So that was that. It was over. A done deal. My EX left the next morning, marking the end of an eight year chapter of my life entitled “Love & Marriage”. There was no getting around the fact that I had officially been abandoned by my husband, best friend and lover; only to fend for myself as a 38 year old single mom with the emotional fortitude of a 2 year old. I cried easily and I cried often. I was numb and I was in pain. I hated him and I missed him. I wanted my old life back and simultaneously thought “good riddance”. I wanted to be left alone, yet I was afraid of loneliness. I wanted to disappear, yet I wanted to thrive out of pure retribution. Everyday I hoped to get hit by any form of NYC transit. But, at the same time, I refused to cave in to defeat! I’d be damned if I let my EX obliterate my spirit or my will to live fully and abundantly; even if I had to do it alone... for now. I’m too much of a survivor to go down like that.
Pretending I was strong, resilient and positive, however, became a full-time job. I did everything in my power to avoid “woe-is-me” mode. I visited my Jungian psychoanalyst weekly to get out of my head and into my heart and emotions. But quite honestly, I find it far easier to detach from the painful stuff and live in the land of make-believe well-adjustment, despite what Caroline Myss says about our “biography becoming our biology” in “Anatomy Of The Spirit”. That’s just a fancy way of warning us that “if you stuff your emotions, they can become cancer!” If that’s the case, my body must be rampant with malignancies stemming from early-onset mother/daughter issues... to leading a double life from my teens through my early-twenties... to now, in my late 30‘s, when I don’t know how to tell a mother fucker off when he treats me like shit!
Friggin’ EMOTIONS! All I knew was that I was crying for no apparent reason and I wanted that shit to stop. I didn’t have time for tears. I had too much work to do; analyzing the details of the last 8 months of our relationship. See, I don’t feel. I think. I had to figure out if I was one of those dumb-ass wives that missed all the obvious red flags that my man was cheating. I needed to figure out my possible role in the demise of our marriage. In short, my analytical mind kept me from my well-deserved right to fall apart, fly into fits of anger, wallow in long streaks of sadness or perform voodoo doll rituals that would make my EX’s dick suddenly fall off. I was so busy trying to move past the hurt by being objective, understanding and compassionate; that I forgot it might be perfectly normal to hate my EX for what he did...at least for a hot minute. So, to figure out how I really felt rather than what I thought I was feeling, I blurted out the contents of my subconscious in my morning pages as recommended by Julia Cameron in “The Artist’s Way”. Nothing like good ol’ stream-of-consciousness writing to reveal your deepest thoughts, your most hideous and embarrassing truths, or the secrets you try to keep... even from yourself.
To protect myself from dwelling on the negativity that was obviously flooding the recesses of my mind, I practiced the law of attraction, as learned in “The Secret”. For starters, I created a vision board. Well, 4 vision boards to be exact. (I’ve always been a bit of an overachiever.) Besides, I couldn’t afford to take any chances due to lack of specificity. So, I created four (yes FOUR) collages of pictures, words and images to remind me of who I am plus what I want, need and deserve in life, love and career in order to experience ultimate happiness and fulfillment. Board #1) A relationship filled with unconditional love, passion, trust, honesty, open communication, partnership, fun, adventure and romance. Board #2) A fulfilling, creative & artistic career that includes performing, writing and teaching. Board #3) Financial freedom. Period. And Board #4) The physical traits and emotional qualities I love about myself and how I wish to project myself into the world. To augment the power of my vision boards, I armed myself with positive quotes from every self-help guru in Barnes & Noble and repeated daily affirmations for financial stress reduction as directed by Chellie Campbell in “The Wealthy Spirit”.
BUT, if people only knew the real Keex hiding behind the poster child for bouncing back from a broken heart, I’d be as worthy of an Oscar as Charlize Theron for her role in Monster. Happiness was a big stretch. And so was self-confidence. I mean, could I really fake my way into believing I was a well-adjusted, newly-single 38-year old? Oh believe me, there were definite moments of true vulnerability and transparency. Like the times I’d crumble onto the theater’s dressing room floor in irrepressible, can’t catch my breath, boo-hoo sobbing. Or my frequent trips to the neighborhood liquor store where, not only did they keep my favorite reds on file; but they knew both my name and Brooklyn’s by heart. Not to mention my physical appearance. The days I actually remembered to do my hair were good days. But, I’d never forget my mask of make-up to conceal my stress-induced acne and bring a little life and color to my zombie-like existence. And my wardrobe? Nothing fancy. I simply rotated my collection of sweats that came in a wonderful of array of black. Sometimes, I’d just wear the same thing every day.
Getting back to “happy” (like, the for-real kinda happy) was gonna be a journey of EPIC proportions.