There is a poem I love, and I’m sure many of you are familiar with, by Robert Frost. A portion of it follows:
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
I find that in my life the decisions I’ve made have brought both pleasure and pain. Not just to myself but to others. I’ve asked others to answer the 10 questions and so I will do the same, only I will do this in a story style.
What caused Plan B to come into my life is not a simple answer. I have been divorced, lost my health and my job that I loved, because I simply couldn’t do it anymore. My economic situation is in the deepest, darkest place.
You see many years ago now I divorced the husband of my youth, whom I have four children with, and we were married for 15 years. We’ve been divorced longer than that now. I could tell you my side of it, but then you’d only know one-third of the story. You know to every story there are three sides, mine, his, and the truth. I know what I saw and how I felt so betrayed and humiliated, unloved and disrespected. At that time what I didn’t know was how he felt, alone, rejected, and unappreciated. I tried to ask plenty of times, but our communication was, shall we say, lacking. We have fundamental differences in our beliefs that didn’t really come out until deep into the marriage. Sometimes, he was a flat out jerk. Sometimes, so was I.
I waited 7 years before I tried marriage again. I married a funny, kind, bright man, who was a widower. I thought, at least he hadn’t been divorced. At least he still believed in love. We married too soon after his wife’s death. Within a year he had a nervous breakdown. He quit his job and sat at home. He’d call me 15 times a day to connect to me, to make sure I was there. It was so draining! His kindness turned to anger. He was up one minute and down the next. He thought people were out to get him. I got him into counseling, but that took a turn as well. One day the counselor asked us both to come in. I went hesitantly. After an hour of listening to us talk he excused us but on the way out asked that I come alone the next time. The next week I went alone as asked. The counselor sat me down and told me that he could continue to counsel my husband but he felt it was futile. He said that, in his opinion, my husband was suffering from early onset dementia. He told me that, although he knew it would be embarrassing, I should cut my losses and divorce him. I sat there reeling in my chair. I had just bought a house together with this man. I didn’t think that a counselor should be telling me to divorce my husband. I stayed another year and a half. In that time he maxed out four of nine credit cards that I knew nothing about. He went through several jobs and we ended up with a second mortgage on the home we had just bought. One day he grabbed me from behind and said things that confused and scared me. A week later I was gone. In hindsight the counselor had been right.
There are other times where the train switched track in my life. I will write about them later.
So let’s hear from you.