When you spend nine years of your life with someone, it's hard to untangle it all.
Most of your stories end up involving the other person -- nearly all of your memories are intertwined with this other person you chose to spend the majority of your time with. You stumble as you try to adjust your pronoun usage, because for so very long you were a we and now you are something less than that but not completely a solitary I or me just yet.
It takes conscious effort to put yourself first for once, instead of always deferring to the other, taking them and their needs and wants and opinions into consideration before making almost every decision, big or small. The things you've learned to notice that would make the other smile or laugh or be relevant to their life or their vocation are hard to unsee, an extra pang of loss every time you self-correct because the world in which that behavior existed has disappeared, wiped off of your emotional map by relentless bombing of your lovelorn battlefield of a soul.
It is hard to make the choice to be gone when those were the times that the bad things happened, the times you weren't there. However you know it's impossible to imprison yourself in your home out of fear of more betrayal, so you silence the heavy whispering voice of what if and as a result, you realize not as many words are crossing your lips or falling from your fingers as once did and for a writer, you worry that you may be losing some of those words forever.
And when the other tries to alleviate that concern with snapshots of the live being lived while you're away trying to rebuild a life your heart catches in your throat because they haven't, in all this, stopped being attractive to you. The kind eyes and the bright smile give you comfort and cause a little sigh to escape you before your willpower squashes it down, reminds you that pretty isn't enough, has never been enough, and you are reminded of all the reasons why you are away in the first place, the events and triggers pouring over you in tidal waves of confusion and disappointment and so much hurt you sit stoic as you drown inside, ashamed of your gullibility and your fervent belief in goodness and hope and change.
It is hard to accept that the life you thought you were living was a complete fabrication, and perhaps some of that was even on your part, intentionally or no. Especially when that life, on the skim surface, utterly remains if you would just go through the motions and learn to live with the stiffed misery.
I have not been the best at drawing sharp lines and making irrefutable boundaries. I am human and I am hurting so very much and I'm not just losing my husband, I'm losing my best friend who maybe never actually was but I was under that impression, so. I have friends and family I can turn to but it's not the same as the person you thought you chose to spend forever with, the person you thought chose you and only you for exactly the same thing. And when nothing feels familiar or safe anymore, you long for the simple little things that did, even though you know it will only hurt you more in the end.
Untangling is messy, confusing, and fraught with constant landmines and catch-22s. There are no easy solutions or answers despite what others may think or say or feel -- everything is laced with loss and heartache and disappointment and the death of so many dreams thought fulfilled for a girl who never thought she deserved nice things in life anyway.
And there will never be complete freedom, because the two most precious things in your life depend on not just you, but also him, and for them and their existence you will always, in a way, be bound to one another.
I openly sobbed in the middle of my wedding vows, unexpectedly, because I couldn't believe I was so lucky to actually be loved, because this girl got the boy who picked her over everyone else and things like that didn't happen to people like me, the broken ones who carry the hardship of life that so many others will never experience or come into contact with. I was getting my fairy tale ending after all, and no one was more surprised than me.
The only thing is, no matter how hard you try, there's still no such thing as a fairy tale.
And no amount of anything will ever change that fact.