Last weekend, I rode around town with my best friend helping her with a project. We talked about men and relationships mostly. Somehow, we got on the subject of how she used to give her husband pedicures and how "you really gotta love a dude to pedicure his feet."
I used to do the same thing for my ex-husband but I hated it. His feet smelled and he insisted that I do it on a bi-weekly basis.
Looking back on it; I clipped his toenails more often than we had sex. As I lamented about how this ritual bothered me and is the source of my absolute hatred of feet; my best friend told me that him making me do that for him was a punishment.
That was a harsh thought; but I knew it was true. He'd have me do it even if I was already laying down for bed and without so much as washing his feet.
I think about what it is that I must have done to him that would make him want to punish me, not just in that way but in the others that I have talked about, and for the life of me; I can't figure it out. Punishment without a crime isn't justice; it is unjust.
I think I've figured it out though; my crime was loving him.
Misplaced affections always, always, always come back to bite you. Since he was my husband; the very definition of that relationship is [supposed to be] love; but it wasn't. I've deduced that that means I wasn't supposed to have been with him.
But that's almost too simple.
I often wondered what my life would have looked like had I not married him. In hindsight; it's super easy to blame an ex for all of the things you failed to accomplish during and after your time with them. So my real question to myself is what the heck have I been doing with my time since getting ghost from him?
The short answer is; healing. It took a long time for me to get past a lot of the things that I dealt with in that marriage and with all of the things that came after leaving and with the divorce.
My heart was shattered, I was fragile, I had low self esteem and was hot in the ass all at the same time.
Each of these things took me to a bunch of different places; giving my heart to undeserving men, drinking excessively, then finally; back where I should have been all along; in my own head and reverting back to those things that I knew were going to put me where I needed to be.
It's taken a lot of time (almost two years divorced, just under four years apart) but I'm over it. Songs that used to trigger weird emotions don't anymore. A big part of it, I know, is because I made a decision that his presence in my life shouldn't impact my life one way or another. I used to let it upset me when he wouldn't take Shey when he was supposed to or when he would make a shitty remark to me, when he was oddly nice to me... all of these things at one time, had the ability to throw me out of whack. Now; I just don't care anymore.
At some point in this time away from him; I figured out that his presence is irrelevant. Shey and I have done just fine all along without him. Is that how I wanted it to be? How I thought it would be? No. But, I'm okay with the fact that it is. Now.
And that, friends, is freedom.
Shey's first Easter; 2007. Both pictures were taken in the kitchen of the apartment that Shey and I lived in with her dad. This was the day that I told him that we were leaving. We were gone less than a month later.