In court, I was in tears as the judge asked me whether I agreed to the terms. I did. I had chosen not to fight.
I chose to walk away from the embryos and everything I was asking for in my divorce, just so I could move on. I didn’t want to fight because I knew no matter how long it went on, and no matter how much of my soul I bared, my soon-to-ex-husband would NEVER get it.
Forced to give up what’s most likely my last chance to be a mother wrecked me, but fighting was not an option. Not because I’m a pacifist or such a nice person, but because I didn’t have the will or resources. Although I had prepared myself for it, seeing the handwritten words “TO BE DISCARDED” on the paper I signed left me numb. Years of trying to conceive and the cost of treatments, most of which I alone paid for, were being written off and the fruits of that effort flushed.
I walked back into the courtroom on automatic and for the most part, didn’t hear the judge’s questions but somehow knew when to answer Yes and No. This is what they mean by having an out of body experience.
“No, I wasn’t coerced and I’m not intoxicated (Wait, was that an option?)!
Instead of being around people, as was the plan, I left the courthouse in a taxi and heard myself give the driver my home address.
In the backseat of the taxi, the tears started to fall. I wasn’t crying for the end of my marriage. I was crying because of how royally marriage had devastated my life. I was crying because, for the first time, I truly understood pain and wanting to bury yourself inside of it.
An hour after I got home, I decided to take out a notebook and write down what I’m feeling. I wrote:
My soul, or whichever part of me is writing this, is jumping between two identities. There is a 16-century gangster version of me seeing scorched earth at my hands. Then there’s another version of me trying to hold it together with the words “This too shall pass.”
I’m not liking this second calming version of me at all right now. What I’m thinking is, She’s the stupid bitch who got me into this mess with her understanding and empathy. I want to end her so badly or at least, numb her. But there are no drugs in the apartment. Not even fucking liquor.
Worse pity party ever!
My self-pity then switched to anger or a mix of anger and self-pity. There, that’s better. Now at least, I’m not the only person I want to see in pain. I want to see my lying bitch-faced ex-husband in worse pain than me.
I put on music.
Music is a constant in my life and what I reach for in good times and bad. When my playlist reached Elastic Heart, I put the song on repeat.
As if in preparation for this moment, I had been into Sia’s Elastic Heart for the past couple of weeks. It’s now offering me some type of solace. Every word is registering and I begin to use it as an escape, my numbing drug if you will.
The lyrics painted a world for me to rest in tonight. I no longer needed to tell myself “This too shall pass.” Sia was drawing a roadmap out of the darkness for me—only I didn’t realize it at the time. I was just going with the moment. And in the moment, the lyrics (courtesy of Metro Lyrics) with emphasis on the words and phrases that are resonating the most for me, helped me through the night.
And another one bites the dust
Oh why can I not CONQUER ♥
And I might have thought that we were ONE
Wanted to fight this war WITHOUT WEAPONS
And I wanted it,
I wanted it bad
But there were so many RED FLAGS (I ignored SO MANY!)
Now another one bites the dust
Yeah let’s be clear, I’ll TRUST NO ONE.
Well I’ve got thick skin and an elastic heart
But YOUR BLADE it might be too sharp
(Here I kept thinking: I’m a survivor but can I survive this?)
I’m like a rubber band until you PULL 2HARD
And I may snap and I move fast
But you won’t see me FALL A P A R T (I really want to though)
‘Cos I’ve got an ELASTIC HEART
I’ve got an elastic heart
AND I WILL STAY UP THROUGH THE NIGHT…
Let’s be clear, WON’T CLOSE MY EYES
And I know that I
can will survive
(by the 30th time hearing this line, I was replacing “can” with “will.”)
I’ll walk through fire to SAVE MY LIFE
And I want it, I WANT MY LIFE SO BAD
(I believe this line saved my life)
I’m doing everything I can
Then another one bites the dust
It’s hard to lose a chosen one
You did not BREAK me. I’m still fighting for peace
I’ve got thick skin and an elastic heart
but your blade it might be too sharp.
I’m like a rubber band until you pull too hard
I may snap and I move fast
But you won’t see me fall apart
‘Cos I’ve got an elastic HEART.
And thank you God (or whatever it is out there) for helping me to stay alive … I genuinely felt something fighting for ME. The line “I walked through fire to save my life” especially, made me believe I would survive the night.
As I played Elastic Heart on a loop I had some very dark thoughts. At times, I alternated between thoughts of my husband’s death and mine. As if by instinct or grace, I feared entertaining thoughts of how I would end my life. I’m a wuss so my death would either have to be by pills or an act of God. As I laid on my living room floor, I had zero desire to move. But what if I got up to go to the bathroom… are there pills in the medicine cabinet? Not knowing the answer to that question was a little troubling.
I held onto the thoughts where my now ex-husband was no more longer.
With apocalyptic images, I imagined he was wiped off the face of the earth. All of metro New York was no more because a God who felt my pain had avenged me.
As I stayed up through the night and with pools of tears seeping through the floorboards, my brain grew tired of thinking.
And then it was morning.