It is half past three in the morning and my mind wonders to after the mid night hour thoughts. It’s been three and a half years since my marriage ended in what took three and a half sentences to declare. 16 years of travels together unpacked into separate boxes just like that. A dust storm rolled through the house followed by held breaths and even tighter held hearts. They say that 45% of marriages end up that way, but no divorce is a statistic, no marriage ended can be quantified. It’s a big fucking deal and it is often a type of train wreck; crashed and smashed with collateral damage that seems to go on and on. That is how it was for me.
I was reading about intentional separation the other day. Intentional…mmmm, where was I intentional. Everywhere and nowhere. Was I moving through such a big transition from together to apart with dignity, integrity and intact lives? No. Oh how I wish that was mandatory. But I was clumsy. I was guarded, and like separating couples, I was scared. Was I intentionally married? I certainly was not intentionally divorced.
We fall in love, fall into marriage and then fall out of love and fall out of marriages like a drunk person thrown out of a night club. We trip on our small humanity and make beasts of ourselves. Mostly we just end up shocked, bewildered, backtracking to the moment, a moment, thinking there must have been one moment when it changed. But it is never just one moment.
There is a family I know, whom I consider my family now. They are all it appears, divorced or fallen apart in some way, and yet there we all sit over breakfast the morning after a huge family function, wife sitting between husband and ex-husband whilst they talk about the business of family. She sipping on her tea as she laughs. It is not lost on me as I sit across from them with my tears jammed up in my throat at the painful beauty of this image. I look around and I state with all the hope in my heart “I want to have a family with this type of functionality”. She looks up from her tea, putting it down and looking at me with all the understanding of a woman who knows a few things. “You have to both want it”, she says
SLAM………….there it is……………
Where did I go wrong I ask myself but stop mid-questioning to see that in its nature, that question will not lead me to any revelation. I am just feeling so much disappointment that I even thought I would marry once and be done, tucked up in a creation bigger than me, held. It is a long way back down that road to the day I married and then all the twisted corners that came along that journey.
One day I woke up and all the strategies I had put in place, the triathlon training I had undertaken in this partnership stopped working. All the air had gone out of the jar.
That was it, full stop.
I look back 3 and a half years later and I see things more clearly. I see all the clever ways I sold myself like a secondhand car salesman. I sold myself a happy ending somewhere down the track, but everything was always somewhere down the track. The delayed satisfaction was further delayed. Track work apparently. So there we both stood, a child in each arm, on the station, waiting for something to happen. He waiting for the golden parachute empire that would have him retire early so then he could spend quality time and enjoy his children’s growing years. Me waiting for acknowledgement for every little thing I did in order to seek acknowledgement. Both pipe dreaming.
A friend of mine said she thought I had post natal depression after my first child. Maybe I had it after my second child also. When you’re that far down, it doesn’t matter what got you there. There is just the exit door to look for.
And all the time I could hear myself talking inside my head.
“You did this, you did this”, and I knew what I had to do next.
– Lotus Kruse