Yes, that sounds depressing. It many ways it is. It many ways, it has been as this week has creeped up on my calendar, pulling with it the raw emotions I slid through myself a year ago.
Despite all that, I can't believe I can honestly say that I am OK. More than OK. I'm good. We're good. Last September, all I felt I could honestly write in a vague and difficult post about rebuilding my life was, "Here I am." There have been a few tugs and tears at the recollection, and still, here we are now.
A year ago tonight, I was in a police station in the suburbs, filing a missing person's report for my husband. I thought he was dead. He was not. I thought if he was, my life was over too. It was not.
He was escaping something. His life, our lives, depression, anger, a job, financial chaos, extended family stress, plans to have another baby and try to buy a house, responsibility, laundry, me...I don't know what exactly. I will never know why.
It was one of the most painful nights of my life. It was followed by great relief when he was found and OK. And that was followed by little boy's birthday party edged with exhaustion and tension and great fear. He wasn't dead but I was very afraid of losing him. I just didn't know on that day I already had.
What happened to my marriage happened quickly.
What was left devolved in a matter of weeks and it was
clear very soon that the man I'd been married to for five years and in
love with for ten years was no longer the same person. A month after
the disappearing act, I left completely myself.
We never went back, Lil E and I. Except for visits and to get things we needed and later, in a frenzy of packing and purging. Instead, we spent the next seven months in the same house where we celebrated - painfully but adamantly - Lil E's birthday with his friends and family all around.
I chose not to write many details about that night because I was so caught up and confused and in acute trauma. By the time I was out of that mess, I wanted to focus on us, Lil E and I, and what I called an "adventure" over and over until someone (he or I or maybe both of us) believed that's what we were on.
I was explaining the story to someone this weekend and as I told it, I realized what a long, long time ago that day one year ago seems in my mind. Perhaps that's because it is dredged in so many feelings. Perhaps because it is taking so long to finalize the inevitable divorce that came after that night, after those awful four weeks in our home. Perhaps because our lives have changed so much in this time.
Am I over it? Well, no. How do you get past those moments completely? I do know, though, that the rawness will fade as each year passes. Some of it, thankfully, already has.
But I needed to honor all that I went through and our family went through that night by saying, "this is what that was." I also need to recognize that this is where we are now and there is so much more to come.
It all does really sound depressing, I know. And I am sorry that I (and we) went through all of that in the way we did. But I am no longer sorry that my life evolved. I'm not sad we are where we are today.
I'm not going to pretend the day does not exist. There's too much celebrating to do now. And today, a year later, I can release enough - not all, but enough - of what was to really enjoy all that is.