ZULEY - 40
After going through the exercise of leaving my husband of 25 years for the first time, I came to the realization that because we had built a family, graduated a child into college, buried our parents, battled illnesses, that I could not realistically cut the cord of our co-dependency. We were intricately bound in the time-compression of modern life. I left my husband, and told him that I married him to young, that I wanted to live a completely independent life, that I was depressed for years and wholly unhappy. He agreed and after moving out and living with a friend for two-months, he had managed to convince me that he would change everything I had ever complained about, everything that he felt he could change that was the catalyst to my departure from our family home. I returned, and I knew the moment I walked through the door, through the bedroom and into the master suite, that I had made a grave mistake, yet, how could I leave again? How could I tell him that there is nothing he could do now and maybe there is nothing that he could have ever done to change the outcome of how I felt, and why I indeed wanted to escape from a life that I felt was contrived, by social and economic factors facing so many women in America. Factors such as having a dual income household, coupled with the white picket fence, the cat and dog, and the vegetable garden that we grew together last spring.
4 weeks after leaving my husband, I ran into Megan in New Orleans, where I was hesitant to share with her what I had just done, and then undone. I was more concerned with sharing what I had undone, and I wasn’t sure why. The way I told Megan of the past 3 months, was through a question that has been forever etched in my memory, I said, “ Is it normal to be attracted to other men and not be attracted to my husband”? She said, “No,” with a very gentle by firm look. I said, “really?” because a part of me was surprised but not surprised at the same time. I was not surprised because I had know, yet didn’t want to face the mirror that was telling me for years that not only was I not happy, I wasn’t in love with husband, nor had I enjoyed intimacy with him for the past 15 years. Megan, then began to share with me some tools that helped me leave my husband for good. Two major things were instrumental in my successfully leaving not only what I had learned through hours, days and months of conversations with Megan, (1) Opening my imagination into the life that I have always imagined is not only possible is already in existence. I was already free, and I had already left my husband. (2) Accountability check points that she provided, helped me along the way, such as following-up with me regarding my first goal to a liberated life…putting a deposit down on my first apartment as an adult woman, the luxury apartment that I had imagined for years driving by while going to yoga classes next door.
Today, I can say that I am truly free, I am free from years of baggage, from emotional abuse and manipulation and from the psychological abuse that inflicted on myself because of the guilt, the guilt of leaving my family home and a husband, the quintessential life most American women covet. Although, the divorce process was difficult for my husband, it was to me a celebratory occasion. I celebrate myself daily, I no longer seek to please others or their validation in place of my own. I have learned to trust myself and be kind to my self, while setting imaginable goals, because I am the woman, who I have always wanted to be.