So we moved about 2 1/2 years ago about an hour away from my hometown to marry the man I loved. While, in hindsight, there were red flags that I chose to ignore, I loved this man with all of my heart, more so than anything I’d ever felt for my ex-husband. He moved us here, called my boys his kids, said he loved us and offered me the world. I was his “miracle”, he said, our second chance at a happy life together. Anyone who’s been through a divorce knows that there’s a period of crazy that you will go through and nothing but time will cure “the shiz” as I call it. Well, this man was NOT through his shiz no matter how much I wanted to believe that he was. I also had some of my shiz dredged up when losing my home and moving, picking at old scabs and starting the bleeding again. Each time the scab gets picked, you learn better how to control the bleeding but for the first year, you just need a lot of grace.
After we were here about 2 months, he began to wig out about really small things. His anxiety levels were so much higher than I had seen from an hour away. Living around the corner from him and spending more time together as a family, I could see the red flags more and more. And now, I’ve moved my boys to a new school and they are developing new friends, full of hope of having a complete family unit with new siblings they adored. What now?
In the meantime, my van was on it’s last leg. I had been making jokes for months about how I was going to pick out a lovely tree for it’s ultimate demise if I couldn’t make it last until my taxes came back in the spring. Funny, right? Well, not so much when a deer ran in front of me, grazed my hood and took off into the marshy woods on a foggy morning. I felt the wheels beneath me rise up and prepared for the roll. But there was a small tree that I grazed the passenger side that miraculously put the tires back on the ground. The guy who saw it happen stopped and helped call for help. I do not remember shaking so much in my life. He called my love for me since I couldn’t seem to function. My love sent his mother instead. A few short days later, after acting strangely, he decided to go to the crash site with his son and had come to the conclusion that I had crashed my van on purpose. Nevermind the blood on the hood of the van from the deer and that the police and insurance adjuster found no fraud. This would change how he felt about me as a person, I was told, and he needed time to himself.
We were devastated. But, I put on my best gracefulMess smile, changed my relationship status on FB, and tried to keep us together. The boys were sobbing, and I mean SOBBING, every day. Watching their pain was worse than losing my love. We went back and forth for a couple of months, getting back together, breaking up…until I finally couldn’t take it anymore. I began working full time for the first time in 10 years and also going to school 2 nights a week with about 10 more hours of homework. I took all of this on because he had committed to helping me. But now, my boys were reeling and I was getting sicker by the day. I knew I was exhausted but who wouldn’t be with all of this going on. I just kept putting one foot in front of the other. My period lasted for 7 weeks straight with very heavy hemorrhaging and I became severely anemic. According to livestrong.com, a normal hemoglobin level for a non-pregnant adult woman is between 12.1 and 15.1 g/dL…mine was at 6.1. In an adult, a normal blood iron level is 60 to 170 mcg/dl. On average, women have slightly lower iron levels…however, mine was 8! Red and white blood counts were crazy off the charts. I was passing out 1-2 times per day, jaundiced and almost transparent pale, and was hospitalized for two days. (A special thanks to my bestie who came and cleaned my house quickly because she knew my mom was coming to take care of the boys and would FREAK at the mess in my condo! My mom still cleaned when she got here!) Thankfully the transfusions worked eventually, but not before a barrage of tests, including for lupus and MS. Thankfully, I’ve learned to control all of the things that got me into such a terrible state and I’m much healthier and stronger now.
During this time, this man never checked on me, never checked on the boys, and never even said goodbye. He offered no explanation to his family or our church lifegroup other than, “they’re busy and can’t make it today.” When a few of his family members found out, they tried to talk to him but he said he wouldn’t talk about it. They had been asking him to get help for years but he refused. When I questioned him, he offered no reasons why other than, “I want to be alone! I have free will and I’m choosing sin!”…as I was reading his newly renewed match.com profile.
A few short months later, he began dating another woman. She has two little redhead boys and drives the same kind of car as I do (the one I replaced the van I apparently crashed on-purpose with). She happens to go to my sister-in-law’s church in a town about 45 minutes from here…such irony. I heard he was getting married and thought maybe he already had until this morning…
This morning, we went to both services at church because we were on for kids worship both services. While taking my time between services, his mother came up to me and asked if I remembered her. (I didn’t know that she began attending my church!) Of course, I told her, letting her know that I was doing well and updated her on some of the things in my life. She said that her son is getting married today. Today! On the anniversary of my divorce! Fantastic. She went on to give details of how she will help get his kids (the kids I loved and thought would be my own) to the church and other details I really didn’t care to know.
With my gracefulMess smile on my face, I politely listened as if it didn’t hurt my heart all over again. Looking at the faces of my boys as they recognized her and then heard her tell of his wedding, I could see their pain begin to resurface. We had a good boo-hoo session when we got home and talked through our hurts. Today has picked at a scab that I thought had scarred over. It had not. So I bleed a little bit again today, but I will not allow it to last very long. Instead I will let the bleeding spill through my fingers onto the keyboard and tell a little more of my story while he gets married this afternoon. This, in hopes that my story can somehow encourage another. Though your heart may be broken, you will heal. There will be setbacks. There will be crazy. There will be more shiz to work through. But the Lord, He loves us and has never let us go. I don’t think he’s gonna stop today.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. –Psalm 73:26