I have been draggin’ around your sensitive ego
Making sure that your bags arrive on time for the dog and pony show
A little suitcase like a brick,
It kinda makes it hard to get a good grip
I drop your troubles off at the conveyor belt,
I’ll hand you a ticket to go get it yourself
At the baggage claim, you got a lot of luggage in your name
When you hit the ground, check the lost and found
Cause it ain’t my problem now
I can’t carry it on, I’ve got a lot of troubles on my own
It’s all over the yard, in the trunk of the car,
I’m packin’ it in, so come and get it. ~ Miranda Lambert
For years, I did not realize that my life was a wreck. I was living a lie and was clueless about it. I spent most of my marriage working at keeping it together. Trying to make my man happy. In the process, I was losing myself. When he told me he wanted a divorce, I was of course, devastated. But quickly, I realized that I did not miss him. I took a look around the house and noticed that much of the stuff that took up space in my 1200 square foot home belonged to him. Then I looked in my two car garage and realized the same thing. One more trip to the back of the garage and guess what? More crap! It was extremely difficult to move anywhere on my property without the constant reminders of him.
It took nearly two years and a court order from the time he left for him take away his items. Some things, I simply threw out. He refused to get rid of old lawn mowers and other large pieces so they made their journey to the end of driveway. With each toss, I felt more free and my house looked cleaner. But it takes more than throwing away physical reminders of someone to really rid yourself of pain.
First, I had to admit that I was abused. Verbal and emotional abuse is a challenge to see or to understand because words and psychological mind games don’t leave obvious bruises. Coming to grips with this fact was a huge hurdle that I had to overcome. How could I-an educated intelligent woman not notice or even allow it to happen? I needed to forgive myself first before I could even entertain the idea that I could forgive him. I would say that peeling back these layers was excruciating. Therapy helps!
During this time (after the divorce was final), I fell in love with the man who is now my fiance’. Through him, I learned to trust and to also stand up for my needs without fear of negative consequences. I learned that I was a worthy, lovable woman. This was especially freeing. I became more and more myself and our relationship grew closer and stronger.
Simultaneously, my former husband continued to act out. He refused to comply with the agreement in any way. I spent the better part of 4 years and a significant amount of money advocating for my son’s college education and assuring that both my sons had shelter- among other things. With each battle, I became less and less emotionally involved. I was beginning to be less of a victim and more of a leader of my own life. For the most part, it worked. I knew I was doing the right thing for my boys as well as myself.
My oldest is set to graduate from college in a month. My ties to my former husband will continue to be severed. On Easter weekend, I took four boxes of my former life ( all the divorce papers that are no longer needed) to the bonfire. Slowly, each piece was set aflame and turned into ashes. It took longer than expected to burn it all up. In my mind, I knew that it was the way it was supposed to be. Years of pain can take a long time to unfold and transform into something beautiful.
*Special thanks to Kellie Elmore for the inspiration for today’s entry http://kellieelmore.com/2013/04/19/fwf-free-write-friday-baggage-claim/