Making Strides Part IV

I sat in resolute silence, double-fisting the mouse and the telephone. In one hand, the cursor hover over the send button, in the other was the telephone–my thumb positioned on the redial button. My heart ambivalently longed to recoil. I felt a shift, a sudden rush, a dam break. As my pulse and breath ran staccato, I hit the send button and redial whilst simultaneously roaring the kind of cathartic every-emotion-intertwined visceral bellow that I’ve only ever experienced in natural childbirth. It–the truth, was out in the world on its own. I was no longer host to the pain or the glory, it simply existed in its very own space and time. I felt free, it felt right.

Michael answered, “Everything will be OK.” He said, as I continued to heave and sob. In retrospect, I don’t think I wanted Michael to rescue and reassure me, as much as I wanted him to share and rejoice in the moment of our unveiling. It was our first small victory. The period leading up to and even after finalizing our decision to marry was marred by that which had ended. The Mercados were celebrities in our/their (still working that out) own right despite our worldly obscurity. We were the pillars of our little community, and our downfall was felt far and wide. In that moment, I felt I’d released myself from any further obligation to that relationship or the community. In announcing my upcoming nuptials, it was in my mind, unquestionably accepted and understood that from this moment on, my purpose and responsibility was to my new life.

I don’t know what Joe’s true reaction to the news was, some time had passed before we broached the topic and he was awkwardly evasive, per usual. Perhaps that truth also wades¬† amidst the many secrets of our undoing; walled behind a dam of their own, until beckoned for their inevitable unveiling. He never officially condemned or congratulated me, then or since (Michael and I married on September 4th) but, there has been a notable change in our tone, affect, body language and communication style; one which affirms with undeniable certainty that we are no longer, nor will we ever become again, who we once were. Reaction or not, we are now and forever living new and distinctly separate lives. It is the end of an era.

I’ve taken some “heat”, if you will, regarding how deeply sentimental I am and/or have been over the dissolution of my twenty year marriage. The criticism has run the gamut from questioning my readiness to marry again, to questioning my readiness to divorce at all.¬† And, if that isn’t enough to bog my troubled mind, there are my own unanswered questions. This has led to the realization of many unspoken truths about life, marriage, family and community; truths that will become the bread of my writings for much of the foreseeable future. But firstly, for the satiety of my own unsilenceable voice I need to say that this is my experience. The marriage was ours, his and mine–but the experiences of every moment, great and infinitesimal were at once shared but not. The complex processing of events that made, sustained and eventually destroyed us took on a life and death of their own in our psyches. I grieve the parts of my self that are now and forever lost, as much as I accept their death as part of my rebirth. You can’t plan for these things, you must simply accept them as a means to letting them go. And, if you’re writerly, dissect and analyze them for their own posterity. Still, they are of you, even when they are no longer yours.


  1. I feel all of what you wrote. I love the way you articulate your emotions.

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