I am living a life of loss. Most of the time I think that I handle it really well. I adapt, I work hard, and I keep moving forward. Then there are nights like tonight. Nights when I go to an all girls party. A fun 80’s theme, with lots of dancing, big hair, blue eye shadow, and funky clothes. It should be fun. Then I watch my friends dance, and I send video to their husbands. I sit there knowing that they will go home to their men, and wash away the 80’s and curl up with their loves. I get sad. I get anxious. I get jealous, and I feel hurt. Out of all the girls tonight I am the one who wants to go home to a man that is no longer my husband. I want to curl up with him, and tell him about the night. Tell him about the dancing, and the contests, and show him my crazy outfit. But he is no longer here. He is no longer my husband.
So I washed out the hair spray, and I take the blue off my eyes, and I try not to cry. I look for my favorite dress that has been missing for a while. And then I become desperate to find it. I pull everything out of my closet, and I sit on the floor feeling alone, and so unloved. I search my whole room, and as I can’t find the missing dress I start to feel loss.
I know it’s only a dress. I know it doesn’t matter, I can always buy another one. But I feel like I have lost something that was important to me. Then I start to think of all the things I have lost.
I lost my home when he asked me to move out. I lost my pans in the move. I lost the space, and some of the furniture. I lost the one I want to curl up with. I lost my best friend. I lost the one I want to talk to. I lost the love of what was once a good man. And I just can’t handle one more loss. I become obsessed with finding my dress. I can’t loose one more thing.
I have lost friends in the divorce. Even people who love me just don’t know what to do now that I am one and not two. I lost a church family, not for any good reason. I think they just don’t know what to do with me now. They don’t know how to handle my sadness. I lost walking in the door to someone waiting for me. I lost my husband’s family. I lost the right to be called Mrs. I lost the security of being with someone I love. I lost the safety of a husband who provides. I lost the right to talk with him when I need to say so much. I lost the right to wear my wedding bands after 14 years. I lost the arms around me as we fall asleep. I lost the fun banter that we used to have. I lost the joy of serving him. The cooking, cleaning, errands, and the little things that we used to do together. I lost the person that I thought I would always have. I lost the happiness of raising our children together. I lost it all.
I didn’t realize that I was feeling so much loss. I know that it is a little silly to be triggered by a dress. But I just couldn’t bear loosing one more thing. Every compliment that I got tonight, I wished it came from him. Every love song they played made me feel so alone. I thought I handled the loss pretty well. Now I see that I just bury it. I don’t know how to deal with it, or if I even want to right now. There is so much grief in my heart that I don’t even know how to function at this moment.
When you loose the big things, the little losses hit you harder. I remember as a teenager loosing our home to a fire. One day a few months later my new toothbrush was ruined in a prank war. I was angry, and hurt. It was a renewing of the feeling of loss in my life. Now instead of a toothbrush, it’s a dress that triggers this loss. This realization that I have lost everything is new for me.
I have understood for quite some time that I am rebuilding my life. It never occurred to me until I couldn’t find my dress that I have lost so much. You don’t have to rebuild if there has been no loss. There has been loss. I have been so focused on rebuilding that I didn’t acknowledge the loss. Tonight it all came pouring out.
As I sat at the party taking pictures of my friends to send to their husbands I felt so sad that I could no longer send pictures to mine. It was a loss that they had someone to laugh at their craziness, and I had no one to text. As we went out afterward they messaged their people to let them know we would be out longer. I had no one to message. We were all pinned in silly dresses, and I had no one to help me out of mine.
I am sitting alone on my couch. Feeling the loss is so difficult. It’s not that I can’t handle it. I know that I can. I have been trying to accept this for two years. But I don’t want to. I don’t want these feelings. I don’t want to wade through the hurt, and rejection. I don’t want to see the things I have lost. Because really when it comes down to it…..I have lost my love, and my life.
The unfairness of it hurts, and I’ll deal with it in time. I have no doubt that one day this will be easier. But, in the mean time, my friend is laying in her husband’s arms, and I am writing to you. It’s amazing to me what we don’t see about our lives until something forces us there. I didn’t see the loss. I didn’t see that I am so outside of what many of the people in my life are dealing with. I didn’t see that I am in a whole different world now. Until I couldn’t find my dress. Then it all came crashing down, all of the loss that I have been tucking away.
The dress has been found. I have not. I hope one day the loss doesn’t feel as great, but for tonight it feels like the biggest thing in the world. It feels crushing. So I will just sit with it. I will go watch the tv show that we used to watch together, and I will feel my loss. Because, if I don’t I will never get better.