I lie awake at night. Find no rest, though besides a strong hug and someone to convince me it’ll be okay, it is what I need the most

There’s been too little sleep the past two nights that honestly I’m not sure how I function now. Beneath my eyes a splitting headache lingers, probably caused by dehydration. There are two other times in my life I remember allowing tears so often, for a season after losing love for the first time, and when my Mother left us for good. Sure, I shed tears many other nights – after all almost 39 years sadness has come around, but this – this is something different.

This morning I loaded the kids in the van and set off to a pediatricians office, got lunch for them, and even forced myself to eat a burger, though feeling disgusted with every bite. When my body is this stressed, it is really difficult for me to eat anything let alone when I know it’ll hurt me because I don’t tolerate fatty food at all; I knew if I didn’t get some calories in, it’ll just make everything else more difficult. We drove home after traffic, arrived safely though it felt like I don’t know how I got from point a to b. You know when you arrive somewhere and cannot recall making any turns, stops, stretches of highway all a hazy blur, it seems my body just knew what to do while my mind was somewhere else. We are home, the children are fed and doing okay, though my son keeps asking when Daddy is coming home…

I don’t have the heart to tell him that he won’t. Daddy doesn’t live here anymore.

Writing those words, it feels like someone reached a hand in through my ribcage, wrapped long fingers around my heart then gripped with all their might. My throat tightens, my eyes fill with tears.

I never wanted us to be… here.

In my thoughts a thousand questions, what-ifs plague my spirit like a snickering demon, taunting me with the supposed truth of all I could have done to sidestep this fate. Too late now, it laughs, cruel and quick, as I fight yet another spout of tears behind my eyes.
“I won’t listen to you”, I muster quietly, refusing to give in to the misery that could so easily consume every shred of hope I might still hold.

I’ve been told I am strong, that I must have been to even be here now, going all the way back to the beginning with 1% survival odds; if I were to go by this alone, I know my life has purpose, there is a reason for all this pain – but sometimes, being strong is exhausting, and now I wish it wasn’t just me whom has to hold this all together.

The kids look to me for breakfast, lunch, dinner, comfort, support, play time, laughter, hope, to guide them and be strong enough to not only go through the motions, but do it all with an ease that presently I cannot find.

Everything is hard. From sleep, to eating, to driving, yet the tiny moments of reprieve have pushed me onward. A smile from Bear, Delaney telling me she loves me 15 times a day, Jemma saying she misses me in a text (she’s on Spring break at her Grandmas) and Layla, standing tall and holding it in places I might have let go. I explained to her she can’t support me, it isn’t her job to take care of me, so I’m doing everything I can to not let her be this, but her nature is caring, she sees me hurting and wants to help. I appreciate her here, more than I can say, but I have to work harder because of that, not to let her do too much though it could be easy to let her. I’m still Mother, she is still child.

Little things sparkle in this darkness, and I am doing my best to appreciate those moments, no matter how bright they have to shine to penetrate the layers of black now painted over my soul; goodness is here, everywhere, I just have to open my eyes enough to see it. Thank God for my babies, thank God for another day… I cannot forget to see the good that is all around me, even through broken tears.

I’ve been crying out to Jesus often, and deep inside there is hope in so much more than this, yet I also find a bitter taste creeps in, feeling unjustly accused to be someone I am not, to be ridiculed, to be left by my partner as he points all fingers at me, telling the world with a slamming door that this woman is not worthy of love, least of all from the man who promised to always offer it.

How am I to find fortitude within myself not to believe his anger and indignation, to believe he must be right, I must be so hard to live with that the only option he has is to divorce and split our family, as they cry and ask him not to go.

Am I all he says? Or am I who God says I am. Which side will I listen to?

My hope is the truth that I am who He says I am, my Father whose hands made me, my Father who with a final agonizing breathe saves me, my Father, who knows every hair and every cell, every thought, every hidden good deed, every shameful fit of rage, and He never leaves me.

If my God can love me like that, then I needn’t define myself by the words of a hurting, angry, self-righteous man, no matter how convincing his arguments against my character may be.

It is hard to do, however, because my sins are many, especially anger and wrath against my husband, it is hard to step out of his worldly persecutions and blame and feel the truth of who God says I am, when right now all can feel is the pain that he believes I am not. The words he throws against me pierce like daggers, because he’s partially right, I haven’t been good to him at times, but, the flip side is also true, he isn’t seeing me clearly anymore, so who am I to heed the words of a blinded, sinful man? All the same, his anger and abandonment are exceptional tools to drive home HIS truth, that he’d rather run from me and save himself than realize all men are flawed, and with effort and work, even the worst behavior can change, and love can be restored.

He’s given that up, and made it very clear with a stack of pages 31 high, and a court date on some future day when he willingly severs his future from me and my children, ends a family, and goes on to find something better he believes he deserves – frankly, joke will be on him in the end, because that almost-perfect woman he’s always demanded I become, well, she doesn’t exist. I’ll let him figure that out on his own, it isn’t my place anymore, still, it’s sad to spend ten years building a family to bitterly end it, and that was that.

I won’t go into his fault, no longer can I have the energy to explain it, for his sins hurt me so deeply it just makes the tears fall faster and harder, and my head can’t take another go-round presently, not until I’ve had at least five glasses of water. I guess though, I wish neither of us hurt each other, but more so, I wish he hadn’t kept his truth hidden, because I know my anger had a lot to do with intuition, yet being lied to at every turn, and being then told I’m crazy for thinking he’d ever be that man, well, he really was, but those things don’t matter to him now.

He said he deserves better. I said that’s selfish because that means you’re choosing yourself over your children, and breaking my heart – so be it, without words but a packed suitcase he proved my point, and he knows it but doesn’t care. “The kids will be fine, they’re resilient” they say… Too bad that just isn’t true. They’re feeling this deeply, but he can’t let himself believe that now, because doubt never serves a self righteous man.

I’ve been asked in the recent days by those who’ve talked this out with me, listened to my tears, finally heard the whole story and were just as shocked as I’ve been that someone could be THAT good at being two completely different people, “Can you make it work? Do you think there’s any hope for you two to work it out and stop the divorce?”

I do. Because I made a vow, and I know my own heart, but I cannot change his mind even on my best days, so what good does hoping for this to change do, really?

“But why would you want to be with someone you can’t trust?”

Because I am called to be more than a quitter. If he wants to throw in the towel, that’s on him. Trust can be earned back, built back better (“Come on, man!” – Biden), and if it was between saving my marriage and my family, and having to change the hardest things about myself, I’ll take the harder path.

He isn’t. And there’s nothing I can do to stop that. It has to come from his own heart. My hopes aren’t high, I’d give him a 5% chance of stopping this, which leaves an almost insurmountable 95% he doesn’t care how I could change, he’s done no matter what. Doesn’t look so good, still, sometimes people beat the worst most dire odds.

I should know, I’m one of them.

Ultimately, I believe that’s the biggest different between John and me. The hardest thing to ever happen to him was me. I cannot say the same.
My life has been a series of beating the odds, of great sorrow and loss, great growth and personal strength to get through so much abandonment, and for almost 20 years now, I’ve been doing this all on my own. I rarely had help from my family, my dad, cousins or siblings or aunts and uncle’s or grandparents. The closest I’ve come to real family since I ventured off on my own is a woman I call Teta. She is the mother of my first husband, and she was the one on the phone with me the night my Mother died, calling all the way from Texas and she hadn’t even met me yet, I was just some girl her son was trying to court, and yet. She was there, and she hasn’t stopped being here since.

He has a loving family, married parents, a good solid history of having whatever needs he had, met, at the end of single phone call. Challenge hasn’t really been in his vocabulary, so I can understand why contending with someone like me would be bewildering and not so fun. I get it, I do. Yet, I just wish he hadn’t promised this day would never come, and I wish, I wish I hadn’t almost believed him.

I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but I know I’m not giving up, I’m not giving in. My children need me now more than ever, so I rise for them, even when my heart hurts so much, I literally cried solid tears in the drive thru lines, on the highway on autopilot, in this bed I lay in now.

It hurts to lose so much, so many times, and have to start over again, again. But I get I cannot control him anymore than I control the wind. If he wants to go, let him go.

If he comes back, well, that would be the prayers on sleepless nights watching my baby girl sleep beside me, clutching his picture on her tear stained pillow, it would be those prayers of desperate longing to God to show me I’m not just the broken angry woman he thinks I am, but that I am so much more than that one small piece, and I cling to that truth above all others when these nights get so long.

I am strong. Stronger than most. And I won’t give up until I’m forced to. He said that, you know, recently, and not just to me. A few days later, he was gone.

If it goes that way, I know the children and I will be okay, and I know God sees beyond how far my eyes can go, and all things work together here to bring Glory to His name. Every tear I’ve cried, he’s held in His hands, and imagine the sand castle we can built with that, on a foundation that never cracks or breaks. Built with my sorrow something more beautiful than I can see now.

Restoration of my spirit, and dwelling in who God says I am, not broken man. From the ashes steel is forged, though I admit it’s exhausting to oncemore be forced to remake myself new; it is here now, and so I will rise, through the tears and the pain.

I won’t let myself be discouraged, and fight those lies whenever they come in to my mind, or from his anger, or from the absolute lack of consideration or care from any of his family whose claimed to love me for ten years. None of that matters now, because they do not define me, and their “truth” of who and what I am, and what I deserve, is only what their closed eyes can see. They don’t know they are blind, may God give them grace and forgiveness, but that’s not on me now.
I know who I am, and I will grow stronger. I will defeat the darkness inside of me fed by those who wish to break me down and tell me people like me aren’t meant for love or someone to stay. I wasn’t worth him being faithful for our entire relationship, according to his actions, and now he says I’m not worth him staying, because of my actions – if the one was untrue (I am worth a man staying faithful and not lying for years), so is the other (even at my worst, I still deserve someone to love me and stay), so it is not my business how he sees me when I know the truth on both accounts.

It’s on me now. To do what’s right. To correct what I can that’s wayward and off inside of my own spirit. To heal the wounds that lead to reckless anger and rage. To believe the goodness within me is still valid and true, even when it’s buried underneath the pain he caused.

I do so wish I had his arms, I think perhaps that’s the part I’ll miss the most. I’d come to bed and he’d scratch my back, something I told him early on I adored, going way back to the first time someone ever loved me. He would care enough to wake from his own sleep just to help me find my own. Moments like that bring me the most sorrow now, we did really love each other, in those quiet moments.

Accept my fate, and know it isn’t in my hands anyway. It’s in God’s. He hates divorce, so maybe this is just another season and we come back stronger, can grow separately to love each other more wholly when we both feel able.

Or. He stays gone, and I go on without him.

Either way, I will be all right.

I do wish I could sleep though.

Please, I welcome your thoughts, perspective, and new ideas on anything I have written here!

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