You may know that my husband of 26-years told me two months ago that he didn’t want to be married to me anymore. We had agreed to continue living together in our home (he in the guest room) until we examined the finances to see if we could afford to live apart. However, on the first day I went back to work after my recent surgery, I came home at noon to find Doc in the middle of moving out of the house. He was obviously surprised to see me – I’m sure he thought I would be at work for the full day.
I confronted him, asking if he was moving out (although I already could plainly see that he was). I asked him if he had planned to tell me – and he explained that he was going to send me an email once he was gone – so that I could better “digest” the situation. He assured me that we had the money for his rent, although we had not discussed finances. Of course, I began to cry – it seems sometimes like that is all I do these days. Each time Doc makes another move that takes him physically or emotionally further from me, my heart shatters just a little more – the tiny pieces embedding themselves in my chest and gut and causing me physical pain when I breathe or eat. When he tells me he has purchased bedroom furniture for his new place, when he goes on road trips while I am left to deal with the shit at home that inevitably ends up spiraling out of control, when he ignores my calls, declines my invitations to join the family for dinner, or emails me lists of tasks I need to do in order to facilitate our separation, anxiety and anguish take the opportunity to work in destructive harmony, determined to break me down, body and mind.
I try to focus on other things besides the demise of my marriage and the heartache I so often feel. I endeavor to concentrate on the great things in my life – my children, my grandchild, my friends, my writing. I attempt to write about more light-hearted things – to share humorous stories instead of subjecting you to my unhappiness. After all, when I started this blog I intended that it be amusing – full of the funny people and crazy situations I have been involved with during my life. Even with the sometimes awful circumstances in my past, I wanted to face them and deal with them by seeing the comical side instead of wallowing in self-pity.
Yeah – that is not working quite as I planned.
I have a file where I jot down stories and memories as they come to mind. When I want to write, but the subject matter is not readily in my head, pounding to get out, I read through the list to see what stirs me. Usually one or two stories will seem to jump off the page – “Me! Me! Write about ME!” But lately, few of the stories have seemed inspiring. In fact, as I read through the list, I notice how many of the stories have to do with Doc: how I met and fell in love with him – how our marriage came to be – the time he secretly took and resized my wedding ring that hadn’t fit for years – so many stories about our recent trip of a lifetime to Europe! I have 26-years of stories with this man! But, I can’t bring myself to write about any of those things at the moment. How can I write about our love, our life – when it all seems to be such a pretense now?
So, I focus on the stories of my youth – certainly there is something there! And there is – many, many stories – most of them funny, or at least (I would hope) interesting or thought-provoking. And so I write – but instead of easily flowing from me as I have become so used to, the words dart through the shadows of my brain, hiding and refusing to be gleaned. You know the phrase, “Like pulling teeth?” I get that now – it’s painful, difficult, and slow – it’s nearly impossible to grasp the words and wrestle them to the page. When I finally do subdue enough words that a sentence or paragraph is recorded, I read it over and realize that what I’ve written is frequently awkward, unclear, and often not very witty.
I used to make myself laugh out loud as I wrote my stories – taking great satisfaction and delight in knowing my stories would entertain others – make their day brighter – perhaps put a smile on their face. Lately, I feel like my writing is sad, depressing, and self-indulgent. I worry that people who are just now discovering my blog must perceive me as an incredible downer. I have the urge to add a codicil to my posts, with links to my earlier, happier, funnier posts – “I’m really not always like this! I’m not this sad, despondent person!”
I know I’m going to be sad for a long while. I know I need to really feel those emotions and process those feelings – and writing helps! So I’m warning you that there will be posts from time to time about the icky, awful stuff going on in my life. However, I’m going to also make the effort to keep writing about the other stories in my life. It may not always be pretty – it may not even be funny – but I’m going to pull those teeth, find those words, and get them on the page – one way or another. I think it’s necessary, to remind myself that THIS is not all there is – that I am NOT just all about the destruction of my marriage. And who knows? With time, perhaps those words that seemed trapped in my mind behind a dam built of grief, fear, and loneliness will find a crevice. A fissure that can be widened, bit by bit, until suddenly the dam collapses and the stream of words are free to flow, easily and bubbly once more.
(Title quote by Henry Brooks Adams)