The entirety of what and who I am was left in a mentally and emotionally battered heap in the master bedroom of 901 Carnegie Court in Allen, Texas at the end of 2012. After nearly 20 years of being belittled, cheated on, deceived, fighting back like I was a guerrilla warrior with the most extensive training, bowing down in defeat, running, hiding, standing my ground, losing ground, getting knocked down mentally, standing back up, delivering kill shots to his psyche, and pledging my undying love for him, he told me he wanted a divorce because he knew that I could never really forgive him for all the stuff he had put me through. He said he was tired.
The Contents of the Heap
Except for getting up to help my son who was one week post ACL surgery, the heap that I as left in remained stationary for nearly two weeks. I sat on the floor next to my bed for the first two weeks after he left. I don’t know why, it’s just where I wanted to be. My son had gone back to school so it was just the dogs, the cat, and me. I was so glad there was no one there during the day. I needed that quiet.
Inside that heap that was left behind was a woman broken into a trillion pieces. Physically, I looked like I had been baked too long, re-heated far too many times, then left out overnight.
Mentally, I couldn’t quiet my thoughts. I didn’t know what I was going to do. I didn’t know if I would stay in Texas or if I was going to head back to Louisiana. (In the end, I came to understand that the move back to Louisiana was one of the greatest blessings I would ever be granted because it meant that I was able to spend the last two years of my mother’s life with her.)
Emotionally, I couldn’t have possibly been at a lower point. My self-esteem and self-confidence had all but disappeared from all those years abuse, but when he filed for divorce, I could actually feel the life drain from my body. Not at any point in my life had I ever felt as unwanted as I did during that time.
While the discarded heap that was me seemed dead, the truth is, it was just motionless. It was drained of energy, but it wasn’t dead. It was paralyzed from emotional destruction, but it wasn’t dead. It had very little to say, but believe me, it wasn’t dead.
The How and the Why
As with most people facing divorce, my thoughts were scattered. Unlike a lot of people, though, I was wrestling with a different set of questions as to how and why we were getting divorced. Don’t get it twisted, I knew the how and why — I just couldn’t wrap my mind around how he decided that he was tired. He had caused 99.9% of the problems in that marriage. He had been the primary executioner of the abuse.
The “why” of my divorce had been in motion from the very start. There was adultery (0n both our parts), there was drug and alcohol abuse (on his part), and the level of abuse he imparted on me was horrendous. I can’t go into the details of adultery on my part right now because some very innocent people will be irreparably damaged, but in time, I will be able to disclose all the details. I promised to be transparent. I make no excuses for what I did, but I will tell you that my straying from the marriage occurred for emotional reasons. I never hide what I did from him. He did, however, tell me that even though he had cheated on me four times by the time I strayed, he wasn’t sure he could forgive me. I am not the type of person to play the “you did this, so I did that” game, though. I was wrong. Period.
The “how” of my divorce was because of all the things I mentioned above and the fact that there really wasn’t anything left to save.
How the Heap Healed
After weeks of feeling like I was dying, I decided that it was time to gather up the pieces of myself that were left and salvage what I could. I had to. My son needed me. I needed the woman that was at the bottom of the heap to wake up and get moving. Counseling, prayer, family, and friends were all parts of the rebuilding of this structure. I’ve weathered the worst of it, but here I stand. Older, wiser, and full of life, here I stand.