“This is really happening. We are here.” – Dark Eden, by Chris Beckett.
I finished reading this book last night (a beautifully written coming-of-age sci-fi novel which takes place on a primitive distant planet) and this is the phrase that keeps sticking with me. It is one which a supporting character, Jeff Redlantern, keeps repeating throughout the novel. At first, it makes almost no sense. You’re not sure why he repeats it over and over as if to remind himself he is truly in existence but as the novel moves forward, the reader begins to develop a more complex understanding of his repetition. I found myself both understanding it more deeply, but also relating to my very current situation.
While the last few days have been confusing and overwhelming, I’ve found that while reading this novel and seeing this repeated phrase has made me realize something: I have come to this intersection in my life, in my marriage, this irreversible intersection, and I really am here. It’s confusing and enlightening and terrifying but I am doing my best to stay positive. It is a huge change, to see something that had become so real and comfortable and habitual come to an end. Change is not always bad. It may seem horrible when it first comes to pass, but it is not so terrible to see an infrastructure so torn apart finally fall.
It has been a long time coming, something which we both realized when we finally sat down and talked about it. It has always seemed distant, irrelevant, something that would just fix itself. But no one should ever expect a problem to resolve itself, most especially in a relationship, and that’s what we both did. And now, instead of continuing to wait, we’ve decided to end it here. Instead of continuing to let it go on until we resent each other, we’ve decided that it’s best to move on from our relationship as husband and wife and hopefully somewhere down the road when our wounds have closed, if not healed, we can be friends again. It’s been amicable. It’s been weird. I still feel like I’m dreaming, like I’ll wake up and everything will be like it once was. I’ve been walking around like I’m in a haze, throwing myself into my work so that I can at least distract myself from the hurt that comes from losing something so familiar. I don’t feel betrayed, just hurt that something I’ve become so used to is going to be gone. I know that moving forward, this pain will eventually become dreamlike too, a past that flickers up to the surface now and again, a sharp reminder that life is too short to deal with hurt or to wait out a problem.
I guess if anyone is reading this that knows me personally and hasn’t been told this already, sorry for the abrupt news. It’s been shocking and surreal for the people I have told. But, in that same vein, everyone has agreed that we both deserve to be happy, at least, and in the long run this will be best. I still haven’t figured out a way to describe the situation- it seems too complicated for words. It is irreversible, although we’ve received suggestions on how to fix it. We are going with our own gut instinct on this. In emotional experiences like this, that has always seemed the best course of action.