"If you jump I'll break your fall.
Lift you up and fly away with you into the night.
If you need to fall apart, I can mend a broken heart.
If you need to crash, then crash and burn you're not
alone.” Crash and Burn – Savagegarden
It was tough sometimes to hang in with Sunshine. Her emotions were all over the place. Tough for me because I always felt there was a rug with my name on it that was about to be pulled out from under my emotional feet...and Sunshine had pulled it out from under me a few times early on.
I understand why...I mean, she's a married woman, right? She's made a vow, invested years of her life in the marriage, has a couple of kids, and everything in her life is a known quantity. She'd had thoughts of leaving her husband before over the years but I gave her the first real opportunity/reason/excuse to actually leave. But Sunshine's path to leaving was blocked by one thing:
Sunshine was scared of the unknown.
Scared of unknown questions that didn't have answers till she walked away from her marriage. Questions like: Would I want a woman with so much baggage? Was I too good to be true or would I be just another man who let her down? Did she dare trust a man again? Would her kids be traumatized and stygmatized? How would she support herself without her husband's income? What would her family her friends, her church think of her getting divorced? How would they react...would they support or condemn?
Though I had never been married, though I had never faced the issues she was staring right in the eyes, I'd had enough women friends who had gone through divorce and experienced similar feelings/doubts/concerns/fears. Though none of those women had an easy time going through their divorces, they all survived it. The world didn't come to an end. I knew Sunshine would survive and be better off for ditching her husband but it's a lot easier for me to feel that way when it's not my life. Sunshine's fear threatened to keep us apart as she tried to push me away when the fear got too overwhelming.
It became clear that I had to pour my belief, my willpower, my confidence into Sunshine. Two ways I did that - I let her pour out her fear to me and I sang to her. Sang "Crash and Burn" to her. I told her over and over that if she took that leap I would not let her fall. And I was absolutely serious. After all the years of isolation, of feeling ugly and unlovable, I was not going to let Sunshine's fear stop me from being with the woman I had waited my entire life to be with. Whatever she was lacking in confidence or strength or belief or courage, I would give her mine. I would empty myself if I had to so she knew that leaving her husband for me wasn't a risk. I listened, poured, supported and then did it some more, all while showing I was everything her husband wasn't and would never be.
I just never knew how big that leap would be for her or how pouring so much of myself into Sunshine would leave me so drained for what was to come. Leaving her husband was the easy part. Getting away from him was nearly-impossible. In fact, it almost killed her. Or, more accurately, he almost killed her.
See how it all started in Sunshine: Diary of An Affair http://amzn.to/11K07iD
Eric Simmons is one of the two essential figures of The Sunshine Affair series. His journals turn his real-life experiences into a novelized version of the events Simmons lived. This blog provides insight on The Sunshine Affair series from this unique perspective.