I sat patiently, in my hospital gown, on the examining table waiting. It had been a few years since I had been inside this office, or seen her. Moving to Roanoke Rapids meant I had to leave the comfort of her smile and gentle way. So, I sat there excited about reconnecting with my Ob Gyn.
When she walked in I was surprised to see how slender and young she looked. Wow! She looked completely different, I thought to myself. She had to have lost at least 100 lbs. and she looked great. Chilling in her t-shirt and scrub bottoms, she smiled and we began chatting. As we chatted, and caught up, she pulled me out of my own inner thoughts when she asked, “How’s your husband doing?” Of course she would ask. I don’t know why I wasn’t prepared. After all, she patiently coached him in the delivery room, seven years ago, when she allowed him to help bring our little girl into the world.
Trying to catch my breath, and keep my heart from jumping out of my chest, I took a deep breath and whispered that we were separated. Keeping a smile on her face, she gently asked me how I was doing and what had happened. Suddenly feeling as though I was about to suffocate I began to choke up and was only able to say, “We just recently separated and it is too early for me to talk about it.” She quickly changed the subject, allowing me to maintain some of my dignity as we completed my exam and chatted about the kids and other stuff.
Once I was alone, safely in my car, I let the tears flow. This was not the first time I had become visibly shaken by any mention of my marriage. But, I wanted the pain to stop and could not understand how the slightest mention of my husband made my heart start pounding. I did not know how much longer I could hold my breath to avoid bursting out into tears when I said the simple words, “we are separated”, or, how much I could avoid the issue altogether by simply saying, “he is fine”, when people asked how he was doing. It was hard enough for me to put on my “game face” for the kids every day because I knew that they looked to me for support and security. And, any sign of a crack in my armor would send them into a tailspin.
Separation, whether or not you are the person that made the decision to leave, is hard. I have finally accepted that. As I ride this wave of emotion, I have grown enough to be able to be honest and say, I did not want my marriage to end even though my decision to leave was the right one. And, just because I left, I do not get to suffer any less. Accepting this has allowed me to be a little more patient with myself, take one day at a time, and work on healing and growing as a person.
If you are dealing with similar pain it is okay to cry or feel disappointed and sad. Do not let anyone make you feel bad about how you feel. Take the time you need to heal, and, constantly remind yourself that it will get better with time.
Peace and Love!