Wednesday, September 28, 2011

It's Not Cheating

"Marry me someday."

These are the sweet words I whisper softly into Kit's ear, my arms wrapped around his neck as we slowly sway back and forth to Etta James' "At Last." We are attending our first wedding together and it feels amazing. I'm meeting his extended family for the first time and they couldn't be kinder. We are happy and in love and people keep asking how long we've been married. The reply varies. Sometimes we laugh and say five years. Sometimes we smirk and say we're newlyweds. Once Kit gave the guy a sly elbow, elbow, nudge, nudge and said it was our first date. When they find out we aren't really married, they shake their heads in disbelief. "But you guys are so CUTE together!" Yes. Yes we are.

Kit pulls me closer as I snuggle into his strong shoulders. I've never felt so safe in my life. I've never felt so protected, so adored, so absolutely loved. No other man has gotten all my walls to crumble, my guard to come completely down. In all my dating experience, I know for a fact that Kit is the man who will not let me down, will not hurt me, will go to the ends of the Earth to let me know I can trust him. Always.

And then *this* happened.

He arrives at 8:01 to pick up his stuff. I watch as he comes in the door, lifts a box, and carries it away. One FUCK YOU labelled box at a time, his possessions disappear out of my house and into a friend's car. They'll be taken far away from here, never to return again.

I am leaning against the counter sipping tea the entire time. I do not say one word to him. He does not say one word to me. Kit comes in. Box goes out. I sip tea.

The silence is deafening.

Within ten minutes, it's all gone. His collared shirts, his war hero books, his marble paperweight, his neon green running shoes, his concert posters, the stuffed teddy bears from his mother. All that's left in his hand are his pillows and with one hand on the door, he turns and looks at me with pleading eyes.

Kit: I didn't think you'd want to be here for this.

Me: You didn't think I'd want to be in my own house?

Kit: No, I didn't think you'd want to see me moving my stuff out.

Me: Absolutely I did. I wanted to make sure you took all your shit with you when you left. After tonight, I never want to see you again.

Kit: Never???

Me: Nope. Never. I have no use for a man who lies to me, who betrays my trust, who cheats on me.

Kit: I never cheated on you. NEVER.

Me: Excuse me? I read everything you wrote to her. I saw the messages about meeting up. I don't know if you ever did half the things you said you were going to do to her and frankly, it doesn't matter. You had every intention of fucking another woman behind my back and that is cheating.

Kit: It's not cheating. We aren't married.


This is when I lost my shit.

I have to tell you, I'd been pretty cool until then. I'd kept a level head and a calm voice. I'd been rational and poised and about as gracious as anyone could be. But "it wasn't cheating because we aren't married?" Oh. Hell. No.

Me: Really? So putting a ring on my finger will make you keep your dick in your pants? I don't think so. If you're cheating on me when we're dating, then you will cheat on me when we're engaged, you'll cheat on me when we're married, you'll cheat on me when we have kids. When does it end? It's not cheating because we aren't married? How about it's not cheating if it's in a different time zone? Or it's not cheating because I was wearing blue? Or it's not cheating because it's Thursday? Cheating is cheating, end of fucking story. And if you don't know that, if you don't understand that, if you don't see the hurt you've caused me and how you have ruined us then I CAN'T HELP YOU.

This was followed by lots more yelling from me and lots more arguing from him. There was no groveling, no apology, no begging for forgiveness. He defended himself because (and I quote) "I didn't think I was doing anything wrong."

More yelling. More tears. More wanting to beat his head in with a baseball bat. I went from 0 - 60 in 3.4 seconds. The voice screaming at him was no longer my own. It was an unrecognizable, animalistic voice full of hatred and hurt and fear and betrayal and expletive language that I do not use in everyday conversation. The cursing...ohhhhh the cursing!

It was at that moment that I realized Kit truly did not think he was in the wrong here. He genuinely believed beyond a shadow of a doubt that he hadn't cheated on me. He was not playing the victim - he honestly thought he was the victim of an unfair break-up. He didn't see his affair with Erica as the earth-shattering end of our relationship as I did because he didn't see it as an affair at all. To him, it was all a game, all a fantasy, all an escape from the real world. He turned to the her on the internet, hidden behind the safety of his computer where nothing was "real" - but I don't buy it.

I'm real. Our life together was real. Our relationship, our love, our plans to spend the rest of our lives together - that was all real. And he *really* fucked it up.

Kit lowered his face once more, looking up at me with big, sad eyes. He implored me to forgive him, take him back, give him one more chance, not to kick him out. He didn't want to go. He loved me, was in love with me, couldn't imagine life without me. And he knew that I was in love with him too.

He's right. I am. Which is why this hurt is so deep. Which is why the scar may never fully heal. Which is why I can't believe he would willingly destroy us from the inside, undermining every ounce of faith I had in him. Which is why he needed to go right then and there.

I don't know what deep well of strength I tapped into that gave me the courage to kick him out on his ass. I don't know how I managed to not break down in tears and tell him it was all going to be ok. I don't know where inside me the will power lived that held me back from flinging my arms around his neck, nuzzling my nose into his shoulders and begging him to stay. I don't know how I did it. I only knew I had to.

"Marry me someday." I'm such a fool.

***Update: You can read the entire ugly transcript here, published by Megan Marks - Erica & Kit***

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Erica Who???

Shock. Rage. Sadness. Shock. Rage. Sadness. Shock. Rage. Sadness.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Numb, I picked up the phone to confront Kit.

Kit: Hi Bunny, what's up?

Me: Who's Erica?

Kit: Which one?

Me: Erica Whats-her-fuck-si.

Kit: Oh, she's just an old friend.

Me: An old friend whose tight ass you want to fuck???

Kit: What? Oh. No. Nonononono. Kim, wait, let me explain.

Me: Explain what? How you've been cheating on me the entire time we've been dating?

Kit: No. No, Kim, please let me talk to you about this. It was a fantasy. It was a game. It wasn't real.

Me: This is not a game. This is my life.

Kit: Kim, I love you. I'm coming home. I'm taking the next train back and coming home right now.

Me: Don't bother coming home unless you have someone's car to help you pick up your shit. Your things will be packed whenever you get here. After that, I never want to see you again.

Kit: Kim, please, it didn't mean anything. You're my whole world. Don't do this to me. Don't kick me out.


And we're back to rage...

Against his promise, Kit did not turn around from the city and come home right away. He did not explain anything. He did not apologize. He did not grovel at my feet and beg for forgiveness. He called every one of his friends in a desperate attempt to find a place to stay. He said he'd be by to pick up his things by 8 that night.

Oh, I should also mention that he went on facebook and posted a few messages about his newly single status such as: Single. Kim broke up with me. I need a place to rest my head for the night and keep my things. Please message me if you have a spare room or a spare couch or anything. I'm such a fuck up. Followed an hour later by: I'm such a screw up. Can't believe I just lost the best thing that ever happened to me. Kim, please, please forgive me. I love you. I don't want to lose you. Help?

He immediately had a dozen or more comments from friends asking me to forgive him, saying that we could work through it, that whatever happened between us couldn't have been *that* bad, that we are a great couple and should stay together etc, etc, etc. I agree. We were a great couple. We were happy and in love and that's why this betrayal is so incredibly shocking. I held back for as long as I could but since he announced our break-up to his entire facebook community before I even had a chance to tell my mother, I responded to the comments with: He cheated on me. He's been cheating on me. So before you ask me to forgive him, ask yourselves if you could trust a man who lied to you for more than five months.

Then I set to work packing his things.

I know what you're thinking: Did I heave his boxes out onto the lawn? Did I smash his belongings against the curb? Did I leave his irreplaceable family photos to wither away in the rain? No. I didn't.

I didn't douse his blankets in my perfume. I didn't cover his important paperwork with his precious hot sauce. I didn't dump all his clothes in a bucket of bleach. I didn't slash holes in his sneakers. I didn't put Gorilla glue all over his computer keys.

I thought about it...but I didn't do it.

Instead, I finished the load of laundry I was washing and drying. I folded the clothes and packed them in bags. I emptied his drawers and gently placed the books side by side in size order in boxes with lids. I bubble wrapped his fragile memorabilia. I packed every box with care, taped them shut, and labeled each box with the contents inside.

I followed that up with FUCK YOU in Sharpie on every surface.

***Update: You can read the entire transcript here, published by Megan Marks - Erica & Kit***

The Break-Up Diet

Whoever said that Rice Krispies Treats are not an acceptable breakfast never went through a horrible break-up.

If it has marshmallows in it, I'll eat it. If it's cream-filled, sugar-coated, or cinnamon-dusted, sign me up. If you can cover it with chocolate, dip it in caramel, or serve it with a dollop of whipped cream, just slide the plate right over.

If you couldn't tell, I'm using calories as a pain killer.

No, it won't always be this way. I don't hate my arteries enough to keep up this extravagant lifestyle. Also, if I'm going to be on a reality show, it had better be The Bachelorette and not The Biggest Loser. But for now, for this week, for this level of heartache there's only one remedy that's proven to work time and time again: ice cream.

I couldn't bring myself to eat anything for the first two days. When my mother finally threatened to force feed me, I made her take me to Friendly's. She offered Italian restaurants, seafood feasts at a table on the water, Greek delicacies. But no. I wanted five scoops of cookie dough ice cream flanked by two molten hot Oreo brownies, surrounded by little soldier mounds of whipped topping and drizzled with caramel, hot fudge, and melted marshmallow.

Ever the documentarian, I took a picture and posted it to Facebook. The first comment I got was "You're at Friendly's. I ate that during my last break-up. Munch on, sister!"

And then my personal trainer called.

I love my trainer. I really do. I have not set one foot inside the doors of the gym all year but she calls / texts / emails me every so often just to check in. She spent all of last year kicking my ass when I needed it most and we became genuine friends. But I couldn't bring myself to talk to anyone in those first few days, and the last person I wanted to hear from was a woman who would tell me to put down the spoon and step away from the fat grams.

I'm in pain. The fat grams are my friends.

My mother was ever so supportive of my attempt to dull the hurt with preservatives and artificial flavoring. She was sporting enough to take a few bird-like bites but backed away when she saw with what vengeance I attacked the dessert (slash breakfast). She knew, like all of you know, that this pain won't last forever. It will get easier over time and my heart will heal eventually. But in the meantime I am on a strict break-up diet: Cupcakes, Cosmo's and Crying. *Not necessarily in that order!*

Monday, September 26, 2011

My Life in Ruins

When I think about Kit’s betrayal and our break-up, I keep replaying the 24 hours leading up to it in my mind. I rack my brain looking for clues, coming up empty every time. I scour every detail with a fine-toothed comb. There must’ve been something - anything - I was missing. Some flashing neon sign saying “He’s lying to you! Don’t trust him!” But there wasn’t. I was blind sided.

The night before “the discovery” was a night like any other. We’d been cleaning and organizing the apartment. Anyone who’s moved in together knows that post-move combining of stuff always looks worse before it looks better. Our place looked like a preppy meets punk bomb site. My Cinderella paintings mixed with his metal concert posters. My purple butterfly stationary mixed with his neon green running shoes. My herbal teas mixed with his variety of hot sauce. We’d make excellent progress all afternoon in the merging and tidying of our belongings and took the evening off to relax.

For our last meal, we ate turkey burgers with ketchup, yellow tomatoes and provolone, potato chips, and baked beans with brown mustard. We drank homemade sweet iced tea and crunched on horseradish pickles, fresh from the day’s farmer’s market.

We watched My Life In Ruins and he brushed my hair throughout the entire movie. When it ended, we danced around the living room to Greek music, singing and kicking our feet up and saying “Opa!!!” We then flipped on She’s Out of My League and I massaged his feet for two hours.

We brushed our teeth, got into pajamas, refilled our water cups and snuggled into bed. I rubbed his back as he drifted off to sweet dreams. He whispered “I Love You” in his daze and rolled over, tugging the blanket with him. It was like every night for the last five and a half months. Nothing had changed. Nothing was different. Nothing was out of the ordinary. Nothing will ever be the same.

He will never again kiss me before bed. He will never brush my hair. He will never tickle me as I’m wriggling into pj’s. He will never annoy me by walking around the apartment cleaning his teeth. He will never warm my cold feet under the covers. He will never tease me about hogging the blankets. He will never toss and turn and toss and turn before settling into snuggle position. He will never make spoons with me again. He will never wake me from a nightmare, soothe my fears away, and hold me until I fall back to peaceful sleep. Now the only nightmares I have are about him being gone. And there’s no one to wake me from them.

I didn’t know it was our last meal. I didn’t know it was our last night together. I didn’t know it was our last kiss. Would I have done anything differently? Probably not. I loved him the same way I did every night. I would still love him the same way today and tomorrow and all the days to come. I didn’t know it was the end. I thought it was only the beginning.

Every person I’ve told about our break-up has the same shocked look of horror on their face and in their voice. It is impossible to believe. He was the epitome of kindness. The sort of man you’d look at and think “Aw, he’s a really great guy. What a sweetheart.” The one thing I heard more than anything else was “He’s a keeper!” and I truly thought he was. Those that knew us together are completely surprised because we were so happy, so in love, so smiley all the time.

What’s that saying? Oh yeah... Ignorance is bliss.

Writing on the Walls

If you ever wanted to know how much Kit loved me, all you had to do was go to the bathroom.

I saved every note he wrote me, even the silly little ones on Post-It Notes. I'd find designer cards hidden in the medicine cabinet, my sock drawer, the dvd player. They were tucked inside the bookshelf, the microwave, the jewelry box. They were taped to the walls, the mirrors, even the ceiling. It was like a treasure hunt with the best prize of all - his love.

Every time I found one, I squealed with delight. I couldn't wait to tear the envelope open and read whatever sentiment he'd written there.

Sometimes it was sexy "Tonight, I'm going to trace every curve of your beautiful body with my fingertips" or sweet "I can't wait to spend my forever with you" or even silly "I love you more than a one-armed fisherman's tall tale."

He quoted the great poets like Keats, Yeats and Shelley. He wrote Irish blessings and folklore. He used lines from his favorite bands and entire verses of love songs. He made me feel so alive, so unique, so completely adored.

A few square inches at a time, I covered the bathroom walls with these notes. Some people have Reader's Digest for company. I had the entire history of our relationship. From the time we'd been dating for a week, to a month, and random Tuesdays in between - I could look back on it all with fondness and affection.

Kit & I met online. I had fallen for his words before I'd even met him. He's a damn good writer and those emails were the highlight of my day for weeks before we got together in person. Reading someone's writing - whether hand written notes or emails or even (dare I say it) their blog - is incredibly personal. I got to know him through his words. I fell in love with him every day for six months through his words. And it was his words that deceived me the most.

The first few minutes after discovering his unfaithfulness are a blur to me. I screamed in a way I can only compare to Wesley in the Princess Bride when he's put on "the machine" and loses fifty years of his life. He suffers the ultimate torture in losing his love. It was an unrecognizable voice, hardly human, barely my own, echoing in my ears.

Along with the scream came the tears streaming down my face, onto my shirt, onto my keyboard, into my teacup. Sobbing, wailing, hysterical tears begging for it not to be true. The more I read, the more I knew this was not a dream, no matter how much I was dying to wake up.

I can't tell you the exact amount of time I sat at my desk, staring into the void. I can't tell you how many minutes passed before I could feel my face or hands again. I can't tell you what made me move - but I do know what I did next.

I went to the bathroom and ripped down every single love note from its revered space on my wall.

Each note made an indescribable noise as I tore it down. The audible sound of my heart breaking into pieces.

So now I have to redecorate my bathroom. But I have no idea how to repair my heart.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Eyes Run Dry

Kit & I broke up.

For those of you that read the last page first. For people who want to know how the story ends, even before it begins. Now you know.

But I never saw it coming.

Truth be told, I was thrilled to start blogging again. When I logged on to the computer yesterday, it was to fill you all in on how Kit & I fell in love, moved in together, and had begun planning a wedding. When I logged on to the computer yesterday, it was to write my own happy ending and share it with the devoted readers who've been cheering for me all along. When I logged on to the computer yesterday, I found out Kit has been cheating on me...the entire time we've been dating.

The entire fucking time.

There seems to be some controversy over whether or not he was *actually* cheating. He swears nothing physical ever happened. Whether it did or not is not the point. In my book, engaging in an emotional relationship with a person other than your partner with the INTENT of a physical relationship at the opportune time is cheating.

Let me explain.

My last boyfriend clearly cheated on me. He had sex with another woman (a fat woman with mousy hair. Oh, and he did it while I was babysitting his daughter. But that's another story.)

What killed me in that relationship wasn't that he slept with someone else, although that surely grossed me out beyond belief. It was that he'd been LYING about it the whole time. It was the sneaking around behind my back. The emails, the phone calls, the text messages, the clandestine meetings. He betrayed every ounce of trust I'd bestowed in him the whole two years we were dating. He undermined every honest feeling I'd ever had for him. He threw back in my face all the love I gave without question.

The thing about heartbreak is that it doesn't kill matter how much you want it to.

I thought that I would die after that relationship. There were weeks - possibly months - that I didn't get out of bed. I couldn't eat or shower or sleep. I was an unrecognizable wreck. Don't even get me started on the state of my hair!!! Definitely not the woman you have all gotten to know in the last twenty months. That was the weakest point in my life. I know what rock bottom feels like. I felt it after my divorce. I felt it after my ex cheated on me. If allowed, I'd be there again now.

Kit knew all this about me. We took a month to get to know each other before even meeting. By the time we started dating, we were practically best friends. I am an expert in the history of his life as he is on mine. He knew the intimate details of how my ex fucked me over, toyed with my mind, broke my heart. I begged Kit never to put me through that. Never to make me feel the way my ex did. Never to hurt me so badly I wished someone would just cut out my heart to stop the pain. He swore he never would. I - and everyone else in my life - believed him.

Yesterday started out as normal as any other day. Since moving in together, we've fallen into our little routine. He wakes up an hour before me, snuggles me for a few minutes, kisses my head and I roll back into a blissful, dreamy sleep. He exercises, goes for a run, plays with the dog, eats breakfast, then hops onto the computer to check the world news and sports scores.

At least, that's what I thought he was doing.

You know those moments that are so surreal you can hardly believe you're living them? I had two yesterday, within five minutes of each other. The first was when I dropped Kit at the train station. He was heading into the city and almost missed his train kissing me goodbye so many times. Thirty seconds after pulling away from the station, he called and I got worried - was something wrong? Was he sick? No. He just wanted to say I Love You one more time. I called my mother laughing at how much he loved me, how much he missed me after only being apart for a millisecond. How silly is it that I'm "complaining" about a man who loves me too much?!?! The flip side to that is my father calls my mother all the time to tell her how much he loves and misses her. Sometimes he'll be upstate for a week and say it. Sometimes he'll call her from the couch. In that moment, we were just two women feeling ridiculously lucky to be with men who really, truly love and appreciate us.

The second surreal moment was three minutes later when I got home, flipped open the laptop and saw that Kit had left his facebook open. Nothing surprising. What was surprising was the chat message he had open with a friend named Erica which read:

The last time Kim and I had sex, I imagined it was with you.

Dear Pandora, when you opened the box, did you ever wish you didn't???

Erica: Hey! How was your date last night? Was she everything you hoped for?
Kit: She has small boobs and a big ass. Not exactly my type. Plus she's too tall. I like petite brunettes. Know any?

Erica: You had sex with her for the first time? How was it?
Kit: Meh. It was ok.

Erica: Do you ever think about me?
Kit: When I'm about to finish inside her, I squeeze my eyes shut real tight. It's easier to picture your face that way.

Erica: Do you miss anal with me?
Kit: I love taking Kim from behind. It makes me think of fucking your tight ass.

Erica: How's your day going?
Kit: I'm exhausted from this morning. I get off just thinking about your mouth around my cock.

Erica: You're dating a hot blonde, eh? Think you could get the two of us together?
Kit: Kim is the jealous type, so I can't tell her about us. She would freak out. But we can keep talking - hearing from you is what I look forward to most in a day.

Erica: You have a girlfriend now. Do we have new boundaries?
Kit: No, she doesn't have to know *everything* about me. I'm the same horny toad I always was. Especially for you.

Erica: You seem really happy on your facebook posts.
Kit: I would never be with Kim forever without screwing you a few more times.

Erica: Are you gonna marry her?
Kit: I don't think I'll ever marry this girl, but I love feeling safe and comforted and protected. That's why I stay. That's why I moved in.

Please note that there were over 1,160 messages back and forth between them from April through yesterday. Clearly, I couldn't share them all with you, but these are some of the highlights. He was chatting with her while I was sleeping, while I was in the shower, while I was making him lunch. He was chatting with her while moving in with me, planning a wedding with me, picking out baby names with me. He was chatting with her while crawling into bed with me every night, telling me he loved me, and kissing me ever so sweetly. He was chatting with her while deceiving me, my friends, my family, my readers, and even my dog.

I haven't stopped crying for 24 hours. I can't stop replaying his awful words over and over in my head. I can't stop shaking in disbelief that a man I trusted - we all trusted - could betray me so horribly. I woke up in a different world today. One in which I am in bed alone, he did not snuggle me, he did not kiss me good morning. A world that has come crashing down around my shoulders, all the hopes and dreams for the future disappeared in one instant. A world where I would like to crawl back under the covers and sleep for a million years. He ripped everything out from under me. I have nothing left to give.

Many of you have sent me emails, texts, and fb messages to help lift my spirits. While I cannot express my gratitude in words right now, please know that I take them all very much to heart. Thank you for sending your love and hugs and support. I pray that you never, ever feel what I'm feeling right now. No one deserves this kind of pain. No one.

***Update: You can read the entire ugly transcript here, published by Megan Marks - Erica Wondolowski***

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Monkeying Around

I am not in the habit of taking seriously the advice of a walking, talking, blue-assed baboon. Yet that's precisely what happened just 24 hours ago.

When they announced the re-release of The Lion King in 3-D, my initial reaction was one of hesitance and skepticism. It's a "new classic" - one I actually remember seeing in theaters the first time around. Mom came all the way up to summer camp, picked up my little brother and me, and took us to the movies. In those days, the movies were NOT an alternative "rainy day activity" at camp like they are today. Listen, when you're in the woods for eight solid weeks of bug juice and government peanut butter, you'll take any excuse you can get to run away!

Long story short, I went because it was a rainy Wednesday afternoon and Kit & I were trying to avoid cabin fever. We both love The Lion King and wanted to see if the "new" release was worth all the hype. We were not disappointed. There is something about a Disney movie that makes me inexplicably happy. It literally takes my breath away to see Cinderella's castle in the previews, and it never gets old. The films, the theme parks, even the store remind me of childhood being a simpler time. Yesterday was already a complicated mess in my head, dealing with the emptiness of my deflated marriage. This was the perfect solution for lifting my spirits.

Here's what I wasn't expecting: Life lessons from a baboon.

Adult Simba: I know what I have to do. But going back will mean facing my past. I've been running from it for so long.

[Rafiki hits Simba on the head with his stick]

Adult Simba: Ow! Jeez, what was that for?

Rafiki: It doesn't matter. It's in the past.

Adult Simba: Yeah, but it still hurts.

Rafiki: Oh yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it, or... learn from it.

[Rafiki swings his stick at Simba again who ducks out of the way]

Escaping the past is not an option. It will always be there. I've been running from the pain just like Simba did for a lot of years now, hoping that the hurt would go away. It hasn't. Rafiki offers the other option of learning from the past and I'm happy to say that I am working on that even as I write this.

So many of you sent me wonderful messages yesterday of encouragement, support and love. You shared your personal stories with me of how your lives have been affected by divorce or break-ups and how hard it has been to move on. Some of you have moved on more than others. Some of you still need time to heal. Some of you are in enviable relationships where you can say without a doubt that you're *happy* --- I love hearing from all of you.

Maybe this blog gives you the hope that true love is out there. Maybe it just makes you laugh at my mis-steps and keeps you giggling at the dating foibles I've encountered. Maybe it just lets you know that you're not alone.

Maybe there's something to the blue-assed baboon yet!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Dancing in the Rain

I couldn't tell you what I had for breakfast yesterday. I couldn't say for certain what outfits I wore last week. I don't remember the name of the restaurant I ate at last month. But I could tell you absolutely everything about September 21, 2003.

I married the man I loved eight years ago today. While it is no longer a happy anniversary, the date is drilled into my brain, nonetheless. I have vague recollections of him every so often but today I'm flooded with memories both bitter and sweet.

I remember every crystal of my Maggie Sottero dress. I can picture every petal of my white rose bouquet. I vividly recall my lilac tinted cake. I still imagine dancing with my little sister every single time J. Lo's "Let's Get Loud" comes on the radio. I can feel the ground squishing under my ballet slippers, the wet grass turning them green after the constant rain leading up to our wedding day. It's all there. And yet, it's all gone.

I realized last night that it's not my husband I miss at all. Our wedding was beautiful but our marriage was flawed at best. We started growing apart from the minute we got together. I didn't know the first thing about myself or how to have a "real relationship" at 20 years old. I would dare to argue that no one does. But the choices are to grow up together or grow apart and it saddens me to say we unwittingly chose the latter route.

I wrote the blog "Non-aversary" one year ago today. Our divorce was finalized two years ago today. We split four years ago today. Today seems to be the date that follows me wherever I go, haunts me in my dreams, shaped an entire decade of my life.

But it does not define me.

I have made a conscious choice to not be the product of my divorce. It's so easy to fall into the trap of letting one aspect of your existence define you, eclipsing every other part of your world. It's easy to fall prey to the "woe is me" mindset and embarrassingly, for a while, I did. That time is over.

September 21, 2011 is completely different than last year, two years ago, ten years ago. For the first time since I got on that plane to London, I can honestly say that my ex is no longer a part of my life. He and our marriage will always have a place in my heart and remain at the back of my mind. That being said, the more of my heart Kit takes up, the less room there is for painful breakups with exes. The more present I am in my life today, the further back those memories get pushed. The more happiness I allow myself to feel, the less sadness has a chance to creep in. I feel stronger and more confident than ever before.

The amazing news is that Kit & I just moved in together and we are loving every second of it. I promise to go back and fill in all the details of our modern day fairy tale journey and I hope you're as excited to read about it as I am to write it! After all the hurt, all the heartbreak, all the disappointment, all the bull shit, I've written my own happily ever after with a man I am proud to say I love totally and completely. He's not perfect. Neither am I. But we're pretty darn perfect for each other and I find myself smiling more often than should be legally allowed!

My dearest readers: You have become my friends and I never would have survived this experience without your kindness, love and support. All the comments, all the emails, all the cheerleading got me back on my proverbial horse and now I'm riding off with my knight in shining armor. I wish for each and every one of you a lifetime of love and happiness. Whether you're single, going through a break-up, or have survived an awful divorce, there is a rainbow after the storm. In the meantime, may I suggest dancing in the rain!