It’s been a year.
Today is important for me. It’s a milestone. It’s a big deal. I am proud of myself. I have quite often wondered where I would be a year after my divorce was final. I wonder where I will be after two. Five. Ten. Twenty.
My divorce (and subsequent criminal record) does not define who I am. It is a part of my life – a part of my past. My choice to open up and share my story in such a public manner might be a totally stupid one, but I have seen how God has used it/me to help others. It’s so exciting! Somehow, my bold vulnerability has spoken; resonated. I’m beyond grateful for that.
Today, my fingers are poised above the keyboard, wondering whether or not I should bring the present into the picture. I told myself that I wouldn’t write about future relationships. Any man endeavouring to date me might be completely turned off by the fact that I have this blog in the first place. It’s intimidating. It’s dangerous territory.
Chalk me up there with Adele and Taylor Swift in the “don’t fuck me over or I’ll write about you” department. Ha.
But it’s me. It’s my life. It’s my heart. I can’t hide it – I don’t want to. I want to grow, I want to learn, I want to continue to change, and become the person that God dreams me to be.
He dreams much bigger things for me than I do for myself.
So, here I am: one year after my divorce was made final, two years after I left my husband, and three years after the shit went down in the first place.
And I think not of my ex-husband at all.
My heart has been distracted by a very recent, painful break-up. It was a short relationship – just three months. And, for the most part, it was wonderful. I was so happy I didn’t even know what to do with myself. I was also scared out of my mind, but, with the encouragement and support of my therapist and my friends, I settled into it. I didn’t run away. He pursued, and I responded, eagerly.
I finally learned what it felt like to be treated right.
He liked me for me. He didn’t care that I was divorced. He laughed at my sense of humor. He appreciated my talent. We shared similar interests and beliefs. We clicked. We had chemistry and compatibility. He opened the car door for me. He bought me flowers. He introduced me to his friends and some of his family members. We spent as much time together as we could, in those first two months. He took me on a couple of trips to some fantastic places. He respected me.
I felt safe.
It was easy to fall in love with him. I never told him, though. I didn’t think it was appropriate. I wanted to do this new relationship the right way. I wanted to settle in for the long haul, and take things slow.
But then, things started to crumble a bit. I made some stupid comments in front of important people in his life. I felt terrible. He forgave me, but I started to worry that my bad behavior would become a weekly issue. I saw less and less of him. He wasn’t able to communicate with me as often. He was busy with his job, business trips, and other responsibilities and interests. I felt him pulling away.
I didn’t feel like a priority anymore. It hurt so badly I couldn’t breathe.
So I broke up with him.
He was hurt, confused and angry. I tried to make things “right” by over explaining myself, my reasons and my emotions, but ended up making things even worse.
I de-friended him on Facebook, and then re-friended him. (Yes, I am twelve.) He never accepted.
He told me that I gave up too easily. I told him he didn’t fight for the things that he really wanted.
We haven’t spoken since, and I’ll never see or hear from him again.
It hurts. Breaking up is hard to do.
But I have learned.
On this day – this one-year divorce-versary, I realized something. A few things, actually.
The “issues” that I had in my first (albeit very brief) post-divorce relationship were not things that couldn’t have been worked out under “normal” circumstances. Yet, I am not normal. I am a divorcee. Little things that might have not been a big deal to another person were stupendously huge hot buttons for me.
These things may take time, and extra patience. Sometimes I feel like I, myself, have neither. I don’t know what man in his right mind on this earth would want to take me on. I don’t say that to be cute, or garner sympathy. I have been hurt, yes. I am afraid of being more hurt, sure.
But I am willing to get hurt. It’s worth it. I’d rather die with my heart broken twenty times over than live with it seized, overprotected or ice cold.
Love is always worth it.
Nothing will hurt as deeply as my divorce. Yet, it is behind me, and it will become more and more of a distant memory. My scars are, indeed, fading into beautiful character.
It’s been a hard year
But I’m climbing out of the rubble
These lessons are hard
Healing changes are subtle
But every day it’s
Less like tearing, more like building
Less like captive, more like willing
Less like breakdown, more like surrender
Less like haunting, more like remember
And I feel You here
And You’re picking up the pieces
It seemed out of my hands, a bad situation
But You are able
And in Your hands the pain and hurt
Look less like scars and more like
I’m still cleaning up my freshly broken, hurting heart. It, too, will take time to heal. Whether or not this man was the right one for me, or I for him, I’m so grateful to have opened up, to have trusted, to have laughed and learned; to have loved again.