I stood there, at her kitchen window, watching ducks feed in the pond next to her house, and I cried. Not the kind of tears that leak out of your eyes in church when a hymn that speaks to your heart is sang, or the kind that sneak out when a sad moment in a movie gets the best of you. The kind of tears that come from the very depth of your soul. The ones that have you sobbing so loud you think that you might never stop crying. The ones that leave your eyes puffy and red, and your chest painful from heaving. The kind of crying that comes from a heart so broken, it feels like it might never be whole again. I stood there, alone in the kitchen, and let the pain pour out of me like water from the faucet I was in front of.
After half a month of heartache, with only a few good days sprinkled in, it was more than I could contain anymore. In the walls of my own home, I had to be brave. I had to keep it together for them. Some days I cried in the quiet corners of the school, when I had an extra few minutes and it was all too much to handle, but I'd gotten good at holding it together. On that day, after mass was over, and lunch was had, I threw a few things into a bag, and I left. She was away on vacation and her house is always open to me. She is the kind of friend who, when you txt to let her know you are going to be there, sends you the information on where the wireless access code is and hopes you are OK. As I stood in the quiet safety of her kitchen, glad that she was away so that I didn't have to explain anything to anyone, I let myself fall apart. All the pain and heartbreak that was bottling up inside came pouring out like a fine champagne that has been uncorked.
I returned that day in time for dinner, like I had told him I would. He told me later on that he didn't think I was coming back. We didn't speak much for the next five days, aside from information that needed to be exchanged or snappy side comments that were really unnecessary. He was truly awful, and for the first time in a long time, I wondered if we were going to survive through this. For the second time this month, I left my bedroom and slept on an air mattress in my craft room. The first time was for ten days. This time, it was 5. All of this by the 21st of the month. I was feeling broken and defeated with each day that passed. Each night found me crying myself to sleep, sad and lonely, but unable to reach out and tell him. Each day, I awoke, wanting this to end. Wanting to say something that would start the healing process, and bring us back together. He, however, was "hell bent on being an asshole," as he later told me.
Thursday came, and his footsteps going to bed woke me from my sleep. I listened to him, as he walked across our bedroom, turning down the bed, and getting his clothes ready for the next day. My heart ached as I longed to be there, missing his arms around me, and the comfort of his presence. I sent him a message on his iPad, that simply read, "I miss you," not sure if he would get it then, or the next day. I sobbed again that night, as I had in front of the kitchen window, long after everyone else in the house was asleep. I wondered if perhaps all these months were for nothing, and if we really weren't going to make it. I had told him earlier in the month that I wasn't planning on leaving. If not for him, as I was mad that day, than for the kids. I started to wonder how two people could live in the same house, miserable and unhappy and not have it effect their kids. I fell asleep crying and defeated.
Friday afternoon, after a long week of not sleeping well, and mental exhaustion, I crawled into my make-shift bed after school with a book I am reading called "Broken into Beautiful", and promptly fell asleep. Some time later, I awoke to feel him lying there next to me, his arms around me, and his head resting against mine. To make a long conversation short, he was there to say he was sorry. To try and make amends for how awful he had treated me all week and to ask for my forgiveness. As I lie there, listening, asking, and crying, I felt the quiet voice of God telling me to let it go. To not lash back in anger, or hurt, and to just listen, ask the questions that needed to be asked, share the things that needed to be shared, and then to forgive him. So I did.
We've had a few more heart felt conversations since then. Mostly in the dark, as we are getting ready to sleep, because it's safer. I wear my emotions like a banner for the whole world to see, and under the cover of darkness, I can talk, and listen, and he doesn't have to be hurt more by how much he has hurt me. I don't know where we go from here, as I feel like every time we move forward, we take a few giant steps back... but I do know that I still feel, way down in my heart, that when this is all said and done, we will be better for it. That our marriage will be stronger, and our relationship will be in a whole new, and better place. I know that sounds crazy, but I can feel it happening. I can see things changing a little bit more each time we have one of those crazy hard spells. I keep praying that we are strong enough to get through to the rainbow on the other side of the storm.