I haven’t showered since the move. I just can’t commit to a shower. I miss my claw tub. When everything was packed and I looked over where I once shared a home with Josh it brought back memories of when we first moved in. That green paint in our bedroom. It took six freaking coats to cover those walls. We had purchased ‘oops’ paint at Lowes and couldn’t get an “exact” match so we had to repaint the last coat when we were just shy a few more rolls on the wall.
Then there was the light green paint in the bathroom. It had been two different shades of yellow before… first “mexican restaurant” yellow…. I thought a lively color would match the countertop well. Made my complexion in the mirror look awful. So back to the paint store… I love yellow, so I thought maybe just a paler shade would do the trick. Nope. When we went back to the paint store I decided on a pale green. Josh swore he would not help me paint the bathroom for the third time… but he did. You can still see in spots the other shades of yellow near the trim.
I walked in the kitchen, what was once covered in wallpaper and an ugly teal green was matched to the dining room of maroon and beige. We thought we would take the wallpaper off and do the right thing, but when it started to pull the plaster from the wall we did the renter’s choice… painted over it.
Everything about our home was well thought out and planned. I know I’m a photographer, but it can take me 6 months just to decide where I want something hung. It took 3 years, 6 months to get this house perfect. Josh was meticulous about hanging things so everything WAS perfectly symmetrical when I did decide.
The only room I wasn’t happy with was the back guest bedroom, which was Josh’s “closet.” This was one of the last rooms we painted and I hated the color right away. I chose a glossy beige since I knew it was going to be Josh’s room. I thought his military decor would go good with that color and the gloss would be easy to wipe clean (all other walls were matte). Josh wouldn’t have it to be repainted when I changed my mind on the outcome…. he was done. So he NAILED flags and posters up so I couldn’t buy another color to “try.”
When he left me he said it was just going to be for a month so he could clear his head. I took the nails out of the wall and his memorabilia down. I was going to surprise him for his birthday. I painted his room a rich matte royal blue. I had his chester drawers and shelving refinished a rich walnut. I put up plantation walnut blinds and new maroon curtains. I put his Marine decor back on the shelf. I prepared dinner for him all day. I sent him text messages of photos of me preparing it. I was excited. It was his 30th birthday. Who else would he want to spend it with but me. The girl that had been with him through so much over the past eleven years. This was just as much his milestone as mine, or so I thought. He didn’t come home. I was no longer his home. This house was no longer our home.
I went into a deep depression when I found them together soon after. I married Josh because I didn’t think I could find anyone to love me more than he did. I thought love was unconditional. I didn’t believe in divorce unless one cheated. And that’s exactly where I found myself. My mind changed though when it was personal to me. I would have taken him back. I have forgiven him each night I lay in bed and cry myself to sleep. But he treats me as a stranger. Someone imposing on his new life. So out of love, I signed divorce papers and set him free to live with another unmarried to me.
This photo was taken in May, the last night we were together. He just did this to make me smile. That’s the kind of guy he was…he made me laugh. We were that couple you see in the mattress commercials that some laugh at… or say “who sleeps holding each other all night?” That was us, we did. We were going to be that old couple in the “Notebook” that held each other forever. He was my comfort. The reason I could fall asleep in under 5 minutes. I never knew he wasn’t sleeping, he was getting up in the middle of the night.
I’m told I became his ‘trigger’ from the war. Nothing I did or said helped. When I begged him to talk to me he said he didn’t have anything to say. Anything I did upset him near the end. I did my best to just sit with him and wait. Wait for him to open up to me. The day he told me he dreaded coming home I was floored. I couldn’t think of what I had done to make him feel this way. I always waited on him to get home to have dinner ready right at that moment so it was hot. But the time got later and later and it was at a breaking point. It was soon 3 and 4 am. I was having panic attacks and crying uncontrollably. I didn’t understand. I couldn’t live this way anymore. So he left. He left with my heart and inner peace.
I wasn’t healing in Ohio. He would still come over and show me random kindness or cruelty. Cruelty I’d never seen before throughout the eleven years I’d known him. So I had to let go over everything. I quit my day job and am currently homeless. I’m leaving for Australia soon for the winter months. I’m going to heal and refresh my soul. I will be back in the Spring for all my brides, and ESPECIALLY to be maid-of-honor for my best friend the end of March.
I wear this bracelet now for courage. My mother-in-law gave this to me for my birthday. I’ve worn it every day since. She said she knew I didn’t wear bracelets but this represented a change, something new and different. So I’m embracing this symbol in my life. For once I don’t have a plan A or plan B. I’m not controlling what is going on anymore. I’m going to be free spirited and be led where I trust God is taking me next. I don’t think God is in divorces… but he gave us all a free will, and when sin enters the rules change. Where I thought I was going in life and what I wanted out of life is now a broken vessel. I’m going to be molded into a new pot… I’m going to start with a shower… my hair is gross.