01 October 2011

I Am Not Ashamed

I am a chrysalis
Wrapped tightly in golden skin
Until one day the layers will slowly crumble
Revealing the beautiful butterfly of my soul
With delicate gossamer wings
Strong enough to carry me into an unknown future

I am not ashamed that my marriage has failed, and David chose freedom and Florida over more than fifteen years of love, shared experiences, and a real life of meaning and joy. I know that I did everything possible to make my marriage work, but it won't and I must face reality and move forward.

The first step is reclaiming my original name. We won't be filing for divorce until next spring/summer for a number of financial and legal reasons. However, I am his wife in name only, and I want to be my own person. So I will start the proceedings Monday to become who I was fifteen years ago, and know that I will at least experience some sense of closure until we can untangle the web of our two lives next year. I feel somewhat overwhelmed when I think about how meshed our two lives our, so perhaps taking this first step now will make it easier.

I continue to think about what the future holds. I am both excited and frightened. I had expected to grow old with David, and really thought this time that we would reconcile and remain together. We both said we loved each other up until the day he drove away to Florida and what I see as an empty and lonely life for him. I told him that there will be no more chances, no more tries at reconciliation. I am done. 

So now I have to pull myself together, continue to get healthy, and turn to my family and friends instead of isolating myself as I did last winter when we separated for the second time. (This has been one long year!)

Not only do I need to reclaim my name, I need to reclaim myself. That is much harder because I poured so much of myself into my marriage and trying to save it. Between that and the damage done by years of struggling with anorexia - and it is still a struggle; some days I eat like a normal person, while other days I fight to eat enough to keep me alive - I am confused about many things. I am lucky in that I had a life both before David and anorexia became parts of my life.

It really is like a slow peeling off of layers to reveal the person within. These next few months in particular are going to be periods of discovery and learning.

I am not ashamed of anything I've done. There are only two things I might have done differently: first, I wouldn't have ignored the warning signals that David's heart really wasn't into reconciling, and I would have stopped pretending that everything was perfect, that he was perfect.

But I am not ashamed to be alone, and starting over. I still believe in true love, and I know there is someone out there for me. 

And some day, we shall meet...And all of this will just be a painful, yet distant memory.


Ashley Noelle said...

One day, this memory will be less painful and you will look back and see a lot of things that you learned from this (to name one; you are capable of maintaining self-care during this difficult time--wow what a wonderful accomplishment). I am glad that you don't view this as a "punishment" or feel guilty for not having it to work out with David.

David made a choice as much as you did.

I am also glad to learn that you are reaching out, and not allowing Anorexia to claim your life once again. It is so easy to turn back to it and fall into that trap because it is our "old comfort". But it's not good.

You are a remarkably strong woman.


Sensory Overload said...

I agree with everything Ashley has expressed.

You ARE incredibly strong and so brave to share this with so many others.

May you reclaim and build upon the strong foundation you already have in place with YOU.

The best of thoughts and hopes you find ease.

Zena said...

You are so strong and I am so proud of you, some how I knew you would come to this conclusion, some days will seem harder then others, but it is those days you lean on your family and friends ( I may not always be available in the moment but leave me a message and I will get back to you, or just vent Im cool with that too:))

I noticed something....you said some days you are eating well and some days barely enough to live, while the latter isnt good that sentence says something...that no matter how much you want to starve the pain away you know its not an option, so you get up and fight, That Angela, is the SPIRIT that is within YOU!!!

so proud you brave, strong woman you

Kristina said...

You have NO reason to be ashamed...be PROUD! You are strong and beautiful! God bless, K.

Telstaar said...

Thinking of you. You are an inspiration in working hard towards a new future. I am proud of you. I know its hard and I'm quite sure there are days you cry and wish that this was not God's new plan for you, but I also know that you will cling tightly to him and know that he DOES have a new plan for you and its a good one because God made it so. I'll be here, email anytime.

Thinking of you and your butterfly wings,

Love Telly xo

neonorangeds said...

Hi Angela,

I just wanted to echoe what others have said: that you are so strong for going through this.

I only know what it is like to reclaim myself from anorexia; it's hard to imagine reclaiming oneself from anorexia and a life so devoted to someone else as well. The good thing here is that you will probably discover amazing things about yourself and your strength. I think that when I went through recovery, I surprised myself a lot by all of things I could accomplish once I'd let go of anorexia. Perhaps, for you, there will be twice as many surprising accomplishments on the horizon.

Your posts make me so sad because it sounds as if David is leaving a nice life for something so empty and devoid of meaning... and in doing so, he is hurting you. Yet, at the same time, I think there is some happiness because you are breaking free of this emotional rollar coaster and I have a feeling that you will become someone even more amazing without this extra weight to carry over your head.

Stay strong,

Anonymous said...

What a strong, strong woman you are! Courageous and brave ~ and you will go on and you will love and be loved. I know it.

Angela said...

There is absolutely nothing to feel shameful about. You worked so hard to salvage the relationship. You are to be commended. You are strong and resiliant. Reclaim your identity and stand proud. Keep on fighting the eating disorder. Feeling all of the painful emotions is difficult, and everyday isn't going to be perfect, but you have the courage to move forward and win. Sending you {{{HUGS}}}

Haley @ Health Freak College Girl said...

beautiful post!

Jess said...

You are so strong! I look forward to hearing about your journey in reclaiming your identity. I'm glad that you're not ashamed and that you are optimistic about what the future holds for you. It sounds like you have a very strong internal sense of strength and courage that can carry you through anything life throws at you, the good and the bad- and that is invaluable. Thank you for being so open with us about your journey. Wishing you the best!!

CC [AKA Frugalista] said...

I've been through a divorce myself. It is like your life is being ripped apart. For me it turned out to be a good thing but whether or not it's what you want you have shown that you are strong enough to get through it. What's in a name? You truly realize how much meaning a name has when it's time to get it back.

Pen said...

I'm sorry to hear your marriage had to end but I know you're strong and you Will move on. My husband and I were talking divorce a month ago and it was the most painful thing! (24 years together!) We have decided to try once again. He has things to work on and obviously I do to. I'm leaning more towards Residential treatment in hopes of recovering AND help our marriage.

sarahlynn said...

So proud of you.

You are my biggest inspiration right now. I hope you know that.

I know it'll be hard for awhile - whenever I try to imagine what your going through, all I can think of is losing Mom. I know that sometimes it is about getting through the day. Those days, read through these things you've written. Because you're amazing and strong and I love hearing how incredible you are. It is very brave to move forward - and it is very freeing.

I'm so glad you've figured out that you've got nothing to be ashamed of, or guilty of. And that you realize that taking care of yourself is more important than anything else right now.

Your life awaits. :-) As does happiness.