There has been this feeling over the last couple of days that the bottom had dropped out. Everything that was familiar has become foreign, strange. The world looks different as I figure out how to make just Julie out of "Julie and Travis". But now it seems a strange and eerie peace has settled that is a huge relief, and terrifying.
It all hurts, and confuses and muddles. At work I see elderly couples shop together, moving seamlessly as if they were one. Communicating without words. I wanted that for us, the golden years. Then there are the young couples, and I remember us, a newborn between us in that early morning light when all the edges are blurred and all the sounds are softened.
I don't know how to separate it. When my parents got divorced, all the memories of us as a family seemed to have to die with their new relationships. The ones that managed to survive were the bad ones. How do I preserve the dignity of our lives for the last 21 years and not let anyone else define it based on their limited knowledge? Yes, the bad has overwhelmed the good - but there is still good there to find. I want those memories - they are mine.
Yesterday a friend eloquently explained marriage to me in a way she heard it when going through her own painful divorce - and it was so very helpful. (Thank you Becky) A marriage is like a child. It needs physical and emotional care. If you had a child that was sick, you would do everything you could to take care of it and nourish it back to health. On the other hand, if the child were to die, you would not hold onto it and keep it with you. You would bury it and mourn the loss and day by day learn to live without it again.
This is so hard. It is so painful. It isn't what I ever wanted. Who would ever choose this?