It was this time last year when I came to the conclusion that I could be single again and be ok. And I told him that. It didn’t phase him. I told him in counseling that if things didn’t change, I would leave. I don’t think he heard me.
I felt trapped, both by how bad my marriage had gotten and the belief that marriage is for life and a matter of faith in God. All of it, the hit my reputation would take in the community of faith, the temporary financial hit, the emotional and spiritual hit I would take… it all left me feeling really trapped in an impossible possition. I even wondered if I’d have to go live at the Mission for a while, a reality that put that place on my radar in a new way.
I thought back over the year I had. I remembered the night when I was so low that I was thinking seriously about suicide, it was well more than the passing thought. I knew how I was going to do it. This was serious stuff and it scared me. The husband was gone again, even though I talked to him about how I was feeling. I knew then that he had chosen work over me and that this was how it was going to be. I no longer rated high enough with him, for whatever reason he could not be there for me when I needed him.
Friends called me that evening and got me out of the house, the company was good and I managed to survive that difficult season. But it left me with the very fresh impression that my very LIFE… depended on making some positive changes in the way I was living. I know that sounds overly dramatic. I’m an artist, I have the familiar melancholy that seems to go with the gifting, I struggle with depression from time to time. I knew that the suicidal thing would come knocking again and that I’d better be in a better place when it knocked on my door the next time or else. It was time to choose to live in a way that I wouldn’t want to die.
The last time I opened a business and it began to succeed, he was supportive at first but as he began to realize that the sacrifice wasn’t over in the first year, his support evaporated. Our agreement was that we’d live on his income and I’d have the freedom to grow a business. He set about doing whatever he could to extract what he wanted from my company. I developed the habit and skills of protecting my infant company from him. And that pattern developed and strengthened between us. He bought whatever he wanted and forced me to support the household. I began to realize that this pattern would drastically hamper the growth of my company if we didn’t get a handle on it.
And in time we moved back into civilization. I knew the next phase of my company would need to happen in a larger town and so I began shopping for space in the town where we now live. It didn’t go very well, I never have found the space that I sensed was right for me. We moved and I closed my gallery and never reopened it. I was weary of struggling against the grain. Growing a business is hard work, but doing it without support at home makes it all seem so much bigger than it needs to be.
In recent years, after I told him that I could not adopt children with him, he wanted to know why. And of all the reasons I gave him the one he seized on was that I wanted to get back into my career. He was very clear with me that because I’d chosen my career over the children, that he could not offer me any support in a new business effort. I wasn’t asking for any money, I was only hoping for an “atta girl” now and then, but nothing like that would be there for me. I couldn’t even believe my ears when I heard him say these things, but it was just a symptom of how much things changed between us because of the adoption.
So I faced that choice to break my vow to the man or break myself. I decided the vow was what needed to go, and I feel that it was a proactive choice. Because my life is important, if for no other reason than I was created by God and I live and breathe. Even if I never do anything of significance, even if I never reach any of my goals… life is sacred. I feel that leaving him was my way of choosing to live. I know I don’t have my parent’s support in this choice, I don’t know if I should be telling them these things or not. I just know that this is what I need to do right now. And I’m ok with the sacrifices I am making. I want to do one better than simple survival, I want to live!