Hi, my name is Heather…

May 7, 2014

“From this one place I can’t see very far, from this one moment I’m square in the dark…” – Sara Groves


I don’t know how to do this.

Just quit.

I don’t know how and haven’t been able to.

I don’t even know how it happened. But it did. Even to me, the girl who is always fine because other people are not fine. It’s this Thing that laughed at my always trying to be good and please everyone self, and kicked my stubborn pride in the guts.

It laughed.

And then it kicked harder and harder.

I’ve always tried to be a bit invisible. Felt a little invisible. Even while bouncing and laughing and showing off. Even then.

Keep it simple. Keep it small. No one has time for your always so overly sensitive self, always so affected, so full of emotion. Just stop. Go numb. You’ll be fine.

So the funny thing is, I didn’t even really do this up very big.

There has been no affair, no abuse, no violent words spewed, shouted, screamed…We have just carried on, bathed the kids and made them meals and built things out of Legos. But we did it all while quietly dying inside, dying while we did it all. It is sneaky and inauthentic and all covered up. We tried to die openly only while our little loves weren’t looking, but they knew because they always know…

they aren’t really with us.

I was trying so hard to kill the elephant in the room with a toothpick, and then feeling off and anxious and heavy behind the eyes all day, every day.

I don’t like causing ripples, making a scene. I don’t want to be the one people are calling each other about with Big News, as they bob around in my waves, a bit shocked.

So no, we didn’t do this up big and yet it is still very very big. It drives me and drives me, away in my head to always somewhere else, my heart shrinking up on itself with all the thinking.

everything in me is tightening/I am fighting to stay open/stay open like a lake/I’ve no idea where to begin/to swallow up the way things are/everything in me is drawing in… -Sara Groves

It progressed, from the very start, a mismatched couple having a wedding, and it took on its big life, towering over me. That happened partly because I even stuffed this away, this clear truth. So as not to bother anyone, even myself or God, I hid it away. I kept putting it away, first glass by glass, gulp after gulp of wine, somewhere inside me until I couldn’t breathe, couldn’t connect, couldn’t pray. Then I covered it up in new ways, after the drinking stopped. I tried so hard not to think about it, and lost so much sleep trying not to think about it.

And now, I’m so tired of living around the elephant, under it, so I can avoid pain, as if this pain is nothing. That’s an empty thing to live for…

the weight of an elephant.

I don’t know what’s making me so afraid/tiny cloud over my head/heavy and grey with a hint of dread/I don’t like to feel this way – Sara Groves

I am getting divorced. We are getting divorced.

I’m terrified and totally humiliated and relieved all at once. And yet I have more peace than I’ve had in years. Even though I don’t want to stop.

I quit living in denial about four years ago, but I couldn’t accept that facing the truth often means action. I spun my wheels, living just to fight the truth that walked around my heart and mind, begging gently to free me. Yes, I know I’m in a broken marriage. I know we’ve tried. I know I’m terrified…But I’m fine. Because there is so much shame in this, so many finger waves and scowls at the corners of my memory, warnings of the bad bad bad choices. Don’t make them. And then there are these three brilliant, miraculous children we made together and what will happen and will they be okay and it’s time to find out. They are why there are never regrets.

I used to think it was always, in every situation other than infidelity and abuse, a choice. I used to think I was weak. And in some ways, I was. But there’s also this: If you are in an unhealthy marriage, an incompatible painful co-existence, it will lie in wait and devour you. Marriage can do that, when it is unhappy. That’s not what it is meant to do, and then we have to figure out how long we wait for the miracle we are begging for, how long before we say enough, or how much time will pass before enough is said for us.

Enough has been said for us, and it is terrifying. And there is hope.

Now I’m trying to push the guilty thoughts away because shame never has helped me. It has only kept me drinking, or sad, or lonely. Love on the other hand, gently walking circles around my heart…well, that is what is drawing me in and pulling me away from the shame.

there’s redemption in confession/and freedom in the light – Sara Groves


{If you feel like you’ve read this post somewhere before, in a way, you have, if you were around through my alcoholism and recovery story. This post is almost exactly, word for word, the same post I shared on the day I quit drinking. I have simply changed a few words here and there from drinking-specific language, to broken-marriage-specific language…and it blows my mind.}


Kate May 7, 2014 at 8:54 am

If I could, I would be in the car, in a heartbeat, and at your front door, pushing through it and reaching for you. I’d wrap you up and hold you tight and love on you for as long as you’d allow. How is it that the most difficult decisions leave us feeling an exhilarated sense of peace? Like we finally step through the scariest door in to the light that settles on us, warm and comforting? How I wish I could hug you right now.
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Laurie May 7, 2014 at 9:00 am

Wild how it all comes back to the same thing, isn’t it? Causes and conditions. Who we are we take with us into everything. It’s why I took in a sharp breath of absolute recognition of this line:

“I’ve always tried to be a bit invisible. Felt a little invisible. Even while bouncing and laughing and showing off. Even then.”

Because that was me at the party and me in the relationship. The same. The people, places, and things.

I’d say I know this is hard but I can’t say anything because I’ve never been through it and I’m learning not to say I know things I don’t. I do know that you have everything you need to get through it, because that’s the truth that you know too. And you know that any time that shame creeps in, you need to tell someone. Because that is what will burn through the good things you know in your heart to be true, because it’s crafty like that.

Still a wonderful piece of writing, now as then. Even better, actually, with time. Because look at how much you already knew. And how it paved the way for love over fear and hurt and shame and the horror of staying in the absolutely wrong place, for you, and for others of us who read it. So much of that love out here for you as you walk through this day by day by day.
Laurie recently posted..Cousin Number One

Sidnie May 7, 2014 at 9:02 am

You are brave and strong and I am proud of you.
I am so sorry you’re heart has to know this hurt.

There are no words to talk it away; eloquence has no place here.
Divorce sucks. That’s it. It just sucks.

You know my story, and if I can lend an ear or a shoulder, you’ve got my email.
Reach out to someone. Keep your people close.

Love and prayers coming your way. xoxo.

Leigh Kramer May 7, 2014 at 9:02 am

Heather, I am so sorry to hear this. Praying peace over you as you walk through this and figure out what’s next. I’ll be praying for your children especially, that amidst the transition they will never doubt how loved they are. You will get through this and I’m proud of you for figuring out what needs to be done and that nothing else can be done. You’re not alone. xoxo
Leigh Kramer recently posted..The Red Couch: Getting Involved With God introduction

Pamela May 7, 2014 at 9:04 am

Praying for peaceful transitions and so much grace.

Lisa May 7, 2014 at 9:04 am

“So as not to bother anyone, even myself or God…” It’s such a relief when you get to the point where you’re forced to “bother” the ones, The One, who can handle it best. Love you so much.
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TheNextMartha May 7, 2014 at 9:05 am

Sending you a hug and love.

Tracie May 7, 2014 at 9:05 am

Oh, Heather. I’m so very sorry. There are no good words. But I am sending all my love.
Tracie recently posted..My Mom Taught Me About Mothering And Life

Schmutzie May 7, 2014 at 9:07 am

Real hugs, you. This is hard stuff.

suburbancorrespondent May 7, 2014 at 9:10 am

I thought it looked familiar! At first, I thought it was a re-post. Marriage is hard, very hard, and I am sorry yours didn’t work out. But, so long as neither of you is a crazy psychopathic narcissist, the kids will be ALL RIGHT. You can do this.
suburbancorrespondent recently posted..Let No Man Put Asunder

suburbancorrespondent May 7, 2014 at 10:33 am

Oh, ugh – look at the title of the post my comment links to! It sounds like a judgment on your post, but it’s just a weird coincidence. And my post isn’t even about marriage, really – it’s about bats.
suburbancorrespondent recently posted..Let No Man Put Asunder

thekitchwitch May 7, 2014 at 9:10 am

While this isn’t a complete surprise to me (many of the conversations we’ve had in the past have kind of danced around this, just as they’ve danced around my issues with the wine bottle), I wanted you to know that you are brave and honest and wonderful. Love you. Here for you if you need it. xoxo

Kim May 7, 2014 at 9:11 am

You know I love you, you know you have my thoughts, prayers, and listening ears. You are strong, those kiddos are amazing, and everyone will be great.
I am proud of you. So so so proud of you.
Kim recently posted..You’re Doing OK.

Deb Rox May 7, 2014 at 9:12 am

I have never known anyone who regretted a move towards being more true to herself, because things get so much better when we stop clinging to what isn’t true. There is SO much hope to buoy you through what’s hard. Xo

Leigh Ann May 7, 2014 at 9:17 am

I have no words of wisdom. I can only say that I love you, and I feel so lucky to have had you come into my life, however briefly. xo

Lady Jennie May 7, 2014 at 9:18 am

Hi beautiful, lovely Heather. Don’t be embarrassed. That’s all I want to say. The rest of the village – those who are in your tight inner circle – can say all the words of comfort you need better than I can. Bask in peace and love the same way you emanate that to others.
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A'Driane Nieves May 7, 2014 at 9:23 am

Sending you love and light to carry you through this moment and what lies ahead.
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Brandee May 7, 2014 at 9:24 am

I’m so sorry for your pain. God can redeem. I’m not suggesting your staying married so much as I’m recommending your fixing your eyes on Him. If divorce is your path, invite Him into your divorce. He’s been more present in my divorce than He was in my first marriage. He can redeem any situation into which you invite Him. Don’t allow anyone who doesn’t believe this to speak into your life. You get to make every choice; this is God’s design. I’ll be praying for you, asking Him to send helpers and supporters, especially. I would love to talk with you and am absolutely available for a phone conversation.

I am ten years divorced. My ex-husband and his wife are my friends. Our child is well-adjusted and happy.
Brandee recently posted..Unblogged Happiness: April Edition, Pt. 1

Jess May 7, 2014 at 9:31 am

Oh, Heather. I am so sorry. Grace. Peace. Hope. You are so loved.

erin margolin May 7, 2014 at 9:31 am


Thank you for sharing this.

We are having marriage struggles too, and we’re in couples counseling. And I’m in my own counseling. We’re doing everything we can.

But it is the elephant in the room, the thing you can’t talk about, the thing you hide when the kids are around. The weight you bear and carry and it makes you sick because you have to pretend all the damn time.

I have the utmost respect for you— you in everything that you do, you are everywhere all at once. You are strong and smart and powerful and you are one of my LIFELINES even though you don’t know it.

Keep going, mama. You can do it. You can get through this.

If you need me? 913.486.2938.
I don’t know if I’d be any help. But I’m a good listener.

It must be terribly hard with the kids, especially.
But also a relief to share it.

erin margolin recently posted..Redux: Giving Up the Good Girl

Issa May 7, 2014 at 9:32 am

I know how hard this can be and I’m so sorry you are there. I can tell you, from four years on the other side…I’m happier than I’ve ever been. Divorce happens. It just does. People grow apart. Huge hugs to you Heather.

Amanda May 7, 2014 at 9:33 am

Wishing that the humiliation piece goes away soon.

You are learning and growing, that’s the good, soil enriching work, but it’s dirty and grueling until it’s gorgeous. Love and light upon you all.
Amanda recently posted..That isn’t me

Elaine A. May 7, 2014 at 9:45 am

I’m so sorry, Heather. That you have endured this for too long and that you feel any embarrassment. I understand that, because I would too, but it still sucks. I love you, let me know if you need me in any way.

Elaine A. recently posted..Out Loud

Natalie D May 7, 2014 at 9:49 am

I relate with this post. Avoiding the elephant in the room. Trying to make oneself small. Hiding the hurting.
But out-with-it seems to be the best way. Especially because you have all this support here, and no judgement at all, at least not from me. We’ve had our Big struggles in marriage, too, ones where we thought, “surely THIS is the end.”
Please let me know if you need to talk. I am a good listener.
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Arnebya May 7, 2014 at 9:54 am

The fucking elephant. The elephant that doesn’t respond to, doesn’t even know it’s constantly, erratically, purposefully being pricked with a toothpick. Acknowledge, elephant! Yet, it just stands there until enough is said, but not even by the elephant. I’m sorry this is happening. And yet, I’m glad to read your use of the word relieved.
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Shannon May 7, 2014 at 9:55 am

Wishing you strength and hope as you move through the hard things towards a place of peace and truth.
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Sherry Carr-Smith May 7, 2014 at 9:59 am

Sending lots of love and peace your way. You’re always welcome down south if you need to take a beach break.
Sherry Carr-Smith recently posted..Best Laid Plans: Postpartum Edition

Tracey May 7, 2014 at 10:06 am

I’m sorry, Heather…
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Crock May 7, 2014 at 10:07 am

I have a four-pack of Starbucks Vanilla Frapuccino’s and reservations at both Chipotle and Don Pablos waiting here for you whenever you’re ready for them.

Oh, and… fuck.

molly May 7, 2014 at 10:17 am

Love and light and strength to you, Heather. This is hard but you can do HARD things <3
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Susan May 7, 2014 at 10:27 am

Heather — I read this and my first thought was, “How brave she is.” We all have our elephants. Wishing you peace and strength through this process.

anymommy May 7, 2014 at 10:35 am

Love to you. I don’t know if this will speak to you, but whenever I’m lying in bed with that squirmy feeling that the universe is judging me and finds me lacking, I make myself focus on Brene Brown’s definition of shame: the fear of disconnection. I always feel like the squirmy feeling will eat me from the inside out, but FEAR, FEAR that people won’t understand me or love me … that can be conquered by the obvious evidence to the contrary. xoxoxoxo.
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Angela Moore May 7, 2014 at 10:46 am

There was a time in the not so distant past when I realized that I had to stop trying to eliminate the bad days. They would come no matter what. Instead, I strived to be grateful with the good days and graceful with the bad days.

That is all we can ask for.

Well, that a big hug from someone who knows what it feels like to go through what you’re going through… on several different layers.

Angela Moore recently posted..Those Little Things Get Me. And They Get Me Good.

celeste May 7, 2014 at 10:46 am

My husband and I met at a party “celebrating” our divorces from other people, and one of the first things he said to me about his divorce was “Sometimes the best way to honor your marriage commitment to love someone else is to let them go.” It’s not the same as that “if they don’t come back they were never yours” thing because sometimes people *are* ours for awhile. And then they’re not. And we’re not theirs anymore, either. :( It’s very sad, even when it’s right.

I am so sorry that your marriage is ending. Even when we’re sure it’s the right thing, these kinds of enormous transitions are exhausting. Wishing you much love, support, and understanding as you navigate your new terrain.
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Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting May 7, 2014 at 10:57 am

I’m so thankful I was able to see you this weekend and hug you to pieces. You are one of the strongest women I know, and I know you are going to get through this with grace. Love you, sweetie.
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Lisa/Mommymo May 7, 2014 at 10:58 am

Oh Heather. Big hugs to you. There is no shame in being true to yourself. You are a strong person and your kids are awesome kids. xoxo

tracy@sellabitmum May 7, 2014 at 11:01 am

Oh my love. My friend. I love you and want to hug you RIGHT NOW. No shame. No humiliation. Just honesty and life. XOXO
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Kat May 7, 2014 at 11:12 am

Praying for your peace and strength and healing.
Sending you lots of cyber hugs.
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Kristen May 7, 2014 at 11:21 am

Much love to you and yours, Heather.

Christa May 7, 2014 at 11:28 am

You teach us all so much about how vulnerability begets strength. Thinking of all of you, knowing you’ll come out shining on the other side because your intention is so very honest and true and trained on goodness. You are taking the warrior’s path, not the easy way out. I hope you know that with both mind and heart.

Shaina May 7, 2014 at 11:33 am

Oh, Love. I wish you were still here, down the street so we could meet for coffee like we didn’t so long ago and let our kids run through the woods or the university corn fields while we trailed behind kicking fallen branches off the path. Hugs from way over here in FH. xoxo
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JoAnn May 7, 2014 at 11:43 am

Peace to you. I wish I could give you a hug right now. You are so, so, strong and so, so brave. I wish you courage, light, wisdom, and love. Praying for you and your children.

Sherri May 7, 2014 at 11:51 am

Oh, Heather…I am sorry for the weight you have been carrying but hopeful that the weight will lift as time passes. My parents were very much the same during my childhood. No hatred, no bitter fights, no affairs or loud public confrontations. Just not working out. This is a big step, and I am both sad and relieved for you, if that makes any sense. xoxo
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Jess May 7, 2014 at 11:56 am

I started this process about a year ago. I won’t say it was easy. But it has led to a deeper understanding of myself, let me get back in touch with parts of myself that felt lost, and writing about it has somehow opened up my confidence in a way I hadn’t found before.

Which is all to say that it gets better from here. And there are so many of us right here with you.
Jess recently posted..Breaking the Rules at Mom 2.0

Tabatha May 7, 2014 at 12:36 pm

Oh Heather, my heart is just reaching out for yours.

I’m there, again, too, but plus some of the things I’m so grateful you haven’t had to bear. You are strong and you are magic and you don’t have to worry about bbeing fine in some distant future because you are fine, already, and that will only become more apparent.

So much love to you, my friend. Never hesitate to reach out to talk. I’m here. We all are.
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Michelle May 7, 2014 at 12:39 pm

Sending you so much love, my friend. I can’t imagine it will be easy, but feeling whole never is. Know that your have legions of smart, wonderful women who read your words each day, who are pulling for you Heather.

Chloe Jeffreys May 7, 2014 at 12:43 pm

I am so sorry, Heather. Knowing you I know this wasn’t an easy decision, but sometimes it’s just the only answer to misery. I’m hoping and praying for joy for you. You deserve joy. You are a beautiful human being who deserves every good thing.

I’m here for you if you need an ear or a shoulder. I understand about feeling relieved when it’s over.
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anna whiston-donaldson May 7, 2014 at 1:00 pm

I love you. It’s going to be okay.
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Cassie Boorn May 7, 2014 at 1:15 pm

This post touched my heart in ways you will never imagine. You are in my prayers friend.

Jennifer May 7, 2014 at 1:19 pm

The only shame should be staying in something broken. There is strength and love in taking care of yourself, and in doing that, taking care of others. You are an amazing person. You will survive, and coming from a child with divorced parents, so will your kids. Better than you could ever imagine.
Jennifer recently posted..Happy Mama Moment &#8211; Six

Neil May 7, 2014 at 1:20 pm

I’m sorry.

Lisa May 7, 2014 at 1:22 pm

This is a story I know well. It sounds like my story…and sometimes I wish there was adultery or something BIG so it would be easier to explain and the side glances would at least have a filter of understanding or acceptance or just not judgment. I’m on the other side now–and it’s better. Not perfect, not the reality I’d wish anyone. But better. I can breathe again. That’s progress, right?
Lisa recently posted..Observations From the Road

Playful Karen May 7, 2014 at 1:39 pm

Wow – Heather, what a beautiful message you manage to bring to such sad news. It comes through loud and clear that if there were another way, that if you were able to find the way to make it work, you would. And it is stunning to me (and not surprising, on reflection,) that it is the same post when you let go of our old and dear friend ~ alcohol. I know that your clouds will lift and the sun will shine brightly again for you ~ Many prayers and big virtual hugs coming your way. xox~Karen
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Jessica May 7, 2014 at 2:44 pm

Sending you love and peace and hope. Lots of hope.
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Vikki May 7, 2014 at 2:55 pm

Love to you.
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Sabrina May 7, 2014 at 3:32 pm

Hugs to you Heather… I know this can’t be easy. But know that I am praying for you and love you lots!

Danielle Smith May 7, 2014 at 3:38 pm

You are brave and strong and so very loved. I am proud to call you my friend and always amazed by the combination of your eloquence through pain. I have faith in you and I’m here. Love you. xoxo

Missy May 7, 2014 at 5:34 pm

Heather, prayers for peace are with you.
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Nina May 7, 2014 at 6:12 pm

I was holding my breath throughout this whole post just imagining what you must have been going through these past few years silently figuring out what to do next. The stuffing of it all is so harmful . . . no matter what happens next it’s such an inspiration to others to see that it can be done with openness and honesty with yourself first and foremost. You have my admiration and I’m thinking of you. I hope you can truly feel this virtual outpouring of love here and under the post on FB.
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Scary Mommy May 7, 2014 at 9:10 pm

Oh, shit, Heather. Sending you much love. xoxo

Kristin Shaw May 7, 2014 at 9:46 pm

We have your back, Heather. Now and forever. xoxo
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Kat May 7, 2014 at 10:31 pm

I think this means the hardest part is over right? Saying the words…I imagine that would be the hardest part for me. Taking care of yourself is the best thing you can do for you family. I’m proud of you!
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Ewokmama May 8, 2014 at 11:09 am

I’ve been there. It was so very hard but ultimately it was so worth it to move forward and seek happiness instead of trying to patch together something that never fit in the first place.
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Wendi May 8, 2014 at 11:56 am

I’m so sorry, Heather.
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Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri May 8, 2014 at 12:06 pm


I’ve read your posts for a very long time, but this is the first time I am commenting.

Your words and actions are incredibly brave. I hope you know that. And I am glad you made the choice to be vulnerable. It helps others in ways that you may never know. Thank you.
Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri recently posted..A Crack In Everything

Jen May 8, 2014 at 2:21 pm

Heather, I am thinking of you. Keeping you in my prayers. Grateful that you are finding peace and relief.
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Liz May 8, 2014 at 4:14 pm

Hugs and love. Grace and Peace.

Gretchen May 8, 2014 at 4:23 pm

I am so, so sorry. God, life is painful and messy and sucky sometimes. Bewildering, too. Sucktastic. But I hope a burden has been lifted and from where you’re standing, the horizon is more clear, the path ahead more smooth.

deb colarossi May 8, 2014 at 9:14 pm

So very sorry Heather. Go easy on yourself. Grace. For all of it. For you. xo

Megan Tietz May 9, 2014 at 1:06 pm

Beautiful Heather, I am so sorry. And yet so hopeful as I hear the hope in your voice.

Please do be gentle with yourself. Know that we are with you, right here, where we’ve always been.
Megan Tietz recently posted..9 Ways to Have an EMPOWERED Mother’s Day

Lindsey May 9, 2014 at 1:15 pm

Sending you love and peace. xoxo

Kate May 9, 2014 at 2:33 pm

I relate to so much of this – making myself small…not wanting to be in the spotlight of, “did you hear”… You are very brave – and I honestly think you can do anything. I wish I could send more than love.

missy dollahon May 9, 2014 at 2:48 pm

I’m so sorry friend.

Stephanie Precourt May 10, 2014 at 2:25 pm

There is nothing you could do or say that would inconvenience anyone you know, I just don’t believe that! But I know how easy it is to think that, and this is a good reminder for me. Every thing matters.

Always here. Love you.

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steph May 10, 2014 at 2:34 pm

This mirrors my story so much. Thanks for sharing.

Kelly @ Love Well May 13, 2014 at 10:32 am

Just so much love to you, friend. So much love.

Lynda M Otvos May 21, 2014 at 12:06 am

Holding you close in solidarity with the pain of loss.
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