A year ago yesterday, Will and I were at a local pizza place with 7 of our 9 grandchildren, 2 of our children and 2 of our sons in law. We were celebrating the 4th birthday of one of our little grandsons. We were all happy. Our normal family chaos of silly laughter, multiple cross conversations, older cousins helping younger cousins get just the right size slice on to their plates, lots and lots of love and sharing going on. I was in my element. As the Matriarch of this glorious family, my heart was full of contentment as I watched my beautiful loved ones enjoying life with one another. Life was good. Will also seemed to be engaged…helping little ones, talking with his sons in law, generally present in the moment if somewhat tired as was his norm. He had just returned from a business trip which always seemed to exhaust him. It was my life then..a year ago yesterday. I miss it. I miss my ignorance in so many ways. I miss my confidence that my marriage, while not perfect, was better than most. I miss my contentment that we had come through the fire of infidelity back in the nineties and Will was now a godly man who had made covenants that he would never break. I miss my security that no matter what, Will loved me and my family and would never hurt me again. I miss me…that me that was innocent and trusting and loving and kind.
A year ago today, I met someone I never wanted to know. A man who was an incredible deceiver, a master manipulator, an unparalleled liar, and an impeccably skilled traitor. Will. Who was this man that I had known for nearly 4 decades? He was NOT the father of my children, the grandfather of our beautiful grandbabies, the man I married. He was a lying, deceptive betrayer of everything I hold dear. He was a monster who inflicted more pain than I thought any human could possibly bear. He was the one person in the world that I trusted with my life and my heart. And the one person who chose to crush both. As the text message came through from Danielle, as we spoke to our son on that Sunday evening a year ago, everything that I had come to believe was my life, simply fell apart. It was shattered. Gone. My heart broke. My soul broke. My brain broke. My reality broke. I broke. Completely. I was simply….gone. Everything I was, what I knew, how I lived, what I believed…shattered. I have never known such searing, unrelenting agony. I have never felt so completely alone. I have never been so terribly, terribly diminished as a human being. I have never felt such intense, terrifying hatred for another human being in my life. I honestly wanted Will dead. And I would have been happy to accommodate any means to that end.
One year. It is not a long time in the great scheme of things. 365 days. Out of those days, there have been some that were not as bad as May 17, 2015. There have been some that have come close. There was one that was equally horrible that I actually lived through…I count that as one of the miracles that this last year has produced. There have been some days of great pain, and days of great healing. Days of deep frustration and days of progress seen. Days of peace and days of battle. There have been days, too, when glimpses of a future have been hopeful. And it is not as bleak and sad as once perceived. Those days are actually becoming more frequent. That is a good thing. I need good things now in my life. After so much ugly, so much pain, so much betrayal. I am coming out of the deep, black hole that Will’s addiction pushed me into. It is such a rough climb…harder than any fourteener that Colorado has to offer. More difficult than any other challenge I have faced in my life. But…I am seeing the daylight. I am becoming aware of the possibility of living a different reality. I can comprehend a life, a future, a marriage that is healthy and open and loving. I can see the promise of “better” and “more” and “real” and I am not afraid. I am looking forward to leaving today (and all the bad yesterdays) behind. I still wish, though, that May 17th would somehow just disappear from the calendar for good. I HATE May 17th.