Years ago, I wrote a post called Today I took off my wedding rings. It wasn't the best thing I'd ever written. The formatting has been whacked by technology, bolded sentences and dropped off paragraphs that say more than I could have intended when I typed it out. It wasn't lyrical or lovely, didn't wrap up all the emotions I threw out into a beautifully tied package. But it was one of the most important posts I've ever written because it was the moment I went from vaguely sharing that something was shifting in my family to telling my truth.
It was the first big steps of my hike into the wilderness of divorce. Those were painful days. I cried to my mother that I felt like my limbs were being torn from my body. I was surrounded by them, by other good people, and still, I felt lost and alone.
I found shelter. Sooner than I thought. And when that safety fell away, when the elements blew the top off of new relationships and living with my parents for a longer temporary than I imagined and how quickly I could get out of my marriage or how well I wanted to communicate with my ex-husband, I moved on. I found new ways to build protection around me. I dug in, got stronger, kept moving.
I came out of that forest. But the hike continues on. It always will, I guess, so long as I make visitation arrangements with my son's father, for as many years as I bring up in therapy those paralyzing triggers for anxiety and depression and guardedness that were rooted in the crash and burn of a marriage, the complete loss of a person I'd given vows, all the stuff you have to go through when you take this walk.
It's just that now I know which boots fit, I know the intimacies and curves of this path, I have my favorite hiding spots and short cuts and open spaces where the sun shines around the leaves and over my face. That's what seven years earns you.
For someone, perhaps for you, and often for someone I know or whose words I read or who reaches out tentatively through a Facebook message, the beginning is today.
This is someone's first day of speaking the situation aloud, of throwing off equipment she thinks she must carry and just walking into that wilderness,
When you read this brave, raw post by Casey Carey-Brown on separating from her wife, of the unknown made even more unfamiliar by being a two-mom family in a world where our language and experience of divorce and co-parenting and grieving the loss of a marriage is all very hetero-centered, I hope you will remember your own first steps and first words.
I hope you will go over to Casey's post and take in the emotion that I imagine you will feel in your own heart and experience. I hope you will leave her your own words. I hear you. I understand. I am with you. Or whatever you are moved to say in support of one mom making her way today or another mom making her way tomorrow.
And I hope you will think of your own walk, maybe even share it here with us. We have our own things to go through, yes. But isn't it soothing to see someone else's footprints on the path ahead of us?