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- Separation & Divorce
My Pain in 3D. The Pitfalls of Social Media
I want to say first that social media is not always what it is cracked up to be. It has become such a staple in many people's lives that what they say, when they say it, who it touches - none of that matters anymore. What people used to do and say behind closed doors is now happening in front of everyone, for all to see.
I am separated from my husband of 14 years. We are still connected on facebook. He posted a photo of peppers he was making for dinner. They looked good. Insert innocent and fact finding question from his older sister about making sausages. They are Italian. Sausages are a way of life. Good enough.
I was prepared for some sausage is privates banter. That is a common enough occurrence on facebook, right? Next a friend of his comments that the peppers look really tasty. Now the fun begins. His not-so-secret new love interest (note we are still married) posts that she would like to join him for dinner. At this point, my invisible hands are in front of my eyes and my brain is saying, "La la la la la."
It is at this point that I realize I need to stop reading but I. Just. Can't. Stop.
My Brain says, "Sure! Yes, read more words! I love words! Words mean sentences and sentences mean new learning." My heart says, "Uh oh. Train is coming. Stop where you is and do not." My heart struggles with proper verb tenses and grammar.
Naturally my brain wins because it is closest to my eyes.
I read on, "Eat blah blah blah, fly out blah blah blah, love..." SCREECH. Re-read. He tells his cyber sister that his love for her is very different than his love for this other woman.
Now, I would like you to picture the following: Rip my heart out of my chest with your right hand - or your left if you are a lefty. Grab something super pointy, perhaps with barbs in it. Stab it directly through my still beating heart. Next: Pull the barbed, pointy thing out of my heart and jam it back through my heart, perhaps from a different angle.
If you have some broken glass laying around - and I know we all do - put on some ruggedly sexy work gloves and spread the glass evenly on a plate, preferably with the most jagged egdges facing up. Now take my shredded ticker and roll it around in the glass. Don't be shy. Press down and really put your back into it for maximum effect.
Remove my heart and jam it back into my chest. It is best to remove the pointed, spiked thing before re-inserting it, but feel free to leave the glass shards embedded. It creates a nice crunchy result.
So there I sat with my heart that didn't seem to be beating right, my lungs that didn't seem to be holding air, my shaking hands and jelly legs. He just said the "L" word in reference to his new beau. He will be traveling to her home state to visit her the first week of September.
We are not separated because I stopped loving him. If you believe there is a distinction, I love him and am in love with him as well. Our relationship fell apart for many reasons. I am not writing to lay blame.
All I want to say is, "OUCH!" Let's, for the sake of this entry, remove the humiliation of bankruptcy and the mourning for the loss of a 14 year marriage. I am still sitting here holding on to the vestiges of our marriage. I am still here holding on to our daughter when she is sad and celebrating when she is happy. I am still here looking at photos of our family, remembering how he smelled and how his smile would light up a room. I am still here keeping happy memories alive for myself and for our daughter. I am still here with my chronic illness.
What do I want from him? I know that life goes on and everyone moves at their own pace. I know that life is for living, life is for joy and love is unpredictable. I know all of this in my head and in my heart.
What do I want from him?
I want him to see, really see that I am still here. I want him to CARE that I am still here, sewing up and bedazzling our family memories, holding the tatters of our marriage within my hands, trying not to let them fall. My hands will not unclench enough to do so anyway. I want him to remember that I am our sweet baby's mom and while I am protecting her heart, sometimes I cannot protect my own.
I want him to see that I am trying so hard to set him free even though I know he will always be in my heart. I want him to have some compassion for me. I want him to treat me with respect and some tenderness. I want him to remember our years together warmly and not feel as if he has to let them go in order to move forward.
I want him to accept that we will and can always share the joy that is our daughter. I want him to enjoy sharing this connection.
Mostly, I want him to be gentle with my heart. Whether he likes it or not, I have already given it to him and it will always rest within his hands. What he does from here on is up to him.
He will always keep his secrets close. I must find a way to make peace with myself over the loss of our marriage. I need to remain an anchor for our daughter as she faces challenges along the way.
I will continue to lay in bed at night while our sweet girl sleeps, remembering the good times and helping to keep those memories alive for her while we move on to an unknown future, just us girls.
In the meantime, the social media escapades continue and I will work up enough nerve to unfriend him knowing that my wishes do not always coincide with reality. I can always dream, right?