I don’t believe my ex intended to leave the marriage via text.
In fact, what I think he had planned was much worse.
I was across the country when he packed his belongings into his car and drove away from his life. I was supposed to return to Atlanta six days later, where I was expecting my husband to pick me up from the airport.
I believe his original plan was to continue to play at normal on our daily phone calls so that I would arrive at the Atlanta airport to wait for a ride that would never come. And be left helpless and penniless with accounts that had already been drained.
It’s strange. Even though I never experienced abandonment that stranded me at Atlanta Hartsfield, a part of me experienced the trauma of being alone, marooned and confused as I waited expectantly for a husband that no longer existed.
And sometimes that trauma is triggered.
And my response is not rational.
My emotions greatly overshadow reality as part of my brain becomes that abandoned wife frantically awaiting a sign that everything is okay.
Last week, after a long Friday at work, I went to start my car only to discover it was flatlined. It was no cause for panic – I was parked safely in a well-known and well-lit parking lot. I had coworkers around who could help. Brock was in town and at home, just twenty miles away. My AAA card was in my purse and I still had one more free tow remaining. I had money in my account to pay for a cab, if it came to that.
In other words, I should have been calm.
I was anything but.
It’s like a breakdown of my car leads to a breakdown in me.
I didn’t take the time to lift my hood and fiddle with my battery. I didn’t ask if someone could jump my car. All I could think about was getting home.
Not being stranded.
I ran back into the building to locate a coworker who drives past my neighborhood on her way home. And I left my car behind.
Brock and I returned to the school a few hours later, where my car started up fine as soon as it felt the caress of the jumper cables. I drove home without incident.
But all week, my anxiety was present.
I didn’t trust my car.
It’s strange. The feeling I had mirrored the anxiety and helplessness I felt at the end of my marriage. Afraid of being abandoned, afraid of not having enough money to survive and yet also scared to look too closely at what may be under the hood.
I just wanted everything to be okay.
To keep on running.
The car obeyed until yesterday, when it again abruptly refused to start. And again, I left it in order to return to the security of home. A home with a husband who again helped me retrieve the car, this time putting a new battery under the hood before making sure I made it home safely.
And even though the car is securely tucked into the garage and I’m snuggled comfortably with my husband in front of the fire, a part of me is still scared.
Scared that my car will betray me again.
Scared that I’ll be stranded and helpless.
Scared that I’ll be abandoned and alone.
A huge hug of gratitude to the friends who drove me home:)