Loretta's Countdown to 60

Aging on my terms - Daily musings in 500 words or so

What if you found out, and judged me? That was my fear.

I stood on my front porch steps looking down on him. He had come over to talk to me. To talk some sense into me. When I saw his car pull into the driveway, I met him outside.

I didn’t want to invite him in.

This was my home, the one I purchased, by myself. It had become my sanctuary as well as my hideout. And I didn’t want to invite him in.

It’s odd, I can’t recall the words I said to him, but I know they were hurtful. Never in my life had I said such painful truths to someone so easily. But the words just came out without any hesitation.

“It was a mistake, and I want a divorce.” He responded with words like, ‘but’ and ‘what-about’ and ‘please’, to which I answered, “No I don’t want to give it more time.”

I knew three months into it that I had made a huge error.

Finding courage to do this wasn’t easy. I was deeply embarrassed that I had married someone I barely knew. We thought it was ‘love at first sight’, and so did most of my friends.

You know what it looks like. Two people meet and there is this magic instant spark that you can feel. And it feels good. It’s contagious even. Everyone wants to be a part of it and feel the love.

Only it’s not love. It can’t be. Love is something that grows from knowledge of the other person. Love is something that is still there after you learn about the other person’s weaknesses and faults and fears. It’s impossible to know any of those things “at first sight.”

I hadn’t taken the time to get to know this person. I’d acted on my instinct and belief of love at first sight. So there I was, hurting another person and humiliating myself because I had acted on foolishness.

I knew what people would say about me. Hell I would probably agree with them, but I still went forward, not looking back, and handed him the divorce papers to sign. I wanted the marriage annulled but he had refused.

Looking back, maybe that’s why I didn’t hesitate to hand him the truth of it all. In a way he had it easier than I did. I was the bad guy here. I’m the one who divorced him. He didn’t have to do any of the heavy lifting and could even get sympathy for the entire ordeal.

I knew I would be the one judged in this situation. And I was, by many of my friends and even some of my family. I still am.

But years ago, I found the courage to recognize a mistake and correct it, regardless of judgment or criticism. And today I am telling you this secret so that it doesn’t have power over me any longer.

I’ve held onto this for years, pretending it didn’t happen. I even “left out” this part of my story to many who know me. I did it because I was afraid.

What if you found out, and judged me? That was my fear.

I’m learning, as I get older that I will be judged, no matter what I do. It’s our nature to judge what we see and hear. But if I let that stop me or hold me back, then I won’t be living my authentic life.

And as I countdown to my 60th birthday, I am getting closer and closer to owning my story and even being proud of my accomplishments… as well as failures.

The beach is my happy place

 

14 Comments

  1. Be proud of you! I love that you are there!

  2. Making mistakes is a part of life. Growing and learning from them is what we’re supposed to do. Many times we are judged by people who haven’t even come to terms with their own mistakes.

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      2018-02-05 at 16:18

      true…and maybe that’s when we judge? When we haven’t come to terms with our mistakes.

      Interesting observation Alice.

      Thank you, Loretta

  3. That must have been a truly horrendous moment. You right when you say that it’s in our nature to judge, but only we can give power to other people’s judgement of us. That’s something I’m learning too.

    Thank you for sharing your story. I know it must be difficult at times and you do it with such generosity and courage.

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      2018-02-05 at 16:16

      Thank you Wendy…that made me cry. I appreciate your kindness and encouragement, it means a lot to me.

      I love what you said: “…only we can give power to other people’s judgment of us.”

  4. Miriam Samuels

    2018-02-05 at 19:56

    And yet…After 4 years of widowhood, I met a man on match.com who had recently lost his wife. After a few days of exchanging emails (without even knowing each other’s names), we met for brunch. Six hours later, we pledged our undying love and devotion to each other. Thirty days later, we were married. Four years later, we are still madly, happily, passionately in love with each other.
    My father decided the day he met my mother that he would marry her. It took her a few more weeks. They were in love for 59 years.
    A friend of mine married her husband 3 days after they met. They recently celebrated 60 years together.
    Please don’t think that because you made a mistake, there is not true love at first sight. There is.

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      2018-02-06 at 08:30

      Thank you Miriam. To me, it was luck. You happened to find the right person for you, as others have. But I still do not believe in love at first sight. All of these examples could have turned out differently. Luckily…they didn’t.

      I do so appreciate you taking the time to read my post and to share your thoughts. I love reading other people’s views and stories as well. I am also very very happy for you Miriam! You have found love, and that is the best thing in the world.

  5. I judged you courageous with the first paragraph here. You didn’t let him in. That took guts. We are so trained to be polite, to not offend, that many times we do what our instinct tells us we shouldn’t, just to avoid being seen as rude. You listened to your instincts and not only listened, but acted on what you needed at that point in your life. So yep, judged courageous.

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      2018-02-06 at 08:22

      Thank you Lisa. It’s funny I didn’t think about that, but you are right. We are trained to do the polite thing, even to our own detriment. In that moment I was so distraught over the entire situation and I might have been in “protective mode” because of it.

      Thank you for the judgment 😉 – I’m finding my courage to let it go as well.

  6. I don’t believe in love at first sight.

    When I did a dating violence program for teen girls back in the day, the majority of them believed in love at first sight. Not doubt from movies, books, etc.

    That being said, when I realized just how much abuse I has allowed myself to take from my second husband I was so afraid of the judgement that I took the blame for the end of the marriage.

    thanks for sharing. It makes us feel less alone in the world. Love to you my friend!

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      2018-02-09 at 08:19

      Thank you Shelly.
      I wish we would stop perpetuating the ‘love at first sight’ thing in our society! It’s right up there with ‘happily ever after’.

      Fear of judgment is paralyzing at times. I know too well. I’m sorry you know it – I look forward to reading your story about this experience.

      Much love to you dear friend!

      • Joyce Kasukuru

        2018-02-11 at 13:40

        Thank you so much indeed Loretta Sayers for your story. This makes me feel I am not alone in this sort of situation. Apparently our dark side always out weighs our bright side. It is almost a fact of life these days. Even how best you try to be supportive, and even made huge sacrifices to assist people in their lowest points and lift them up to the next level, you make one slight outburst of frustration and you’re pushed to the back of the line of consideration. Your whole life of goodness and sacrifices are shaft up in the dark corners to be never remembered again. I think in our age now we should be considering our next few years of life and not bother about what others feel or say in judgment of our actions. This is why we get disappointed because we have gotten used to helping and giving our efforts, resources and time to others, our family members who are now getting busy with moving on in their lives and no longer have any space for us. Now we should be contemplating our own future and few years left for us to enjoy life. Cheers to all the ladies out there. God Bless.

        • Loretta Sayers
          Loretta Sayers

          2018-02-12 at 16:41

          Joyce, thank you so much for your response. It’s not easy putting myself out there, but when someone like you says it helps you feel that you are not alone, it’s makes it all worth it.

          Cheers to you dear, Loretta.

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