When I looked at the date this morning it dawned on me that today used to be an anniversary for me and then it morphed into another type of anniversary for me so I guess that really makes it two anniversaries for me.
It was twenty years ago today that I got married for the second time to a Navy guy that I had met through my cousin Becky (he was her husband's brother - something that I don't hold against her!) In retrospect there should have been warning flags flying all over the place but I had reached the point in time where I thought I was ready to share my life with someone else and also hoped that someone else would be a good dad to my son Michael whose own father had turned out to be less than stellar in the Parenting Department.
On what wasn't too bad of a day in August for New England (in other words both the temperature and humidity level were moderate) I rode down in a limo from my home in Canterbury to the Shepard By the Sea Chapel at the Submarine Base in Groton along with my bridesmaids and a stomach churning something awful. At one point along the ride, the limo driver jokingly asked if I'd like to go to New York or Boston instead and I seem to remember saying that "anywhere other than Groton" would be fine but I don't think he believed me as we arrived at the church on time.
I don't remember too much about the wedding ceremony other than my Dad telling me as we walked down the aisle that there was still time to change my mind and then feeling like I wanted to just sit down on the steps at the front of the church and be sick. Great wedding remembrances, huh? Yea .. not so much.
Unfortunately the rest of the marriage never really seemed to get much better than the wedding day itself which I think I always knew in the back of my mind was a major mistake. At the time I chalked it up to a case of the nerves and blah, blah, blah but since then I've learned to listen to my gut and that little voice that tells me when I'm about to do something really exceptionally stupid.
Ten years to the day later on August 17th, 2001 I finally put an end to the charade that was my marriage and told my husband that I wanted a divorce and there would be no going back this time. We had flitted around the possibility of a break-up before but he believed that God expected us to stay together forever regardless of how miserable we made each other and our children and I didn't have the guts to say otherwise for quite some time. Finally my level of misery had reached the point where it was impossible to ignore the fact that in addition to being horribly unhappy myself, I was making those around me the same way so I finally said that was it, the end, no more.
I have never once regretted that decision. I have sometimes wondered if it would have been better for the girls if I had sucked it up and continued to live with a man that I didn't love or respect but I'd like to think that I made the right choice. It hasn't always been the easy choice but I think it was the right choice.
So today marks a dual anniversary - the day I lost myself twenty years ago and the day I reclaimed myself ten years later. With no offense to my ex who isn't a horrible monster, I like the second anniversary better.