I’ve been separated from the man I married for a little over a year now.
I still see him regularly. Sometimes just briefly to hand off the kids or discuss some logistics. Other times it’s longer – a school event or birthday party.
Every time I see him, it’s like ripping a band-aid off my wound.
Ripping it on and off. On and off.
You see, he is two people to me.
There is the sincere, Christian man I thought I knew. The image he still presents to the world.
And then there is the double life that was exposed – the truth. The photos I have seen of him with other women run through my mind. I am thankful for those photos because they put an image to the truth.
I am still grieving the loss of that first person. And of the family unit we once had.
Little by little, my wounds begin to heal. A tender scab begins to form.
And then I see him again. He looks and acts like that person I knew. Part of my brain tells me he is that person. When others are around, he presents himself as that person and that is how they see him. Sometimes, acquaintances don’t realize we aren’t together and they interact with us as if we were a couple. All the signals coming into my brain are saying – that person is back! Our family is back! Our life is back! Maybe it never even happened! Maybe it was all a bad dream!
It is like seeing the person I am grieving standing right in front of me. The dead come back to life! What joy! Could it be?? Could he be back? Could we be a family again?
Part of my brain cannot help but take in the illusion. After all, my senses are confirming it. I see, hear, and even smell it before me – what I’m grieving has returned to me!
I don’t need this band-aid anymore!
But yet, I know he is not that person. I know too much to believe that now. Too, too much.
I remind myself of the facts. The truth. It is a harsh truth and it stings my now open wound.
I put the band-aid back on. And the scab that was ripped off with it. And let that open wound start to heal again.