Friday, December 10, 2010

D-Day or "Birth" Day

I just received a birthday card. An e-card from a site that I read frequently and sometimes comment on. However, I comment as "Elle", my pseudonym that I also use on this site. I guess at some point, in order to log in, this site asked for my birthday. So I typed "December 10". Which is not my real birthday at all.
It is,  however, the anniversary of D-Day #1, the day I confronted my husband and the truth came spilling out, changing...well...everything. Why did I put that down as my birthday? Haven't a clue. But now, four years later, I'm wondering if birthday is exactly what December 10 is.
December 10 certainly caused the death of the former me. The me that believed absolutely in my husband's loyalty. The me that thought I lived a charmed life in which things like cheating simply didn't happen. Accidents I could imagine happening. A deliberate act of betrayal? Inconceivable.
Or so the former me believed.
A new me was born on December 10, 2006. Like any birth, there was a fair bit of pain. I was pretty messy for awhile. I wondered what the hell the point of life was and my survival was my no means secure.
But I fought my way through. Kept on getting stronger, using any means possible. There were days when I didn't feel quite "alive" but I knew I wasn't dead. I thought I was just existing.
However, I can look back and see that, even when it looked like there was no growth, I was in fact, getting stronger. Stronger in the broken places. My heart was shattered but still beating.
And though, outwardly, I look the same (perhaps a few more wrinkles, a bit saggier around the middle), inside I'm, quite simply, not the same person that I was.
Though there were inevitable losses, there were incredible gains, too.
I don't take happiness for granted. I no longer think it's my birthright but rather something I work hard and steadily to maintain. In fact, I measure happiness differently – in moments rather than chapters or lifetimes. I find joy in odd places. Like time spent with our beloved dog, who recently lost his leg to bone cancer. He reminds me that I could focus on what's gone. Or, like him, I could choose instead to focus on what's gained...or at least preserved. The pleasure in a new snowfall. The delight in a warm bed. The love of family and friends who accept us, even with our missing pieces.
And so, I think I'll start looking at my D-Day anti-versary as a "birth" day. The day I started my new life.
Perhaps your D-Day signalled the start of your new life, even if you didn't truly emerge from the wreckage until long after.
Perhaps it's signalled a new single you – who, going forward, knows how to take care of her heart and keep it safe.
Perhaps it's brought forth a new marriage. One that withstood the storms or has been rebuilt, using pieces of the old, but a whole lot of new, better materials, too.
Whatever D-Day means to you, at least consider that it might have created some positive change in your life. It might take Herculean effort, but there's likely something that was born that day that's worth celebrating.
And, if so, share it with us here.
Happy "birth" day, indeed.

3 comments:

  1. I'm so glad for your positive posts. I don't feel any of it myself, but I hang onto the hope that one day, either with my husband or without that I too can be happy again.

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  2. Your post speaks to my heart once again. All time for me is now referenced by before and after D-day. Two years out, I am finally able to focus more often on the transformation of my thirty-year marriage from a state of parallel existence to a mindful connection with a hopeful future. It's a work in progress, one that will never be completely finished. As for me, I am celebrating that I am still here, to live this day that I might make a difference to others. - Liz

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  3. Marti,

    It took a LONG time. Far longer than I expected. I used to read "three to five years" to get past betrayal over and over in the zillion books/articles/etc. that I read but I always figured I would "fast-track" it. Nope. That timeline seems bang on...

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