I Don’t Mean To Be Rude But, Is All That Lint From YOUR Navel?

It happens to us all at some point in our lives. Our number comes up and things in our lives fall apart.

And when it does—if we’re interested in self-development—we generally enter into a period of deep introspection where we look under every rock to see if we can determine where things went awry.

In other words, most of us want to find out what was our fault and what wasn’t.

I wasted no time. I went straight into full blown coroner mode after my husband ghosted me.

For five long years I sat—head down—with a magnifying glass, inspecting the contents of my navel. Thinking … ruminating … crying … and for good measure … crying some more.

AKA Sherlock Holmes

My friends love to tease me about how tenaciously I research. If something piques my interest, or if I think I need more facts to obtain closure, I will probe day and night until find my answer.

In the case of my marriage to The Unholy Ghost, I went back through the entire time were married, meticulously memorializing precise dates, times, and geographic coordinates for any missteps that I might bear an inkling of responsibility.

I needed so desperately to understand. I wanted a reason. What had I done that was so egregious that my husband felt the need to leave me ruthlessly?

It was a protracted process, but I made myself ‘sit with’ my discomfort on a daily basis. I made myself do the necessary soul searching and behavioral accounting. I sorted everything into one of three piles: the should-haves, the could-haves, and the didn’ts.

Not Today Dear, We’re Not Going There Again

Suddenly, one day it hit me like a ton of bricks that it was way past time to conclude the protracted autopsy of my marriage-to-whats-his-face. I knew what I needed to do: present my findings and bury what had long been stinking.

Rather than pick up where I’d left off the day before, I put the tweezers away, pulled my tee shirt back down, and put the magnifying glass back into the desk drawer.

I then went to the window and opened the blinds. Who knew?! It was spring outside, and it had been for a while. Things looked so sunny and cheerful out there in the bright beautiful world. So unlike the dark room where I’d taken up residency in the morgue.

I noticed there were still a few detractors camped out on my lawn. I quickly grabbed a super-size Sharpie and a piece of neon poster board. I made a sign and taped it on the front door . It read: “The show’s over, folks. Pack up and go home. It’s conclusive. My husband ‘ain’t’ Lazarus and he ‘ain’t’ rising up.’

With my big announcement made, I repeated several stern affirmations to myself just to make sure I didn’t become tempted to backslide if the nay sayers were slow in getting their tent city off the front lawn. I told myself: No more hiding. No more mourning. No more staying silent when things need to be said.

Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are

In a nutshell, my Ghosting Encounter Of The Third Kind and the five years I spent wasted on too much navel gazing left me with a few thoughts for my own manifesto on dealing with malignant narcissists/runaway husbands/[insert any other jerk variable.]

I hold these truths to be self-evident:

  1. There will always be gullible folks being led around by some Pied Piper, drinking his/her tainted Kool-aid.
  2. There will always be onlookers whose itching ears get them caught up in someone else’s false narrative.
  3. There will always be people misjudging other people and situations that they know absolutely nothing about.
  4. There will always be people void of the decency to go directly to the person being maligned and find the truth for themselves.
  5. And lastly, there will always be people eager to be manipulated and enlisted as flying monkeys in someone else’s power play.
No Sugar Tonight In My Coffee

That was the day sweet little Pollyanna stopped with the sweetness. That was the day I stopped being an apologist for my ex husband. That was the day that I started calling him what he had proven himself to be—my undeniable enemy.

That was the day I threw down the duffel bag that I had been carrying around full of my husband’s well-earned load of shame. He packed it. He needs to own it. He needs to carry his own baggage. I’m not moonlighting as his bell hop any longer.

That was the day I stopped sugar-coating my reality. The reality of how cruel a person my ex has to be to exit a marriage in such manner. That was the day I finally embraced the cold hard fact fact that I did nothing to this man to warrant such treatment.

Peeling Off The Rubber Gloves

I did one last rundown of the post-mortem checklist:

Appropriate toe tags in place? (Check.) … Pertinent findings identified and  documented? (Check.) … Impressions transcribed, footnoted, and placed into the Final Report? (Check.) … Cause Of Death recorded and taxonomy code assigned? (Check.)

I did my last bit of housekeeping. I entered the following into the data base: Cause of Relationship Demise: Death By Devalue & Discard, Code V666.66. And with that, I pulled the sheet up and over the rotting cadaver, slid the morgue drawer back in, slammed the door chiller shut, and exited the building. 

Now … Back To The Future

Eager to put this whole sordid ordeal behind me, I thought it best to quickly do something that would restore some semblance of normalcy to my life. I decided to take something comforting from my old routine and bring it with me into my new future.

With that in mind, my first order of business after leaving the morgue was to drop in at my neighborhood Starbucks—a place woven into the fabric of my morning on-the-way-to-work routine for over a decade.

Proudly, I strolled up to the counter, whipped out my Starbucks card, and ordered ‘the usual’—my Venti Drip Coffee with steamed heavy cream. With no sugar—of course.