It is a difficult thing to forget the betrayal and deceit. I am an avid subscriber in the time heals all wounds philosophy of recovery. So far it has proved an effective method in dealing with the trauma of divorce. However recent events have made it obvious to me that while time does indeed heal my wounds it definitely does not remove the scars from said wounds.
Two years ago was an interesting time in my life. I had been attending college on and off for 7 years and my time of my formal education was coming to a close . Graduation was around the corner and within weeks I would be finished. All of the money, time, and effort that I had put into improving myself was finally going to be paying off. There was one final push, a large capstone project, remaining. The project deadline was fast approaching and I was starting to feel the weight of the week bearing down on me. It was a stressful time in my academic life to say the least.
The culmination of my efforts (not just on the project, but also to an extent my graduate degree process as well) was to be displayed at a single event, the capstone event. My day of triumph, my day of success. In some regards it was more important than walking down the isle at graduation, because it was proof that I have what it takes to succeed in this career.
In my personal life, things were less exciting. I was still married to Alison and we were experiencing some tough times. There were many factors contributing to the stress in our relationship at that time. Nothing that needs to be drudged up here, but suffice to say it was not good times in my house. What is important is that we were both stressing out about it, which was NOT helping us to solve any of the issues.
Right before the capstone event the shit hit the fan. A series of events lead me to suggest that she leave, both our home, and my life. It was a phrase uttered in the passion of a moment, clouded by stress and compounded by the fight of the hour. She asked if I were serious and upon my affirmation she left our home.
Understand that this series of events was a lot like a water slide at a water park. The previous months or years we had been in a spiral, one event after another driving a wedge between us. Our relationship was sliding through the pipes of the system, sloshing left and right, through the dark and light, but always down to the impending drop into the water. It was this moment, this exorcism of her from my life, this giving in to the devil conscious in a moment of weakness when we both realized (I theorize) that our relationship was beyond repair, and that the rest of our time together was not about coming closer, but distancing ourselves from each other.
We had passed the event horizon of the water slide, and were now in the free fall before we plopped into the water below and were able to go our separate ways.
I write this in part for back-story, in part for my own therapy. The importance to glean from this is that this was the first traumatic event that, for me at least, signaled the point of no return in the end of my marriage.
It came on the day of my capstone event, early in the morning as she was getting ready for work and I was sleeping in. I spent the rest of the afternoon in my bed in a fetal position, horrified that I had made the single most horrible mistake possible. I was wracked with fear and guilt, and I was completely incapable of moving. The time of the event eventually came and I showed up. I am not sure how I made it through honestly. I put on a smile, and stood by my poster and explained what an iPeep was to those who were interested. It was painful and exciting all at once. I felt lost and found all in the same moment. I wanted to cry, but was not sure if they would be tears of joy or sorrow, it was very confusing.
We went out to celebrate that night after the event. We went with the friends we had shared the previous two years with, and I went without the only person I wanted to be with at that moment. I had often wondered how people could escape into substance abuse, and that night I got my answer. I dodged the questions of “where is your wife?” with answers of cheap beer. I made my body feel numb but my brain remained painfully aware of my situation. I walked home that night, alone, along the Burke Gillman trail crying at the irony of spending 10 years of your life with someone waiting for the day when school would be over and the rest of your lives together would begin only to have the film melt at the critical moment, the future of those events gone in that moment.
This was a painful time, however the human condition (or at least my condition) is such that we persevere. We continue on. In the coming months we attempted to bail out our relationship with a teaspoon, while we were taking on water a gallon at a time. Suffice to say within months we were officially not together anymore.
This capstone event has come to signify the moment in my life where I ceased to be Larry + Alison and started to be just Larry. For better or worse.
I have attended both the capstone events for the years proceeding me. They are a place to meet up with old friends and meet a lot of new people who share similar interests as you do. Year me+1 went very well. I attended, I brought a friend and things were good, many of us went to dinner afterwards and it was not until several days later that I realized just how nonchalant I was about the whole event.
Year me+2 was not quite so easy. I went alone, it was in the same space as it was in year me. I had a really tough time with it all. Being in the same space, brought back a flood of emotions and feelings that I was not prepared for. It got me to thinking again about the events of two years ago.
It sucks to drudge up the past and agonize over details that really don't matter. Who am I trying to convince, why do I need to place blame, why can't I just accept the fact that our paths diverged and we are two people leading two seperate lives? Maybe I have trouble with the fact that I feel like I can't be friends with her. That I feel too betrayed by her. Two years is a long time to have had these feeling bottled up and have the suddenly explode.
How much of what she told me was a lie, how much was not? Why was I never able to understand what she needed from me? Why was I never able to help her? Why does it all fucking suck still after two years. Two years, most of which I spent believing that I was fully over her. That she held no hold over me. Yet after two years there is a part of me that wants to reach out to her to reconnect on some level. Maybe I desire a resurrection of the friend I used to have, maybe its the lover I miss, maybe it is both.
I wish this could be finished, but somehow I don't think it is. What other monsters are hiding behind corners ready to jump out and scare me when I least expect it? I don't know... and that is actually scarier then the monsters.
I relate. But, you did something I couldn't do. I've never been able to recognize when I needed to move on. And, regardless of all the 'what if's' you may have had after making your decision, you made one and you moved on as best you could. The mind will always run circles around the unanswered questions. They'll always come back up, especially on certain days. So, I let myself mull over it for a short and then try my best to let it go. I hope you feel better for what you went through, and open to finding out what you need to do to help bring closure (in whatever form that looks like). Two years may seem like a long time, but really, it's not. Being so intertwined with another person and adjusting to life after them takes time. So, two years? I sometimes think I'll still be feeling it in another five.ReplyDelete
Thank for the support, it means a lot. It is a process to work through, and we are doing it eh? For what it is worth, and as you suggest, I did feel good about it after the emotions had run their course. There is no way I could work on moving past this when I had no idea it existed.
As always, life marches on!
Thanks for writing.