The Dawning

 

There comes a time in every divorced (or divorcing) woman’s life when she realizes that she not only left a marriage but she left a life behind.  That dawning came yesterday.  As I stood in an empty house folding laundry that had not been folded in months it dawned on me that I felt empty folding laundry in that house. I no longer belonged there even doing something as mundane as folding laundry that was not mine.

 

When a woman leaves her marriage she not only leaves her husband but in my case I left my son(and the French toast on the first day of school), my 12 year old dog, my friends, my neighbors, my car, my life basically.  Even the artist coop I belong to has given me a break.  I’m not alone in this, there are women in shelters all over the country who have to live in fear and basically give up their entire lives to be safe every day.

It was years in the making and yet I have to admit it hit me like a ton of bricks to realize that the life I had, my entire life had been changed on the day I moved forward .  I’m at a point now where I  literally cannot decide where I want to plant myself and now I know why, because I don’t think I want to be planted  here.  I have nothing here except my son.  Does it really matter if you start over from scratch a half hour, 2 hours, 6 hours away?  I’m only an hour away but it may as well be 6 hours away.  The whole landscape is different.  I might as well be in a foreign country.

I’m usually a pretty optimistic person.   I can find lemonade somewhere tossed along the lemons but today I’m bitter and angry.  I’m also disappointed in myself.  How did I let myself become so dependent on a life that was built on fantasy? I bought into a fantasy of a life many woman buy into; a fantasy where they are loved and adored and have a house, a happy marriage, their dream profession, a coffee clutch of their own choosing waiting for them.  And then one day it is all over and they have hopefully only crashed and burned once, the day they decide to leave.  In my case that was spread out over several months and probably is the reason why I have nothing today except what I can bring with me.  But I’ve survived.  And I will survive.  And I will rebuild my life on my own terms.  I know I will feel better an hour from now after hand embroidering myself into a little peaceful meditative state, but I also know I can’t depend on anyone except myself to make me happy.  I have to find joy myself and then share it hopefully somewhere down the line.  Now tears are flowing and I am grieving the Debbie that used to be and hoping to find the DebraAnn that replaces her.

Now yes this post was a bit of a pity party, but tough.  That is my mantra at the moment, that’s tough.  I am on a quest to be authentic and this post is authentic.  This sucks, plain and simple.  And you know what I will get over it, but the bottom line is that somewhere there is a woman living in a shelter with 3 kids who doesn’t know how she is going to rebuild her life and where she is going to find the money to do it and she is the one we all have to worry about.  In my case it’s just tough, in her case it is survival so be kind and donate to your nearest woman’s shelter, offer a woman a night on your couch if that will help her.  Help her find safe haven.  Help her move on.  Help her to realize she is not alone and that you care about her.

And for all those women luckier than I am, I know you know the feeling too.  The devastating punch in the gut that accompanies that moment when you realize just how much you gave up to be free and you are not alone either.  We are a sisterhood and we will all survive with a little help from some kind sisters.  Thank you to my kind sisters, just because I realize just how much I have given up that does not mean that the help you gave me was not very much appreciated, it was.  Authentically pissed, keep stitching.

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