Rhobin Courtright keeps us going with the most interesting questions. This month's is "What is the scariest thing that's ever happened to you." While God has blessed me with good heath and free from terminal diseases up to this point, I stole my entry from "My Gusty Story" that took first place. It's no picnic when you find yorself ending marriage at a time when most people are planning for retirement and a way to enjoy their golden years together. So...here is my answer to Rhobins Round Robin Question:
At a time when I was looking forward to midlife security and being proud of our achievements as a couple, I instead had to decide if I wanted to live in the continuing fear of what I’d find on the other side of the front door when I walked inside. I’d already found him passed out more times than I could count, with a cigarette smoldering in the carpet and the house in disarray. Our younget son had long ago stopped asking his friends over because his dad didn’t grasp the concept we all shared the same home. Our feelings ceased to matter.
The day I came home and found my husband...this man I had loved for so many years, passed out, naked, and soaked in urine, his usual cigarette burning yet another hole in the carpet we couldn’t afford to replace, was the day I decided I had to be the one to make the change. I couldn’t stand one more day of questioning my own integrity. Had I caused him to turn to drink? I went to an AA meeting and listened to stories like mine, but no one there had solutions either. Others continued to live in the same hell, day after day, but that wasn’t what I wanted. Choices are pretty limited when you find yourself facing a difficult one. If you want someone to change and they won’t, your only option is to remove yourself from the situation. I’d movedd right from my parent’s house to a duplex I shared with my new husband, so I’d never been alone. Could I find the inner strength I needed?
Starting over at forty-nine wasn’t an easy decision. Somehow, I mustered my determination, packed some clothes and walked out, leaving him with the house I once loved, and everything except the few things I needed. Luckily, I had shared my story with a co-worker who left me a key to her house and told me she had an extra room. I took her up on the offer. Living in one bedroom, surrounded by nothing that belonged to me was hell. I don’t know which was worse–my living arrangements or still trying to work things out in my head.
I’d tried to make my husband understand that love is comprised of trust and respect, and everytime he lied or I saw him in such a repulsive state, the loss of trust and respect chipped away at any love I felt. I’d often wondered about the saying “I love him but I’m not ‘in love’ with him,” meant. Suddently I knew what those words meant. God granted me sisters for moral support, and one, gratefully, for financial. With her help, I was able to get into my own apartment for the first time in my life and see what being independent was truly like.
Once the house we shared sold, my husband relocated to the apartments next door to mine. I tried several times to tell him I was moving on without him, but he seemed not to believe me–or didn’t want to. In desperation, Iput my feelings in writing, and explained I couldn’t be the one to help him heal.In my written plea, I also told him I wished him well, would always care for him, but in order to open new doors, I had to close the ones I’d left open. That was my gutsy moment–picturing him standing on the other side while I moved blindly into a new life, not knowing what to expect. That decision was the most frightful I’d ever made, but you know what? Sometimes, the unions we consider are the best are missing elements we never realize until we seize the moment and make a change.
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