Making the decision to leave my marriage was the hardest decision I have ever made in my entire life. And the most honest.
Once we know the truth we can't un-know it. Once we find out that there is no such thing as the Tooth Fairy we can't place a tooth under our pillow and hope for a miracle. The only question that remains is not what are we going to do about it, but IF we are.
When I was pacing back and forth within my self-imposed soul crisis, I didn't know, I couldn't have known how it would all turn out. I only could see the darkness. The unknown. The fear, the guilt, the unanswered questions and warnings. I didn't know what would become of me, my kids, my ex, my perfect life.
I leave out many details. I leave out the truly brutal reality of living in the same home with your soon-to-be-ex while going through the grueling process of divorce. I leave out the fights with family. I leave out the lost relationships as those who stand on the outside, judge and condemn my decision, based on their own ideas of what is right and what is wrong. I leave out the pain I feel as I kiss my eldest on his forehead and spend his first ever birthday in 10 years of birthdays in a separate home for the weekend. I leave out the financial fears, the painful talks, the emails to guidance counsellors, the selling of our dream home, the packing of a life, the division of every last thing.
It is the fear of taking the first steps into the dark. Of hallways we have never been down. Of the unknown. Of how will it all work out? But, the pain of staying was larger than the fear of leaving. Nothing changes, nothing changes and everything changes, everything changes. I will never again allow fear to decide my fate.
I couldn't have known how long the pain would last and how I would feel and how they would do. I couldn't have known. The only way out is through. The becoming. The pressure. The unfolding. I yell at and kill spiders. I scrub the pots I never thought I could get clean. I touch boilers and look into sump pumps. I am doing this. I am doing this. Not always well, but I'm doing it. The laundry piles up. The house is not as clean as it used to be. I swear way more. But, I am a better parent. I give more of myself then I ever did before. I am happy. I am more me than I have ever been.
My kids are happy. They love our new neighborhood and new school. They are tired, for now, of talking about their feelings about living in two houses. For now, they are thriving. And I am not holding my breath, because there will be trials ahead. And we, their father and their mother, will deal, because we are guided by the North Star. Because they need our love. Because life is not linear. Because we get to write our own story.