Sunday, June 12, 2011

The very first kiss

He grabbed me by the hips and pulled me in, closer to him. With all certainty and without warning, he kissed me for the very first time. From that moment on, I was his.

“He’s the one,” I said to myself. “This is the man I’m going to marry.”  

It’s been 26 years since that first kiss, but I remember every detail, like a scene from my favorite movie. A year ago today, after another round of verbally abusing me in front of the kids, I asked him for I told him that I was divorcing him. Sadly, I remember every scene from this movie, too. 

Still, I remember everything from the night of our first kiss… the sounds, the smells, the smell of “him.”

More than anything, I remember how that kiss made me feel. I may never experience that feeling again. I may never allow myself to. 

Even as I write this, I’m asking myself why. Why am I putting myself through this? After all, going down memory lane can be a bitch. Plus, I’m out of wine.  

But this is my way of letting go, at my own pace. The tears streaming down my face and the pain in my chest remind me that I’m not ready to completely let it go. And that’s OK. I’ll get there.  But I know I’m getting closer. With each day I get stronger and I embrace my newfound freedom a little bit more.

When I see him now, it’s just sad. What was and what could have been is long gone. He’s not the man he used to be and there’s nothing I can do about it. I have to let that go, too.

And I will, one day.


  1. I love this. And I know it's almost too difficult to put into words... the memories you've already painfully lived through once.

    When I wrote Illumination, it felt like I was dredging up everything I'd worked so hard to bury so it couldn't hurt me anymore. Once I started writing it, I felt like was unfurling. I didn't realize how the pain became like a poison when you keep it inside.

    Keep writing. It's how we let go completely.

  2. Beautiful. Some people who really mean well tell us not to talk about the past, to "not feel that way" etc., but sometimes you have to wade, swim, crawl, and scratch through it (like Shawshank) to get to the other side -- freedom. So keep writing, get it out. You'll find people who get it. Thank you.

  3. I think that as hard as it hurts, to get through it in a healthy way we have to really feel each of those moments. All of it. Experience it, love it, hate it, forgive it and let it go... and maybe even visit it from time to time.
    I don't write a lot about this because I think I said most of my inside-goodbyes to those dreams long before I left my ex, but I was right there with you.
    You may never feel exactly that again, but what you WILL feel will be better. Because on the other side of the healing, when you're completely free, EVERYTHING is more authentic... and sweeter.

  4. Thank you for sharing this. You are SO RIGHT that it's incredibly hard to say goodbye to the hope that the person we thought they were will show up -- maybe for the first time. It's incredibly difficult to release the idea that they can change, become healthy, care, give a damn, or even act like a decent human. But sometimes they just can't do any of you know, I'm still in that hopeful phase at times, which stinks. I'm thinking about you! Keep writing!!!

  5. Really felt your loss in this's so hard to look back and remember how things seemed when we were younger, the promise of all stretching out in front of us...but much of that was an illusion. Better to remember the truth of how it was.

  6. Girl... I feel your pain.

    Allow yourself to feel it too. It does not define you. It's just what you know for now.

    Much love.

  7. We understand. We really do. One year is nothing next to 26. In fact, one year is nothing - especially when you share a history and children. Especially when the aftermath dishonors the hears that were good.

  8. I never could let go of my husband or marriage. It was so perfect up until the very end. I had no idea it was ending, then one day he was gone...

    I couldn't help but keep in touch and be with him every minute I could (even after our divorce). I just missed him so much. I loved him with all of me. I.Still.Do....

    He got killed several months ago. We had planned on working things out, patching things up. I often wonder why I never got a second chance. Part of me died with him. Now I have to let go, but I still find it hard. Something about that man paralyzed me.... He stopped me in my tracks. I was never to be the same after he loved me. Like you, I am also afraid of never feeling that again. Actually, I am terrified:(

  9. Thank you so much for your comments. I know I have to feel the pain, face it head on, in order to get to the other side. The good side. The "letting go" side. Just another chapter in the many lessons of life that I'm now learning on this journey.

  10. Anonymous: My heart goes out to you. I'm so very sorry for your loss. I hope you have someone that you can talk to -- a counselor, a close family member or friend. I wish you much peace and love.

  11. One of the most helpful things someone said to me during my divorce was this:

    If you didn't hurt while letting go, I'd be concerned. The pain you feel proves you are human, and deeply so.

    I don't know why it helped me so much. I guess it was the giving me permission to hurt...the permission to be vulnerable in my memories...the permission to grieve the loss of what I thought was the life I had planned.

  12. "...the permission to grieve the loss of what I thought was the life I had planned."

    ~ I completely understand and relate to this. It's beautiful and tragic and so damn fitting.

    Trust me, I don't miss the man I left. But I do miss the man I married.