27

Today we would have celebrated 27 years together.
Our 20th was our last one together and I knew it would be our last. I actually knew weeks, months and years before but that day sealed the deal.
I had spent too many days racing to keep up and cover up. I had spent every ounce of my energy trying to please a man who was constantly moving the goal post. Why? He was never happy. He could not ever be happy. He was always envious of others and angry as caged animal.
I was asked recently if I missed any of it. Did I miss being married? Did I miss my “family”?
I wanted to give the the scorned wife response first, you know, the one that people expect …..NO…I can’t stand him and what he has done to all of us. But that anger has waned and turned to pity over the years.
Do I miss being married? Not really. I mean I do not miss MY marriage at all. It was abusive and soul crushing. It robbed me of so many parts of myself. So, no I do not miss my marriage. Would I get married again? Perhaps….never say never, right?!
Do I miss my “Family”? Family is in quotes because we never really were a true family. We were adults that created tiny humans that I raised while my wasband was out doing whatever he wanted. Dinners together once a week if we were lucky and holidays with extended family. That was about it. Family vacations? Those were visits to my parents home and even when there, he was still doing his own thing.
Do I still love him? Nope. I do not even like the man anymore. I see him now and wonder what I ever saw in him. He is no longer attractive and the fact that I know how dark and cruel he is? That makes it worse.
What I do love is the children he gave me, both by birth and by marriage. I consider my 5 children the greatest thing to come from our marriage. However, they, like me, did not come out the other side unscathed. They have lasting trauma of their own to deal with. I, too, was not a perfect parent during those years, but I own that and will spend the rest of my life attempting to heal those wounds with each of my kids.
But I digress… 20 years of marriage. I got married at a time when that was the expectation. Female independence and single parenting were frowned upon. The world today is a much different place for young women like my daughters. I have told each one that they should not race to the altar and that making the choice to get married is huge. It is more than the pintrest/insta photos. It is not just one event one day. The choice to get married is a legal and binding contract.
When I got married, I was told it was for better or worse. I got only a little bit of the ‘better’ and a whole lot of the ‘worse’. I was like that lobster that is put in the pot and then the heat is turned on…..the water got hot so slowly, I did not realize it until it was at a full boil….and even then I was in denial. I did not realize I was in an abusive relationship because…well… I was ‘not the type’ and ‘he doesn’t hit me’ but the abuse was real and the trauma extensive.
Therapy has brought me through to the other side. I still live with a sense of what Brene Brown calls “foreboding joy.” “Foreboding joy” is when you dread joy whenever you have a good thing, and you begin to question and poison the moment with your worst fears. It is dress rehearsal for tragedy. It’s preparing for the worst even when things are at their best. Along with foreboding joy, I have difficulty trusting others as well as myself and a mentality of scarcity (especially with money).
All of these lingering effects of my marriage are issues that I continue to work on in therapy. They are a small price to pay for the freedom I have now. The woman I am now…after only 6 years of freedom is only a fraction of the woman I want to become. I am so proud of the road that I have traveled in such a short time and even more proud of myself as I continue to move forward every day. It is not easy but it was so worth it! I am in love with the mother, sister, friend, and woman I am becoming!
So today I celebrate. I celebrate those years I was married, the lessons I learned over those years and the gifts of my children I was given during that marriage. It was not time wasted. It was time passed. And now it is time to live life on my own terms so I celebrate!
Peace.
#tutulady
#forwardisapace

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