Don’t discard the evidence because it all really mattered. It’s funny how we discard the evidence of our marriage and our once union with someone as soon as a split occurs. We rip up pictures, stuff things in boxes, or in my case take a pair of scissors to the canvas wedding picture that once hung in our hallway and throw it in the trash can on the street for all to see our newfound wreckage. We just erase it all!
Don’t Discard the Evidence
Twenty years later I have different feelings about that now. Time has softened me. Time has healed me. As I look at the pictures that I did save; pictures I saved for my children’s sense of history. I see those two people in these photos from a softer vantage point now. I see a 26- and 29-year-old couple smiling broadly and looking as happy as two could be.
I see two people who crossed a threshold to a new chapter of their lives and embarking on new history to share. I see a girl who was once me. And I no longer want to stuff that picture in a drawer or a box. That was me. And that was a time in my life I don’t want to erase. I’m ready. Because it all mattered.
I’ve Moved Past the Anger
As I sift through the sands of time which are held in boxes, tease through old photo albums, sigh at the old tax returns filed jointly, and filter through a plethora of history that for some reason is still saved. I no longer feel the rush of anger that used to consume me.
The anger I felt because of a decision to alter my life was made by two other people and affected an entire family. I don’t deny nor do I excuse my anger at the time. It was most definitely a shitty experience. My Heart was broken. But now I no longer have that anger and sadness in me. I have moved past it all. I have indeed survived it all.
I have flourished in my life as a single parent, and as a single woman. I have grown as a person and witnessed my enormous strength and resilience as I raised my family and healed my life. So now I look at those pictures with affection. I look at those pictures with tender loving care. I no longer feel ashamed of my vulnerability and naivety. I celebrate it. Because that was me and that was how I felt. I accept that now.
No one goes into a marriage thinking about a divorce. You are bright and hopeful and dreaming in those days. And I loved that. I was all those things as I look at those pictures. And he was too for as long as he was able to be.
Though I don’t have any of our wedding pictures in my home any longer, I do have one that I put on a small canvas. It is meaningful and precious to me. It was a younger hopeful me on my wedding day with my father. A man who truly was my hero and who was letting go of his daughter and watching her walk to her new life. It all mattered.
My memory boxes and albums don’t need to be a taboo stack of photos that caused pain in my life and in my stomach any longer. The cavern I felt in my chest from my then-broken heart has healed nicely. I have forgiven myself. And I have decided to never burden myself with forgiving him. That is his task to complete for himself. No need. No need.
So, if your divorce was not your choice, perhaps when you too are ready, you can look at those photos again and see yourself in them and celebrate who you were then and what you believed in then. It’s all still there in you.
You just have to redirect your thinking now to know who that person really was on that day and in that life and who still is today, In fact, she is even more! And hopefully, you too will find your peace, your healing, and your love for yourself again as I have. It all mattered.
J Mercurial says
Beautiful post. Thank you for your healing words.