Monday, November 20, 2006
My "New" New World
By Nicholas Allanach
Over the past few weeks, people have told me that feelings of depression, anxiety, and sadness, commonly experienced while going through a divorce are similar to those one confronts when someone we love dies. I’m not sure I totally agree with this assessment; of course, I also don’t think I’d be able to say which I’d prefer over the other. After all, if someone dies, (assuming they don’t commit suicide) it’s not like they can control it; whereas with divorce someone has willfully decided—often against the wishes of their spouse—to call it quits. Thus, the “dumped” must accept they’re no longer the primary object of the other’s interests or affections. Such wounds certainly take time and energy to heal but ultimately, love (as Marilyn Manson sang) “burns its casualties.”
My efforts to reach out and regain the love I once shared with my wife failed. We’re done and only she holds the answers as to why (or at least I’d like to believe she knows the answers, but I have a suspicion she’s really lost right now). Past posts on this page reveal brief glimpses of the thoughts and feelings this experience has had on me, but this will be the last of such posts. Whereas, I’m certain there are still tears to be shed and questions that will need to be answered, I can now say, with all honesty –I’ve moved on. I’ve accepted my wife’s decision to end us (then again , I really never had any choice) and (despite my dreams for our future) I can only thank her for the new new world I now live in without her.
The adventures I wanted to have with my wife are gone, but the ones I now chart for myself have just begun. As I embark on this new journey there are still a few things I need to flesh-out before taking any wobbly first steps; after all, it would be foolish to assume the unsettled has been resolved, or that I do not still wish things could have been different. Inevitably, life and love doesn’t always conclude with neat and tidy resolutions; thus, I can only do my best to confront this recent complication with what little certainty I did retain during my adjustment.
My initial instincts were to never trust anyone again (or at least not at the level I did with my wife). After all, why trust if you’ve been burned so many times before? Of course, my overreaction was short-lived. I understand we must (despite how vulnerable it makes us) trust people, if we cannot be confident others are willing to stand beside us (because, ultimately, they too hope others will stand besides them) then all is lost. Certainly, there are people who take advantage of trust and when we fall victim to such abuse we can at least be thankful we’re no longer so naïve. Certainly, the world is a viscous and cruel place, but it is also one full of caring and reliant people. Accordingly, just because my wife damaged the trust between us and then decided she is incapable of holding herself at all accountable to life’s many challenges and responsibilities, does not mean the hundreds of other women I see everyday suffer this same disposition. In fact, despite my personal experience, I still strongly believe in trust and know I will find it again.
I thank my ex-wife for all the love and experience she let us share. I’m happy nothing can ever take back or change any of those days we spent together. Although she shut her eyes to the world I wanted to show her, mine remain wide-open to the one she revealed to me. She made me less rigid, more relaxed, and aware of my anxieties. She cultured my pallet to fine foods and wines. She loosened up my hips and put fire under my feet, so that I’m now confident enough to dance like any other fool on the dance floor. My wife showed me patience, humility, and in the end wisdom. I thank her for making me less naïve and even more honest then I was before, but not so closed off from this world that I will be incapable of loving again.
Am I alright? …Well, as alright as anyone can be when they’re heart has been cut out of their chest and kicked around on the floor. But ultimately, love “burns its casualties” and I welcome the immolation, as I also welcome my new new world. I only ask you to accept these burning wings.
Our clock stopped.