The 2nd

July 2nd marked one year since I returned to my home state, and what would have been my ten year anniversary if things had been different.

I’ve found myself feeling kind of solemn these last few days. I want to be alone (which I am, thanks to this pandemic). I feel a bit disappointed in myself, that I’m not living this vibrant, happy, active life I imagined for myself. I am doing things, and I am working to be more active, but it isn’t a lifestyle. I haven’t “arrived” at the vision I had for myself this far out.

Instead, I’m still working through understanding my marriage. This past week, in therapy, we talked a lot about gaslighting. I shared stories of the ways X made me feel bad about myself, and then my therapist walked me through the gaslighting and misdirection he engaged in to get me there. Over and over, I have to walk through these things because still, in my mind, it all feels foggy. I know you might think, why keep dwelling on it? Why not just move on? This is me moving on. I still feel like I’m wading chest deep through murky water, tangled in cat-nine tails and swamp grass. How exactly does one just move on? I still feel such hurt from the whole thing. So I’m trying to give myself some grace, recognize the small ways I keep moving forward, and then keep taking the next step.

One success in all of this was that, on the morning of the 2nd, I thought a lot about what the day meant for me, how I was feeling. And I realized that I couldn’t imagine the “if only we…” version of the story. There was no alternative ending. It seems inevitable that our marriage would end. And the big reason for this is he would never do the emotional heavy lifting needed. Shit, he couldn’t even pick up the 3-pounders and give it a try. It’s heartbreaking to me that he is so broken. But more, I’m heartbroken that I gave so much of myself to a person who could give nothing back. So much time wasted.

I know this seems sad, but I think it’s a good thing. I’m not longing for something that might have been, or over-emphasizing the small things I miss about being married. I think I’m seeing things more clearly than before. With every step. Maybe this means I can really turn and face myself, focus on me in a real, deep way.

My therapist brought up forgiveness during our last session. I shared that I don’t want to forgive him, and I don’t believe I need to. In my mind’s eye, I want to shed the skin of this hurt and walk forward, leaving all that pain and grief in a pile on the ground, giving him not an ounce more of my energy.

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