To speak or not to speak…

The emotions of shame are there. I feel them swirling around me with the opacity of a bridal veil. But I’ve always been stubborn. I don’t like those moments where I feel like a victim, and there is something about such a long silence, that drives me to speak. That pushes me to talk. That makes me want to explain all the things that no one ever understood.

But I can’t. Not quite yet. Not as openly as my soul desires, as it wants to be seen, and understood, and forgiven for the misunderstandings and the friends that turned away because I seemed uninterested or distant.

But it is not the time for such full-blown honesty. There are legal matters to finalize. We must sell our home. Settle our debts. Go through the paperwork for a divorce. I still have to deal with him (though I limit it to weekends, whenever possible).

I have to pretend a little longer. Or he could make things difficult. So I lie to our mutual friends. I say that we are only separating, and I don’t mind if they are friends with both of us. (I do mind. I want to beat my fists on the wall and yell out that I gave him everything and he took, and took, and took.) Instead, I just say that he can’t know anything about me anymore, and I need them to respect that. Some of them suspect, I think. They have started to examine their memories and come up with startling realizations I can only answer with, a vague, ‘that’s some interesting insight’.

At first I didn’t want to do anything that might ruin his reputation. I still don’t want to do anything that might throw a stone into the gears of his own therapy and attempts to deal with his very real issues. But I don’t want to be ashamed, I don’t want to be afraid. And if I continue in silence, how would anyone else realize that they are not suffering alone? It feels like this experience would be wasted, if I can’t do something with it.

But for now, my family knows. My closest friends. And the friends who are mine alone and are distant and safe, out of state and out of touch – they know a very little more. But not everything.

What will happen once the divorce is finalized? Once I have severed all official ties irrefutably? (Yes, I realize it is not quite so easy as to sever ‘all’ ties. Not after twelve years of shared associations, friends, interests and living in roughly the same geographic area…) Will I be able to speak out? Or will I be afraid of reprisal?

Who am I protecting? Is it still him? Is it me?

All I know, is that someday, someday, I am going to be heard. There will be no more secrets.

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10 thoughts on “To speak or not to speak…

  1. I too can relate to what you have shared…not knowing who to tell, whether to tell, how much to tell. Needing to speak up, but fearing the consequences. I too was blessed with a few close friends who lived far away and were there for me, even on the other side of the world.
    As I looked over the topics of your posts I see so many that feel familiar.
    I’m glad you’re speaking out. Hugs to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There is one thing I caught myself thinking, even if I was losing it, or being dragged into feeling crappy, or feeling like it would never get better… or circumstances, bills, whatever… that no matter how hard it was, it was better by far than being with him. I put money in the bank and it stays there. I get to choose whether to talk to him or not (mostly not unless it was in email)… I get to focus on the good things without someone coming along trying to make me feel guilty.

    Two weeks after he left, my middle kid (then 15) and I came home, pulled into the driveway, and Luke sighed loudly, relieved I guess that the day was over. I felt the same way.

    Then he jumped and said: This is what it’s SUPPOSED to feel like when you come home!

    I think of that sigh a lot… It does feel like that now. I’m home. It’s safe.

    If we have that, and food and shelter… Can we be content?

    Liked by 1 person

    • There’s that blessed peace when you can really let go and really relax…not just ourselves but our children as well. No more walking on egg shells, no more confusing signals and no more fear. Right after my divorce I used to wake up in the mornings tense, until I looked at his side of the bed and realized that I was alone. It was the best feeling in the world.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The week after my ex moved out in a manipulative snit: I can’t live like this anymore, telling the teenagers that mom has closed her heart to me… (13 year old daughter later said: How could you stand it just listening to him lie like that? Comfort comfort… not everyone believes your lies.) and then he texts me half an hour later: when you’re ready to talk about reconciliation, I am too.

    He’s going to tell everyone that it is me, especially when I am the one who changes the locks and says you can’t come back until you stop lying, stop manipulating and stop drinking. (I wasn’t asking you to be a good husband, notice? I was asking for a sane human being.)

    That Sunday in our main teaching at church (we don’t have services, we have teachings. We also have Q&As after and comments time with roaming microphones…) a man comments about realizing he has an idol of other people’s perceptions of him. That he needed to repent of that and only be concerned with God’s perception of him.

    I don’t wonder who God was thinking of when He prompted the man to make that comment. I sat there and cried. I don’t want people to believe these things, I want them to know the truth, but I need to be careful. Trusted friends, who understand. Others won’t. Others will be shocked. Assume that I did something– it takes two right?

    Also I’m angry. And Hurt. And reeling. And yes, a victim. I’m not sane myself. I come off as a crazy person too. I know I am not, really, but for a while, and sometimes… Meanwhile he looks like that loving, caring man who has been a bad husband but he wants to do better now. (Because 20 years wasn’t enough time to start dealing?) But people believe.

    If I promise you that you are in for a rough year, will you believe it’s out of love? So that you can expect it to be hard and know that it will be… to not be surprised. To not be knocked over by it so that, in our worst case scenarios, we try to find escape in another relationship when we have no idea yet how to know healthy when we see it.

    If I also promise that when New Years Eve comes and this year turns over into 2016, you will be astounded by how free you feel compared with last New Years Eve. You will be humbled by how much better you are now. And you will praise God for changing you, for healing you.

    You will be overjoyed to see who you have become. And it will all be worth it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thankyou for your honesty. Honestly. A part of me keeps looking around and hoping it will be better now. You are so spot on… I keep getting a little knocked over every time something good happens and I then have an odd reaction.

      Thanks for reminding me that the light at the end of the tunnel is real, even if it feels like a long way off.

      Liked by 1 person

    • It was so subtle at first, the growing isolation. For me, anyhow. I process so much through words, through finding ways to relate to others. I thrive on community – and over the last year it seemed like it was getting farther and farther away. Luckily I had some people step in and gently nudge me all at the right moments, all independently of one another. In conjunction with some major life consequences of being in that situation.

      I gather you have left someone too, for similar reason. *Fistbumps* Way to go, lady.

      Like

        • We’ll find our path. Today was a good day for me. Thursday was a difficult one. I’m learning that I’ve developed a lot of coping mechanisms that were perhaps key to survival (according to my counselor) but that I am going to have to change to be able to handle things in the real world. My own paraphrase and spun in my own words. 😉

          The hardest thing is not kicking myself for missing/ignoring warning signs. But we are both out now, then. Wish we didn’t have to make this journey, but I’m glad to have some company. Hang in there!

          Liked by 2 people

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