My life in the past year has been one giant tornado. Being married and divorced in the same year was definately unexpected.
In all of that time, there was one constant reminder that this was all real…… the dress. You know, the one thing that girls picture in their head that symbolizes the happiest day of your life when you finally get to have “your day”.
The first thing I bought after getting engaged was my dress. I spent hours pouring over Pinterest posts getting ideas for what I wanted and envisioned for our big day. The very first dress I tried on, was THE dress. I loved it immediately. And bought it a full year prior to the wedding.
That dress hung in my closet for 12 months before I got to wear it. I used to pull it out and try it on when (he) wasn’t home. My son told me how beautiful I looked in that dress. When I thought of that dress and what it meant, I smiled wide eyed and giddy.
I was in love with a man and in love with a dress that reminded me of that man.
So imagine my dismay when just 2 short months after getting married, my world imploded on itself. In one swift swoop it was over. His stuff was gone from our home, and all that remained……was that dress.
I pretended for months that I didn’t see it hanging there in our guest room closet. I pushed it aside to find blankets and pictures we stored in there. I avoided that entire room at all cost. Because when I saw that room, I saw that dress.
Now, admittedly, the dress was not the only reminder left of our time together and the wedding. It was like that dress became the spark on the wick of an emotional bomb. A trigger that ignited a fire of anger and sadness without words.
I loved that dress. And now I hated it. I hated what it meant. I hated that I felt like it mocked me. Like it was taunting me with all of the “I told you so’s” that my friends and family so kindly refrained from exposing me to. It was the only time I have ever remembered hating an inanimate object. It presence made me breathless and the thought of it in my house smothered me like weeds in a flower garden.
“Why didn’t you sell it?” They ask me…. because any money made from the sale would be just as abominable as the dress itself. I needed something to happen to give me the closure.
I needed to DO something that freed me. I needed to let go of the happy and sad memories that I saw when I saw that dress. And I wanted to document it. So that down the road when I look back at these days, I can visually see what I went through.
And honestly, I didn’t have many gorgeous wedding pictures that werent heartbreaking to put on the wall, right?
“Aren’t you teaching your son to be vengeful?”
I don’t think so. I look at it like this; my son walked with me through these last few years. He was there in the beginning of the relationship all the way to the end. I was not the only person who had been betrayed. And he is mature enough to see the truth about what happened.
So the lesson I hope I am teaching him is that no matter how far you get knocked down, you can always get back up, dust yourself off and keep on moving. Has he seen me sad? Of course. But I refuse to teach my son that anything can break me. I refuse to let him think that you can’t recover from devastation.
So I trashed the dress. Not out of anger or revenge. I trashed my dress because I have completed going through the grieving process. And I felt like since the dress was a symbol of “our day” and our commitment to each other, I needed to let it go in a way that felt tangible for me.
So judge me or salute me. I’m good either way.
“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” Maya Angelou