after getting married & moving away, i didn't visit my mom until my father disappeared, which was only six months later.
it sounds absurd now but, in spite of my last post, i thought their marriage was solid. my mom & i hadn't ever really spoken openly about him so i didn't know who he was to her or what their marriage looked like from within.
my older sister, who i had talked to about him, didn't come home to help me process this. i felt very much on my own here.
i drove up to my parents' house in north carolina to take some of my things and help her pack up his. most of my time there was spent in my father's office where i poured through his files, lock boxes, closet and drawers looking for evidence of who he had really been, looking for a reason for what he had done.
what i found really did break my heart.
my new, struggling marriage had been modeled after my parents' because we thought they were solid. a loyal, strong team. so now, i was afraid of what else, who else, i might be wrong about, who else would one day let me down.
this is what happens when we aren't honest with each other.
later that day, after packing, i told a friend and my then-husband that if this had happened sooner, i wasn't sure i would've ever gotten married at all, certainly not so soon. he didn't know how to respond to that, i think, because he really didn't respond at all.
i tried to deal with these feelings but i was a full time student with an almost-full-time job. i didn't have the time or the support i needed to seek help and i didn't want to admit to needing it, afraid of what the truths i would discover might mean for my relationship and for myself.
so i didn't.
instead i worked really hard at making my marriage look solid and my ex & i seem like a strong, loyal team. i worked so hard on this, holding on so tightly to what i thought we had, doing what i thought i should do to make my marriage different and save me from divorce, that i missed the signs & didn't notice how the choices that he and i were making would one day bring us there.
this is what happens when we aren't honest with ourselves - my marriage continued to resemble my parents' until the big sad day when i started to see how it really was over. he let me down and maybe then i let him down too.
last weekend, when i was at my mother's house, my littlest nephew brought me a picture he had found of his mom & i on my wedding day. he didn't ask about it but i know one day he will.
will the truth make a difference for him? i have to hope it will.
may i always have the courage to tell these little people whose lives won't be perfect that mine wasn't either. may they learn to trust and love and forgive any way.
may they know themselves, trust themselves, love themselves too.
may this pattern end. may it end right here, with me.