"I am still healing, still grieving -- I doubt I’ll ever get over this. But unlike when Jonathan first came out to me, I believe that I can be happy again someday. I’m realizing that although I will never have the beautiful life that I dreamed of, that the life I am living can be beautiful in a different way."
Divorce is a tragedy, regardless of how mature and friendly the exiting spouses behave during and after the event. A family is ripped apart. Deconstructed. Redefined. It hurts. It is like a death. We mourn. Life will never be the same.
The ability human beings have to move forward and rebuild while our souls are bleeding out is quite impressive.
This is the story of an aquaintance of mine, "Veronica" -a former straight spouse of a Mo-Mo marriage, like myself. She's quite remarkable. I post it with her permission. The names have been changed.
"This week marked one year since we left Morocco. One year since we moved to Utah. One
year since we lived together as a complete family. One year since I became a single mom.
When I look back on this year, I am amazed at all I have been able to accomplish: my student teaching, my Praxis tests, several classes; I began running; I was hired to teach second grade next year; I settled my family into our new home, had a yard sale, separated Jonathan’s things and moved them into a storage unit; I bought a new car -- all on my own; I have started looking for a home to buy, and have been pre-approved for a mortgage -- all on my own; I have taken my kids on some road trips; I even went on my first post-divorce date. And I did all this while mourning, healing, grieving, and struggling with my faith. Oh, and taking care of four young children who need me on every level: my oldest struggled with school, my daughter is in therapy to deal with her feelings about the divorce, one son shoved a piece of plastic in his ear and we had to have it surgically removed, and I potty trained my youngest! Many days I didn’t want to get out of bed. Some days I felt so alone, the feeling was palpable, physical pain. But I persevered, and I have survived the first year.
It’s funny how anniversaries bring us back in time. I graduated high school 20 years ago this month, and I have been thinking about and remembering things from that time that I probably haven’t thought about in 20 years. On the 19th, the anniversary of the day I said goodbye to Jonathan and to my life as I knew it, I was reminded of the searing pain of that parting. Jonathan had decided not to come to the airport in Casablanca with us, knowing that it would be too hard for all of us. He had arranged for an embassy driver to bring us. When the driver arrived, we loaded the kids, our luggage, and Jonathan’s mom, who had come to help with the move, into the van. I went back inside to make sure I had everything, and to say goodbye to the house that had been our home for over two years -- the house where we had celebrated birthdays and holidays, where I had run my small preschool, and where Jonathan had come out of the closet and our lives had changed forever. The home where we had gathered our children and told them that our family would never be the same.
While we were upstairs, I realized that this would be the last time we would be in a home as husband and wife. When Jonathan pulled me into his arms, we clung to each other, sobbing, hardly able to catch a breath. The pain of that moment stands out as one of the most agonizing experiences of my life. I felt as if the bond that had held us together for 13 years was ripping apart, never to be mended again. From that moment on, life would never be the same. We had dealt with many separations during our marriage because of army deployments and work travel, but this was going to be completely different. I was used to solo parenting, but this was the moment when I became a single parent. Although Jonathan was still going to be my best friend and partner in raising our children, I was on my own. I no longer had a companion in life.
I feel like a baby on her first birthday. I remember marveling at how much my babies developed in one short year. They began the year being able to do little more than cry, and ended the year taking their first wobbly steps toward independence. At the beginning of this life-changing year, I was like my babies, capable of little more than crying. But I have taken my first steps now, and am hopeful that there will be happy days for me in the future. I am still healing, still grieving -- I doubt I’ll ever get over this. But unlike when Jonathan first came out to me, I believe that I can be happy again someday. I’m realizing that although I will never have the beautiful life that I dreamed of, that the life I am living can be beautiful in a different way. I’m just taking it one wobbly step at a time."
**Tomorrow look for the story of how Matt and I told our kids that he is gay.