My blogger friend, GirrlEarth, posted this on letting go yesterday and her piece resonated with me, especially after an experience I had earlier this week. I go for a long walk at least once a week with a couple of friends from my kickboxing class. On Monday, the conversation turned to Voldemort and their opinion that I need to file for divorce so that I can “move on.”
I tried to explain my reasoning for not filing. That as things stand, he pays support; the kids and I can stay in the house which is almost critical for #3 as it’s the only home she’s known and is cheaper than renting in our real estate market; I can keep my medical insurance which is provided through Voldemort’s employment. They made points about moving on and how my limbo made moving on impossible.
I started to feel that moving on was code for dating, sex, and remarriage. I’m not interested in any of it at this point. I tried to articulate that a legal divorce is the ultimate goal, yes, but the emotional work of letting go and moving on can be done long before the legal paperwork. That final decree, while meaningful emotionally, isn’t the starting (or ending) point for self examination, insight and healing.
I don’t think they got it. And I felt judged and found lacking.
It must be difficult for the people in my life to watch and hear my hurt and frustration when I relate that Cruella (mother-in-law) is calling me by the girlfriend’s name. They want to comfort me. They mistake my hurt for not letting go, not moving on from Voldemort. I’ve found that all of this is a process. Most of the time, now, I look at myself. In the early days after Voldemort left, I examined his actions and laid blame for anything and everything on him. But he wasn’t the only one in the marriage and I wasn’t perfect or powerless.
Healing is a process. It takes as long as it takes. Sometimes the wounds get reopened. Sometimes new wounds appear. Right now I’m realizing how much of my marriage was a habit. I got used to buying a certain amount of toilet paper or diet soda. Or preparing certain meals at certain times. Or stressing out about certain household chores being done at various times and intervals…because in an almost superstitious way I thought that’s what mattered, that’s what would keep the peace.
When I share that Cruella is cruel, I’m asking for validation that sometimes it’s hard to be me. It doesn’t mean I want Voldemort to come back (I don’t) or that I wish them all harm (I don’t, mostly). It’s not comforting to defend your feelings and choices all. the. time. And I’m learning that the validation I need the most is my own.