Never before had I experienced such numbness. I felt as inanimate as the luggage in the cargo compartment of that 6 hour flight to NYC. Whoever I am or was had seemingly escaped into the ether. My physical body may have been sitting on that plane but I was an empty vessel.
But maybe I wasn’t numb after all, because the gravity of whatever was going on in my psyche felt suffocatingly impossible to escape. I felt completely out of control of what was happening to me on a visceral level. Maybe this is what it’s like to feel emotions. I usually compartmentalize them into my brain and choose to analyze my sadness, hurt and disappointment rather than experience the pain of them. But this was different. For the first time I was experiencing heartache in the literal sense. Not only did my heart ache but it felt almost too heavy a burden to be contained in my body; as if it was painfully swollen with tears and ready to burst. But the tears didn’t fall and I had no choice but to endure the pain.
As my heart ached, my mind scrambled to find answers to questions like “Where did I go wrong?”, “Why didn’t my EX want me anymore?”, “What made me such a bad wife, friend or person that I was so easy to give up?”, “Is my EX gonna fall in love with someone else and completely forget about me?”. The crazy thing I couldn’t wrap my brain around was that we didn’t have what I would typify as a bad marriage. Okay yes, he was an alcoholic, I was a workaholic, we had financial stress and less sex than usual. I guess that might be a recipe for divorce. Maybe I was just avoiding the undeniable truth of our impending doom. But we didn’t believe in divorce. My EX’s parents divorced when he was 1-year old and, to this day, he’s disappointed that they gave up so easily. On the contrary, my parents are still happily married and I wholeheartedly believe in love’s ability to endure. So, when we decided “yes” to marriage we also resolutely decided “no” to divorce. I assumed we’d be equally committed to working on our marriage by any means necessary. I was wrong.
I was also wrong to assume that the hardships in our marriage were simply temporary. I figured that every relationship has it’s peaks and valleys. We were in the valley. But I felt like we were slowly ascending that mountain toward the promised land of harmonious matrimony. He was in AA, I was re-prioritizing my time, our business (& cause of our debt) was gaining success and he was getting morning blow jobs at the very least. And despite our current marital challenges, I never forgot the reasons why I fell in love with my EX. Those reasons were my incentives to navigate through the challenges of our marriage which I felt was purely the victim of circumstances; circumstances we had the power to change. But maybe he forgot why he originally fell in love with me. Or maybe that just wasn’t good enough anymore. So while I was gripping tenaciously onto our marriage he dropped his grasp suddenly and without warning.
And now my broken, achey heart was in NYC.