So many things in this life hurt. From your first stumbling pains as a child learning to walk, skinning your knees, falling off your bike, to more grown up pains like the death of a friend or the loss of a child. I find that physical pains are transient, piercing for the moment and then gone. Wounds to the spirit are the most lasting pains one can feel. They burn with the eagerness of fire and make it difficult to go about the daily business of living. Yet, we live on. Pains which pierce the heart never seem to die though. They join the embers of previous pains which glow unattended in the graveyards of our spirit. Events, places, people, phrases, songs, or words, spark them back into life for brief, searing moments in time and then, thankfully, they settle down again to take their place amongst things best forgotten.
Divorce. Divorce was one of the most painful times in my life. The marriage was no picnic but it’s death was ever so much worse. It brought up all my insecurities and played upon my weaknesses like a skilled conductor. For that moment in time, I became a wicked person with no consideration for my loved one; a weak person who had failed to fulfill her promise to another; a failure with no progeny to show for my foray to the other side of the fence; a loser who could not sustain the American dream and all it’s false glissandos of happiness; a destroyer, tearing down the things that mattered most and a harridan, speaking in acid tongues of my displeasure that what was broken could not be fixed. There was no respite from my doubts and self-hatred.
I had to find myself again amidst the tears and ashes of what was and that was the hardest thing to do. By comparison, admitting that I was no longer in love was easy. Accepting that I had been betrayed and hurt was a role I knew so well already that it to was painless. Coming from a place of singledom one knows all about betrayal and hurt. Virtually, each relationship ends that way and so we move on to the next unquestioningly. Searching, I was always searching from 14 to 32 for one man, just one who would not betray me and would love me with his whole heart. Once married, I thought that I had finally found a place in which I could come to rest. Sadly, I married the wrong person and my subconscious who knew better than the faulty decisions of my waking self prodded me and poked me until I came to realize what was true – there would be no happy ever after for me, not this time.
The loss of this illusion and the catapult that threw me back into an arena of oneness was a heavy bludgeon that struck me unexpected. I felt a place shatter in my psyche and the cacophony of the noise, the unforeseen collision with reality caused me for endless days to cry unheeded any moment I was alone. Public bathrooms, morning bus rides, upon waking, just making it to the doorstep of my home only to be overwhelmed again by sadness – alone. I cried myself to sleep at night and spent the majority of the summer indoors, an alien in my home. I resolved to keep a journal and write about it everyday but I could not lay my sadness upon the purity of white.
I took my pain instead to God and I asked him to heal me. That prayer, was an act of despair because I did not know how to fix what was broken but I did not want to be broken, did not want to give up. I would not lose all that I had gained in the wake of one bad decision and the false actions of a loved one. I could not lose my home, my finances, my career or my sanity. It took a car crash to wake me up from that place of darkness that had settled around me with the softness of a veil. I met with lawyers and fought with him and slept with a bat beside my bed and cut back on all the things I used to do and found new things to do, new loves to hold. Long drives in the sunlight, music, new music, more music, gardening, sporadic outpouring of words and long conversations with friends were a boon to my lost spirit. I learned to sit in silence and love the sound of my thoughts undiluted by should haves, would haves and musts. I came to know that I had done the right thing, I was just woefully unprepared to deal with the aftermath. 210 days later, sadness in remission, I knew that He had answered my prayer. Where all before was ashes, I could now see the Phoenix I had become. By moving forward on blind faith and simply understanding that where I was not where I wanted to be. I had moved to a whole and stronger version of myself with a better understanding of who I am and what is required for my happiness. I still feel bad sometimes and the wound is still tender but it closed and I am free. Free to discover a future that is more fulfilling and a better reflection of me.
Still, I know what few around me do, that the death of my marriage was one of the most difficult trials of my life but I lived through it and today, partly because of it, and in spite of it, I blossom…