I left my then-husband in March 1997 and moved back to Louisiana with my mom. In 1998, when I told Mama that I was going back to Denver, she talked to me in the same manner that she had since I was a young. I was born to an older woman who had seen harder times that some women will ever see and she never babied me.
The day I told her I was going back, she looked at me and spoke in that woman-to-woman tone she had always used with me and said, “You done went back to Will too many times. He toe’ments you and you toe’ment him. You done went back too many times. Love don’t hurt you. Don’t go back up there.” There were so many days when I wished I had listened and stayed, but as I’ve said repeatedly, I know for a fact that I needed to go back and finish the journey so I would have the story to tell.
William came down to Louisiana to get Will and me, and when I looked at Mama standing in that driveway as well pulled away, I cried like I had never cried before. I had not shed tears like that even during the most hate-filled fights I’d had with William. When I had left in 1993 after we got married, Mama put her head down as we pulled out and for the first time in a long time, I saw her cry. She had told me repeatedly not to marry him. She grew to love him, but she didn’t want me to marry him. She knew that he wasn’t stable.
Even before we made it back to Denver, I somehow knew that things would never be the same. It’s not like there had been happier times because the truth is, there were never really any “happy” times with William. The abuse, his drinking and drugging, and excessive work overshadowed everything. There were times when things passed for “okay”, but there were never any really any happy times. Yeah, we laughed like crazy at times and when I tell you we had each other’s backs when we were at Will’s game, believe that. We could do the most clowning, but we were never really happy.
I had lost trust in him years before and I will tell you once you’ve lost trust in a person, getting it back is nearly impossible. It can be done, but it takes work on both person’s parts. We were never on the same page with our efforts — ever. There was too much water under the bridge. It was dark, murky water. There was no seeing through it. There was no going back.
I know there are many couples who are able to mend their broken marriages. I know that commitment to the marriage and determination to make it work, on his and her part can fix whatever is wrong. In just as many other cases, I know that sometimes you can’t go back. In those cases, there’s just nothing to go back to. No amount of pain, disrespect, or abuse is worth going back. Move on.