It took me more than a year. 14 months in fact.
The night of my court date a close friend phoned to see how I was doing, my response was, “well alright thanks, I’m having dinner with my now ex husband.”
There is no accounting for how we all have our own ways of protecting ourselves and coping, but mine is to go into hiding, something I am working so hard at changing as you become a victim by your own hand. You punish yourself for something you haven’t done.
Precious has arrived at my door over the last year, to simply say hello and check in, and on one specific occasion I sat inside in the dark, a trembling mess, too terrified to see his face and engage. The doorbell sound ricocheted right through my very being and he pursued for a while. As bizarre and stupid as it sounds, it is/was my reality. Enough already right? Own it, make the call, face the fear.
I scanned the faces, and out of the corner of my eye, I sensed his stance, one leg a little bent, arms folded, creasy smile, as I got closer, I noticed wet eyes, soft eyes. Brief hug, became a bear hug with a catch in our throats and a squashed giggle. A remembered feeling. Heart fluttering with fear, anticipation, emotion. No amount of anything can demean the time, love, sweat and tears you share with someone you have grown with over an excess of more than 10 years. Those memories are there for life and no one has the power to take them away. When you are in cope mode it is so often fuelled by anger and you remember only the bad, as that propels you through the pain and justifies why you are where you are. Time has taken that away from me. I have found a peace, I have ceased obsessing over why I wasn’t enough, or why decisions were made and suddenly they don’t matter any more.
As is my nature I’ve written pages of notes for this long anticipated meeting, time lines, subject headings, children, flow charts, you name it, but it is only the last page of my scribbling that I refer to, “At the end of all this writing I come to the realisation that I am here now because it’s the first time I’ve felt strong enough, empowered enough and happy enough to see you.”
“Yes, he says, I know.”
“Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love” Mother Teresa