This separation/divorce thing is like being thrown into freezing cold water. Unfriendly, icy water of limitless depth and distance. Dark and completely unknown territory, treading water, with no land in sight.

But it is either that or stay on a burning, sinking ship with a tyrant. I think I’m giving my (ex)husband too much credit by calling what we had a ship. Trash boat? The garbage barge?

Falling into the icy harsh reality has been startling and scary but it has opened my eyes and awoken all of these senses that I’ve ignored for years.

And there is nothing on the horizon, no inflatable raft to find safety. But I am so happy and thankful to be off of that ship. I am off that ship and I am not waiting on someone to come along and save me.

It feels lonely out here, but I also know somewhere in all of this mess that I’m not alone. I have found so much comfort and support from family and friends, and especially complete strangers. Strangers that know the general how and when and why of situations like this, strangers that have battled their own frigid waters with a sinking, burning trash barge behind them.

Surviving the freezing water is easy relative to the eggshells I’ve walked on for my 10 years’ stay on that sinking ship. The constant manipulation and terror I’ve withstood and come to know as normal. I’ll take being alone in deep arctic water any day over that ship.