Tuesday, May 03, 2011
A bit of history about me. I met my first husband when I was 16 and we got married when I was 23. We had reached the point of either get married or break up. I had been with him for so long that I truthfully didn't know a life without him and I thought it was the right decision. I truly don't believe anyone goes into marriage thinking it will fail but there were clues from the beginning it would and I ignored them. For example I refused to allow forever to be said during the ceremony because I did not believe in forever. All good things can end, I guess it comes from a child of seeing her parents own abusive marriage. We bought a house, got 3 dogs and 2 cars and life got suffocating. By the end of the second year I was miserable. He never could hold down a job and I worked 60 hours a week at a miserable job to support us. I remember some of the defining moments of when I realized I had to leave.
One of my dreams since I was a kid was to get my Master's. I had supported him through his undergrad as he whined and refused to study. It almost cost me my own degree as I had to take the final semester off to pay bills and you know how that goes. I did end up forcing him to work so I could complete my degree. I started looking up Master's programs that would allow me to work full time and study at night or weekends because we couldn't support ourselves without 2 incomes. The next day he came home and told me he had signed up for a Master's program that was 2 years and he could not work during any of it because it was so intense and his parents had already signed the loan. Yes, it happened in 1 day. Oh and he had gone out and purchased a motorcycle that he road twice, ever. I remember sitting there thinking "this is a person who will never be able to help me live out any of my dreams, it is always about him".
It was never a conscious decision to leave. I had a house, tons of responsibilities and had never been alone. In my heart I knew I didn't love him anymore and in fact resented him. I never wanted him to touch me. That isn't normal in your early 20's. He revolted me. With each passing day I spent more time out of the house until one night a guy said to me "If you are so miserable why don't you get divorced?". (No, I never cheated and never considered it) It was like being hit by a ton of bricks. I had never considered it as an option before but I knew it was what I wanted. When I finally told him he cried and made a sound like I punched him in the stomach. I carried tremendous guilt over that for years.
I knew I would have to give up some things when I left but I didn't realize how bad it would get. I had put the down payment on the house so I kept it but we had a lot of mutual debt. He used our credit cards the whole time he was in school and managed to max out all of them. When we got divorced he agreed to pay me a set sum until they were paid off. He never made one payment and I felt so guilty for leaving I never took him to court. I felt like I deserved to be miserable for hurting him. A year later I was forced to sell my home. It was a mixed blessing. It had ghosts of so much pain and sadness. I couldn't be there and constantly be reminded of the pain and broken dreams. It was in a city I despised and only had agreed to purchase the home there because it was what he wanted.
One day I got online, found an apartment and moved into the city alone. All of our friends cut me out because I was a bad person for leaving him. Forget that a relationship ends because of both people's actions. It was my fault and I deserved to pay. It was one of the most pivotal moments in my life. Alone, friendless, in a big city. I had to get a roommate which you all know is a big barrel of problems in and of itself. I remember many nights huddled alone on my bed with my 2 dogs thinking what had I done to deserve this. However, I never wished I not left or thought of trying to go back to him.
Why am I telling this to all of you? Because I want you to see that yes, life is scary and unfair and difficult. The right decision is not always the easy or happy one to make. 5 years later I am the thinnest, happiest, most successful and healthy I have ever been. I met the love of my life almost 4 years ago. Being alone was hard, not going to lie, but it allowed me to find myself. Now as I look at my future and the big application for the non-profit that will allow me to start my business I am scared. I am scared to fail. I am scared no one will want to give me any funding after the problems as I had in my early 20's. As I read it over I had so many negative thoughts that I can't do this or that I am not ready. Really it is scary to take those risks again. To possibly not be successful and lose everything another time.
Life is scary but if we do not take risks we will never reach our dreams. Apply it how you wish but you can make your dreams happen too. It took almost being ruined for me but I got to find a place that makes me happy. Maybe I will never open a business but at least I am going to try.