I was sitting on my living room floor folding laundry. Miles of piles of tipping laundry and unmatched socks sat in front of me. The kids were playing independently and the house was otherwise quiet.
Just me and my thoughts. A dangerous thing.
And suddenly I felt sick. Literally, physically sick. It occurred to me, the omission I keep making.
I will allow myself to feel this for a fleeting moment. I need to, so that I can continue to heal. This is just the beginning. I know this. I resent this.
I am so angry.
I am so sad.
And I am so lonely.
I catch myself looking at everyone’s left hand. The ring finger of even the 70-year old in the grocery store checkout line is not excluded.
Are you married? Are you happy? Does it feel good to sleep next to someone every night? Is it nice to have someone to call when your day is shit? How does it feel to hug someone tightly when you cry or even better, when you have the best news to celebrate? Do you feel a sense of security knowing they will be there day after day, night after night?
I hate everyone’s happiness. I hate the people who have someone to go home to. I hate all of your wedding rings and I hate all of your family pictures. I hate all of your smiles and I hate all of your photos of flower bouquets and sandy beach vacations. I hate your Facebook questions about an anniversary dinner spot to reserve, or whether you should have another baby.
My wedding dress sits in a box in my attic. My rings, were so beautiful, and they sit in a safe that isn’t even in my own house. My wedding albums sit on a shelf. My dream of another child dashed.
There are two photos of him still in the house that just feel like too much energy to change out of the frame. His mail still comes to the house. I want to burn it.
I want to just sit and cry until I can’t anymore. Especially when people who don’t know, who will never know, hear that I am getting divorced and optimistically say “Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that it didn’t work out.”
Didn’t work out?
It didn’t work out?
You must be f#%@*ing kidding me, right?
I gave everything to this man, and then some. A thankless, unselfish kind of love he will never, ever find again. And I got screwed, sideways, backwards and up the street. I was emotionally abused, abandoned, and ignored.
In return I have two, beautiful, healthy, awesome children.
I learned I have the strength of a warrior and an infinite capacity to love through hurt, betrayal, and loneliness.
But as I told him, so many times, I am not unbreakable. There is an end to my ability to bear the weight.
I am grieving the loss of what I thought my life would be. I am grieving the loss of love, a husband, and even a father to my children. I am grieving failure.
I gave it my all and I failed. I don’t fail. I don’t quit. And at this, this most important thing, I couldn’t fix it. Singular effort in a dual partnership just does not cut it.
A few months ago, he made a point of it to hurt me and tell me: “You were not good enough.”
It hurt to hear him say it, and his intent behind it. I know this is not true. But it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t sting. It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t get replayed in my head in the quiet of the night. In the quiet of folding laundry on a Tuesday afternoon.
There is still an indentation on my ring finger. I find myself reaching to spin my rings less and less. But my finger still feels naked, and so do I. My flaws feel exposed, my emotions feel heightened, my hurt feels raw and misunderstood. My trust and my belief in people…broken. I am sorry in advance that I will not believe you will follow through. I will always wait for you to be the one to break my heart.
I feel like I will never be as important to someone again, as he was to me. I grieve the idea that there is a possibility that I will never be loved that way that I love. That is real, that is honest, and that is heartbreaking. It may not be true, but right now, it is the truest statement I can make about what it feels like inside.
Everything hurts. And no one, not anything but time, will make it better. Please hide all the clocks and wake me when it’s over.
-Jessica: Awesome Single Mama