It’s been about six months since I took off my wedding ring and the imprint is only now beginning to fade from my flesh.
I think of what that ring meant for the 13 years I wore it. It meant that I belonged. To someone. For a fat girl, that was a badge of honor. It said “fuck you, someone loves me enough to claim me in spite of your bias.” That’s what kept me wearing it so long, really.
I wasn’t happy. I was neglected. Ignored. Lonely. So very, very sad. But, the belonging was powerful. The status it conferred. It wasn’t worth the band, so I chose the reclamation of myself, recognizing that I’m worthy of so much more than just belonging.
Reincorporating what I’d given up in order to belong made me smaller on the outside, larger on the inside. I see the two rings sitting on my dresser every morning and I think about how long they stuck to us in spite of nothing working. They’re together, the phrase engraved forever complete. I designed them so I could always stand alone and he couldn’t, his clause dangling.
Perhaps that was cruel, to go into it knowing I’d always be alone somehow. But life teaches harsh lessons, sometimes early. I always have a Plan D. I always have. I always will. Plan D was even in my vows. I didn’t vow faith. I didn’t vow forever. I vowed friendship and honesty. I’ve never broken them even when he’s been cruel and even now that it’s nearly over. Vows are promises. And, when it comes to promises, Fiona Apple taught me I can’t afford to lie. I didn’t and I won’t. There’s a possibility that he will see this and that it will hurt anew. But, I’ve said it all before behind closed doors.
It’s time to let it go. This thing we clung to for the wrong reasons. I love you. I’m sorry. I’m better than your unwillingness to grow. Those rings didn’t tarnish when we wore them because of proximity to our bodies, not because our bond was so strong nothing could dull it. Might I end up alone the rest of my life? Sure. But, sitting on my porch in a rocking chair surrounded by cats will be better than anger.
I wonder if anybody will ever love me exactly as I am. Because of who I am and how I go about being her. Will they take my hand and support it all without question or rebuke? Who knows? I’m okay either way because I’m whole. No piece missing.
My vows did say he was the missing piece. I didn’t see when writing them that pieces were missing in part because of him.