I think there is a moment in every Leaver’s life when they’re like…
“Oh fuck. What have I done?!”
I’ve had a lot of those moments over the course of the last 6 months and I would be a liar if I told you otherwise. The Left’s hurt is immediate, based on my experience as the Left. For the Leaver, it’s gradual. For me, it was painful in the looming days prior to what I was going to do, but I knew it had to be done. I am not sure I have sobbed like that since…
Well, since the last time he and I fought before that.
After that, it was every time he called and pleaded with me. It was every moment, but the pain for the Leaver is different than that of the Left. The Leaver feels guilt and fear mostly. The Left? Betrayal and rejection.
Then, for the Leaver, there is every single moment of self-doubt. My therapist told me to write down my absolute truths; the reasons why I left. I did as she said and they got me through the first few months.
“Change”, she told me, “doesn’t happen in 30 days. It sometimes takes years.”
Years. I had already given 13 years of my life. Not to say I was perfect– we both gave those years.
We just gave them differently.
We both fought huge internal battles individually. I think that was largely part of the problem. We were never a unit; we both had secrets, fears and good intentions, but we were never one.
So, I waited as instructed and 2 months in, nothing had changed. They had for a bit as my therapist told me they would, but we all revert to who we are when the thing you’re trying to change for isn’t good enough.
And that’s exactly how I felt:
That was a devastating blow. Yes, I am the one who said I wanted the divorce, I am the Leaver. That said, I guess some small part of me hoped something would change for real this time. I am used to being wrong.
I remember praying, God I prayed so hard for some direction. I had no idea what I was doing. I am still not sure I know what I am doing.
I heard this song and a few of the lyrics stuck out to me (typical, I know):
What was left when that fire was gone?
I thought it felt right but that right was wrong
All caught up in the eye of the storm
And trying to figure out what it’s like moving on
And I don’t even know what kind of things I’ve said
My mouth kept moving and my mind went dead
So, picking up the pieces, now where to begin?
The hardest part of ending is starting again.
That’s what I felt like for months. Dead. Like I was watching myself from the outside and simply looking in to see what sort of train wreck my life was going to end up being. Fortunately, my life is not a train wreck. I mean, it’s a lot like climbing Mount Everest in flip-flops; doable, but not recommended.
My hardest days I feel rejected and betrayed. I feel like I wasn’t good enough for him to make changes and that stings. I have hope that he will find happiness and I know I will find the same.
The truth is, I may not have been good enough for him to change, but I AM GOOD ENOUGH. I am good enough to make changes in my own life to be the person I know I am capable of being. Being the Leaver may be a sentence to the “bad person” shroud for a bit, but that’s not going to prevent me from doing the very best I can for my kids and for myself.
I am good enough. So are you.