This is the most personal and transparent thing that I have ever written. I share aspects of my life, but I only share them once I’m passed them. I share once I’ve overcome something, or am close to overcoming it. But this, this is today, this is raw, this painful… today. Writing this brought me to this place of healing it. I hope it helps someone else too. #TheMostVulnerableIveEverBeen
I grew up believing in principle. That if you treat people well, you will be treated well. That if you are upstanding, honest, and give respect, you will receive all those things in return. In reality sometimes the good guy loses the girl to the bad boy. Sometimes the one who lies and connives gets the promotion. Sometimes the bully gets the sympathy of the victim. I still believe that in the end that all things are working for my good, that truth always comes to light, and that people do one day get back what they have put out. Like Celie told Mister, “aint nothing good goin come to you do till you do right by me.” (Color Purple junkies will understand). I have been living on this principle for the last five years since my divorce. Knowing that there could be no way that anything good was coming towards my ex-husband until he does right by me. But today I sit stunned and amazed with new information. It’s been three days since I found out my ex-husband is marrying another woman.
I think I missed that scene in the Color Purple, it must have been cut in the final edit, but I don’t recall Mister going on to marry another women, in a beautiful farmside wedding, right when harvest come in. I missed that scene when he could go on to new marital bliss after beating and badgering Celie, his first wife, for twenty years. They really forgot to show me this twist in the story line.
What’s amazing is this very and exact thing that I am living is what my mother lived some thirty-five years ago. Going through a divorce, raising children alone, broken by the happenings of her marriage, to then watch her ex-husband go on to marry someone else. Today I miss her in a new place. I would love to ask her how she did it, how she got through this… this hard place. But the painstaking truth is my mother went to her deathbed never overcoming this reality, this hard place. Jesus help my heart.
For the last 5 years since my divorce I have been giving my ex-husband this great benefit of the doubt. That he must be living under a bridge, or in prison, or maybe he was dead, there were no other reasons that could explain his abandonment. Maybe he was in a mental institution… yeah that’s it, as to why he abandoned his only child and left me holding all the pieces. I mean these are actual conversations I had with myself, lol. But I am now finding out that he was fine. That not only was he in his right mind, but that he was living well, was going on dates and to events. He was snapping pictures, and smiling big, not ever taking a moment to look back at the ruin he’d left behind. Not ever sending so much as a Scooby-snack to making sure his child was eating. He never looked back. Wow, and amazing! Where’s the manual on how to react to this level of revelation??
Now let me be clear. This is not about me still wanting this man. Lawd ham mercy I don’t want him!! Truthfully I get a visual, and I can literally feel this in my gut, the thought of returning to him would be like throwing up and returning to my own vomit, (See Proverbs 26:11). I see that every time I use to be tempted to go back. No this is not about still being in love with him. I can truthfully admit that I still have love for him, but the in love stage has passed. No this is about that principle I grew up believing. This impossible yet very tangible reality of reaping what I have not sown.
It is a terrible thing to give out encouragement and receive back resentment. It is a terrible thing to give a warm, peaceful and beautiful home and receive back hostility, cruelty and chaos. It’s a terribly hard thing. And when those hard places are also weighted down with raising a child solo, even though you did not bring that child here by yourself, this hard place compounds by a thousand, every moment, of every day. This is a hard place.
I didn’t deserve it. The abuse, the mistreatment, the tearing down and the abandonment that I received. I didn’t deserve it. I didn’t deserve his lies, his cruelty, his yelling, his screaming, his cursing, his torment. I didn’t deserve it. I didn’t deserve to be slammed into walls and tossed over ottomans, picking my body and spirit off of floors. I didn’t deserve it. I didn’t deserve to exchange my love and support for cruelty, empty promises and broken dreams. I didn’t deserve the trauma. I did not deserve it. And above all, my only son did not deserve to be born into this turmoil. He did not deserved to be flung in the air by his father, leaving his mother to catch him before colliding with the ground. There is no other moment in my whole and entire life that makes me more angry than that moment. And it was in that moment that I walked away from this marriage. We did not deserve it, we did not deserve any of it.
I am now in hopes that there is not a new woman unknowingly setting herself up for what I have suffered. No matter what the outward picture looks like, the reality of what goes on behind closed doors is the only thing that matters. What glitters is not always gold, sometimes… it’s just glitter. The character of man is the only thing that stands.
I don’t have all the answers, and although my heart aches on this new level, around this marriage and divorce that I mistakenly assumed that I was mostly over, I must remind myself of some truths. Now is not the time to focus on how he’s going to get his, but time to focus on how I will get mine. Mine will be the reward at the end of this season. The reward for not returning cruelty for cruelty. The reward for not allowing bitterness to take root in my garden. The reward for not losing my faith or my walk when I’d lost everything else. The reward for not losing my integrity. And knowing that I will get back twenty-fold what I have suffered. And that the suffering has been a gift to me, it showed me who I am.
In this hard place I know what I will not to do. I will not fall into bad habits, and self sabotage. It is so easy to do when you’re in pain. I will not lean on a vice that will make this season the turning point into self destruction. I WILL NOT!! He will reap the harm that he has sown, but my focus will be on my reaping the love that I have sown. I will remind myself that this battle is not mine, but it is the Lord’s. I will remind myself that my latter days will be greater than my former. I will remind myself that I have not become completely broken by any of this. I will remind myself that I am still here. Just like Celie said, Dear God, I’m still here!!”