Yesterday I was a bit down. Not completely sure why, but I was struck with a sense of loss. Again. It will come and go forever I guess. I was not mourning the loss of love so much as the loss of a way of life, of a dream. Being a part of a mom and dad team instead of single. I was mourning for my children more than for myself. The loss is the feeling of being a whole unit…a family. Something was severed forever. Broken. It is in every way possible a death. It will never be the same, it will never come back; what was my life. The loss of my family will be a ghost in my heart forever. It changed the trajectory of my life and the life of my children. I’m better off in many ways. I’m not a victim I’m a victor. But it is still sad. Why? Because it just is.
The words from Coldplay lingered in my mind….
When you try your best but you don’t succeed
When you get what you want but not what you need
When you feel so tired but you can’t sleep
Stuck in reverse
That was me fighting for my marriage. I truly got almost everything I wanted but somehow I didn’t want that….if that makes any sense. I knew I needed a strong man who would challenge me. Not fight with me, but have his own mind. I strived so hard to make that true for us. But it just was not meant to be.
And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can’t replace
When you love someone but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?
I didn’t think at the time that anything could be worse. Failure, waste…I needed it fixed. I couldn’t imagine a worse-case scenario for my life.
Then came Martin. I looked to him to fix me and my situation. I hoped for a replacement to the loss in my life and in my children’s lives. He was kind to my kids and interacted with them with finesse and tenderness. He was very convincing. He said he’d take care of me and love me and…He said lots of things. I wanted that replacement so bad I overlooked big, bad, ugly things in his character.
And high up above or down below
When you’re too in love to let it go
But if you never try you’ll never know
Just what you’re worth
I didn’t know I could do it on my own. I was afraid. And so I clung. I clung to the empty promises of a lying deceitful man who smiled and said all the right things until things didn’t go his way. And then I clung some more. He told me he would be the only man to love me for me. He threatened me with a life of loneliness, unloved by my family, isolated from my friends, making every mistake possible with my life if left to my own sense of being…unless I said yes to him. That’s when it got ugly. He tried very hard to get me to doubt my gut. Thinking back he did that all along. Any time a person spoke out with concern for me he went on the attack toward that person. Instead of seeing it as a loving thing to do he reacted as if they had ulterior motives. His control and manipulation was very subtle. But now I do see it much more clear.
I was rescued from the fate of being married to a cold-hearted, mean-spirited, weak-minded man. And I was so ready to jump in. Seduced by the words:
Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you
But in the background he was stirring his pot of potions creating a cloud of smoke here to distract me from the truth over there. It was like his promises were a bright shiny image reflecting back at me in a house of mirrors. Every dream I had ever dreamed that I shared with him he mimicked back as if it were his dream too. Promise after promise, dream after dream. Yes, we can have that, yes, this will be our life. One minute it’s clear and directly ahead and I am walking toward it and the next minute, I turn my head, and poof it’s gone, only to be shorter and fatter on the next wall but also tall and skinny a little further away on another wall. Versions of the dream, but distorted, changed, warped, and morphed to fit into lies he had told in the past or ones he planned for the future. I didn’t know which one was the real one. I kept chasing the image through the house getting more confused and conflicted at ever turn. But I wanted to be fixed, happy, and whole. Until I broke down and said enough. The chasing of that dream was not fixing me. It was breaking me and I escaped.
Thank you God…I escaped.
In the months that followed I decided that I didn’t want to be fixed anymore. I wanted to embrace me and love me and find the good in my life. Being told how awful I was in such a potent manner woke me up from the hateful self-talk I’d been accepting for years. I could say horrible and awful things about myself and I did. I spent hours trying to convince one of my best friends that I was in fact a *itch. But hearing the accusations so clearly contrived to hurt me from another person was like hearing from a stranger things you say about your own family. It caused me to rise up to defend myself to my own heart.
“He is just saying these things to hurt you. He is hurting. If you said you’d take him back this minute he would reverse everything he just said that was hateful. And you aren’t those things. And even if there are portions of truth to everything he is saying…that does not define your complete character. No way. You are worth more. You don’t have to listen to that. NO! You are worth more. So much more. You are worth being treated with respect, and listened to. You are worth a life of your own choosing, not chasing someone else’s dream full of empty promises.”
So I respected myself and I did what I thought was right. I began to take ownership of my own pace, gait, and direction. I shut off the evil, wicked voices in my head that told me I wasn’t worthy and looked to Jesus who knew everything about me and still loved me as my guide. Refusing to believe condemnation which leads to defeat, I made my way.
And that is not to be hailed on my part. It was either that or be completely broken forever, buried under the burden of failure. All I did was stop listening to the coaxing of an ethereal promise I couldn’t prove before jumping in. I quit taking the bait. And instead I started saying…PROVE IT.
Prove to me you love me by how you treat me. Prove to me I’m an awful person instead of making unfounded assumptions in an attempt to belittle me by manipulating facts to suit your purpose. Prove you are who you say you are. Prove that your loving and kind and a good friend. I’ll watch. But you have to prove it.
And I said it to everyone, not just Martin.
When I got to that point I suddenly was revived of inner strength I hadn’t felt in years. It wasn’t the cockiness of my youth when I thought I was right about everything. That was replaced with a quiet confidence in who I really was, not just on the outside but on the inside too. Fighting off his lies in a sense fixed me.
So I guess he did what I wanted just not in the way I was expecting. I had to let it go to find out how much I was worth.
Now, months later I have true peace and contentment in my heart in a way I haven’t known in recent memory, if ever. I’m not going to strive for something that is not solid, that I can’t put my fingers on and test. Even Jesus allowed Thomas to feel the wounds for himself. He needed that to believe. I’m just going to take each day as it comes and be grateful for what is. What I can see and touch and smell. I’m not holding out for a dream but I still believe it’s possible to live a dream. It’s the living I want not the wishing and hoping.
So I’m going to live in the here and now and from my point of view. My Harry and the love we have for one another, being a mom with its highs and lows, staying fit, and being a good friend is all I need. I’m good. It’s all good.