Still Me

During the week, I am almost free, close to unencumbered, a lighter version of myself. Then the weekend comes around and H comes back from work, and it’s like I’m under a guillotine, waiting for my head to be lopped off. There are drastic changes in me from someone who is mostly happy to someone who is mostly panicked and on edge. The see-sawing back and forth between being okay and being so far from okay is driving me insane.

I want to be permanently free. I want to be free of him, free to be myself, to dance in the rain like I did once all those years ago. Naked, bare feet digging into the sand. I want to be free to learn again, to sharpen my mind and to wake up from this intellectual and emotional slumber. I’ve spent too many years pretending to be okay, spent too many years lying to everyone I love about who and how I am.

I come here because I am a coward, because it’s easier to put things down in words when no one you know will judge you for saying that you’re miserable in your marriage, that your life’s become a sham, a sad shadow of what it once was and of what it will be. Because that’s just it: I know that this isn’t the end for me. A friend of mine told me recently that, although this section of my life is ending, it doesn’t mean that my life itself is ending. This is just the beginning of a new chapter.

Who will I be in my next chapter? Still me, but more compassionate. Still me, but kinder. Still me, but without the ceaseless challenges of trying to please everyone in my life. Still me, but more spiritual. Still me, but writing and submitting my works for publication. See? Still me, just a more vibrant, more alive me. Hopefully also still me, but a better cook. I say it partly in jest, but I would like to eat better in the next chapter of my life.

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Is it a crime to be too honest?

I’ve never been particularly good at pretending to be someone I’m not. I’ve always had this streak of honesty that can be, I’ll admit it, embarrassing at times. It’s made me careful who I surround myself with and also very protective of the personal details of my life.

There are only a few people who know that I’m unhappy in my marriage. There are only a few people who know that I plan on leaving. It’s this glaring omission to me. It makes me feel like a liar, even though I feel like I’m doing what’s right for me right now.

I’m in therapy, where I talk about leaving, among other things. I wish I didn’t feel so alone in this. I feel like I’ll be hurting so many people by leaving. I feel like I’ll hurt my kids. I know I will. And my H will be devastated. I feel like my family will be disappointed in me too. I feel so alone.