Midvale School for the Gifted Alumni Association

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

July 15, 1999

He wore a suit; I wore my best dress. My mother was on one side of me, my attorney on the right. The entire proceeding lasted less than 10 minutes. I barely even remember what was said, other than my saying, "yes, your honor". I managed to keep my tears at bay until he and his attorney had cleared the courthouse. I may have gone to lunch with my mother; she asked, and I know I initially said no, that I wanted to be alone, but I might have changed my mind. I was going to be alone quite a bit in the coming months; why add to that time if it wasn't necessary?

Ten years ago today, I was divorced. These days, people in my life now would not have any idea that I was ever married unless I came right out and told them. In the interest of full disclosure, particularly when I meet someone new who could be more than "just a friend", I generally do tell people I was married. It's only fair, after all. And I always wonder how, or if, to broach the specific details, air all the dirty laundry, as the dirty laundry is all mine. Well, no. Promises were broken on both sides of this story. My betrayal is just easier to point a finger at when the day is done. His was no less hurtful to our relationship, though. His came first, and set the avalanche moving. But, I don't want this post to be about rehashing what did happen; my intention with this is for it to be about what I've learned in the last ten years.

I've learned that I was never so far removed from who I really am as a person as I was in the years I was with my ex-husband. This is a terribly difficult thing to admit, losing yourself. We always like to think of ourselves as in control at all times, not susceptible to pressures, always following our instincts. But I'll be honest, part of me was following my instincts in saying yes to his proposal. My instincts always guide me on the path of least resistance, or, they did for a long time. I never wanted to hurt anyone, disappoint anyone, be seen as less than perfect. Oldest child, over-achiever, goody-two-shoes, utterly naive, whatever it was, going along with this arrangement was the path of least resistance. I mean, you're supposed to say yes to a proposal, right? And I was, and still am in some ways, very naive. Even after I began to wonder if getting married was really what I wanted, in my head, I had made this commitment. I felt it necessary to see it through. And then I failed. Miserably. Forgiving yourself after something that huge, that life changing is a long, long road.

And it took many more failures to realize that I know who and what is good for me, who and what helps me be the woman I know myself to be. Intelligent, beautiful, witty, deserving of someone who appreciates the person I am every day, and isn't out to change me, or stand in my light. If the last ten years have been a journey, the last two have been utterly transformational. It's taken me ten years to learn this lesson, this critical lesson about myself--I deserve to be happy. It's taken me ten years to actually FEEL happy again; I've been pretending to be since July 15, 1999, and it's only within these last two years that I've finally made myself truly this way. My life is not perfect, but it is wholly mine.

Ten years ago today, I divorced my husband. The hardest lesson I ever learned was how to walk away and start again. Ten years later, I finally feel like I'm walking in the right direction.

Someone Saved My Life Tonight - Elton John

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Blogger murph said...

This is good. And we did not go out to lunch. I respected your pain enougth to know it needed to be looked at, or ignored , on your own. I accepted your refusal and cried for my daughters pain. It takes time to loose the illusion of love, and even longer to loose love.

3:07 PM  

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Midvale School For the Gifted

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    "So I walk like I'm on a mission, 'cuz that's the way I groove. I've got more and more to do, I've got less and less to prove. It took me too long to realize that I don't take good pictures 'cuz I have the kind of beauty that moves..." Ani D.
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