So, my marriage of six and a half years is over.
I never thought I would be in this position—almost 47 and separated, currently living in the same rented house as my ex-husband.
It’s excruciating. It’s uncomfortable and awkward being in the same space with the one I thought loved me just a matter of weeks ago.
I’m moving clumsily through all the obvious stages of grieving: constant crying, panic, hate and rage, fear and sadness. Raw denial, a touch of acceptance, anger and overwhelming brokenness, more denial, and through it all again. Again and again and again. Like being on some sick, twisted, undulating, and never-ending roller coaster that I can’t get off.
Here I sit. In my (ex-“our”) bedroom like a teenager avoiding her parents (feeling alone but oddly a little more open), reading all and every account of separation/divorce/leaving a partner that my browser will find. Crying, breaking open, and hurting.
The figures for divorce are clear. This happens often and with, it seems, increasing frequency.
But me?! No. No.
The chaos of the thoughts in my head (along with my defensive, shouty ego voice) tell me that I will never find love again. I will now forever be single. Surely no one will love me again, or hold me in their arms like they mean it. Ever. Again.
But, there it is. A little nudge of something. A little encouraging voice deep inside my chest that says:
“Just be. You will be okay. Go, be free. Find who you really are—you know, the you you misplaced a long, long time ago trying to show the world that you could be just like everyone else, be the expected, do the expected, find a partner, get married. Carbon copy.”
As I write this, I realise that this is all I have ever done. Tried to fit into the image, perceptions, and expectations of others. My parents, my friends. A life of comparison. A life feeling so small I just wanted to blend in.
Where am I? Who am I coming out of this marriage, this lost, inadvertently put down and forgotten love?
Yes, I am afraid. Yes, I am lonely, financially screwed, older, more misshapen. A little lost, a lot hurt, but strangely a little less weighed down by all those layers of other people’s views, expectations, needs, and wants. A little more awake to the uncomfortable process of growth and learning, once again being held by the tight arms of grief. A little wiser. A little more allowing of myself.
I will move through this as I have through other pain, other grief. I’m sure it won’t be pretty, but life generally isn’t pretty. It’s messy and fun and sh*tty all at once. It’s a learning curve, no matter what age you are or what stage in life you are at.
So, here I am. I will feel it all, I will be it all. I will find the lost love and give it to myself.
We are never really alone. We always have ourselves.