01.19.99

Posted on January 19, 2012

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“The only thing more unthinkable than leaving was staying; the only thing more impossible than staying was leaving.” 

— Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love


It was a white, wintry morning. The sunlight bounced off the snow, making the crystals glisten. I pulled on a brown velvet dress and climbed into my mother’s van. I held the hand of the boy beside me, both of us 18 and shaking, though not because it was cold. He was dressed in black wool and blue slacks. When we walked into the building, my mother and his parents stood at the back as my father walked me down the small aisle and gave me away.

That night, Jeremy and I stayed in a hotel room in Mansfield. We had money to go to the Der Dutchman across the street, but instead we split a 20 piece nugget from McDonald’s. The parking lot was icy, and Jeremy didn’t want me to risk slipping on the ice. I was, after all, five months pregnant with our son, Jason.

That is what I remember about this date 13 years ago — my wedding day.

Then, there is the other day — another snowy, sunny day when my hands were shaking, but not because of the cold. I walked into the house on Uncapher, put pen to paper and ended it.

That is what I remember about this date 3 years ago — the day I signed the divorce papers.

My life has taken some ugly turns. If you want to know everything that happened in between, read my thesis. I left my marriage in 2005, signed the divorce papers in 2009.

Blogger’s note: I do apologize for the dramatics. This is the one day I allow myself time to grieve for my past. As Elizabeth Gilbert said, “Operation Self-Esteem: Day F**king One.”

When you leave a marriage, there is always some baggage to take with you. The man I loved decided to leave. He wasn’t taken from me against his will. My children have to live their lives without their father, but not because he died in war or in a car accident, but because he decided to leave them behind. I have to live with the uncertainty of why for the rest of my life.

And, I have to raise my kids alone. I have 24 hour a day reminders of my ex-husband. He gets to go on with his life as though the years never happened. He is married, has a stepson, and is carrying on his life in Arizona as though that life all those years ago never happened. I carry the weight of everything that happened during that time. It is dropping off little by little as the years pass and the kids grow. But, having your life ripped out from under you isn’t easy. The uncertainty isn’t easy. And, most of all, moving on isn’t easy.

I know what I have done to move on from my past. My question for everyone tonight is this: how do you move on when someone has hurt you, ruined your life or wronged you in some unforgivable way?

As I around in my present, and look forward into my future, today is not so grim. There is new light on the horizon, new sunshine bouncing off the snow. I’m not the nervous girl shaking in the van. I’m not the miserable girl, shaking in that house on Uncapher. I’m the smiling girl, shaking because of the possibilities my future holds. Possibilities that never seemed attainable then.

I’ve told you my story. Now, tell me one of yours.

“Someday you’re gonna look back on this moment of your life as such a sweet time of grieving. You’ll see that you were in mourning and your heart was broken, but your life was changing…” — Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

 

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Posted in: Journal Entry, Quotes