Thursday, March 10, 2011

Happy 10th Un-iversary

Happy un-iversary to me!  Today would have been my tenth anniversary had I not somehow found the good sense to flee my first marriage.  I'm a little surprised that it has already been ten years.  I would have bet money that it was only a few years ago that I first walked down the aisle to completely give myself to another human being.  It really is true that the years seem to fly by as you grow older. . .

What about that marriage?  I went from being optimistic about the future with the person who is my ex-husband to having my spirit so totally crushed and broken that the only way to escape the pain was to drink myself unconscious every night.  I rapidly became the very definition of a highly functioning alcoholic.  I would think about drinking when I wasn't drinking and I started drinking from the moment I walked in my front door until I blissfully passed out at night.  There reached a point where I didn't even bother with a glass because it was just one more thing that I'd have to clean and it wasted time to pour.  Eventually, I simply disappeared upstairs with my booze and didn't go back downstairs until it was time to go to work in the morning. 

I did little more than work, laundry, housecleaning, cooking, and hard drinking.  More than hating him, and I burned with a furious hot anger toward him, I hated myself.  I hated my life.  It was only natural that my mind frequently dwelled in the darkest places one can go and my introspection only led me to one conclusion. 

I hated my own cowardice that all I could bring myself to do was fondle and mouth my cocked revolver.  How I longed for the guts to pull just a little more on that trigger!  I can still recall the weight of that gun in my hand, the fear that it might slip and I'd only receive a non-fatal wound.  That led me to snake the weapon down from my temple, across my cheek, and pushed firmly into my open mouth.  I'll never forget what that cold metal barrel felt like resting on my tongue, against my teeth and lips.  It's something that I hope to never taste again.

Being full of "her body, her choice," I felt it was my right to take a life that was in my control - my own.  Thankfully, there was another option - divorce - and I took it.  I've often referred to divorce as "the atomic option" and it really is. . .every now & then it's necessary to drop an atomic bomb.  Sure, it burns you too and leaves you suffering with radiation poisoning, but it beats the hell out of the casualties associated with fighting a more traditional marital war.

Interestingly enough, I knew from the wedding night that I had made a huge mistake.  And that is all I will say on that.  I realize now that it would have been easier to simply annul the marriage the following Monday, but I am not a quitter and I hate failing so I tried my best to stick it out.  I figured that I could make it work.  In my naivete, I didn't realize that it takes more than just one to make a marriage work.

I lasted until December 30, 2002.  That's the day I reclaimed my spirit and I filed for divorce.  I was so miserable being married that I swore I would never do such a stupid thing again.  I wasn't swearing off men, of course, I just wasn't going to tether myself to them and was definitely going to keep my options open.  That lasted exactly one date. . .that's all it took for me to know that my hubs was someone special, someone to cherish, someone to love.  Yes, I married my rebound guy.

I find it odd that I cried the day that the State of California recognized the dissolution of my first marriage.  I wasn't sad that I was divorced; I was sad that I had failed.  I sobbed in the arms of the man who I would marry just two short years later.  Hubs didn't judge me for my tears and he actually encouraged me to continue processing the grief that accompanied the loss of that marriage. 

I must confess that I do kind of have mixed feelings about this being what would have been my tenth anniversary.  That's not to say that I regret my decision to burn that marriage to the ground.  It's just that I realize my happiness with my hubs and our son would have never been possible had I not suffered through that dark and helpless period of time.  I don't think that I could have appreciated what a wonderful man I married had I not first married a less-than-wonderful person.  The years have allowed me to look back and give thanks for even that misery. . .it is so true that everything - everything - can be used for good.

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