I had stopped watching Dallas by the time this particular episode aired, but the howls of outrage from loyal viewers were loud enough to catch my attention. Evidently after an entire season of soap opera craziness about Bobby Ewing being dead, they were now going to write off the whole thing as a dream sequence and pretend like it never happened. Maybe their ratings went down, maybe the contract negotiations worked out for their actors after all, maybe they simply thought what the hell, but the bottom line is that they just went ahead and took the whole damn thing back. Can you imagine? The nerve! You can't just take something like that back, can you?
Yes. Yes, you can. Isn't that weird?
My disappearing act in the last week has been completely necessary to my mental health, absolutely crucial in getting some things worked out in my own head. I've always known that I would come out of this divorce a stronger, more self-reliant person, but I had no idea of how that all actually worked. It's one of those things that you don't understand until you're in it. And even then it takes a lot of time and effort to actually figure out. But when things started to fall in place earlier last month, it set off a chain reaction that really threw me. I reacted in ways that are very out of character, and in ways that really confused me. I know who I am, and I know what my point of view is. And now, after a week and a half of intense soul searching, I think I know how to present it. And to whom.
A little more than a year ago, I wrote this post, asking people for opinions on which direction to take this blog. The verdict was clear at that time. We want to go with you on this journey. We don't want you to write fluff when there are more serious things on your mind. So over the last year I've written a lot of stuff about my marriage and my divorce and my kids and all the things that have been in the forefront of my mind. And I know for a fact that some of you are sick to death of hearing about it. I know that there is a faction out there that thinks I've become bitter and whiny and basically lost both my sense of humor and my mojo in one fell swoop. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't hurt by that opinion, but I can see where it could come from. I'm not the person I was a year ago, certainly not the person I was two years ago. When life throws you a great big curve ball, the best people manage to change and adapt. For the better. It would not say positive things about me if I were just carrying on with my life as if the last year never happened. The underlying person hasn't changed, but my world view sure has. How could it not?
But the absolutely incredible thing for me over the last year has been the universal element of what I've been going through. When my mother wryly said Welcome to the Club last Spring, I had no idea of what all that entailed, but I've found out. I can't express what a relief it has been as I've grappled with various issues to realize that this same shit is happening everywhere, and in frighteningly familiar ways. It comes across in comments, it comes in emails and IM chats and phone calls - there are a hell of a lot of us who already have or are still in the process of navigating these same waters and we tell amazingly similar stories. It's like David Letterman doing Stupid Ex-Husband tricks. You think yours is bad? Honey, I can top that! And then they DO! Incredible. Who knew?
It also seems to me that it may look like I spend most of my time ruminating about the end of my marriage, which simply isn't the case. I hate to bring this up, but here goes. A few road bumps notwithstanding, I am the happiest I've ever been in my entire adult life. My only regret is that we didn't do this years ago. And...I work full-time in a fairly demanding job. I have three kids who run me ragged. Three dogs who think they're all that. A 122 year old house that is actively trying to kill me - in more ways than one. I have friends, I have hobbies, I have meals to cook, bills to pay and toilets to clean. In short, I have a pretty full life. This blog, much as I love it, maybe touches on 5% of that life. All of you who have blogs know this. There's only so much you can write about on a regular basis. The rest just doesn't fit in.
So where am I going with all of this? What is my own particular Bobby Ewing moment? Well, to start with I'm opening up the blog publicly again. I have a few reasons for this, including the fact that I just want to. But the main one is this. Making it private never felt authentic, never felt like me. I did it because I didn't want my ex to be able to access my thoughts, didn't want him to think he had any insight into what I did or didn't do, even as he insisted he didn't read MY blog to hear about ME. So much has shifted in the prairie tidal wave of the last few weeks and I say what I'm about to say with open heart and clear mind.
Fuck him. If he chooses to he can read my thoughts all day long, but he can't touch me. Fuck him again. The reason that I vented in my "personal" blog was to be able to keep that anger out of our at the time civil relationship. Fuck him a third time. I refuse to give him the power - through his words or his actions - to impact something I love as much as I love doing this blog. And fuck him once more while I'm at it. Because I don't ever have to worry again about what he thinks. Fuck him one last time. Because I'm done.
And now... (finally)...
on with our regularly scheduled programming.