Five Years Ago Today

Five 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.

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

Five 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.

Five 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.

Five 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.

Five 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.

Five 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.

Five 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.

Five 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.

Five 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.

Five 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.

Five 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.

Five 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.

Five 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.

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

And now, five 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 five years ago today.

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16 thoughts on “Five Years Ago Today

  1. Very happy for you. This September it will be 4 years for me. It’s eerie how similar how all those statements are to my own. I mean, if you would replace five years ago to 4 years ago, i would be reading my own thoughts and my own feelings. Except one, i stared him down (during a support hearing), i wanted him to look me one time, just one time, in the eyes since deciding on his own to end our family life and move in with another woman he had been secretly seeing for over a year, a co-worker and getting fired from his well paying job for having said affair, thus leaving me to foot all the bills for a time on my own. Did me make eye contact, no, did he apologize, ever? no, if anything he tried to blame the whole thing on me, his actions, his loss of love for me, he footed the entire mess squarely on my shoulders, everything and still does to this day. I was with my ex husband from ages 16-32. almost half my life, and i had 3 years of hard therapy after the marriage ended to learn for myself the destructive, passive aggressive man he always was, and is. I needed my marriage to end, to learn how to live, and to love and feel good about myself. I appreciate everything, every experience, every tear, every struggle, which financially i still deal with even to today. I can’t be the wise, old, grandmother one day, talking and advising my future generations without the appreciation for my struggles, and what they have taught me and future generations about life. No one can be come an adviser, a know all, see all wonder, while having an easy life eating bon bons in a pent house never having a struggle! lol

  2. someone said “forget what hurt you, never forget what it taught you.”
    maybe it was you Lisa??? It is a remarkable journey that you cannot possibly understand until you embark and then disembark. You have done great work, inspired many followers with your voice, strength and tenacity to endure, grow and move on. Thank you.

  3. I am only at 1.5 months right now, but it took 2 years to get there. I feel so much happier than I was 2 years ago. I also have found much better friendships, have a much better perspective and know how strong I can really be. Knowing that I don’t have to depend on anyone is really nice, possibly the best feeling I have ever had.

  4. You’ve come such a long way in five years, it’s very important to acknowledge this milestone. I know those feelings you are experiencing and there really is nothing better than knowing you can do it. Well done and thanks for sharing everything you’ve learned along the way!

  5. I am in a different position than you because legal financial separation has still not quite happened – three and a half years later. Although I am nearly there I am not quite at the ‘celebration’ stage. Even-so, I consider the ending of my marriage a turning point as there has been growth and experiences for me that I would not otherwise have had. I feel that I am a stronger wiser person. I agree with your last line ‘I could not be where I am without five (three) years ago today.’

  6. “because being destroyed made me defiantly want to succeed” — this definately rings true for me. I might still be with my husband, but I have bettered myself so much in the past two years.. thanks for this post..
    I feel like my grieving process is almost over finally, and that divorce may be the only way I can move on… despite how badly I have wanted my marriage to succeed, I just dont see it heading that way.

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