Since he would not respond to me, I began to find myself having imaginary conversations with him, responding to his letter. My first interpretation was one of shock, anger, and disbelief.
“Dear John” letter – First Interpretation (July 12,2009)
I’m afraid there is no easy way for me to say this – I’m leaving. Yeah – I got that from the text message. Thanks. We have had a long and rich life together but I can no longer live this life anymore. Why is this in the past tense; you sent me loving messages mere hours ago? As I told you several months ago, I feel as though we have been drifting apart for a number of years. And I was furious that you kept that hidden for a number of years and only told me when I pulled it out of you. It was a gradual thing but I can honestly say that it has reached a point where I no longer can share time with you without wondering when I can be away from you again. Knife through the gut, twisted. Why do you always tell me you miss me and can’t wait to see me again? I can’t keep living this lie – it’s not fair to either one of us. True – this is not fair to me. I will continue to support you as best I can from wherever I end up. That’s nice, but not my first concern. Where are you? Are you drifting on the currents? I will continue to work for ***** but I would appreciate if you didn’t involve them in this matter. Strange. Why are you mentioning your employer? We had some amazing times together and I will treasure these memories for the rest of my life. I agree that it has been amazing; I am not sure how much I’ll be able to treasure them after this ending. Besides, if you have been unhappy for years, when were the times real? When did you begin to pretend? I think people change as they experience life and unfortunately we have grown so far apart that I simply cannot relate to you in any way. You were relating just fine yesterday – what the hell happened? I know that this will hit you very hard and for that I am sincerely sorry. Apology not accepted. I have never wanted to do anything to harm you in any way but in doing so I have made myself unhappy for many years. WHY DIDN’T YOU TALK TO ME? I know that once you recover from the shock of this you will bounce back and live a happy and satisfying life – a better and more honest life than I could ever hope to offer you. This sounds rather blithe; do you actually think that I can recover from this like it is a case of the flu? Honest is a strange word choice. Everything I have left behind is yours and all I have taken is my clothing and the equipment I need to make a living. I’m not exactly worried about stuff at this point. I did notice; however, that you took all of the financial records along with the computer that is used to pay bills. Interesting. I will never ask you for forgiveness or understanding. Good, because they are in rather short supply right now. I am a coward who couldn’t tell you to your face that I am leaving. Coward is exactly right. If I don’t do this now then I probably never will. Why now? I need my life to have some sort of meaning to it and unfortunately working in the basement of my house and watching tv and playing video games isn’t it. Your choice to do those things. I also noticed that you took most of the DVD’s and video games. Interesting.
I’m sorry but my life is very quickly becoming that of my parents. How? You are so different from your father; we are so different than their marriage. No matter how much I see that, it feels like there is nothing I can do to change the path that I am on. That doesn’t sound like drifting. Where does this path go? From this point on there is nothing more that I can say other than how sorry I am for leaving you in this way. You should be. I will do everything I can from this point forward to try and make this as easy on you as possible. So we start off as difficult as possible and then you want to be helpful? I wonder what “easy as possible” will look like? I didn’t strip the account to leave. Why is this here? Does this relate to the strange bills I received while you were in Brazil last month? I sold everything downstairs that I felt was part of the old me that I so desperately need to leave behind. Did you sell the computers? Games? Software? Most of what I see missing is what you need to make a living. Did you sell your work equipment? Something here doesn’t feel right.
My biggest fear had always been losing him; I could not imagine a future without him by my side.
I had never been an adult without T.
I now faced a life without a life-mate.
He had become fully enmeshed in my existence; teasing the strings of him out of me would take time and a patient hand. I needed to find where he ends and I begin.
After being together for so long and from such an early age, I really didn’t know who I was without him. Of course, we had our own interests, our own friends and hobbies, but no area was untouched by the other in some way. I defined myself through him. I was part of a partnership.
Weeks earlier, in a summer staff development session at school, I was asked to write three words that defined me. After a moment’s consideration, I wrote:
Now, all of those were in doubt. Who was I now? By fracturing the bond that had joined two into one, he had forced me to begin to define myself. By myself. The first step in reclaiming my life, finding balance, is to see myself clearly.
I use the term, “tsunami divorce” to capture the shock and utter devastation of this kind of break-up.