What It’s Like to Be Me: All Falls Apart Pt 6, Finality

Endings aren’t always the end. Sometimes, everything fades to black at that final moment as credits begin to roll. Other times, there is a mess to clean up after things are over. Some endings become new beginnings. And some stories demand an epilogue after the final chapter. For me, the end of my marriage was all of the above.

There was finality to it. When she said she was done, it was an irrevocable point of no return. I felt enveloped in darkness as if curtains just closed after the climactic scene of our tragic play. The end of my marriage was the start of a new and better life, but that was yet to be realized. In the moments and days and weeks and months after divorce, there was a mess to clean up. We had custody schedules and division of property to figure out. While our story was over, this was my epilogue.

Sevendust: “Separate
It was a Sunday when she told me she wanted divorce. In a text message. While I was at church. I was a volunteer and had a few hours left to finish my duties before I could go home. Despite feeling devastated internally, I had to hold it together on the outside. But I fell apart as soon as I got home. I sat in darkness by the pantry door and asked God why it was happening. I prayed “help this make sense to me.” For a long time, that was the only thing I could think to pray so I repeated it over and over again until things did make sense. I find comfort hearing Lajon Witherspoon echoing my prayer in this song, “Help me, make this make sense to me.”

Papa Roach: “Leader of the Broken Hearts
My predicament found me in a situation similar to Jacoby Shaddix’s lamenting song: “Here I am with nothing left to lose,” feeling like I walked off a battlefield burdened with grief and pain. There’s a weird balance with broken hearts; there is sorrow but there’s also relief. I survived. And as I came out of this broken marriage, I’ve found an ability to lead others with the same broken heart.

Andy Mineo and Co Campbell: “Still Bleeding
As a writer, I am intimately aware of the power of words. This is the truth about language Andy raps about in this song, “so ironic how these phonics are made of frequency waves that can stir oceans of emotions and invoke them old things, I need composure just to compose them.” It often seems as if he wrote this song on my behalf, as I was still bleeding from the wounds of the words she said, that I’d never be good enough. He continued, “your words are so filthy, I don't even know the damage, God used words to create this planet so be careful with them.” But it wasn’t only Bekah’s words that were weaponized. I got text messages from her friends saying I was worthless and telling me I was a shitty dad. There were false accusations reported to the police. They mocked me online and harassed my new friends. It was relentless for a while. I get it when Andy says, “stick and stones may break some bones and some words scar forever, you’re hard forever, make it hard to get up.”

Alison Wonderland, Brave, & Lido: “Already Gone
The first time I heard this song, my emotional state was described in the opening lyrics, “I've been nursing a broken heart, it took so long for me to adjust.” Completely cutting off contact wasn’t an option because we shared children. Every time I picked up the kids, it reopened old wounds. It took me a while to figure out how to exist on my own and be OK with the way things were but she didn’t make it easy for me. “Still you manipulate things, you already broke my heart, why make it so damn hard to move on?”

Staind: “Everything Changes
Aaron Lewis opens this song with a hypothetical question: “If you just walked away, what could I really say?” This wasn’t a hypothetical for me, I had an answer: nothing. If one party wants a divorce, there is absolutely nothing the other party can do to stop it. In the eyes of the law, it takes two people to get married, but only one person to end the marriage. When Bekah walked away, there was nothing I could say. In that moment, I became what Lewis described, “I am the mess you chose, the closet you cannot close, the devil in you I suppose.” Everything changes. Marital status, living arrangements, financial stability, tax filings. Everything.

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