Remember in my previous post how I promised to get to the leaving part? I’m getting there. I’m just getting to that point in the telling in the same way I did in the leaving: I’m leading up to it.
You’re with me, right? Good. Now here’s the thing. By lowering my expectations in my marriage, I’d unwittingly laid the foundation for my divorce. I didn’t know it back then and had assumed the new path would lead to happily ever after. Bwahahahaha!
Sorry, sometimes the new me interrupts my memory’s train of thought by punching it in the head.
Anyway. Hubs and I are cruising through the years of our marriage. Twenty of them, remember? And things are great–as long as I don’t expect anything from him in the attention department and don’t mind being an afterthought.
See? It sounds pathetic now, but back then I wore my ram horns and was barging through this marriage arrangement as blindly as Billy’s goat. And I would win, damn it! Problem was, my marriage wasn’t a game to be won. Nor was it an accomplishment to check off my Bucket List.
It was my life, and ignoring and smothering and choking and smashing down my inner voice slowly and inexorably bled away my spirit. Until that dawning moment when I realized I was dying, that my marriage was killing me. My spirit. The essence of who I truly was, until I didn’t recognize me anymore. I’d become an adjunct of my husband.
Did I kick the door down to this epiphany?!
Nope. I sagged to my knees and cried. Cried, cried, cried. Words like failure, idiot, and dumb wove across my heart, trailing bloody slices in their wake. I suffered under this epiphany and I did it silently. My shame allowed for nothing more. My self-loathing allowed for my self-destruction.
I didn’t care. I started driving fast and taking chances. I let things go. Why weed the flower gardens and rake away the gravel from the edge of the drive when the snow receded if hubs was just going to park his truck on the nascent grass? And then toss the shit from the back of his work truck right next to or onto the flower beds I’d labored and poured my heart into?
Hubs wasn’t metaphorically burying me, he was doing it in reality. Demonstrating his complete, utter, and entire lack of respect for me. For me. Not only his wife, but me. A real person. A good person. A person who had given him every God-damn ounce of myself!
Yeah, well, you see how the anger finally picked its ass up off the floor of shame and rose its triumphant head. Ram horns and all.
Though to be truthful with you, the previous paragraph is short and concise but the time it took for this outrage to manifest spanned the length of writing a real book. It was my first story–Luna–and I’d put so much of myself into the main character my closest friends recognized it instantly. Luna was fierce. But Luna was trapped–until she dared to free herself.
*And I’d thought I’d been fooling my small pack of woman-wolves with my “everything’s fine” face?*
Hubs had been fooled. So when I announced I was leaving to take a job, any job, as long as it took me away, he sat before me stunned. Capital STUNNED. And I couldn’t even say I was surprised by the sight of his slack jaw. Yet his bafflement underscored the fault line in our marriage as vividly as the red pen in the hands of an editor with a vendetta.
Sad. But there it is in a twenty year nutshell. Next, I’ll share the packing up of those twenty years and the Pandora’s Box of emotion that charged the way.