At approximately 9:15am yesterday, I was standing in front of a judge in family court in Dallas County, right hand raised and swearing to tell the truth. My attorney asked a series of questions, including was I requesting my name be returned to me to ask my creditors or criminal prosecution, I answer each question correctly apparently, five minutes after it started it was over. The judge smiled and granted my request for a divorce, a chapter closed.
I felt a weight lift from my shoulders as if a piece of me had been returned. I will not say that all the years with the man who had been my husband were bad or wasted that would be a lie. We had many good years together, at least I believe we did. The lie we told to each other and ourselves is we could repair what was broken after the first time he left, we spent two more years lying to each other and ourselves. Maybe out of love, maybe out of duty, maybe out of fear, whatever the reason we spent two years hurting each other and we shouldn’t have. We tore at each other, finding what hurt the worst and tearing each other down to the bone. I know at the end I felt broken by harsh words and the almost two years without physical validation of our connection, of love, of beauty or desirability in the eyes of the man who was supposed to love me.
The pages have been turned the book closed. I walked out of the court and it was done. My copies stamped by the County Clerk and officially, I am me again, single…free…unencumbered by husband or the obligations to same. I am no longer a hyphenated name, but just me.
During the last several months as I walked toward this day I have been finding things about myself, some of them I have talked about in the pages of this blog. Some you have seen as I have begun to open the pages of my journals and add poetry to the mix. Truly, I never thought I would ever let those out for others to see, I am gratified by the reception they have received.
When I started this journey, the day I came home to an empty house I was devastated and betrayed. Not once but twice my ex-husband had walked out, leaving me alone to pick up the pieces. This time I didn’t wait I found a path to take back my life. This time I was done, there was no ‘vacation’ from marriage, I was taking myself back, even through the hurt, I knew I had had enough. Alone, I made it through the death of my mother. Alone I have been working through trying to sort out career issues and not working. Scary stuff really, when you are use to having a partner by your side. Then finally, today came and alone I stood in front of the judge and thanked her for granting my petition for divorce.
What I have found, as I stare at these pages saying I am no longer married is this is simply the finalization of what has been mostly true for two long and hard years. I have certainly been lonely for that long, broken by judgment I didn’t earn or deserve and isolated in my head, my heart frozen over, more fragile than even I was aware. I tried very hard to gloss over what was wrong, even becoming very good at it most of the time in public. I was wrong; I should have walked away when I knew it wasn’t going to get better. I am not going to beat myself to death, it’s my nature to do the right thing, to stand by commitments made and vows taken, it is how I was raised. But, the truth is, I was wrong and I allowed myself to be hurt.
For two long years I have thought, what do I want, from life mostly but for my future and in my future. I continue to discover more about myself every single day. Some things I discover are shocking as they rock my world away from what I thought I knew. Others are more validation of what I have always known, now as I pull myself away from the funk I have been in I can realize them and begin to act on them, as I need to, so I can take my life back.
What do I know so far, some things are simple and others more nebulous, strange and for the future.
- I want work that interests me but doesn’t take up all my time, it is a difficult balance.
- To truly get my house in order, cleaned and cleared out of all the debris of the past.
Those are my two very short-term goals. Silly,right?
Remember Grown Assed Man, yes him. I talk about him now and then and think about him frequently. He is that man sitting off in the corner of my eye, the one who has never come into focus, stepped in my way or given me that shattering kiss that made my knees weak and captured me, mind, body, heart and soul. I want him in my life; I do not want to spend my life alone. It is neither my nature nor my desire. Do not misunderstand, I will never settle again. I will never again tolerate being abused or mistreated, ignored or abandoned. This doesn’t change the truth of my nature; I am a woman who enjoys the companionship at every single imaginable level of a man. I will wait, because the man I have built in my writing and my imagination, yes that one that grown assed man he is the one I already love a little bit, he is the one worth waiting for. Nevertheless, I want that in my life.
I have turned the page and closed the chapter on this I have a blank page with a new chapter, oddly it starts;
Once upon a time……
(as part of my house cleaning endeavor I have cleaned up my blog removing twenty posts going back two years. This bit of housekeeping felt good, I hated losing comments and discussions, I didn’t hate losing what were in truth lies, since they reflected a marriage with happy and loving partners, clearly not the truth)