It all happened in the course of one small year – January 4, 2016 to January 7, 2017. However, that one year and three days was the complete unraveling of my married life. Something that had actually been falling apart for years, but I never had the strength, or felt that I actually had the right, to do anything about. For you see, I was a good kid from the Midwest who grew up in church and once I got married, I was supposed to stay married. You don’t change the game and mess with the path you always thought was given to you.
And then it happened, we grew apart. We grew apart so much that someone else became more important to him, and I fell to the wayside. My heart was crushed, but I was supposed to stay married. That was my path. But there was something inside of me that said, “You don’t have to be treated like this. You’re worth fighting for.” And it was January 4, 2016, when I stood up for myself for the very first time and said, “I don’t know where you’ve been, but I’m not comfortable with her, and I won’t be pushed aside again for your career and definitely not for her.” The deep unraveling began.
I look back at the past 9 years that we’ve lived here in New York City, and I look back at the 6 years we lived in Ohio and I look back at the 5 years we lived in Michigan – I can see much clearer now. I gave up a lot for nothing in return. I gave up desires of my heart for nothing in return. I kept fighting and grasping, but was never given what I needed. Was I loved to the level that I needed to be? I don’t believe so, but my God I loved with everything I had; and again, for nothing in return. I gave my time and effort, I moved to new places and worked and gave up motherhood all for someone else; I never received what I needed or wanted in return.
January 7, 2017, after months of heart ache and tears and fear of tearing my daughter’s world apart, I said enough was enough. There was a new path that I needed to take, and after 20 years of being married to a man who really never had my best interest in mind, I made the decision to be done. I was done being pushed aside. I was done being told that my desires weren’t important. I was done enabling someone to be everything he wanted to be and not getting anything in return. I was done living with an empty heart; a heart that had been giving for literally decades all to be told that I didn’t matter enough. Done.
Onward to a new path. So new. So scary. So refreshing. So confusing. Who am I? Who am I supposed to be? Am I really the person I always thought I was? What’s out there for me? Who will cross my path and who will love me for me? Twenty years is a long time to be with one person, being comfortable in your own skin. Now it’s a new ballgame. New path. Although scary, my heart hasn’t felt this much joy in years – literally years. Happy. Oppression gone. Empowered to be… to just be.