Let me tell you about the Cruise of Lies.
This photo was taken on our first family cruise(which would become an annual tradition). I had made the decision to divorce my husband. My daughter was 3 years old.
A few weeks earlier I had gotten the call that set everything in motion. A woman “anonymously” called my house to inform me that my husband had been cheating on me for some time with a co-worker. This was the culmination of many red flags that I ignored throughout the course of the relationship but that’s a story for another day.
The decision had been made. Papers filed. He was in the process of moving out. This cruise was to celebrate my Grandparents turning 90 and it would be the first time we had all gotten together since my wedding. It was also the first big family vacation for my daughter and I knew it would be the last one for her with her two parents as a unit.
Everyone was so excited about this cruise, it was to be a celebration of life and family. I couldn’t bring myself to show up alone and say “hey everyone, I’m getting divorced”. I was already humiliated and did not want to answer questions,, and basically re-live a chain of events that I was in the process of making peace with. This was about my family as a whole and I didn’t want it to be about me.
I also wanted my daughter to have this memory. I didn’t want to have to explain to her why Daddy all of a sudden wasn’t coming. And maybe honestly, I wanted the memory for myself. The nuclear family, on vacation together, happy. Mommy, Daddy & baby.
I did consult with my mother because we are so close and I needed her counsel. My parents were the only ones that knew what was going on. She agreed to keep my secret until after the cruise. A decision that many family members were not too happy with.
So he came….. and we pretended. Now, it wasn’t a stretch because as fucked up as the situation was, everything had come to the light and part of me felt vindicated. I had all types of suspicions through the years, a lot of things didn’t add up and although the situation was hurtful my intuition was like “bitch, I wasn’t trippin, you just wasn’t listenin”.
After the cruise I then went through a dark period of where I beat myself up pretty badly because I didn’t listen. “How could I allow this to happen?”, “ Why wasn’t I smarter”, “How could I let myself get played this manner”….. but that’s another post.
During the cruise it was easy for me. It’s like my soon to be ex and I reverted back to the friendship and joking way we had with each other before everything went down. I imagine felt good because his shit was out and he didn’t have to lie anymore and I felt good because this was clearly not the man for me and I was about to move forward from a pure place. A place where there wasn’t lies, deceit, narcissism, and chaos.
After the cruise my mom wrote a letter to the family explaining what was going on and why we decided to not share about it. The guilt weighed on her heavily. She felt like she was lying to her parents, siblings & kids. I just saw it as waiting for the right time. Needless to say, folks weren’t happy. They had spent a week laughing,sharing meals & bonding with a person who was no longer a part of the family. More than that ,a person who had done me wrong.
My sister was ready to catch a flight and whoop his ass, my uncle was disgusted by the fact that he had shared a good cigar with this guy and I’m sure my Grandfather was none too pleased that his money had paid for that joker to join us.
10 years later, both my Grandparents have passed, my daughter is a teenager, I’m happily remarried and I still think it was the right decision. It was a moment of joy in the midst of an ugly situation. It was the calm before the storm of a draining divorce process.
When I look back at the pictures, I can see pensiveness and optimism in my eyes. What a journey it’s been.