It’s been a few weeks now since the Church has found my marriage to be invalid. My initial reaction was jumbled confluence of emotions. Some friends immediately said things like “Congratulations!” complete with confetti, balloons, and heart emojis. But that didn’t feel accurate. Other people have shared nothing but a silence that maybe betrays the personal feelings they have on the Church’s decision. Somehow… also inaccurate. And I’m sure there are many, who simply don’t know what to say or make of it all. Still. (And this, I understand.) The best responses were those that were tentative and unsure, curious ones like “How are you?” and such. This was right. But it’s taken me a while to know “how I am.” I found myself scratching out some thoughts a couple days after the decision and shared what’s below on social media. Despite being a logical, rational woman in how I think (most of the time), I often feel—and subsequently write— in fragments of light and shadow, from a mudbank of memories, colors, and awkward analogies. So this was my authentic response as I began to internalize what it all meant:
𝘞𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘋𝘰𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘯 𝘈𝘯𝘶𝘭𝘭𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘍𝘦𝘦𝘭 𝘓𝘪𝘬𝘦?It feels like intersection between sorrow, relief, and disorientation.The pumpkin at the end of the ball.Aloe vera on sunburned skin.And maybe some confusion about the sun’s existence itself.And who’s skin this is anyway. An annulment feels like Oxegyn.Water in the desert.Grief over the work, the blood, and the love that was given away.And grief over what never was.Grief over what should have been.It’s a refund offered on a name.An annulment feels like a confrontation with the words Attachment, Belonging, Identity.It feels like a lesson in pride. And in humility. Detachment.Displacement.But also Shelter.A coming home to myself.It is both Agony for my children. And Hope for my children.A hot shower.Bleach that burns.A prayer petitioning mercy.A prayer of gratitude.