Filling the Void

Filling the void...

That's my job now. I am getting thru the muck and moving forward, holding my head up. My old life is ending... the marriage, the boyfriend, the house, even my age... moving into a new decade, and now, a new neighborhood with new neighbors. Everything is changing and yet some things are still the same, thank God. I love this area and with so many things ending, some transitions will hopefully be fun, exciting, easy and smooth.

After my marriage ended, my relationship with Bill reached into my chest, my heart — the void within me — and took a firm grip. It shook me savagely, so hard that I felt as though I were really waking up from a dream. It was like waking up from a nightmare only to realize I was in another dream. When that dream ended, I felt I had woken up into a second nightmare. Bill was my refuge for all the smaller nightmares in between: Matt battles, mortgage battles, legal battles, business battles, relationship battles. The second nightmare, as of recent, really knocked me down. I began to question my sanity. Was I descending into madness, unrecognizable to even myself, like Susannah Cahalan in Brain on Fire?

But then I finally woke up for real, and there is something unmistakeable about that reality — I am really waking up. This is what I feel like; it is so strong that it is like a hallucination. Now that my eyes are open I see this tiny person before me, and I am remembering, trying to, what I was like only 2 months ago. A mother. A loving mother. My son meant the world to me, and I think I had forgotten that. My past month has been so unlike what I had ever experienced before, and yet, the past 5 years I have been in transition — so many new experiences. Stuck at times, but in transition. I am learning from this.

I have a void in me right now. It's nothing that Oliver can fill. It's nothing that a man can fill. Bill filled it for a long time. Despite the ugly, I do miss him and his friendship. But that Bill is dead. He no longer exists, just like the man I married no longer exists. The man I married, while he did things that I think are nearly unforgivable, does have some heart in him. We are friends, kind of sort of. The man I dated? It's maybe too soon too tell. I thought he had a heart, and I do think he tried. It's one of those things where there are good and ugly parts to everyone. I'm choking up as I write this. He's not a good guy right now. He has his troubles (Bill). He has his ugly disgusting side. It helps me to move on when I remember that.

But grief has its own way of weaving thru your heart and soul. I do miss the man who was my friend and good to me, the one who called me every night, the one who wished me Sweet Dreams every night, the one who read stories to my boy at night, who'd helped him pick out a baseball glove and softened it with oil, wrapped a ball inside the mitt fastened with a rubber band, and taught him to sleep with it under his pillow. Who brought him a hand-pick petrified rock from the Utah desert. The man who'd read me poems until I fell asleep, who'd sneak chocolate truffles into my suitcase wrapped in special paper (meaningful only to us) that I'd discover upon arrival; the one who'd buy me books he'd think I'd like and leave them on my bedside table to discover as I'd crawl into bed, the one who stood me in front of the mirror and made me look at myself, pointing out all the beautiful (non-sexual) parts of my body that were beautiful. He made me look at my face in the mirror and pointed out all the beautiful features I have. “Look at yourself. Lift up your chin. See those eyes? See how beautiful you are? You're beautiful Andrea. You have a beautiful smile. Beautiful lips. Beautiful cheeks. So sweet. So shy to see yourself. Look. Just look at yourself,” he'd say as he'd gently lift my chin so that my eyes would meet my own in the mirror, as he stood behind me.

I truly thought that was love.

I loved the man who sent me texts like these:

Maybe he does that with all his women. I don't know. I want to pretend, just for now, that I was the only one he did that with. That I was that special to him. Maybe I was. And maybe I wasn't. Maybe I was just another one of his vulnerable prey.

It doesn't matter really. What matters is he's gone, and it's done, and I need some time to learn to love myself and to fill my void with something good. Like God. Like only God. Not a man. Not a new dress from Prana or Athleta. Not sexy strappy shoes and French manicured toes. None of those things.

*  *  *  *  *

Nora Ephron said it best in her script for Heartburn starring Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep

It is possible...
...well, to love someone so much,
or to think that you
Want to love them so much
that you just don't even see anything.
You decide to love him.
And you decide to trust him,
You sort of notice that things are not
the way they were, but it's...
It's a...
A distant bell.
And then when things do turn out
to have been wrong,
it's not that you knew all along.
It's just that you were...
...somewhere else.

You'd have to be living in a dream.

Yes. So...
And then the dream dies.
And the dream breaks into a million tiny little pieces
which gives you a choice. You can stick with it, which is unbearable or you can just go off and dream another dream.

You can watch the clip here, but this is a spoiler alert.

*  *  *  *  *

Please keep praying for me. (We found an apartment btw! Perfect for us and near where we live now. The application was accepted despite a BK and a foreclosure.)

And I promise to keep working to fill the void in me with something good.

Photos taken in Door County on my birthday, July 25, 2014.


  1. Those are wonderful photos of you and your son. I am glad to hear you found an apartment.

    Filling the void - it strikes me that this is a very human struggle, something each of us wrestles with, to some extent. It is a challenge, but I think that's what God is there for, to help us through it.

    1. Maybe not so uncommon. Except when the substitutes are in the void and then removed, the void speaks loudly, screams your name until it's unbearable anymore. And then one has a choice: fill it with just about anything to make it stop, or to live and learn thru the screaming pain until we ask and allow God to fill it. Perhaps I've never really truly done that. I don't know. Hopefully I will find out.

  2. God will fill that void. Just ask Him. God will never forsake you. Never disappoint you. Never stop being your friend. Never stop loving you. I think you are right that you filled the void after Matt with Bill. And then without Bill, the void seems even greater. Be brave and resist the temptation to fill it with something, anything to stop the ache. Wait. Heal. Let God fill you up with His love and goodness. That will help you be a stronger mother and a stronger person. I believe in you! You are stronger than you know.

    1. I must be strong. I am strong. I have to be, because no weak woman could go thru what I've just gone thru. I'm not bragging. I'm feeling sorry if anything. What just happened to me in the past few weeks was incredible.

    2. You are so right. You ARE strong. You have endured so much. I am praying that the new apartment will be the start of a great new beginning for you!!

  3. Great comments from CHM and Pamela. Wonderful pictures too. I can really see you, Andrea, in Oliver. What a handsome little boy! I know he's a mixture of you and Matt but in the above photo he looks so much like you. Like this post as I can see you are moving through this - slowly but surely. And there may be setbacks along the way but you're doing well. I like it too that you're considering to take some time now for just "Andrea" - not a new man, not an old beau but just time to find out who you really are and "fill that void" in a different. way. Think you'll really like yourself. Your internet friends do. Also agree with above comments that the move will be like a new beginning for you and for Oliver too. As always praying and thinking about you.


    1. Thank you. It's also always nice to hear that people see me in my son because I often hear he looks so much like his father.

      I am moving. I now feel grief, not depression and anxiety or fear. I'm done fighting it, fighting to win him back. I've accepted it's over, he's not the same, and now I just miss the man I used to know, the one who no longer exists. There is a fear I wont find the good i had with him with anyone else. I still love him, the OLD him. But he and i have now crossed a line, a point of no return. We have betrayed each other in many ways, and I think there's not even a smile or friendship in our future. And that makes me sad. I miss that guy, not this one, but the old friend I had.

    2. Just wanted to add about the photo of Oliver. After I sent my last message I looked at it again and then saw your profile picture. I noticed how both of have your head tilted the exact same way and his chin is very similar to yours. So sweet. You're mourning the loss of the old beau and not the one he turned out to be. Mourning's o.k. You'll get through this.


    3. Elle, You are so kind. I want to thank you so much for checking in and offering support. It helps. It really does! It makes my day easier to read comments, esp from readers who believe in me. Grief is OK... at least I'm in grief now, not madness, not anxiety, fear or not even so much depression. x o to you.

  4. Congrats on the apartment! Yay for tiny miracles


Post a Comment

Your comments are helpful! Thanks!