Lets recap what we have covered so far – we started at the beginning with the words “I’m not happy”, we then moved on to the truth being revealed, the horrific journey home and then my first few hours back on English soil, oh yeah and that awkward encounter with my head teacher.
It is hard to pin point many specifics within these first few weeks, like with most traumas I blocked it out, buried it deep within me and tried to build my new life on top of it, thinking if I just pretended it never happened I would eventually forget it ever existed. Ultimately this didn’t work – you see the problem when you try and build something on uneven ground is it will never flourish the same way it would on new foundations. I don’t want what happened in my past to shape my new future, so I have to get it out to allow myself fresh foundations to grow on. Ultimately for me it is about getting closure, allowing myself to heal my wounds and move on as a better person. Don’t get me wrong I think I am a pretty great version of myself right now, but I know I have a long way to go, a long way to go to properly rebuild myself and become a full person again. And becoming a full person again means saying a final goodbye to moments and memories that have weighed heavy on me for too long, memories and moments I have gone over countless times in my head and memories I have allowed to cloud my judgement and perspective of myself.
So sit back and enjoy the (almost) last chapter of this particular book of my life…
When I arrived home and was safely back on English soil I started reaching out to the people in my life who I knew loved me no matter what and would continue to love me regardless of the decisions I made – my friends! They flocked around me – protecting me, offering me advice, loving me, like only your true friends can. I saw all of my friends within days of me returning. Something which came up almost every time was the question;
“So now what?”All my friends
I went home with that question swirling around my head “now what?” The last few days had been so horrific I hadn’t even allowed myself to think about what my next move was, or how I was potentially going to go through more heartache, I couldn’t understand what more pain I could suffer. We were still married, as far as I was aware we were still together, were we still able to be together? Could we make this work? This brought on a whole other hurdle, or mountain in my eyes – if we decided to give it another go could we make it work? Ultimatley I didn’t need to worry about this particular hurdle.
We had both set out seeking comfort in our friends during those few days, friends that loved us individually and friends who loved us as a couple. After a few days we decided it was time to come face to face, to face the music as some might say. We were both pre-programmed with the well-constructed responses, which we had rehearsed with our friends, to potentially save our marriage.
The big problem at this point, which we both chose to ignore, was that we both already knew what the outcome to this was, we knew this was over, we knew there was no going back and fixing this, but neither of us was willing to face the inevitable. I genuinely did want to save what we had and even though I knew it was dead in the water I was not prepared to be the one to end it, this was his doing, the least he could do was do me the decency of actually being the one to utter the words to end our marriage, but he didn’t. So we found ourselves in a stalemate, again, for a few weeks.
I can’t speak for him and why he clung on for so long, maybe he did want to fix it? Maybe he was scared for this part of his life to change? Maybe, despite what he did, despite the opinion of my friends, maybe he genuinely didn’t want to hurt me? I truly believe he never set out to hurt me, I believe he never meant to break my heart. He was unhappy and he didn’t know how to get out of this and ultimately there was no way of getting out of it without hurting me. This is were I feel a huge element of empathy for him, it is the worst feeling in the world knowing you are responsible for breaking someone else’s heart, but you have to do what is right for you. I like to think that is why he clung on for as long as he did, because he didn’t want to be the person to break my heart.
The issue in prolonging it is it only ended up hurting me more in the long run, regardless of how he did it he was always going to break my heart, if he had told me the truth at the beginning it would have ultimately hurt less. Every day that there was some hope this could work my heart healed a little and then broke all over again. And my heart ended up like a bone which has been broken over and over and over again – eventually the bone left behind is damaged and brittle and prone to break again. Setting me a challenge of repairing my heart and wrapping thrones so tightly around it no one could get close enough to it again to damage it. I am now programmed to not trust anyone with my heart again, and this could be quite dangerous for my future.
Wow, that was deep, even for me!
So once again we found ourselves bumbling along for another few weeks. We agreed to live apart, see each other once, maybe twice a week, in a mutual place and try not to talk about everything that had happened. I moved back to my mums permanently, where I would find myself in my childhood bedroom, every evening lying in bed watching Bridget Jones diary and pouring M&Ms directly into my mouth. I would cheer myself up by scrolling through social media looking at everyone, who at 30, seemingly had their shit together and here was me, 30, moved back in with my parents and facing a divorce.
it wasn’t looking too bright for me at this point and this wasn’t my finest hour
But this is what you get when you have watched chick flicks for 30 years of your life, this is how women get over heartbreak right? But thankfully almost on cue every morning, noon and night my girls would text me to check I was ok, that I hadn’t overdosed on M&Ms and wasn’t watching The Notebook for the 100th time. In the end they stopped asking if I was ok and just text me any old crap – just so I knew they were there if I needed them. I am amazed they stuck around as long as they did, especially as I was dragging them down into my pit of self pity and self loathing, but this is what people do who truly love you, even at your ugliest they are right there with you.
In amongst my pity party for one, myself and my husband would meet up a few times a week, talking about anything other than what we needed to talk about. Now this is the epitome of an elephant in the room, every time we met up there she was sitting in the corner – hammer in hand prepared to smash shit up and continue to leave a trail of destruction behind her.
On one of our awkward meet ups down the pub, I realised we had nothing to say to each other, for the first time in 12 years, we had nothing to say and it was painfully obvious! After a few painful hours in each others company it was time to leave, as we left I hugged him, like really hugged him and told him I missed him so much. I was still so hopeful this was fixable. But it was different, that hug I had become so familiar with for 12 years now felt like hugging a stranger. My inner voice was once again screaming at me to do the right thing and call time on this, that I couldn’t hide from the inevitable, but I chose not to listen, what did she know anyway? So instead I slapped a bit of tape over my inner voice and chose to inflict more pain and suffering on myself.
Note to self and anyone else out there – if your inner voice is telling you something is not right, chances are its not.
Take time to listen to what it has to say. If I had listened to mine I would have saved myself a lot of heartbreak – we are ultimately responsible for ourselves and our own happiness, and I forget about myself in this situation and was relying on someone else to heal me.
The following weekend I went to a friend’s holiday home. We spent all weekend eating, watching chick flicks, going for walks along the beach, crying, laughing and talking endlessly about this whole situation. Something I found myself doing for almost a year – talking about this! This friend was one of my uni girls, someone who had witnessed first-hand my relationship start, flourish and develop into something, she was with me the morning of my wedding and signed my marriage certificate as my witness. What was going on to me was directly affecting her as well, and because of this she could afford to be very frank and say what all my friends had been wanting to say for weeks. She said over dinner
“He should be on his knees beginning for you to forgive him. But he’s not, he isn’t begging for you or this marriage, in fact it is you that’s on your knees doing all the begging” A good friend
It is what I hadn’t realised I needed to hear – someone holding a mirror up showing me how desperate I had become and how much of myself I had already lost in the process, I was already a shadow of my former self and I was being swallowed by this more and more each day.
I suddenly woke up, like opening my eyes for the first time to this whole situation, I felt like an absolute mug! Was I going to go my whole life like this? Desperately trying to hold on to a man who no longer loved me? Both of us living unhappily together for the rest of our lives? I realised I was being selfish in holding on to this relationship, I wanted to save it for me, not for us and not for him. I knew this wasn’t what he wanted and as the cheesy saying goes
“If you truly love something, you should set it free”
On the way home I text him and said we needed to talk. The very next day we met up and went for a walk, at the end I told him that I had questions that I needed answers to. We could not move on, or split up until these questions were answered. He agreed and that night I set out writing my list of almost 50 questions, the answers to two of these questions forced both of our hands and finally forced us to face the inevitable.
Until next time…