“I want a different life” is never something someone wants to hear from their partner of 12 years just months before their decade-long marriage celebration. When the words are dropped, everything around you shatters into tiny fragments, and it leaves you wondering how you will ever collect those pieces again.
Divorce was never in my vocabulary. It was never an option. It was never even a thought during dark times. Yet here we are, trying to pick up a shattered life without getting cut on the broken edges.
My pending ex-husband has Aspergers. It was not an effortless relationship, but I was committed and I loved all the good qualities: intelligent, hard working, honest, kind. I tried to balance the impulsivity, random outbursts, social awkwardness, constant miscommunication, and emotional distance the best I could with my own mental health challenges, but you can’t conquer cognitive disorders no matter what you do. You adapt, and you work together to find multiple middlegrounds. None of this makes sense because there is no sense to be made. One day we’re preparing for an international adoption home study, and the next we’re navigating splitting up assets.
I’ve gone through the stages of grief and continue to cycle through them. The rawness has faded though I’m still not sleeping well. I cry when my sweet Marmalade wraps her tail around my legs. And I’m forcing myself to eat despite the lack of appetite.
I have been so overwhelmed by the love, generosity, and support of my closest loved ones (or what I have deemed as my Sunshine Squad) this month. They are my light bringers right now as I now prepare for an extended holiday in England starting in December. When rent is the same cost on both sides of the pond, why not max out one’s tourist visa?
I can’t emotionally be here for Christmas or what would have been our 10th wedding anniversary. Since the UK has been the only place in the world where my soul felt at home, I thought ‘home’ would be the place for healing and figuring out what happens next. So for the next six months, it’s non-stop research on selling furniture and miscellany, preparing the cats to become British travelers (heartbreakingly, it’ll only be Annie and Pickles), and seeking advice in every corner of what will become my new normal.
While I’m mourning the loss of a marriage, I’m struggling most with accepting blessings from others right now. From kind messages, impromptu lunches, self-care surprises, to kitty travel essentials, my heart curls up and weeps because I’m scared to allow myself to be taken care of by anyone else again. I trusted someone doing just that for so long that it’s like swallowing those shattered pieces and trying to convince myself it tastes good. Rationally, I know I need it. Irrationally, I want to get through this silently.
So I come back to a journaling platform in hopes I can overcome my insecurities, reclaim my assertive and confident spirit, balance transparency with my default internal privacy setting, and help someone else along this journey. Maybe a pretty mosaic will come out of this.