Breaking Point: #14

Today’s Breaking Point story is one of scope, perspective, reason, seasoned emotions, personal empowerment, grace.  I hope it helps people see that what hurts now…can free you.

First, here is a lovely poem from a reader that really spoke to me.  I love that she boxes up her memories rather than trying to erase them.  No one can steal our memories.  Or our joy.  yrs. Laura

Submitted by:  Renee Garner Williamson.

There was a promise made.  A vow taken.
And with a couple of words.  Broken.
I box up the memories.
And walk the halls of where daughters became women.
I close the door on a life of laughter.
And journey to a place where the waves whisper peace.
But in my heart there will always be him.

Submitted by: Stacia Duvall, who blogs here.

“Cashmere or Lace?”

What does one wear when she is off to meet the woman who wrecked her marriage?

Don’t get me wrong.  I am hardly fashion-conscious.  But when I think about being face-to-face with her for the first time, I am stymied.

We will meet at my grandson’s baptism.  She will be with him.  I will be with mine.  We will be cordial and we will be relieved to get it over with.

I will remember meeting her once in my husband’s office.  She was the technician behind the ultrasound machine when I was called back for a second look after a questionable mammogram.   I was vulnerable.

I will remember the slap of awareness when I noticed something amiss on the cell phone bill.  I will remember how calm I felt.  I will remember my mind breaking at the moment he responded to my question.  And I will remember thinking I had not prepped for this altered future.

She will seem young in comparison to me when we meet again.  I will be surrounded by my loved ones while she will have only him.  I will strive to make everyone comfortable and she will try her best to feel comfortable.

And we will move on to this new phase of life.  We will begin anew as a family redefined by infidelity and a 30-year marriage that faltered.

And as I dress for that day I will remember that I have come to know that I no longer blame him, or her, or even infidelity, for the breakup of my marriage. There were patterns developed very early on in a marriage of very young people.   I might have done it much differently if I had known what I know now.

I will remember good times, children, grandchildren, our shared history and what we still share today.

I will keep in mind that I have come to know that the total upheaval of my world turned out to be the best thing that could have ever happened. How the intense anguish steadily faded and how I started feeling stronger, sooner than I might have guessed.  And how free I felt.  Free from the grip of an emotional disconnect that marred an otherwise excellent life.  Free from a lingering unhappiness that hung on like the dull pain of a protracted headache.

I will remember how I never would have left him without stiff prompting because the known seemed far easier than the unknown.  I could envision my life 20 years down the road if I stayed. Without him, I didn’t see much past next Tuesday.

About the time she and I glance at each other from across the room, I will be thinking of how I have been able to forgive him, but not her.   As it is with friends and family known forever, I focus on his good qualities and not his serious faults.  I accept him for who he is because we have a common history and because I know him well.  I know the demons that haunt him and the goodness that is often buried.   I understand him as can only develop through years together.

I do not know her like I know him.  I know her from brief interactions when the marriage was failing.  I know how she looked when I ran into her after I found out.  She was at the video store with her husband and two small children and I was aware that her husband did not know yet.  I recall looking boldly into her eyes and willing her to think of her children and carry on as she should.  This is all that I really know of her.

Divorce is painful for most everyone, no matter the particulars.  What happens when it’s over and done has many versions.  With mine, I found a me that I never knew was there and a me that had long-since been forgotten.  I discovered strength, self-esteem and a person I liked better.  All from the unexpected window that popped open when a door slammed in front of me.

So while I may remain a bit apprehensive about getting over the hurdle of our first encounter, I am happy that my grandson will be surrounded that day with an extended family that still exists, if in different form and connection.   It is not today what I envisioned long ago it would be, but it is still a loving family.

I will wear whatever I feel like wearing that day and not dwell on it.

All I really need wear that day is a smile.

10 Comments

Filed under Breaking Point, My Posts

10 Responses to Breaking Point: #14

  1. Don Stifler

    Absolutely beautiful. Such strength and growth. Your children and grand children are also the winners here.. I have been on the other side of this story. Recovery is not without it’s hurt, but it can move on to better things and wonderful freedom. Today is a beautiful day. I’d wear both.
    Blessings
    Don

  2. Robin Dake

    Wow, Ladies. Beautiful writing.
    Both of you had a line that caught me and spoke my name:

    Renee – “journey to a place where the waves whisper peace”
    Stacia – “I found a me that I never knew was there and a me that had long-since been forgotten.”

    Thank you for sharing.

  3. Both of your posts brought tears to my eyes. Rarely do we read about the softness still hidden amongst the pain, anguish and betrayal when a marriage ends.
    Thank you.

  4. Alison

    Both pieces have such elegance, and raise the rest of us up to where you are. I kept waiting for the nasty dig, the catty comment (and a part of me who is still un-evolved was actually disappointed when I saw there was none!). Thank you both for showing us how you dealt with this issue with your highest selves, acknowledging the grief, remembering the happiness, keeping what was important to you, and letting the rest go.

    • Alison, believe me it’s not always easy. Sometimes it easier to be nasty than to remember the good times. Right now, when I remember those my heart aches, but I am pressing ahead and hope to someday love again.

  5. Jan Larson Myhre

    Thanks for sharing # 14. This woman took a page right out of my playbook. My first encounter with the other woman (wife # three for him) was at our son’s wedding. There’s an old saying that the mother of the groom should wear beige and keep her mouth shut. Well, I wore pale green, talked a blue streak and even invited “him” to go for a walk to clear some of the toxic air that had surrounded our previous life together. Funny thing. I found out on that walk he was afraid to come to the wedding because he was afraid of what I might do or say. Well, after eighteen years apart, I think I handled it pretty darn well!

  6. Sarah

    Thank you for your writing, both of you, you are helping me to adjust to my situation and I am thankful that I read your entries today. You express how I am feeling now and the journey I wish to travel in the future. Best wishes to you both.

    • I hope each day gets a little easier and joy and happiness edge their way into the forefront as you adjust to your situation. Thank you for reading my story Sarah and thank you again, Laura.

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