All That I Have Written Is Straw. . .

Meanderings of a Catholic Devout

When I Prayed. . .

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I believe that God answers our prayers in the ways that we most need.

After the Argument (I will refer to the argument that ended my marriage simply as this from now on), I retreated to stay with my sister for a week in hopes of clearing my head.  Amazingly, I hadn’t cried since the day of the Argument.  I should note that I tend to be an emotional person, but I just felt this type of confidence within that everything would be ok. 

I was not alone when I was with my sister.  She was an excellent confidante and my brother-in-law even arranged for a quasi-pilgrimage to a nearby shrine, even though he is a non-practicing Lutheran.  I discussed my situation in great depth with my sister and with her, I began to devise a strategy for returning to the devastated reality going on at my home.  In the brief moments I had to meditate, I had anxiety about being alone.  I recited the Rosary each day, praying for guidance, for hope.  I still didn’t have a plan, but I knew it was going to be alright.

When I did return home, there was a somber silence.  I had to email my husband about my lack of answers.  I was worried about our credit.  (How cold that seemed to me—to be worried about credit ratings during a time like this!)  But I knew it was in our best interest to support the financial security that we both worked so terribly hard at achieving in the eight years we were together.  I proposed the idea, with my heart in my throat, about he and I continuing to live together as roommates until we sold our house.  And thankfully, he accepted.  He would sleep upstairs.

So the first night I had to sleep alone in my bed came.  I slept with the Rosary wrapped around my wrist.  I slept in the center of the bed.  No tears, just a strange experience.

I had anxiety about keeping myself busy.  Divorce is very much like mourning, and that I know a lot about.  But at the same time, this is what makes letting go of my spouse a little easier:  he’s not dead.  It could be worse.    Having lost both of my parents at a young age, there is a feeling of peace knowing that he’ll still be around, even if not with me.  There is opportunity for closure.  I still somehow worried about being alone.

Pre-Argument training had opened a door for me to teach English as a Second Language for Adults and US citizenship training.  I had the training some time before, but no one called in need of this.  And then, the door opened.  I was having lunch with a friend who had trained with me and she mentioned that there was a need for an ESL teacher in my area at a neighboring parish.  I didn’t speak any Spanish and I didn’t know anyone at that parish, but I took a leap of faith and left a message about my interest.  And sure enough, the call was answered.  Two nights a week, four hours a week—filled in with volunteer work.  Two nights I did not have to be alone.  Then two more hours devoted to scripture study on another night.  My alumni association was also in need of leadership.  I took the step forward and another few hours of my week were taken up.  My parish was in need of a Rosary leader for the late Mass.   Mary was praying for me, how could I not pray with Mary? Another time slot taken.  God was opening doors and calming my fears.

Was I running away from confronting the divorce?  I didn’t want to be the type of woman who just gets overcommitted and neglects herself.  I prayed for time to “cry”, too, even if tears weren’t coming from my eyes.  That was reserved for Friday nights.  I am thinking of taking up some type of fast or meaningful type of reflection for these nights.  These were our date nights before.  We intended them—or rather I had intended them—to be a night in which we got to flush out family and friends and grow together as a couple.  Now I need them to reflect on the relationship I have with myself and others.

While I have no children, my pets certainly notice the absence of my husband.  He is gone more.  Some nights, he doesn’t come home.  This used to drive me nuts and would make me so anxious, I would suffer panic attacks and a medical condition would kick in.  But now, I didn’t seem to mind.  My dog was pouting, though.  My husband was always great with the dog–so the dog suffered the most from lack of attention.  I tried (and continue to try) to give the dog more attention, since I would be filling the role now.  We’ve bonded some, but I can tell that he’s very aware of what is going on.  The cats are indifferent to my husband, but they are aware that something is changed within me.

And that’s another thing:  when do I call stop referring to him as my husband and begin to call him my ex-husband?  I have made the decision to call him my husband until the divorce is civilly finalized.  Of all ways to decide this, I made this decision while updating my marital status at the doctor’s office.

Soon, I will begin the annulment process.  Please pray for me. I know I am not alone in this.  I know that I can present my case.  The divorce will be finalized this week at 9:00 am.  (Seems so cold and secular.) Everything is going to be alright.

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Written by Written Straw

February 8, 2010 at 12:44 am

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