Releasing My Abandonment Story
There’s a saying that goes something like this, “If the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” Is the same true with abandonment and loss? If you’ve been abandoned before, does every loss feel like abandonment? In my case, yes. At least it did. I’m working on changing that.
The trip to Orlando with my ex last month caused me to look at this story head on. One evening we were sitting at Animal Kingdom waiting for the Tree of Life to come alive. We were sipping margaritas and making small talk. But then I remembered how he’d mentioned dating in our final counseling session. I asked him about this. He told me he’d already written his dating profile. Ouch. I asked him what he’d written. He said it had been so long that he couldn’t remember. Double ouch. It had only been a few weeks since I had moved out at this point! He also told me he’d taken his wedding band off but wasn’t quite ready and put it back on. That hurt too.
We flew back to Nashville on Valentine’s Day. We’d spent a week in Orlando and we had a really good time. Yes, we are ending our marriage, but we are still great at being friends. On the plane I started to get emotional. I told him I wish it weren’t so easy for him to just toss me aside. I’ll leave out the heated conversation that followed, but suffice it to say, my eyes were opened.
Do I wish that he would have waited a while before exploring the dating world? Yes. Is his early exploration abandonment? No. I was equal party to the decision to get a divorce. I said the words out loud. I meant them. I moved out. That is loss. That is not abandonment.