The Endless Tests 

The tests in life don’t come when you’re doing well. They don’t come when you can handle it. They come and kick you in the face when you’re already bleeding and crying on the ground.

Carrie told me she wanted a divorce and that she couldn’t trust me. I accepted it with as much grace as I could. The only thing I asked for us to be friends and to be civil was for her to respect my feelings, to stop sleeping with my former friend and just to respect each other.

A week later I found out that she’s still doing it, she’s still running around with this disgusting person. I’ve come to realize how this is all very ‘teenager’ this is – how things were in high school – and I thought I’d lived a life away from all that. I thought I’d married an adult and now all I see is this child before me, lashing out, hurting, destroying herself and dirtying herself.

I told her I don’t want to talk to her again. It ripped my heart out for what seemed like the 20th time in these last few months. I’ve realized that I can’t handle it, I can’t wait patiently to be kicked while I’m already down. I have to get away, I have to separate. I’ve always understood removing myself from unhealthy situations. I just never thought my own wife would be one.

When I first found out I was consumed with rage. A sick twisting rage that I could scarcely recognize myself in. The thoughts that ran through my mind were darker and darker. I wanted to hurt her, I wanted to hurt him. I wanted them both to suffer.

I’ve come to realize they already are. That in hindsight, with time, she’ll look back at how stupid and immature this whole dangerous mess has been. I’m sure she’ll be consumed with regret – maybe not for me, but for herself –  and knowing the depths of it, I can almost pity her. My Mother says that underneath anger is always “Hurt, fear, and frustration” I see that now. I feel the hurt, deeply. I’m scared that she’s already forgotten me and I’m frustrated that her promises mean nothing.

Most of all I’m ashamed of myself. I have worked constantly to improve, to analyze, reflect. To own my mistakes and to have empathy for the people around me. I want to be a person who doesn’t crack under pressure, who can rise above, not just grudgingly but with wings of joy buoying me beyond petty problems.

I have so far to go. I cancelled all our mutual accounts and while that dark sick part of me screamed to pull it all out from underneath her, I simply notified her, and did it cleanly. I never poured the hate in  my heart onto her, I held back from saying 1000 things i might regret. Not for our future, that looks like it’s gone. But things I would regret in my soul. Hurting someone else, wreaking hot-blooded revenge and reveling in pain is not what I’m about.

Forgiveness is a skill and a challenge. Anger is a hot weight against your chest, and both can be hard to master. I’m seeing after everything that’s happened, that I’m only a fraction of the way up the mountain. I find myself grateful. Life has tested me, and tested me and tested me. I remain alive, I remain a gracious person. I want love in my heart, and I want to live in joy and gratitude.

To be honest, I’m crushingly depressed. But I’m working out, I’m losing weight, I’m re-gaining lost friends. I’m re-filling my antidepressants tomorrow and I’m going to start looking for work and a new home. I want to be honest. With myself and other people. For so long I’ve hidden so much, afraid of what people will think.

I’d rather they think I’m steadfast, straightforward, significant and bold. I want more than ever to be the kind of person I admire in others. To know deep down that my secrets are laid bare, that I have overcome fear, hatred, adversity, hurt, loss, grief and remain standing, smiling, arms spread for the winds of change.

I burn for this, the more I lose, the more I have of myself. Life has cast me from every comfort and every lie I’ve wrapped myself in. I should be thankful. I get to discover and breathe a whole new life. Every test I’ve endured, I’ve passed. I’m still standing. I still love. I still feel.