I don't know why it has taken me so long to hit me so hard that we will never be a family again. But that simple, cold fact is, for some reason, causing me so much pain these days, far more than when we separated, far more than the days leading up to the official divorce. It hurts more than any number of physical injuries I've ever had, more than the appendectomy I had when I was 15, more than childbirth with a non-working epidural. I have never felt such pain in my life, and I never hope to again. It weighs on me, it suffocates me. It makes me feel like I'm being buried alive.
The problem, the reason it hurts more now, is this: We took time apart. We got divorced. We detached, to some degree. And now we spend time together again, like a family, every day since he's been back from Arizona. And it's normal, and it's fun, and Caroline is so happy, and it's...
What did I do? I tore our family apart. I burned it to the ground and walked away and refused to even glance over my shoulder. Was this entire journey for nothing? I feel like I can't think, like nothing I write is making any sense. What was the purpose of this incredibly painful year? To give us our freedom from a relationship that was poisonous for both of us? Or to serve as some kind of catharsis, so that our family could be reborn without all the anger and pain and conflict?
Why is this even an issue? I walked away without a second thought, back in September. Why am I grieving like this now? This afternoon he was here and I couldn't take it anymore, and I completely melted down. I swore I'd never cry in front of him again. Yet there I was, crying the ugly cry, sobbing as I sat on the floor and my child screamed with her arms locked around my neck because she doesn't understand why mommy is so sad.
I have never felt such pain. I don't know how to make it stop. I thought getting divorced would do it.