him, even for our children, for me to end it. Some relationships end.
I thought I was in it for the long haul. I certainly feel like I gave it my all. In fact, I gave it more than that. I gave up on myself for it. I lost myself in it. I was consumed by it. I was in a constant panic to save it. I was so invested that when it ended I was nothing. I had to rebuild myself, completely. I was nothing but his wife and their mother.
And now that it's done, I don't panic. After the grief, I woke up. I saw her again. Me.
Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if she had stayed from the start, would it have ended sooner or would it have made things work?
Would he have respected me the way I really am? That's a hard one.
The other path, I'm on it now. I take her out. I climb peaks. I ride my bike. I read. I write. I absolutely, without a doubt, cherish motherhood. I embrace that role knowing I am one lucky mother. I cry sometimes, not as much now, for what I've lost, but I know it was lost long before I walked away. My marriage and myself.
You know when there's a disconnect. But it's easy to stay and hope. I know now that the only path a person can change is their own. So I did that. I changed mine. I walked away. I will walk away from this home, my dream home. Months, hundreds of hours spent searching for this place. A place with old trees and a garage. More hours spent consulting with banks to obtain the loan. Paperwork. Leg work. It's easy to feel like it was all a waste. But easy isn't the way to describe any of this. It's all terrible, devastating and difficult. It's sad. It's a loss.
And people like to tell me I'm better off. People like to think they might know how it feels. They don't. Divorce is a special hell.
I was climbing down a peak and I got lost, stuck. I couldn't climb up and I couldn't go down because it was a straight drop, the leg breaking kind. I stood there. I started shaking and tears were on their way. The tear factory was thinking it was back in business, they'd had a very profitable year after-all. But she was there with me this time. Don't panic. Just think your way through this.
I knew to head west. The path I had strayed from was west of me. So I hugged that peak and I inched laterally, slowly, as far west as I could. Then I tucked my fingers tight around the edges of the granite and I hugged the mountain and I lowered myself down, testing ground that kept coming lose. I could hear it give way and roll down the mountain. I tested and tested until I found something I could trust. I let go and felt myself drop. The ground was loose but it held good enough. It would work. I inched west. I did that over and over.
Eventually I came to a clearing. Looking up at where I'd come from after almost an hour made me grateful and proud. It also made me really damn mad at myself for getting off the path.
I stayed in the clearing briefly and decided to head west again over a ridge. There was the path!
I walked down to the path and I sat. That's when I decided I can't beat myself up anymore about what I should have done. Or how it should have been. Or what could be.
I will be fine. I can think through this. She is with me now. I am her. I will be okay. Even when the path is scary.