I'll never forget that scene. Never. I remember how he leaned down on his hands and knees, and began scrubbing the kitchen floor. He'd never done it before and he hasn't done it since. And I knew, deep in my stomach, that he was doing it out of guilt. That was his admission to me, even though he hadn't said it out loud yet. And my heart sank lower than it ever had before.
This is our strange, sad anniversary of when we almost fell apart- where we did fall apart, but tried to put ourselves back together again. I wish I could ignore it and pretend like it never happened. Most days, that's what we seem to do. But one year later, despite the progress we tell ourselves we've made and the obstacles we've overcome, my mind still aches thinking about it. It's like everyone is fine...except me.
It seems like I was a naive girl, living a pretty life that looked like a Pinterest board full of pretty things, good intentions, and big, wide ideals. Somewhere along the way, I turned into a girl who's learned the weight of a bad word in her mouth, who's learned to crave a cigarette when she's stressed, and who has shut the bathroom door and cried more than she's cared to admit. Whose self confidence, if it were ever there, crumbled up and faded like a wilted flower. Whose actions have often been driven by anger, which was fueled by pure white, searing hurt. It's ugly, and I hate typing it out in black and white.
Everything I've read about my situation tells me that I'll never forget it or get past it, but that it is possible to have a happy marriage despite these things. I wonder how. That seems like nonsense. I've begged for permission to be allowed to feel these things, to express them when I need to- but now what? After a while, I could recite these things to myself and even I would get tired. In fact, I do. I am tired. I am tired of this story that seems to go up and down and backwards and forwards and never have a happy ending. A resting place, even.
I haven't written this bluntly in a long time, but the calendar's quickly flipping towards all those dates I could recite like my family's birthdays. Only, there's nothing joyful in these days. There's just grief. Grief, a little disbelief still, and a pessimism I cannot seem to shake no matter how hard I try. Of course I want to be happy. Of course I want things to magically heal. But getting to that point seems to require more pieces from my heart than I can afford to give.
I used to be sure about the future. Now I wonder, day to day, what tomorrow will bring. What life will look like a year from now. There's more fear than anything else. I can't say I feel any more put together than I did a year ago, and that's what frightens me. I'm not sure how long I can be this strong, or this dismissive, or this sad.
I want to tell all of you that things are perfect. But I'm not a liar.