death/dɛθ/ Show Spelled [deth] noun
1. the act of dying; the end of life; the total and permanent cessation of all the vital functions of an organism.
2. the state of being dead: to lie still in death.
3. extinction; destruction: It will mean the death of our hopes.
di·vorce (d-vôrs, -vrs)n.
1. The legal dissolution of a marriage.
2. A complete or radical severance of closely connected things.
You often will hear people to compare a divorce to death. In a way it is. One chapter coming to an end, another beginning. A relationship ending, the life you shared with another no longer exsists. It's dead.
When someone we love dies it's kind of similar. Life goes on with them, the sun still rises in the morning and sets at night. For a while we cry, but we greive and move on. You see things that remind you of the deceased, sometimes you feel that void in your life where that person used to be. Divorce feels the same way. All you have now are the memories, life moves forward, children grow, you fall in an out of love...you feel the void and survive on the memories of what once was.
Yesterday when I was driving in the car I was looking at Adaline in the rearview mirror at a stop light. I found myself trying to think of another reason besides her that I loved my husband. I can honestly say I could think of none. As the light turned green and I turned the radio louder and accelerated to the speed limit I realized how free I felt.
First of all I was listening to MY music, instead of his stupid rap music. Adaline and I were jamming to Florence and the Machine, she was dancing in her car seat while she was playing a game on the Ipad and I was singing with out having to worry about someone else hearing me. Hearing me and telling me I sang a word wrong, or changing the song so I would stop.
Last night during my usualy weekly texting conversations with my Sarah she mentioned that she always kind of noticed something was wrong, but just never pushed the issue because I said everything was fine. She brought up the way I changed when Adam would come home if the girls were still there for our weekly play group. How I would stand right up and walk over to him, take Addy out of his arms so he could go on to do whatever he was doing with out any distractions and tell him I would make his lunch soon. Until the girls left I would hold my breath...worrying about what was to come after they were all gone. The house would be a mess, that would upset him, he would be hungry and that would REALLY upset him...I would have to listen to him shout. The freedom I felt sitting in the backyard with my other mommy friends watching our kids play together was gone.
Now I realize freedom is something I regularly feel now. I don't owe anyone an explanation, I am free to do and live as I please. I was playing with a baby at a bridal shower yesterday and I found myself making this cooing noise I used to always make to Addy when she was little that always made her laugh. Instantly I stopped myself, because I remember the way Adam used to tell me he hated that noise and it was the most annoying, stupid thing he ever heard me do. It didn't matter that it made our Addy laugh, I stopped doing it...because it made him upset. Yesterday when I made that noise and Ava smiled, I almost wanted to cry because my stomach dropped thinking "Adam hates this noise, can't do it again" and then I realized HE ISN'T HERE TO YELL AT ME!! And I did it again...Ava smiled.
As I fall more in love with my girl every single day...I realize how much joy was taken from her early years. The way I didn't do a lot of what I wanted to do because I was worried about it upsetting HIM. Would I have cuddled her longer in our bed if it hadn't bothered him? Would I have breastfed her longer then eight months had he not expressed his feelings that it was time to stop? Would I have let her shower with me more often had he not told me he thought it was weird? Would I have held her while she slept instead of rushing out of her room if he had not told me she would become spoiled if I did?
Yesterday I cooed at Ava,and she smiled. I took a shower with Adaline in the afternoon, and we had so much fun splashing together. I listened to a band I loved, and relished in the joy of the way the lyrics touched my heart. I held Adaline while she slept, and it made my heart swell with love. Yesterday I did what I wanted to do. And I enjoyed those things...would you believe that Adaline didn't wake up a different child this morning because I held her last night, she certainly didn't turn into a spoiled brat...and can you imagine that she was perfectly fine today even after she showered with me yesterday afternoon...
I lived in fear for so long. Walking on eggshells to keep him happy, to keep the monster at bay.
Today nearly a year after I drove out of that drive way for the last time, I don't think of my divorce as a death anymore. Instead I feel reborn.