I pulled up in front of the home that we once shared. It was a beautiful day in May. Under normal circumstances, I would take a moment to appreciate the warm blanketing from the sun. Not that day. I was fuming! I’m sure he could feel the heat as I repeatedly knocked on the door. I had given him my key after it was clear I would never live there again. Along with the 30-day notice, he had issued strict rules of engagement: 1) do not drop by unannounced and 2) do not call before 7am or after 11pm. I mostly followed those guidelines, even on that day.
I knocked, screamed, and begged him to open the door for what seemed like an eternity. He was there with his housemate who had moved in with us a year earlier from New York. Even through my excessive banging and screaming, no one opened the door. That’s when the first email arrived. Through my tears, I read his email:
“It breaks my heart to do this, but I think it’s necessary to only interact with you when absolutely necessary and when I can do so peacefully. Right now is not one of those times…Please leave the house. I have work to do.”
As though I was a glutton for punishment, I continued to beg to enter the place that I once called home. The place where we had held a naming ceremony for our daughter and random Friday night cookouts with friends. That place.
Eventually, I realized that I had embarked on a futile mission for closure. I submitted to the only available mode of communication and replied to his email:
“…Please face me one last time. I will not bother you about a relationship for the rest of our lives. I don’t want this dynamic any more than you do. I know it’s toxic and I want to be done.”
I was asking for just one final act of compassion. I needed him to look me in the face and thank me for allowing him to sleep with his girlfriend. That bold declaration would surely propel me off the fence and out of the marriage. Could he give me that?
After the seventh back and forth via email, I lost it like a toddler demanding another snack. I had no regard for my surroundings nor did I engage in any attempts to salvage my self-respect. I was on my knees, in the front of the house, trying to hold together a thread of a marriage. It wasn’t until my neighbor from across street came over that I stepped outside of myself to even imagine the scene. Without hesitation she says, “Don’t give him that! Get up!” You see, women’s intuition is universal and travels miles without detection. She carried me across the street and simply asked, “Do you want to come in or do you have somewhere to go?” When I looked into her eyes, I knew she was rooting for me. While she had physically resurrected me, my psychological body was still on the porch begging for closure which seemed elusive.
I eventually went home where we continued to email one another. One of my final emails from the 20 email exchange would epitomize the beginning of my new life:
“I have to be authentic about my pain. Facing the pain and moving forward without running or acting like I’m not in pain is what I used to do. I’m not doing that anymore. I am certain that there are other ways to deal with my pain that don’t include trying to get you to talk to me. I will begin to explore that as a part of my meditation as well. As for now, I will feel my pain and do my best to distance you from it. One second, one minute, one hour, one day at a time.”