Burning Bridges Over Polluted Rivers

It’s been kind of a long week, but I have to admit I am feeling pretty peaceful.

It seems to me that each time I’ve interacted with Chef, I’ve lost some of that “loving feeling”. Which in my case, is a good thing. I’ve noticed that he even looks

Sometimes, you just have to let it all go. Some things aren’t worth saving.

different to me, and after all of the lies, the affairs, the blatant way he has been using the few(two, if you count me) people left in his life, I have to ask myself — Do you really want to fix this mess, Catherine? And I’m okay with the answer. No. I don’t. Not at all.

I’ve always used the cliché “don’t burn your bridges”, but I’ve never really thought about just what that means. I imagine this life I had as a river.  The bridge and the river that runs underneath it are mutually individuals, but without one, the other doesn’t matter. This marriage’s river is polluted by drug abuse, infidelity, broken promises, broken dreams, broken children, lies, deceit, disrespect, and a million other bad things. Why would I want to try to patch this bridge up? The river is ruined…forever.  No. I’m okay with it burning right to the ground.

I believe anyone who wants to can change, and I don’t doubt that God loves Chef and wants him to come to Him for help and healing. But that isn’t my job, and I’ve found that the more I’ve tried to help, the worse I get hurt because Chef’s meth-ed out brain has become a labyrinth of justifications, accusations, and excuses for some really horrific behavior. He seems oblivious to the truth and seems to happily live in his bubble of lies. I don’t understand it, and frankly, I don’t want to. And just being around him for a little while is enough to bring out the very worst pain I’ve ever felt. I’m okay with never seeing him again. In fact, I find that preferable. I’m on day 3 of no contact, and I’m finding it easier to breathe. I went hours today without even once thinking about him. I made plans this weekend with friends, have kind of started my Christmas list for the kids, and have enjoyed my animals. Milo broke his hip earlier this week and it was touch and go if he would make it or not, but thank the Lord, he’s going to be a little lame from the deformed hip bone, but he’ll heal up just fine. I have a ton of beautiful things in my life starting with my patient, precious children, real, loyal friends, and running all the way down to my broken cat. I’m actually happy as I sit here typing this. I know bad days will come again, but they don’t seem to take my breath away anymore, and while I know I’ve developed a bit of an edge, I’m assured by a high school friend that I always had one anyways…lol. Thanks for that, Scott. 🙂 I know God will teach  me a million more lessons through all of this, but today’s was pretty cool …. He was always there; He always cared; This breaks His heart too; but I’ll be fine. I can still find things to laugh about every day, and turns out, it was never Chef that gave me that…It was God. So, today, I have hope. A lot of HOPE!!

On a whim, I bought City on a Hill: Songs of Worship, and this song really touched me. I’m one of God’s stubborn children, and I have to admit that there have been times in all of this that I was afraid He would give up on me. My behavior hasn’t been exemplary by any means at times. There have been days I didn’t feel Him around, and I just wanted to know He still cared; that He hadn’t forgotten this one child’s heart-break. Turns out, He was there all along, because if He hadn’t been, I’d either be dead or in jail for taking ole Chef out of the game of life. The bond of marriage to someone for decades doesn’t unravel easily, and this has really sucked. But, it is loosening, and I’m optimistic it will be severed completely soon. Happy Days!! I included the lyrics to this song because they touched me. I hope you YouTube it and listen. It strikes a chord in a broken child of God’s heart.


— Bird

You’re Here – Sixpence None The Richer

My life is up and it is down
I try to keep both feet on the ground
Your love is all that gets me through
All I need on this earth is you

And I can hear your voice reciting:
“I’m here, I’m closer than your breath
I’ve conquered even death
I am still here
And just like I was then
You can’t remember when I was not here”

Jesus, you’re the author of my heart
Told me you wanted every part
And now my life and its demands
Are resting safety in your hands

And I can hear your voice inviting:
“I’m here,
I’ll never leave your side
My stubborn weary child
I am still here
Please let me lead you on
Your race is already won
I am your God”

And I can hear your voice inviting:
“I’m here,
I’ll never leave you side
My stubborn weary child
I am still here
Please let me lead you on
Your race is already won
I am…I am…your God”


17 responses to “Burning Bridges Over Polluted Rivers”

  1. Howdy Bird. Sorry I haven’t touched base in a while. But I have been reading your posts. I am very happy for you and proud of you for not giving up in these turbulent times. I have had some turbulence myself this past year but nothing compared to you and Chef. I wish the best for you both. But I’m glad you are moving forward with your life and your walk with God. I will continue to keep you and your family in my prayers. Sorry I haven’t posted anything on my own blog in a long time. I’ve tried a couple times. But the negativity that has been brought on by the event of this past summer have stopped me every time in mid post. If I can get my head on straight, I post something soon. Take care and enjoy the coming Christmas holidays.


    • Thank you, lafgod, and I hope everything works out with your unfortunate event. It seems to have been a hard year for a lot of people. Hopefully, you’ll be ready to write again soon. I love your goofy poems! They make me laugh!!


  2. It’s been such a long struggle for you …..at least it must seem long to you. You’re coming ‘out’ the other side and I know you still must have so many questions about your’ ‘future’ but at least you know whose hands you are in…Diane


    • lol..It feels like I’ve been doing this for a decade, but I can honestly say I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I had to sadly admit to myself today that I don’t love him anymore. He killed it. That was kind of sad all unto itself. But, it is kind of freeing, too. I’m going to be fine. I am laughing again, finding it easy to get up in the morning, and most importantly, I don’t feel this overwhelming sadness all the time. That is a really big thing for me. I was more upset this week about my poor cat, Milo, than about the fact that Chef’s girlfriend moved back into his home. What am I really losing to her? A man who can’t shake his addiction, can’t get a job, has lost most of the teeth in his head, can’t tell the truth about anything, blames everyone else for his problems, and cares about nothing and no one more than himself. Yeah. She can have him. I had the best version of him for decades; this one isn’t worth this much heart-ache. I’ve grieved long enough for the loss of who he was. Now, it’s time to move on with life. And I can see just how merciful God has been with me through all of this. He loved me enough to get me away. He loved me enough to keep me away. And He loves me enough to heal me and let me enjoy the rest of my life…with someone else or not. It just doesn’t even matter to me anymore. I’m happy today. Really, really happy. 🙂


  3. Dear Catherine, this was a great post and words I myself needed to hear. There are times that I have felt like I needed to fix my bridge that somehow i am responsible for fixing my broken person but really your image of a broken bridge over a polluted river really hit home for me. I am in my final stages of being able to move forward without ever looking back–I’m not quite there yet but almost and this post really has helped me put it into a better perspective. I have spent so much time trying to figure out why this person did what they did–that my personal life got stuck—–so thank you…….



    • It was about time I got to lend you a helping hand! You’ve babied me all along the way and I so appreciate it. It feels good to just stop trying, doesn’t it? It feels good to not wait by the phone, or to be disappointed that he didn’t magically change back to the old guy I used to love. It feels good to put it down and stop picking it back up. It’s getting easier for me…I know it will get easier for you too. I love you, Ivonne. Hang in there!!


  4. I’m getting ready to burn a bridge in my own life! It feels so liberating!

    I think the term “burning bridges” originally had to do with war, when in order to keep an enemy from pursuing you across a river, you’d simply burn the bridge behind you.

    The funniest and classic example I can think of was in the movie “The Outlaw Josie Wales” where Josie, played by Clint Eastwood, shot the rope in half that was ferrying a bunch of his enemies, (Union soldiers) and kept them from coming after him, and watched as they floated helplessly on down the river.

    There are any number of situations where burning bridges or “cutting ties” can be very positive and healing things to do that can bring peace and closure from ending an unhealthy relationship…or, to just keep nosy or obnoxious stalkers from following you around and/or sticking their nose in your business. I simply can’t stand stalkers, snoops and nosy people, even online cyber-stalkers!

    As someone who has been stalked by no less than three ex’s at various times in my life I’ve found it necessary to pull a disappearing act so I could be left alone by someone who seemed to feel they had unrestricted rights to cross boundaries, (bridges) into my life uninvited. Such people may not be dangerous, but I think they are either mentally unstable, or just need to get a life.

    Wishing you well Catherine. Take care and be safe!




    • It’s been a long time coming for me. I have one last matter of some furniture that I’m still paying for that he is using and then the ties that bind are finished. I can’t get him to to give the stuff back to me…But, for now, I’m stuck paying for it. He is just shameless! It is easier all the time to cut him loose!!


  5. I love the bridge idea. So perfect.
    The term did originate from warfare, and the admonition NOT to burn your bridges comes from corporate dealings where we might want to relate to a competitor, someday, so we need to keep some communication open, not close all doors to give and take.
    That does not go for thieves. They do not give, do not negotiate. They only take.
    If under the bridge is all sewage, and the bridge, itself, is burned too far gone, best choose a side and stay there and quit crossing.
    Or else fall into the sewage.

    Which is what you have seen. Such a SMART cookie! 😉
    Love and joy and peace be unto you from God our Father!!!!!


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