April 26, 2011
I have been drowning. I have surfaced.
I take in huge gulps of air, store it up. I know the undertow will grab my ankles, pull me under once again. When I am drowning the only sound I can hear is my heart beating wildly, demanding oxygen. I want the peace and stillness of that liquid place where everything floats, swims, or sinks. I want to remain devoid of daily discourse and interruptions to my thoughts. I am in a state of grace before my body wins its fight for air again and finds it.
Life is like that now, for me.
Leaving Dean was like another death. The next day, after I made my decision, I went to work. By lunchtime, I had three rental houses to look at. That night I had another. I called Dean and asked him to meet me at the little diner across from the movie theater for dinner.
I hate change. As unhappy as I was with my marriage, I did not want it to end. I knew my role, it defined me. I was comfortable in my status as wife. Comfortably trapped in unhappiness.
Every time I thought about leaving Dean, or thought about divorce, that little voice inside my head kept whispering, “But remember how much you loved him in the beginning.” Sitting next to him, I would look at his profile, tears would fill my eyes. I could not bear the thought then, of ever losing him. That feeling never changed. But I did.
That night, in the diner, after we ordered burgers, fries and chocolate shakes, I told Dean, “I need a place of my own. I need a place where I am able to sing myself lullabies and rock myself to sleep at night. I cannot be with you anymore when you are drinking. I can rent a place in town, and come home on the weekends.”
“I think you should get a place of your own.” Dean told me.
I though perhaps he understood. Maybe there was something to be salvaged from our relationship of 25 years, our marriage of 18.
“But don’t plan on coming home for weekends. It just won’t work.” He added.
His words, his nonchalance, felt like a fist in the chest. I could not breathe. I was underwater. I wanted him to tell me, "Don't go. I will get help. I can change."
“Then I guess that is how it will have to be.” I told him.
When you died I lost everything there was to lose. I was left vacant, wanting only what I could not have, your presence. In the days and weeks that followed, as I slowly moved back into myself, I found the final gift you left for me.
Strength to claim my own space.
Love You Andie