The End Of One Story Is Here…
There once was a young man and a young women who married only after knowing each other for a year. They began a life together, raised children together and went on adventures with one another. To most they looked like a picture perfect family. Yet behind closed doors they were changing. No longer were they young, religious and the same people they once were. What people may not have known was that they were struggling and the smiles began to fade, and tears replaced the laughter. Until finally they looked at each other and acknowledged the struggle, the uphill battle and agreed to let go…. “You be you, and I’ll be me.”
It’s time for me to not hide any longer. It’s time for me to acknowledge my marriage has ended. My entire adult life was in a marriage. I’m not really sure what I should say, how long I was married. Technically on paper we are still married. Yet we have been separated over a year now publicly. This past August would have been nineteen years married. I was married at nineteen, so now looking at my life solo feels strange, frightening yet thrilling all at the same time.
Just as I’ve blogged my cancer, my writing and just life in general I feel it isn’t fair to skip over this, my journey of divorce and learning how to be single. Honestly, this has been by far the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life by far. What I want people to know if you haven’t had to go through this, be grateful. This is not a decision one takes lightly in anyway. What I’ve heard through other people is “Why not just stick it out until the kids are older” “Make it work for them” “Suck it up.”Please also don’t ever speculate the “Why” this happened. That’s unfair and disrespectful and I most likely you are way off base anyways.
Here is my response to that. I have tried for years to “suck it up” to hide my daily tears from my children. I have absolutely “tried to work it out for them” therapy, long talks, and again trying to hold it together while I struggled physically, mentally and emotionally inside. I also have waited until the kids are “Older” yet I believe there is no perfect age to do this. This is a trauma to them and I acknowledge that. If I could I would suck it up longer, but truth be told I can no longer physically, mentally or emotionally live a life that is not truthful.
Please know that I finally woke up and refused to cry every day because I didn’t know or couldn’t fix my marriage. Every morning for a few years I would wake up in a panic, my heart would race and I felt I was being swallowed alive by the problem I couldn’t seem to fix. I am naturally a person who wants to fix things. If there is a problem, I problem solve, adjust and work things out. Yet this, my marriage began to haunt me because I felt like a failure every single day. Every day I was hopeful that this would be the day I would find an answer I would fix it and every day I would go to bed silently in tears because another day came and went and I failed yet again.
Do you know how physically draining this is? Do you know my life over the past two years has felt like it was paused because I could barely function normally. My writing pretty much stopped all together. My dreams… what dreams I haven’t even thought of the future or goals or dreams.
I’ve also realized my kids deserve peace, love and genuine kindness in their lives. If I am a broken mother who cries every day, has panic attacks and feels like she is living a lie how good of a mother am I? The guilt of breaking their family apart also ate at me daily.
But in the end I have decided to not survive anymore but live…. truthfully I must live for them. If I want to raise children who are authentic and strong and truthful I must be an example of that. They deserve to learn from my mistakes and know that when you fail, even if it’s at a nineteen year marriage you must pick yourself up and start again.
For those of you who are in hiding, going through the same thing remember that so many people have gone through this before us. They survived and most are probably thriving now. Those of you who may be judging me, or others going through I ask for kindness, love and empathy towards others and myself. Realize that this has been hands down the hardest decision of our lives and not one taken lightly at all. For my family and friends reading this I ask you not to take sides. There are no sides. We are still a family and will always be a family. We will always be our children’s parents, we will be by their side always together and united. We may not live together, but we are always Co-Parents doing our best to raise successful human beings.
Today I no longer cry, I no longer have panic attacks and no longer feel like a failure. I’ve come to accept what is, and now I am learning how to go at it alone… but wait, I think what I am really learning is that there is never going at it alone. You see I have four beautiful kids that are constantly making me a better person. I have friends who have been cheering me on and believing in me. I have family who have checked in and been a huge support. So really, I’m not alone I am surrounded by people who love me.