I will not be writing out a blow-by-blow account of my divorce experience. I know me, and I know I will go back and read it over later and I do not want to remember every detail of the four hours I spent in court (90% of it spent sitting there waiting). I don’t want to remember that. I am hoping that, with time, the finer details will eventually fade and fuzz and I won’t remember them clearly. I have, to be honest, already forgotten what the judge actually said. He spoke the words so quickly.
What I will write down, and what I do want to remember, is how, an hour after leaving court, when the numbness wore off (yes, I did cry, but not until the decision was pronounced and we were leaving), I finally felt the weight of the world shift from my shoulders, to be replaced with…lightness.
And then the tears flowed again, but they were tears of relief, tears of happiness, tears of realization that finally, after twenty-two months, there were no more “what-ifs’ there was no more hope of reconciliation, there was no more push for me to fix what I had known for months in my heart could not be fixed any longer. There was no court date hanging over my head, there was nothing left to tear down and set on fire.
Please don’t take this to mean that I am happy that my marriage ended, or that I’m thrilled to be divorced. The best way I can put it into words (and this is after almost 48 hours of thinking about it) is this:
I’m not happy that I’m divorced. I’m sad that our marriage ended. But I am so happy, so relieved, so thrilled, that there is nothing left to burn.
I had been carrying this horrible burden since September of 2011, this push, this drive, to fix this marriage, to make it work. Even knowing as I did that David gave up on us back in 2011, even if he didn’t admit it until almost a year later, I still felt obligated to fix what I could. Which was ludicrous in hind sight, because from Day One, it was on David. He was the one who was unhappy, he was the one who didn’t want to be married, he was the one who decided, on that day in September 2011 that I will never forget, not if I live to be 100 years old, that he was ready to tell me that he didn’t want to be married to me anymore.
If anyone says, “Divorce is not an option, you MUST fix your marriage“…well, that’s all well and good, and it’s a noble thought. But for a marriage to work, both individuals need to want it to. Both need to strive with every fiber of their being, every single day, to make it work. You have to wake up every morning, determined to keep your marriage strong, whether consciously or unconsciously. If even one of the two people in a couple is not on board…it isn’t going to work. It took me a very long time to figure that out. And even after I had realized it, I still kept hoping, against every hope, that David would change his mind. Even knowing as I did, that it would never work. My trust had been broken far too many times. There was no realm of being where I could have ever trusted him again. Without trust, you cannot have a healthy marriage. (I sort of laugh when I think about how often I said that before we were married.)
But once the divorce was final, there was nothing left. There were no more expectations, no more hopes, no more fears. What was done, was done. The worst had truly happened…and I had lived through it after all.
Months ago, acknowledging finally that my castle in the air was long since abandoned by its other inhabitant, who had no interest in coming back, I made the decision to burn it metaphorically to the ground. All of it, burn everything. I knew that if I held on to even one scrap of those dreams, if I looked back for even one moment, I would be trapped in a dying dream forever, like Miss Havisham in Great Expectations. I didn’t want that. Only when everything was ashes could I step out and rebuild.
As of July 8th, everything, every last piece, of that lovely mad dream, is ashes.
My heart has never been more full and open. And I’m shaking the ashes off my feet, and walking forward, never looking back, to build myself a bright, beautiful new future.
There’s one thing I want to say, so I’ll be brave
You were what I wanted
I gave what I gave
I’m not sorry I met you
I’m not sorry it’s over
I’m not sorry there’s nothing to save
I’m not sorry there’s nothing to save…
– Stars, “Your Ex-Lover is Dead”