I can’t believe that today it has only been a month since the “final” end of my marriage. In some ways, it feels like it happened yesterday, but in other ways it feels so far away. My identity as a married person feels almost foreign now.
This week has been very strange. On the one hand, I have been very busy socially, and I have done a lot better in terms of getting things done professionally. I received really good news that positively impacts my future. M. even helped me purchase a plane ticket to go home for Christmas, when I wasn’t sure he would keep his word. In general, things have gone my way. On the other hand, I’ve felt really empty and really sad. My new state of singlehood frightens me, and I feel so alone. Every day has been punctuated with hopeless crying, and anxiety, and fear. But I KNOW that I’m not alone, that I’m surrounded by blessings and greatness, so I want to use this moment to be grateful, and to say thank you.
First and foremost, I’m grateful for my family. They have been there for me from the very beginning. I have received so much support and love from them, and not one ounce of judgement. They have been kind and loving and patient. My mom has spent many hours with me via Skype, Facebook and Whatsapp simply telling me that all will be okay. My little sister has been funny and supportive, and just generally way smarter than me. I’m grateful to be able to have an adult relationship with her and to just be more involved. My dad has been attentive and has had conversations with me longer than 5 minutes. My aunts have texted and called me, and one of them even stayed on the phone with me for an hour while I summoned the courage to get out of bed. Even my brother has been there for me.
I don’t think I can overemphasize how unexpected it has been to suddenly have a relationship with my brother (although I recognize it has been fairly one sided, and I hope he comes to rely on me as much as I’ve relied on him these past months). My brother has chatted with me at 4am about world politics when I couldn’t sleep. He has encouraged me to get out and meet new people. He introduced me to Meetup. He has sent me videos and podcasts that he thinks I should listen to. Even his girlfriend has been supportive and encouraging. He has given me hope that things will get better and easier every day, because he has gone through similar things in his life. He has had so many painful and unfair things happen to him, and he has struggled through them and fought them as hard as he could. We share genes, so I remain hopeful of my own ability to fight. Thank you! I know I wasn’t there for you when you were hurting, and I’m sorry, I will try to do better.
I am also grateful for all of my friends, new and old. They have listened to me rant, cry and even laugh sarcastically. Old friends have called and reached out. They have been willing to restart a relationship with me, even after years of poor contact. New friends have been kind and patient. Friends have brought me food and taken me out to eat. They have let me tag along for almost anything: from taking their dogs to the dog park to sitting at a local fair talking about a club I do not belong to. My friends have taken me out of town and let me mope around the city with them, and they have come to visit me driving hours to spend time with me. They have given me awkward American hugs, and less awkward Latin hugs. They have boarded the M. hating train and never looked back, even when I haven’t been ready to. People have come out of nowhere with small and not so small acts of kindness. I didn’t know that there were this many people in my life. They remind me that I’m worth loving, that I deserve better and that I’m strong enough to get through this. I only hope that I can be there for them when they need me. I hope that they understand that they have made all the difference and that I’m incredibly grateful.
I’m thankful for my advisor, who is just generally wonderful. He believes in me unreservedly. He has given me time to heal and space, but has also pushed me to be better. In ten years, when I look back at this time, I know that the pain from M. leaving will be long gone, but my career will be strong, because we are creating something good together.
I’m blessed because my finances are secured, and I didn’t need M. to support me or help me. I even managed to get a roommate to help with the rent, and it has been fairly painless. I have a roof, and food, and entertainment, and I’ve pretty much done everything I wanted to do this past month without going over my budget. I’m independent and safe, which is a true blessing.
I’m grateful for my strengthened commitment to be a good Catholic. I distanced myself from the Church when I was with M. It wasn’t his doing exactly, but M. was more of a cultural Christian and it wasn’t a priority to participate. Then we never got married in Church, so I didn’t feel like I belonged when I did attend. When things collapsed and I only had my family to hold me up, I remembered my faith –their faith. I took their hand and I walked back in. I’m grateful that I can now participate fully in communion. It has not always been easy to be back, but it feels like recovering the old me; the pre-M. fearless me.
And finally, I’m grateful for this community, because you guys have made me feel less alone, and less crazy. I know that I’m not special, I’m not the first beautiful and talented woman who is left by a lesser man, and this does not define me.