distant lifetimes

A few nights ago, I had this dream that I was still married, but separated, and instead of deciding to divorce, the dream me decided to try again to make things work. I cannot tell you the sense of loss I felt when I realized. It was like the dream me knew the parallel course the real me took and could see the life that she, er, I, wouldn’t have. Finally, the dream me decided it just wasn’t going to work. I said, “I know compromise is important in any relationship. But we are so far apart that if we compromised enough to meet in the middle, we would both be so far from where we want to be that neither of us would be happy.”

I guess it’s not so surprising that I would dream this. Even though my decision to move out and end the marriage didn’t happen in 2004, this year has been tinged with a little guilt. Although I did everything I knew to try and work things out, and after all of the therapy and agonizing, there’s still a little part of me that thinks I made a committment for better or for worse, but obviously I only actually meant the better part. It’s hard to, well, marry, the two thoughts: that I made this committment that was meant to last a lifetime, and that if we continued, neither of us would be happy, for a lifetime.

I also feel a little guilt that I am happy now, after not being happy for a really long time. And that I don’t miss my ex-husband or think about him, or get teary on what was our wedding anniversary. I was reading the journal of a friend this morning. Today is what used to be her wedding anniversary. And although she too is happier with her life now, on this day she remembers. It’s not a bad thing, taking stock of the past, but for me, it feels like another lifetime from long ago, one I’ve put behind me.

I don’t know what that means about me. I worry it means I’m cold inside. Or that I’ve walled in my emotions like those people with selective amnesia about traumatic events and one day I’m going to go crazy insane with the repression. But I look deep inside, and I don’t feel cold, I don’t see a wall, I just see distant memories of another life.

I am taking all the lessons I learned with me into this life. I just wish I could leave behind the guilt.

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