At some point between Before and Now, a lovely lady who I have come to treasure for a list longer than I have time to write (well, at least right now..I should be completing a Case Study on Exemplary Developmental Education programs in Community Colleges, but somehow, I got distracted. Go Figure)…….
The lovely lady posted a link to an article titled “The Last Word: He said he was leaving. She ignored him” and it hit close to home. Or maybe it was too far from my experience to understand. It made me think of a “choose your own adventure book” and made me wonder if I had somehow selected the wrong adventure.
So, if you haven’t yet read the link, I would totally do so.
The short version is that there was this dude who said he wanted a divorce. The wife pretended he said nothing. Eventually, dude returned back to normal and they lived (supposedly) happily ever after.
So, I started to think…is this a reality that could have been mine?
Is there anything I could have done differently that not only would have saved a marriage, but given the “other” party an opportunity to mature into the man that he needed to?
I don’t know.
There seems to be an issue here…something along the lines of the women trusting her husband enough to believe that he would come around.
So she took a gamble and won the hand.
I read the article and I ALMOST feel like the person she was writing about was ‘The Other” – the distance, the neglect, the lack of connectedness.
But then the similarities stopped.
As her “other” was able to distance and be peaceful, my life spiraled in an uncontrollable Southbound plunge to devastation, fear, concern and doubt.
I tried the “It will go away” technique only to be confronted with issues I didn’t know how to deal with when I opened the front door of the house.
I tried to “be nice” and “move on” and was belittled and scorned.
I look back and wonder if I could have been a different person to get my life back to what Once Was.
And I doubt it.
By the time the protective walls of my suburban reality crumbled, there was already too much anger and contempt coming from one side and too much distrust coming from the other for any hope of rebuilding.
Too many stone were thrown.
Too many hateful words were spat.
The mere threads of trust I had delicately been holding between my thumb and forefinger unraveled.
Had someone decided to “come home” – home no longer existed.
There was nothing left to return to.
An era was over.
The article was a good. It made me stop and think about the last 6 months of my life.
And it was a good exercise in self-reflection.
Could I have done something differently? Of course.
Just not having the ‘post-partum’ hormones surging through my body would have made me react and process differently than I had as a mother of a newborn.
Rocks I threw I would have buried. Tears I shed I would have stockpiled.
But, would I have just waited and hoped he’d come back?
Crossing my fingers with the hope the reality I knew to be good and true would revive itself?
That wouldn’t have happened.
There was nothing I could have done or said differently that could have made an impact on the “other.”
And in all honesty, it isn’t (nor was it) my responsibility to make him happy.
It wasn’t my journey to change.
Granted, my journey changed when his deviated path intersected with mine in a new and unknown way…but, it wasn’t my journey.
All I could do was support his decision in the best way I knew how.
And the best way was letting him go.
Go to live the life he believes is better for him and the family we created together.
Do I support it?
Do I like the way he did it?
But that is irrelevant.
It isn’t my journey.
I don’t make the choices.
I don’t have a voice.
All I have left is my ability to choose how I react to the new twists and turns his path has created in how I travel my path.
I’m still not comfortable with much of anything.
The new phase of my life still hasn’t quite set in.
And the fear I suffer is still greater than the loss I have yet to explore.
So unlike the author of the original author, I’m waiting.
But, I’m not waiting for him to come back.
We no longer share the same path.
There are too many pieces to glue back together to make us whole again.
And if by some miracle we did, the scarred and cracked walls of our life would never withstand the storms of family, relationships and reality.
So, the Last Word in my relationship was dropped.
However, the Last Word in my life meant Over.
The lesson in this is be wary of the Last Words you insist upon.
You might get more than you bargained for.