You can’t go home again after divorce. Not until your heart has healed.
The decision my husband and I made in 2009 to relocate to the South was a hard one. He was transferring because of work and we didn’t have many options. So we both chose to leave our past behind and move on with the lives we had planned together. The beach, the warm air, a new beginning, it was everything we could have ever wanted.
Our daughters were renting the home we owned, and we went back to Ohio several times and stayed with them. Once the home was sold, going home didn’t feel like home anymore. Maybe it was because we scrambled to find places to stay. Most times he stayed with his friends and I would crash with a lady who was like my second mom.
I would drive past the home we once owned and my heart just wasn’t in it anymore. The excitement I once had was now dead. I hated the 12 hour drive, I hated the money we spent on gas, I hated having to find a place to stay.
I loved being able to see my kids, my family, and friends. Those were the only things I looked forward to. There was never enough time to see and do everything we wanted while up North. My husband could never cut the cord from his job and worked seven days per week, so him taking days off meant his work phone was still connected to his hip and rang 24/7. We always had to go on a three-day weekend and rush back to South Carolina. Not to mention, there is not a lot to do in Ohio, especially during winter.
Then our marriage ended in late 2013. I knew going home to Ohio at Christmas was what I needed to do. I was not planning to go home, but after all I had gone through in October I felt a part of me needed to go to my comfort zone. They say home is where your heart is. I know now mine is in Ohio.
There is a song by Carrie Underwood called, Thank God for Hometowns. That song is my song. Here are some of the lyrics:
“Thank God for hometowns
And all the love that makes them go around
Thank God for the county lines that welcome you back in
When you were dying to get out
And all the faces that won’t forget you
Cause when you lost out in this crazy world
You got somewhere to go and get found.”
Those words are my heart. My hometown, my childhood, my memories, my tears, my strength. It is not just my family and friends that made that my home. It is my life. I grew up there. My first kiss was there, my first marriage. It is where my daughters were born, and where my heart was broken there more than once. That place made me who I am. I
I thought if I moved from there I could simply forget the past and the mistakes.
I was wrong.
After the divorce, I wanted a do-over. I wanted to go home. I wanted to bury my head in my mom’s chest and cry and have her make it all go away. I wanted to pack a moving van and move any place but here. I didn’t want to run into my husband like I had been, the man who destroyed my soul. I ran into his mistress several times and the last time was her husband. That was the last straw for me. I wanted out. I am a runner. I had to suck it up and face the issue.
I talked to a friend who is a psychic (She is legit., trust me!) and she said, “Girl, you can move to Alaska, but if you think if you move from South Carolina to another place to escape your husband and the things that you went through, you’re wrong. Those memories are trapped in your heart. They will move with you. Until you heal, they will always be there.”
I hate that she was right. I sat and thought about it. I did the one thing my husband had taught me, I put my thoughts on paper. Make two columns. One will say “Reasons to Stay,” one will say “Reasons to Leave.” Whichever column has the most reasons, is your decision.
I did that. My reasons to stay at that time outweighed the reasons to leave. Honestly, the reasons to leave were not valid. My husband, his mistress, driving past his company, and running into people he might know were excuses, not reasons. Besides, he had no friends outside of his work, so my chances of running into anyone he knew were slim in this state.The reasons to stay were far too great – my job, my daughter’s college, my life here.
It has been almost two years since our split and I have gone home so many times I have lost track. I drive past our old home and I miss that place. My divorce was final in May freeing me from the “ball and chains” I once knew. I am finally free to be me. I don’t want to move back to Ohio, at least for now. I may possibly end up there someday. My oldest daughter, her husband, and granddaughter came home from Japan and now live here in Virginia. I have family in more than one state. My aunt who has been by my side through all this is in North Carolina is four hours away.
As time goes by the heartache is lessening. I am spending a lot more time being social and traveling and doing things with friends. I don’t just go to work and come home and sit on a computer. I have a life. I am back to the me I was in 2000, pre-husband. I like this person, a lot.
I only have one more car payment and I can start saving more money. I want to build a log home. I already have the plans. I just need the place to put it.
Where will I be? That is the exciting part. I am not really sure yet. But it sure gives me something to look forward to.
I am packing up my car to head to Ohio for my granddaughter’s third birthday next week. I got a surprise call from my step-son yesterday. The smile on my face says it all. We are planning to meet for lunch next week when I am there. He graduated from college and we have a lot to catch up on. He and his brother will always be part of my family. Ohio, it is my hometown and always will be. When I see that state sign my heart will be excited to get back to all I knew, all that made me. Ohio is my comfort zone. It is cow town. I’m a country girl at heart. And even though there is not much to do there, it is me. I am an Ohio girl. A Northerner. Welcome to Ohio, indeed.
Thank God for hometowns.