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.}

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