In week 21 since separation it was both my birthday and our anniversary – only days apart.
Having spent the weekend with my children the actual mid-week day of my birthday by myself was marked by a simple one line entry in my journal stating how old I was. I took the day off work and spent it in ‘zoned-out’ activities of reading, watching DVDs, writing, and making my own birthday cake. In the evening I went into town with some co-workers and watched a movie – which in itself was uplifting.
Surprisingly the day of what would have been our 37th anniversary meant nothing to me. I had thought that there would be some sort of sadness, some nostalgia. But there was nothing, no emotion, no pain. I am not sure whether this was because I had emotionally detached myself from my husband or not, or whether I actually had come through my grief to a point of calm acceptance to where I am. Whatever the reason, I felt nothing – no ups, no downs. I did not spend the day wallowing in self-pity or missing the years gone by or mourning the lost dreams for the future. However, I also did not feel on this day any sense of achievement in reaching our ‘nearly 37 years’ milestone, nor any sense of gratitude towards the one I had shared those years with. On this day there was no bitterness, there was no praise, there was nothing.
My husband sent me a letter. He had obviously been reflecting on things. I do not know what he was expecting of me in writing me the letter. I am in a different place than him, with it being him who had chosen this path and therefore him having to continually justify it, to absolve himself from any guilt I suppose. My place is different. The action of separation was thrust upon me, not my choice. My course ahead was not to have to find reasons or justifications for what had happened. My course ahead was to eventually come to a state of accepting that what had occurred was beyond my control and cannot be changed.
What can be changed, what I can control, is my response to my situation and to make my own path forward.