Some days just carry a certain energy, a heaviness, as though you are moving through water, simultaneously drowning and breathing. For me, that day is today, February 27th, which, had we survived, would have been my 10th wedding anniversary this year.
I don’t have regret that our marriage ended. My heart is happy to be free of the burden I carried in that relationship, stuffing my feelings and discomfort down to keep the peace, and out of shame that I knew we were crumbling, because the veil of failure was going to be so heavy to wear.
But it doesn’t mean that I can ignore history, that once there was living, breathing exchange of love between myself and someone who now treats me like a maligned stranger. The memories haunt me: photos from yesterdays pop up on social media, and I come across greeting cards spewing sentiments that might have been intended but were never realized. Everywhere I turn there are specters of the who ‘we’ used to be, and I barely recognize myself, the light in my eyes dull, my body tired and out of shape, my smile ragged and forced.
We were together for 11 years, which is isn’t insignificant, and produced two children. Some of the best years of my youth were spent pacifying him, choking down my own suffering because I was afraid of the possibility of being left alone, and feeling like so much of myself had been beaten out of me that there was nothing desirable left.
So, on this day, which gradually became more a notch on the wall of a jail cell, simply counting down the hours, than a celebration, I want to share the combination of what I have learned and wish I had known during the duration we were together. I don't know that it would have saved the past, but I hope it saves my tomorrows. Whether it’s wisdom from the experience of living and surviving such extraordinary failure, or entering my forties with the gift of no longer giving a fuck, here is my list:
Reflections of a woman spawned in a cement cocoon...