This is EVERYTHING that is in my heart at this time… it’s very long… but who am I kidding… I’m writing this for me.
In the last year and a half, I’ve experienced so many different emotions and levels of strengths and weaknesses. I’ve kept hold of my faith, trying to remember and focus on the truth that God has something great planned for my son and I, even if all might seem hopeless from where I’m standing. I’ve made wonderful friends… friends of *my own*, who support and encourage me to stay strong and keep moving on with my life. And most importantly, I have my guardian angel, my son… who encourages me on a daily basis, “Mommy, I believe in you… I know you can teach me to become a great person… I can always count on you and I know you will love me forever.”
And as much as I kept moving, I was going around in circles. With all the love and support I’ve been embraced with…. I was stuck.
In the last two months, I fell apart.
Believe me, I tried to keep moving forward. Sometimes I tried to just keep moving, no matter which direction I was going. I felt any motion was better than remaining stagnant. But I crashed.
Unless you’ve been through something like this, you’ll never truly know and understand the excruciating pain that takes over you… with bursts of strength and determination to get through this in one piece… then back to doubting, hoping, wondering and slowly dying… then again, that shot of energy to live and move on returns. Over and over and over again… it’s exhausting. But all along, that pain remains underneath your exististance… it’s the driving force behind all of your efforts at trying to be at peace and finally being happy. What’s difficult to accept is, you must let go of the pain in order to take real, solid steps forward… it can’t be the “reason” why you’re doing/feeling something. Otherwise, the “happiness” you feel will only be temporary and superficial… because the pain will still be quietly brewing underneath.
If you’ve never been through something like this, I hope to God you will NEVER have to experience this torture.
I loved Alan with all that I am. He was my best friend and protector… the forever love of my life… I still believe he only wanted the best for me, for the longest time… he loved me with all his heart and never wanted to hurt me. His “mission” was to make me happy. We tried not to go to sleep angry at each other… and always promised to meet each other in our dreams. I’d find myself thanking God on so many occasions, for blessing me with such a wonderful gift… how could I have been so lucky? I must’ve done something great to be rewarded like this.
But like all marriages and relationships, the “honeymoon stage” came to an end. The dreamy, staring-into-each-other’s-eyes euphoric, connected-at-the-soul, bliss was fading away. We were faced with incredible challenges… insecurities… family issues… financial hardships… boredom… depression… feelings of inadequacies… anger… accusations… What neither of us were aware of, was we’ve progressed into the “next stage” of our marriage… REALITY. We didn’t know what was happening to us… all we knew was that we no longer saw each other as “perfect” anymore… the “connection” was nowhere to be found. We quickly retreated to our respective corners and wondered, “Who is this person?” “Did I marry the right/wrong person?” “If he/she was *the one* I wouldn’t be questioning/feeling this…” “This is not how I planned my life to be…”
We were in the midst of a “distress/escape” phase in our relationship… where we began realizing we’ve promised ourselves to someone with vices and virtues. A human being. Every individual handles this in their own way… I was set on the “forever no matter what” path, while he seemed to have headed towards the “reinventing oneself” direction… where I was not included in all of his plans and the company of friends he kept. I was falling apart inwards, while he took the opportunity to “escape” when he was with his co-workers. I had no idea just how unhappy he was until his friend from work (who I later would find out was his mistress during the last 2 years of our marriage) asked why I sounded surprised at all she was telling me… “He’s been miserable with you for years now, he’d tell all of us how much he can’t stand you, when we all go out to lunch or grab drinks together… how could you not know?”
But I didn’t know. What I knew was, no matter what difficulty we were going through, he always reassured me that he will always love me, never leave me, and I will always be his one and only. And that’s what I believed. That’s all I knew.
Many marriages have been saved because the couples were able to recognize on time, that this “stage” was just that… a natural stage. With patience, understanding, determination, and plenty of love, these fortunate partners were able to progress to the final stages of… “awareness and transformation”…. then finally… “real, true love.” Some very fortunate couples were even able to overcome infidelity and abandonment… rediscovering, themselves as individuals, and each other as partners in life.
Unfortunately, Al & I split during this most difficult stage… he told me, “why don’t you get that this has nothing to do with love and family… I don’t want to fix this… maybe I just don’t want to be happy with you anymore.”
He was very unhappy… I’m not where I could/should be at this point in my life… because of her. I would’ve had this/that by now… if it weren’t for her. So what better way to “right a wrong” than by first eliminating what’s hindering you from realizing your dreams and making you truly happy. Granted, I don’t agree with his plan of action, but it’s what *he* felt he had to do to better *his* life.
And having fallen apart in the most complete sense… I am thankful for where this is taking me. (Y’all are gonna stone me for this…) Of course he could’ve handled this in a much better, kinder, more humane manner… However, he was battling these demons on his own, years before he left me. I will always remember what he said when I spoke to him after he left us here… “I need to take the bull by the horns and do what makes me happy… I don’t have time to be miserable anymore.”
So why exactly am I “thankful” for this? This tragedy has changed me completely, and pushed me to discover who I am and what I’m capable of as an individual. I depended on my husband to define who I was and how I felt. How he looked at me determined how my day was going to be. But I was forced to detach and make my own decisions and be responsible for my own actions… be my own person. I was comfortable with letting things happen *to* me… but now I’m one that many others seek out, in order to make things happen. I’m learning to accept my current situation and appreciate the love, friendship, and support God has embraced me with through my beautiful son, wonderful family, and amazing friends… And with a bit of effort and a lot of love, my life with my baby boy will continue to get better.
I’ve fallen apart… but only I can put myself back together. I can’t afford to continue being a victim of my circumstances… I want to be happy… the real kind. I need to let go of this pain. Here’s the reality… he left me. There’s no way around it. I wanted to spend my forever with him, but he doesn’t want a life with me. I wasn’t sure how long I’d be able to keep this door open, but I was convinced if the roles were reversed, he’d do the same for me… to faithfully and lovingly await my safe return no matter what, because he would believe in his heart that one day I’d remember him again.
But he’s gone. There… it all sux, but now I don’t have to pretend everything is okay anymore. My life as I know it is over… but that doesn’t mean I can’t create a brand new life… exactly the way I want it this time ‘round.
And in the words of the father of my son… who was the love of my life for 15 years… “I don’t have time to be miserable anymore.”
Live, Learn, Love and Be Happy.
P.S. Lemme know what you think!
Carmen is a mom, life strategist, religion teacher, best selling author, advice columnist, foodie wannabe, and advocate for victims of narcissistic abuse. She is currently living la vida loca in Vegas with her not-so-little human… prepping him for med school while pseudo-adulting, Tahitian dancing, and exploring the delicious world of bubble tea *woo!*