It wasn’t until after I moved out of my marital home that I realized how far from a sanctuary it had become for me.
Once I left, coming home at the end of the day filled me with a sensation of calm. Home was a place to unwind, to relax….to be free.
Looking back I realize that for so long I’d held my breath as I entered my driveway, steeling myself for the evening ahead.
We never fought.
It just got to a point when a stifling sadness seemed to permeate the house. I know he loved me, but he was unhappy, and closed off. We could not communicate.
Knowing now what I couldn’t have known then, I understand. He was hiding in plain sight. He would not let me see.
What could make a person more unhappy than feeling unable to be who they are in their own home? Feeling as though his true self wouldn’t be accepted by the one person he’d promised to love forever?
That’s an emotional prison I can only begin to understand.
Then, he let me go.
I did not look back. Not once I felt what it was like again, to be warm in my nest. To be the main conduit to the energy in my own home.
It has been four years now, and the girls and I are snug in our nest. I love our home so much. It’s hard for me to imagine sharing space again in the future with another man.
My nest feels good with certain boundaries. I love sharing it with friends and family, but I also enjoy the quiet moments, and knowing that every inch of my home is a welcoming and comfortable space for me to inhabit.
I feel held in a way that I never have.
I guess that’s what independence feels like.
Or maybe I’m just protecting myself from ever feeling that kind of loneliness again – the deep loneliness one can only feel when they are not actually alone.
It is a hollowness like no other.
Right now, my nest is perfect.