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One year ago today, my marriage went out for drinks and never came home

Yes, that sounds depressing. It many ways it is. It many ways, it has been as this week has creeped up on my calendar, pulling with it the raw emotions I slid through myself a year ago.

Despite all that, I can't believe I can honestly say that I am OK. More than OK. I'm good. We're good. Last September,  all I felt I could honestly write in a vague and difficult post about rebuilding my life was, "Here I am."  There have been a few tugs and tears at the recollection, and still, here we are now.

A year ago tonight, I was in a police station in the suburbs, filing a missing person's report for my husband. I thought he was dead. He was not. I thought if he was, my life was over too. It was not.

He was escaping something. His life, our lives, depression, anger, a job, financial chaos, extended family stress, plans to have another baby and try to buy a house, responsibility, laundry, me...I don't know what exactly. I will never know why.

It was one of the most painful nights of my life. It was followed by great relief when he was found and OK. And that was followed by little boy's birthday party edged with exhaustion and tension and great fear. He wasn't dead but I was very afraid of losing him. I just didn't know on that day I already had.

What happened to my marriage happened quickly.

What was left devolved in a matter of weeks and it was
clear very soon that the man I'd been married to for five years and in
love with for ten years was no longer the same person. A month after
the disappearing act, I left completely myself.

We never went back, Lil E and I. Except for visits and to get things we
needed and later, in a frenzy of packing and purging. Instead, we spent
the next seven months in the same house where we celebrated - painfully
but adamantly - Lil E's birthday with his friends and family all

I chose not to write many details about that night because I was so
caught up and confused and in acute trauma. By the time I was out of
that mess, I wanted to focus on us, Lil E and I, and what I called an
"adventure" over and over until someone (he or I or maybe both of us)
believed that's what we were on.

I was explaining the story to someone this weekend and as I told it, I
realized what a long, long time ago that day one year ago seems in my
mind. Perhaps that's because it is dredged in so many feelings. Perhaps
because it is taking so long to finalize the inevitable divorce that
came after that night, after those awful four weeks in our home.
Perhaps because our lives have changed so much in this time.

Am I over it? Well, no. How do you get past those moments completely? I
do know, though, that the rawness will fade as each year passes. Some
of it, thankfully, already has.

But I needed to honor all that I went through and our family went
through that night by saying, "this is what that was." I also need to
recognize that this is where we are now and there is so much more to

It all does really sound depressing, I know. And I am sorry that I (and
we) went through all of that in the way we did. But I am no longer
sorry that my life evolved. I'm not sad we are where we are today.

I'm not going to pretend the day does not exist. There's too much celebrating to do now. And today, a year later, I can release enough - not all, but enough - of what was to really enjoy all that is.

« If you love someone, set them free. And hope they leave behind their CDs. | Main | Postcards from a now-four-year old's birthday extravaganza »

Reader Comments (4)

What a smart woman you are. To realize already that while you would never wish to go through that again, you can choose to take the best learnings and turn them into a happier life for you and your son. I didn't walk in your shoes, but I think we shopped at the same shoe department. I don't wish it on anyone, but boy am I glad to be wiser today -- and happier, too, having come out on the other side.
September 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterK
You are: smart, beautiful, strong, resilient, capable, so loved, and so admired. You are my sistah and I am so happy (and relieved) to see you come out of this with such a clear perspective on what is right, important, true.

I am honored to call you friend, friend.
September 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterStefania
I'm glad you're in that place now, with a little of the hurt gone. It will get better, you know it will, with each passing day, hour, month . . .
September 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCarrie
Great post.
September 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTere

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