Empty Closets

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAChoices sometimes are taken out of our hands, taken away from us entirely.  Yesterday I came home after a week away to an empty house.  I knew it was empty as soon as I opened the door, before I opened a closet or drawer, I knew I was alone in every real sense.  One choice taken away, one choice not mine anymore; one fight I no longer had to step into the ring for another round.

I wandered through the house, looking for at least a note a letter, something anything that would say to me; I have loved you for sixteen years but no more, I am leaving.  There was nothing.  No good-bye, farewell, nothing at all to mark the end of a marriage, the end of nearly twenty years.

How do you do that?

How do you not even say good-bye?

How the fuck do you hug your wife on Sunday and then pack all your shit and leave without a word?

Because I have friends and you don’t like it?

Because I called you a jackass when you acted like one?

Because I wanted your contribution to our lives and our home to be more than your presence?

Because, I pointed out to you what you were doing in trying to isolate me from friends and family was abusive?

You didn’t like my anger, especially when it focused on you.  You didn’t like the mirror and sometimes when it was held up you would retreat behind a wall of silence, for day’s even weeks until I would beg for a word.

You would win when I was finally on my knees begging, in tears for the silence to end.

How the fuck do you announce on Facebook you have returned to your mother, knowing I won’t see this announcement until after a five-hour drive, after coming into an empty house.

How do you do this?

How do you tell me the only thing you wanted was my time, when the truth was you wanted it on your terms and to the exclusion of anything and everything else in my life.  Your momentary lapses into kindness were just that lulls in the storm, a means to an end.  They lasted only long enough to give me a false sense of safety within our marriage; they were shorter and shorter after every outburst.

One choice out of my hands, you chose for me.  You crushed my spirit, broke my heart.  Never mind, I will survive this.  Maybe, I will be alone for the rest of my life as you say.  Maybe I will never be loved again, as you say.  Except, I will be surrounded by friends who love me and do not expect me to change to suit them.

I wish you hadn’t done this too me, to us.  I wish you had loved me, us and yourself enough.  I did.  I still do, I suspect this will hurt for a very long time.

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