Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.Confucius.
In 1995, a woman in the city where I live – let’s call her Lucy – who’d been married for 38 years, was dumped by her husband for a younger woman. As with all women of that generation, Lucy had devoted her life to her marriage, family and his career.Distraught by his betrayal and her pain, she shot him six times.
Lucy’s husband recovered and went on to marry his mistress. Lucy was found not guilty of attempted murder by reason of temporary insanity and served time in a mental institution.On her release, scorned by society and abandoned by many of her former friends, she struggled to rebuild her relationships with her adult children and find a purpose to her life. I’m not sure she ever did, and, sadly, she died within a few years, aged 66. Continue reading →
My back hadn’t felt good since a recent trip.I’d lugged heavy luggage up and down way too many flights of stairs, and although the shoes I’d worn – with my orthotics! – were good solid shoes, they perhaps hadn’t been right for so much walking.But I figured that things would sort themselves out after a few weeks back home in my normal routine again.
I was in my apartment one Saturday morning, bending down to pick something up, when my back ‘went’.I sank to the floor, the pain so intense that I struggled to catch my breath.My legs tingled and I felt panic rising.Was this a stroke?Was I going to be paralyzed?
I was at the farthest point in the house from a phone and I couldn’t move for the pain.I waited about 10 minutes, trying to calm myself with deep breaths, then managed to shuffle on my butt down the hallway towards the kitchen and found my cell phone.With that in my hand, I hauled myself on to a chair and sat trying to work out what to do. I didn’t need an ambulance, but I wanted someone to know what was going on, so I called my daughter. Continue reading →
How many times have I heard those words from friends, even strangers or read them in so many different books and articles? I know everyone means well, but really, how does one “let go” of 37 years of marriage as if they were no more than an old pair of jeans that no longer fit?
For better or for worse, in sickness and in health. How on earth does one let that go? It happened. You can’t erase the past.
And “move forward?” Against the binding ties of so many years of life together? Impossible.
For a long time, it truly did seem impossible as I struggled through each day of fear and hurt and bewilderment, only to relive it all night after sleepless night.
It wasn’t until it was over, the divorce final, that I realized I truly was on my own. To be honest, I was terrified. For more than half my life, I had defined myself in terms of being part of a unit, one half of a marriage. And that was gone. Whatever had or hadn’t happened in the past–it was gone. There was no going back. No do-overs. Continue reading →
Two days ago, Isobel and I were discussing whether we should continue with this blog. We’re not getting a lot of traction on it, and after almost 3 and 5 years since our husbands walked out on us, we’ve been through hell, come out the other side, and are happier that we’ve probably been in years.
Is that what someone going through the early stages of one of the worst experiences of their life wants to hear?
Only days ago I played a ‘game’ with myself where I took my ex and a friend, or family member, and said to myself, “If I could only see one of these people once more in my life, who would it be?” I went through a whole list of almost 30 people lining up each one against my ex. Not one of my choices turned out to be him, and oh… did I feel smug.
One thing I learned early on in the process of becoming single again was that I had to find a way to protect my health. The stress of having my world turned upside down and inside out was my biggest enemy to battle. And being 60 when it all began didn’t help! Getting older has its own stress menu to deal with.
I wasn’t sleeping well, to say the least. I worried about money, about my relationships with my adult children, with my friends, with my lawyer. At my annual physical, I broke down in tears when the doctor asked me how I’d been feeling. Continue reading →