Posted by: shelliejelly | January 8, 2009

Tentative

His eye was still blackened when he left the hospital, hopped on a train and headed home. The bruise was fading, but the mark of self-injury was still obvious, even to those who didn’t know what they were seeing.

He called to tell me he’d been released, and to be honest, I couldn’t believe it. The severity of what was happening to him just three days prior seemed to heavy a burden to simply lay down, but he assured me he was good, better than he’d been in a long time.

I don’t remember the exact words, but he said he wanted to talk to me about something. “We should wait until your home from work,” he explained. My heart stopped, and I knew that going home would mean facing words I wasn’t sure I was prepared to hear. Divorce, ending, sorry.

And I was right, though he said these words in a much more casual, somehow caustic way, dismissing me with a question he’d already answered for himself: “So, we’re done?”

That day is still fresh in my memory, taunting me at times, stealing bits of my confidence and forcing me to catch my breath. I needed to re-evaluate what had seemed so fundamental and chart a new geography where words like single and parent and divorced would come to describe me.

Some members of my family think my benevolence toward O. is unwarranted and undeserved. They witnessed the waves of sadness that washed over me in those first few months after O. asked for a divorce, and they will probably always hold him accountable. And I don’t blame them for that, as their love for me is what makes forgiving such a gargantuan task.

But they don’t know the years between O. and I the same way I do. Just as I can’t pretend to know how other marriages are weaved together, the give and take involved in creating a single pattern from varying, patchwork threads. The history O. and I have didn’t evaporate and still stands somewhere near me, hovering in the back of my mind.

All of this to say that our divorce is filled with moments of confusion, jumbled thoughts and emotions that seem to push and pull my resolve. Understanding the need to let go without completely understanding how we got here. I’ve been dropped in an undisclosed location with no road map, not sure how I arrived, less sure of the path to blue skies and sun.

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