I have been surprised how hard I have found this last part, for a range of different reasons.
Having the ability to write this all down has been great for me. Being able to go over events with a clearer mind, with better clarity and a deeper understanding has been really helpful for my healing process, but it has also been really bloody hard! Like jamming your fingers into an open wound over and over again and wondering why it still isn’t healed?
Going over things, which impacted my life so drastically, has been hard but it has also been really cleansing. I have been able to revisit things with new eyes, I am no longer looking at them with hurt, anger and heartbreak, and can view things from the other persons point of view and this has been quite eye opening. I feel I have become quite clinical about the whole thing, like I am writing about someone else’s experience and not my own. I feel like I am finally allowing myself to heal those wounds I have ignored up till now.
I also wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone who has helped and supported me in getting to this point. Those who have listened to me, offered me advice, read my stuff before I felt brave enough to put it out for the world to see, or just supported me by reading and sharing my story – this support has meant more to me than anyone will ever know.
So finally, after starting this blog 2 months ago and a year and a half since my world fell apart, I am finally here, writing the last page of this particular story in my life.
In a strange way I feel incredibly grateful for the experiences I have had over the last year and a half, without a shadow of a doubt it has made me a better person, it has taught me how to look after and protect myself and become responsible for my own heart, well-being and happiness.
There is no way a year ago I would ever have thought I would have been grateful for what happened to me, but I am, I truly am.
Five days after our walk, my final letter and his reply we found ourselves face to face in our flat. Finally, after a month we were at the end.
I don’t think anyone can anticipate how they would react in this situation, it is not something you are ever prepped for, no one tells you how to face these situations. But none the less we found ourselves sitting opposite each other discussing the fact we were going to get a divorce, less that 2 years after we got married.
I know I was mean in this moment, and so was he, we were both hurting, ultimately in very different ways, but we were still both hurting. I feel like after a month of keeping my mouth shut
and anyone who knows me knows my mouth is very rarely shut
I let everything spill out of me; the betrayal I felt, the anger I felt, the guilt I felt, the shame I felt, the hurt I felt and ultimately the heartbreak I felt. I went on the attack that night, I had spent a month running from this particular elephant, on this evening my aim was to fight it, in fact I think my plan was to kill it.
Whereas my response was to fight, violently, his was to switch off. He was so unbelievable cold to me that night that it stopped me in my tracks. His coldness, I am sure was a way of protecting himself, he didn’t want this relationship anymore, he had come this far and had one last obstacle to overcome before he was free. But he equally didn’t want to hurt me. I think in his own weird way he was trying to make it easier for me to hate him, make it easier for me to walk away in that moment, and it kind of worked.
I no longer knew the man sitting opposite me, I realised then that the man I chose to marry had died that night in Las Vegas, much like the woman he married died 9 months previously when I had that break down. Something had shifted momentously between us, we were not the people we once were and these 2 people did not know each other and were not meant to be together forever – I realised that that night.
Even in this moment I was still trying to save this, I am not sure why I was trying so hard, I knew it was over, I knew I could never forgive him, I knew I would never let him forget this and I knew if he did give in and stay with me we would both eventually destroy it and each other in the process, but still I tried. I am not even sure at this point I wanted to save it for us, or our marriage, I wanted to save it because I was ashamed and embarrassed that I had failed at being a wife. I didn’t want to be a divorcee and I felt staying unhappily married was better than being single and alone and having to face building my life all over again! I felt ashamed to say I was divorced.
Failure is my biggest mental health trigger, if I feel like I have let someone down I just can’t cope
and I really felt like I had let people down – my parents, my family, my friends, myself. Divorce is not something spoken about much in my world. The shame of this fact was a bitter pill for me to swallow.
His coldness became too much for me and eventually I couldn’t take it anymore and went into our bedroom, sat on our bed and cried, well sobbed. After a few minutes he came in and he hugged me, the first time he had hugged me with any feeling for over a month. Whilst he hugged me he said he was sorry, so sorry that he had done this to me, he would never forgive himself for what he had done or how he had made me feel and he knew I deserved better.
I think over this last year I refused to remember this moment – because it hurt too much to remember this. It hurt too much to remember him as a good person, and to accept that he was genuinely sorry and didn’t mean to hurt me. I couldn’t because I needed to move on from him and to do that in that first year I needed to hate him.
he also continued to be a bit of a dick in the months to come, so I am in no way painting him as an angel
I knew I needed that sorry, but didn’t realise how much I needed it until right now. At that moment in our bedroom it meant nothing, it felt like empty words, but now over a year later that sorry is important. I know he was sorry for hurting me, sorry for what he did, sorry he got caught, he was sorry it got messy and most of all he was sorry he had broken my heart in the process. It is important I got that sorry, even though at the time it meant nothing as I didn’t believe it. I genuinely know now that he was sorry for what he did and the pain he caused me. It doesn’t make what he did alright, but for myself it is important that I acknowledge this, and a year a half later I have finally accepted his apology. Forgiveness I believe is important for ourselves and our well-being & mental health. I saw a great quote years ago which said:
Forgive others, not because they deserve forgiveness but because you deserve peace.Anonymous
And now I finally deserve peace and this means forgiving him for what he did.
We discussed the divorce, we discussed the flat, I cried, sobbed, begged him with my eyes to change his mind – but it was too late, for both of us. It didn’t even cross my mind that this would be the last time I would see him, but it was and that will be my last memory of him and us – him walking away and me being left alone, surrounded by the broken parts of my life.
When he left and shut the door for the final time I found myself lying on my kitchen floor, sobbing, I have never cried like that before, I have never felt grief like it. Part of me still hoped he would walk back in, scoop me up and say this was a mistake, let’s make this work.
But he didn’t – I haven’t seen him since that night. It is funny in life how things end without you even realising it’s the end, one day you see someone for the last time without even realising it’s the last time. They just walk away and then that’s it. They are gone.
The sudden absence of someone who has played such a huge part in your life is often what people find hardest to cope with after a break up. So much has happened this year which I have wanted to share with him, at times he is the first person that comes into my mind when I have big news or some juicy gossip. But I have to remind myself now that we are two completely different people, we are strangers in each others lives now, and that’s ok. It took a while to get use too, but as I said earlier the versions of those 2 people, who were once in love, both died and neither of us know these 2 new people.
If you have ever listened to Celeste’s song “Strange” these words ring strong for me and sum up this area of thinking perfectly…
From strangers to friends, friends into lovers and strangers againCeleste
I sobbed for an hour until there were no tears left to cry. I then picked myself up off of the floor, dusted myself off, picked up some of my stuff and left.
When I got back to my mums I ate a some food, drank a large glass of gin, listened to the “I can’t believe it’s” and finally gave in and went to sleep. As soon as my head hit the pillow I was out, finally being able to sleep properly for the first time since the night he told me he was no longer happy. Amongst my heartache I felt relief, I knew for a month this was coming, it felt like part of the weight of this elephant was lifting.
In an attempt to be the better person and stay civil we decided to share our flat for the remaining 3 months we had on our lease, 1 week on, 1 week off. The problem with this act of goodwill was I was a paranoid mess. I would search my home for signs she had been there, and of course I found some, you can find anything if you look hard enough for it.
I confronted him, he denied it – same shit, different day!
I was in the earliest stages of grieving this and I felt heartbroken and angry but was still prioritising his happiness over my own, hoping he would do the same. It took me a few weeks to realise us being in contact with each other was not healthy – at all, things just seemed to be getting messier and messier!
This is when I realised that the only person who could put this right and make me feel better in this situation was me.
I couldn’t understand why he wasn’t grieving this? How could he just simply move on and not grieve the last 12 years? Like I was?
What I realise now is he had been grieving this relationship for a year, this relationship ended for him in May 2018, so by the time it was actually over he was in a very different place than I was. H had gone through all the feelings I was currently going through, just no one was aware of it.
After a few weeks of torturing myself with trying to stay amicable, I sent my final text to him. I told him exactly how I felt, how I couldn’t cope with them two being together, how disrespected I felt, how I no longer wanted him in our flat, that I couldn’t be friends with him. Whilst we were still having this constant contact I was unable to move on, heal my broken heart and start to get over this. I remember sending this, waiting for his reply and then blocking his number – the first good move and move for me that I had made in almost 3 months.
After this I went for a long walk, sat on a bench and watched the sunset. I felt a sense of freedom I have never felt before. And in that moment I watched this one particular, big fat elephant, who had taken permanent residence in my life, blocking out all the sunlight in my world, start to fade away. I finally felt free.
Ultimately I wouldn’t be fully free until months later in November, when our divorce was finalised, but for now this little slice of freedom was enough.
Even though over the next few months new hurdles appeared, fresh heartache occurred I knew I would be ok. Even though I thought about him every minute of every day, I knew eventually he would fade. People told me one day him and all this will just become a memory, and they were right. At times I wished I could just erase him from my life, all the memories, all the good times, all the happiness. But now I know I can’t and I don’t want to. When someone impacts your life the imprint of them stays with you forever, and it should however painful, because their part in your journey got you to where you are now and has made you the person you are.
He had a huge, and largely positive, impact on my life up to that point, I experienced a lot of my firsts, a lot of my happiest and saddest moments with him. I am so grateful for everything he brought to my life, I refuse to not remember and acknowledge this. But that’s all these are to me now, memories from my past, a past I no longer live in. I don’t miss him and I don’t miss us now, but I will always cherish the love we shared, and the person he was. Even if it didn’t end how I imagined I will always be grateful for the 12 years we had.
I am actually incredibly thankful for what he did to me, as it set me free, in a time I didn’t realise I needed to be free. The hurt he put me through made me the person I am today, and for the first time in my 31 years, I really like this person.
No matter what you are going through as raw and painful as it is, it will get better, it will get easier, just hang on – that’s what I felt I did for a year and a half, clung on for dear life on the hope of things getting better and I am so bloody glad I hung on, as I know the best is yet to come.