Four Years Ago Today

Four years ago today, I awoke afraid of seeing the man who had abandoned me eight months before. And when he passed me in the courthouse hall, I didn’t even recognize him.

Four years ago today, I was ready for the divorce I never wanted from the man I thought I knew.

Four years ago today, I sat in a courtroom with the man I had spent half of my life with. A man I once considered my best friend. We never made eye contact.

Four years ago today, I looked at his face for any sign of the man I had loved.  I saw none. After sixteen years, he was truly a stranger to me.

Four years ago today, I sat alone in a hallway waiting for the attorneys to decide his fate and mine. Hoping that the judge saw through his lies and would not fall sway to him charms. She didn’t, even asking my husband’s attorney if he was “psycho.” The lawyer could only shrug.

Four years ago today, I cried and shook with the realization that it was all over. It was a relief and yet the finality was jarring.

Four years ago today, I felt a heaviness lift as I cut the dead weight of him from my burden. I believed I couldn’t begin to heal until his malignancy had been removed.

Four years ago today, I laughed when I learned he hadn’t paid his attorney. I had warned the man my husband was a con. Maybe he believed me now.

Four years ago today, I held tightly to that decree, still believing that its declarations had power. I felt relief that he would have to pay back some of what he stole from the marriage. The relief was short lived.

Four years ago today, I took my first steps as a single woman. Steps I never expected to take. The first few were shaky. But I soon started to find my stride.

Four years ago today, I sat around a restaurant table with friends and my mother. A table that had held my husband and I countless times over our marriage. We celebrated the end of the marriage that night. I had celebrated my anniversary there the year before.

Four years ago today, I read my husband’s other wife’s blog for the last time, curious if she would mention anything about the court date. She did not. I erased the URL from my history. It no longer mattered.

Four years ago today, I sealed the piles of paperwork from the divorce and the criminal proceedings into a large plastic tub. As the lid clicked in place, I felt like I was securing all of that anguish in my past.

Four years ago today, I started to wean myself off of the medication that allowed me to sleep and eat through the ordeal. I was thankful it had been there, but I no longer wanted the help.

Four years ago today, I fell asleep dreaming of hope for the future rather than experiencing nightmares of the past.

And now, four years on, I could not be happier with where I am.

Not because of the divorce.

But because losing everything made me thankful for everything.

Because being blind made me learn how to see.

Because being vulnerable created new friendships and bonds.

Because being destroyed made me defiantly want to succeed.

And because losing love made me determined to find it again.

I am happier than I’ve ever been.

And I could not be where I am without four years ago today.

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26 Responses

  1. jmatk says:

    You are an inspiration. I think it’s made me stronger inside but I just need to move on fully now.

    • I read a cool quote on Twitter yesterday that I shared on my FB page:

      Getting over a painful experience is like crossing the monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward. – C.S. Lewis

      So true. And just like learning the monkey bars, letting go is scary. Until you get stronger:)

  2. kerifernald says:

    I’m a loyal fan and follower. This post brought tears to my eyes. I’m at the beginning of my own painful journey of divorce but your writing brings me hope.

  3. I can relate. 😉

  4. nights7 says:

    My divorce was finalized almost two months ago. It was a long, terrible process and I’m not happy with the results but when I left the courthouse that day I felt light. A weight had lifted from my shoulders I’m pretty sure there were birds singing (even though it was ten degrees out) and the world was a better place than it had been three hours earlier. I hadn’t expected to feel like that.
    Great writing and great post.

  5. Reblogged this on Solving Maria and commented:
    Reading this gives me hope. I only pray it doesn’t take four years.

  6. I so agree with this sentiment. Although it has been 16 years for me, I would never be the woman or the writer that I am today without the horror of living with a man who didn’t love me for the twelve years we were married.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Wow!

  8. Ironic. My court date was today. It eerily resembles yours. As much as I hated today, it was time. Hearing your story makes me feel….ok about mine. Thank you!

  9. I love this so much.

  10. Lori says:

    It’s funny, in a strange way, how looking back can bring so much clarity. Thank heavens for strength, friends and family, and for courage to take on the next life. Love this.

  11. AddieMarie says:

    This post gives me such hope that I will one of these days have THAT day and be able to move on with my life. Your blog is such a comfort and inspiration. :]

  12. You give me hope, where many days right now I feel helpless though not hopeless.

    Three days ago my husband sent me an e-mail that read:
    “Don’t read anything into this, but I miss you.”

    It has been 93 days since he walked out with a backward look, without a note saying good-bye, without an explanation and with very little communication. For the first time since then, rather than be hurt by his actions, that truly made me angry.

  13. mlifeiwords says:

    Lisa, reading this post came at such an appropriate time for me. I have my first divorce court meeting on Monday, and to be honest I’m scared. I know that the man I was madly in love with is no longer there. In reading about your ex-husband I feel that mine is not that much different. Thank you for posting this. Lately, I’ve been posting about my anxiety with my “life change” which is my pending divorce, so this is a nice support for me. 🙂

    • It’s totally normal for you to be scared. Just keep breathing and you’ll make it through Monday. Hope you get a chance to have some fun and take your mind off of it this weekend!

  14. weareeighty says:

    The pain seems like it will never go away…

  15. Cathy says:

    Thank you for writing this. It was just what I needed today.

    • So glad it came at the right time. Your comment reminds me I need to update it this week to “Five Years Ago Today.” I promise the pain can fade and the tears can transform.

  1. July 28, 2014

    […] Months: The divorce was finalized. I didn’t recognize him in the courtroom hallway. Tears streamed silently down my cheeks as I stared at him in the courtroom. I was hopeful that the decree would be followed (after the criminal case turned out to be a joke) […]

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