Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018 5:28 PM
"You will either step forward into growth or you will step back into safety." - Abraham Maslow
Society tends to view divorce as a failure. For a very long time, I held the same belief even though I never judged anyone who found themselves dissolving their relationship in such a manner. Now that I am going through the process, I have to commend anyone who was/is brave enough, strong enough, and relentless enough to make it through to the other side. This has been one of the hardest experiences of my life in every way.
It has been a little over 5 months since I filed for divorce from the man I thought was the love of my life. I had this idea that I'd be married to him for a lifetime and that we would grow old together. We would face every obstacle that was thrown in our way and overcome any vicissitudes. We would dream together, hope together, and love together; but marriage isn't always a Cinderella story. I learned that the hard way.
My marriage was never a fairy tale. Was it because I entered into it with high expectations and unattainable standards? Or was it because the two of us were not the perfect match we hoped we were? In the beginning, we were just two people who fell in love. By the end of the marriage, we were simply roommates who barely tolerated one another.
We were together for 10 years, married for 9 of them. There were so many things that happened during the 10 years we were together that defined and shaped our relationship. Unfortunately, the majority of the events were bad. Even worse, the good times were neatly packaged inside those negative moments. They were so well hidden that it's very difficult for me to pinpoint more than a handful of good times.
How? Better yet, why? Was it me? Was it him? Was it our circumstances? I can lump it all together haphazardly into a tiny little box with a giant bow on top titled "all the reasons why it was never meant to be." I can blame it on a multitude of factors. I can sit here and say that we had mostly downs instead of ups because of his cancer. I can blame it on his alcoholism and his depression. I can blame it on his son who suffered from various mental disorders. I can pin it all on his overbearing and manipulative mother, may she rest in peace. I can do all of these things, but I am still culpable for some of it.
I have felt everything from a deep sadness to extreme anxiety over all the huge changes happening. I have experienced grief from the loss of a companion, who, for years was a constant figure in my life. I have felt an overwhelming sense of guilt for leaving a man with terminal cancer. When I find myself feeling happy, something reminds me of him and I feel guilty for experiencing joy. I can't listen to certain types of music because they trigger my emotions and send me into a downward spiral.
I probably need therapy and a little yellow happy pill, but for now I am getting better at feeling comfortably numb.