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Natural Awakenings Atlanta

Love, Lost and Found

Feb 01, 2021 08:30AM ● By Kim Green

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Just months after graduating from college, an extremely handsome man proposed to me on a park bench in the East Village. We both were proud Black punk rockers. I was in love with his good looks and roguish stance—or so I thought. We married in 1988 and divorced in 1989. My father refused to attend our City Hall nuptials. He saw what I couldn’t.

K and I were often stopped on the streets because people couldn’t resist the urge to comment on his tantalizing looks. For a once-homely girl who could barely look at herself in the mirror, he was quite a prize. He said he loved me because I wasn’t impressed with his band. We were both over our heads.

Our marriage was tumultuous from the start. I was pretending to be a “wife” at 22 years of age; he never had the courtesy to pretend to be a husband. One day, he told me he was going to visit his mother. Then, hours later, he called to tell me he wouldn’t be back.

When K disappeared, I was lucky to have friends who rushed to me like medics, pulling me up and taking me out of my misery to see the possibilities that life still held. Then, about 27 years later, he dug me up on Facebook and private-messaged me.

“Are you the Kim Green from Sony Music?”

I had, in fact, once worked at Sony. I was happy to hear from him; after all those years, the pain of what seemed a brutal divorce had melted away. I had seen the world and myself through new lenses. I had wondered about him after reading in a magazine that he had become ill with a chronic auto-immune illness. It was different than my own, but ironically, both of our bodies had succumbed to something environmental—or, dare I say, emotional. After all, we had married in the formative years of our hearts’ development, and, over the years, we each had a lot of time to think about our lives and our loves. I imagine he remembered his park bench proposal and how innocent we were then.

When he abandoned me, he didn’t mean to hurt me; he had to save himself.

While I thought I was a woman when we strutted down the aisle in the dusty City Hall chapel, I know now that my evolution came when I was able to be brutally honest with myself and the part that I played in my own infantile agony. Once I was able to find unconditional love in myself, I could even find love in my heart for the man who unceremoniously dumped me. When I think of my handsome ex-husband, I can only appreciate him for all he did for me, not to me. Our fragile marriage emboldened me. It gave me the courage to see what I don’t want, the vision to wish for what I do want and the guts to pursue it.

Today, we are the best of friends. So, when he told me that he was getting married again—it would be his third—all I could feel was elation. I was so moved, I had to write about it.
When I look back on our marriage now, I see it as a rite of passage into my humanity. With that first, “I do,” I crossed the threshold of myself. I understood the toughness it takes to grasp that love can be an unreliable emotion. On the road to love, I’ve made my share of mistakes and caused great suffering in myself and others. I broke promises, and others broke promises to me.
And love goes on. It is these very hard, very human truths that make me part of the human race. K behaved badly in the spirit of self-preservation. I know because I have lived long enough to have committed the same crime.

I now have a ritual of keeping promises to myself so I can more easily keep promises to others. After limping along the road to love, I learned how affirming it is to love myself and live my life the way I want, despite what others may think. I stopped making promises I can’t keep.

Author and coach, Kim Green is the owner of Blank Page Consulting, offering writing and life coaching. Her recently released second novel, Vicissitudes, is now available wherever books are sold. For more information, reach her at WordsLLC.com or 678-938-2777.
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