I still remember Day Three vividly. Alice, one of my husband’s girlfriends, was so brave and kind to share with me the extent of her relationship with my husband. She shared every memory, every detail she had.
Alice was also a victim of AJ’s behavior. She dated him for a year and trusted he was a faithful, honest boyfriend. Despite her own disappointment, she was able to provide me answers. I believe it was her way of solving a problem she was unknowingly a part of. A way for her to rectify AJ’s actions. I am incredibly thankful for her.
As grateful as I was for her honesty, her words were painful. It felt like a knife to my stomach. Each new piece of information deepened the wound. Each sentence revealed the sad truth that I was married to a stranger.
It was challenging, to say the least, to hear of my husband’s relationship with Alice. Knowing the feelings between them existed. Knowing they made plans to be together. Knowing I was there for all of it. I was tangled amid a love triangle that I didn’t consent to being a part of.
But beyond that intense pain from learning my husband’s extracurricular’s were far beyond what he was willing to share with me, was this other strange feeling.
I felt evaporated.
With each sentence Alice spoke, I realized she knew my life. She knew about the family I took as my own when I married, she knew my dogs, she knew my home. Just as I was reliving the memories she had of my life with AJ, I realized something… This was my life, without one key player.
I was erased from my own life, completely written out of my story, by my husband. By the person that I chose to spend my forever with. The person I trusted implicitly with my heart, my body, my life.
I had to cling to the details of my life, like chalk dust on the chalk board.
It feels surreal to watch myself disappear from my own memories. Seeing them the way my ex-husband told them. Seeing those years, moments, and memories that I so cherished fade into nothing. They were so irrelevant to everyone else. My life, the love I gave, everything… just gone. Barely noticeable.
It was hard to understand how the most important person in my life could dismiss me in such a complete way. Removing me from his life like an unimportant detail. Plucking me from his life like a pesky piece of lint on a coat. The disconnect between my love for him and his indifference towards me hurt in ways I don’t think I can properly express.
I can’t help but come back to chalk dust.
When I was younger, I’d take that large, dirty, eraser to remove math problems on the board. Erasing problems solved or the wrong answers. Sometimes the dust would remain on the board, just enough that you could possibly make out what was last written there… almost like it is refusing to quit.
I won’t quit. I am not chalk dust. I am something more permanent and resilient. How AJ saw me and treated me is not who I am. He missed who I was because he wasn’t even paying attention.
It’s been over six months since we separated. I now look at the last six years i spent with him with a fondness. I met some wonderful people, I did some wonderful things and now, the main character in those memories is fading to the back. Evaporating. AJ is no longer a key player in those memories.
He’s just chalk dust.