Today is a day that I have not look forward to since my separation a month and a half ago. It’s my wedding anniversary, but not just any anniversary. The 10 year one. A decade. We made it almost a decade, but we didn’t. I couldn’t, so I didn’t. Today is not a celebration. Today is just another day.
I kind of wanted to forget about today, except I have a very large network of friends and family and not everyone is aware of how my life is transpiring. As I was checking the mail yesterday, there it was. A pretty anniversary card with a beautiful heart felt handwritten note about the beauty of marriage and what it takes to work together. It mentions that life on a team takes strength and hard work and how easy it is to walk away and how proud they are for everything we have endured as a couple.
So there’s that. I guess, I am not a team player. I guess, I am not strong. I guess I didn’t put in the hard work, except I did. And I know, today, that someone is not proud of me because I took the easy route and walked away. Wait, just one damn minute, this is not the easy route. I have to fend for myself in this crazy world alone. I have no partner to fall back on. No one to pick up the slack when I’m sick. I lose half of my child’s life. I lose friends and family I loved dearly. This is definitely not the easy route, but it is the route I choose and the road sign says, “Joy, 10 Miles Ahead.”
I know that these word were written from the heart and were not mean to hurt but they stung like a mad wasp being swatted at. “How easy it is to walk away.” If it was easy, I would have done it two years ago when my husband checked himself into rehab but I didn’t. I owed it to my wedding vowes, my husband, our son and myself to see us through to sobriety. I had to give use a chance to fix ourselves and our marriage when it wasn’t complicated by alcoholism. And I did.
What I learned was that the addiction was only part of our problem and the rest of it was bigger than me. Someone who says, “How easy it is to walk away,” has never lived life strapped to a parachute. (Click here to read about my parachute.) They don’t understand what it feels like to be suffocating under the weight of a relationship and have no idea how to find air. They don’t understand how heartbreaking it is to have the one you love the most let you down time and time again. They don’t understand the feeling of hopelessness and helplessness.
I am not a depressed person but there were moments that I thought about veering into oncoming traffic on the way home because I just didn’t want to go home. The only thing that stopped me was the small boy. Those sparkly blue eyes. That precious smile. He gave me the strength and courage to face another day because he needed his mom. And so I did.
I took the easy route because the hard route may have lead me into a catastrophic head on collision that would have left the three of us damage beyond repair. Me, injured or dead, my husband without a wife and my son without a mother. So, I took the easy route and on this day, my wedding anniversary, I will say that I am sorry that I did not have the strength to fight for our family any longer. I am sorry if I broke my husband’s heart. I am sorry my child will not know what a normal family feels like. I am sorry I disappointed you. I am sorry for the role I played in the devastation. I am sorry this is how our future looks.
I will not apologize for putting myself first. I will not apologize for wanting my son to see that marriage does not mean bitterness and hurt. I will not apologize for wanting to have the joy I deserve. I will not apologize for taking the easy way out, because I didn’t and it’s not. If I could take it back, I would, but I can’t, so I won’t. I will move forward.
There will be no cake or presents today or any year after on this day. It is just a day like any other but it is also the day that I thank God for allowing me to marry the man who brought me my amazing son. If only for a while, he gave me the greatest gift of all, the small boy in all his glorious wonder. Oh, how I love that little boy. Thank you God for sending him to me. Life would not be the same without him.
I am finally adjusting to this new adventure I am on. There are bumps in the road but life would be boring if there were not. So, here is to the road ahead. I can’t wait to see what’s coming around the bend. I am sure that there is glitter and sparkles. And if not, I’ll put them on my nails and keep on searching. (Find out about glitter nails here.) The sign did say, “Joy, 10 Miles Ahead.” It can’t be that far.
I hope that you are enjoying this journey with me and that you are taking some tidbits with you. I know that life is not always what we want. I, also, know that we will never get what we want if we don’t try. And so I will try and I will find joy and in the midst of chaos, I will sparkle. Please remember, don’t let life dull your shine.
The Manicured Mom