We're taking a little breather today before it gets kind of dark around here for a day or two. After the darkness, it's going to get light - nice, bright, sunny light. And with any luck, it's going to stay that way. For a good long time. I'm ready for daylight. It's been dark long enough.
I've said this before and I'll say it again, but the learning curves of divorce are really interesting. When you go looking for an answer you're very likely to still be standing on the curb six hours later, with not an insight to be found. But sometimes the cylinders all fall into place with no warning, and you're clutching a wall to stay upright as the ramifications of it all wash over you. It's been one of those weeks, all right. It took me sixteen months from the first time I was made aware of my ex's discontent, but this week I finally hit bottom. All of my good intentions, all of the behaviors I held dear...all by the wayside, in puffs of hot volcanic ash and swirls of smug deception. This week, for the first time, I was finally pushed too far.
This week, for the first time, I finally broke free.
It all came down to one simple little misconception I was laboring under. Not a completely unrealistic notion, especially considering that I was married for 21 years, but not a really likely one either. Now where I got this idea I can't honestly tell you, unless there was a sale at the Human Decency Store and I saw an ad somewhere. Barring that, it came from my own preconceived idea of what a "good" divorce should be, and maybe even what good people should be.
My mistake was thinking that the FX would give a shit about my feelings in any way, shape or form. To be fair, this idea came about during the Great Wishy Washy Spring of 2008, when he would alternately rage at me for ruining his life and then hold me tight and tell me we'd get through this. It was reinforced over and over again, in many ways, up until fairly recently. We didn't necessarily like each other much, but we played nice and even put on smiley faces with little difficulty when we had to. It had almost become comfortable, at least for me.
Well, things change. I realized with a bang this week that it's impossible to have a decent, honorable divorce when you didn't have a decent, honorable marriage. I understood with startling clarity that my feelings are absolutely a non-factor in the FX's life. And I finally, finally, grasped that I can talk all day long about issues we still have and it doesn't make a damned bit of difference, because whenever I talked about our issues when we were married it never got me anywhere either.
And so I did a few things. Just for me.
I decided that from here on out we will discuss the kids and the house and that's all.
I relieved myself of the responsibility of being middle man between the kids and their dad. This is not a relationship I can fix. My input will no longer be offered, even when requested. If the kids ask, obviously that's totally different.
I allowed myself to be angry over certain things. But I also encouraged myself to let it go.
I gave myself permission to not care one whit for his feelings either. This was the easiest of the lot, and the quickest one to get the hang of.
As ah-hah moments go, it was right up there at the top of the list.
I can't believe it took me that long.
Sometimes I can be a little...slow.