Friday, December 29, 2006

Eye of the Storm

I think I survived it.

Today, I got the phone call I expected for at least a year. The one where B threatened me and rattled all of his chains. The one where I was scared to death.

I don't reach out. I did. I IM'ed the right folks and K and J were here within half an hour*. We got all of his shit out (I'm really downplaying my state of fear) and I am still here. I got a text from him (after I very nicely explained that I wanted to give him the key and hadn't taken anything from him) which was incredibly rude, menacing and basically gave me all of his shit. Including that which I had packed up earlier in the day. Outstanding. I'll spend my next wifetime trying to figure out how someone could be so cruel to someone who hadn't even tried to hurt them. People are nuts.

I am really le tired and I think my poor body and soul needs a nap. I think I am okay and feel remarkably positive. I hate that it came to this and hope this whole thing will pass, but at the end of the day, I maintained a sense of class and integrity, even if it is utterly disregarded. I am long past the loss of the man I was once married to, as he no longer exists even in my imagination. I just pray that his ghost leaves me the fuck alone.

* A special shout out to K and J. Truer friends, I'll probably never know. You cannot know how comforting it is to know that within one phone call, you are both out of work and here, ready to help. I am the luckiest girl on the planet to have you both as really good friends.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

State of Affairs

I want to retell this story for posterity, as I glossed over it earlier. And if this is ever made into a book or movie, you can know you read it here first.

Christmas Eve, I awoke early. I hadn't slept much the night before, owing to the sister phone call and other such shit. I really didn't drink that much the night before, as I was already in an alternate reality. Everything was illuminated. Great book, by the way. However, when the sister called, I poured a glass of wine and we had our moment.

I slept into about 9, took the dog for an hour walk and came home. Had another conversation with J in which a few random details were shared. I shared more than I should have, but oh well. Someone needed to know he sucked as a lover. Might as well be the chick I thought had to deal with that. I found myself pouring a martini as we spoke. It was only noon.

By the time we got off the phone, I was a little buzzed. This was 2pm. I took a shower and decided I didn't want any alcohol in my body anymore. I had probably had enough wine over the weekend to supply a small bistro. I was just done.

It was pouring, but I knew I shouldn't drive because of the liquid lunch. I walked the dog into the day care (about fifteen minute walk) and walked the other fifteen to Nordy's. There, I bought myself a kickass Marc Jacobs purse, on B's dime. I sort of regret that now -- not buying it, but on his dime. I have been the classy one in all this. On the other hand, I handled the bills for all of our marriage. He is technically incompetent and probably won't figure it out -- and all of his mail comes here, as the son of a bitch hasn't even changed his address in the past two years. If he ever does figure it out, I have already taken the money out and put it into an envelope. The safe bet is he never figures it out. And I have a little "fuck you."

But the real story is my freak out en route to my folks. I staved the drive off as much as possible, as it was miserable out and I had had alcohol for lunch. I finally left around 8pm and it was a downpour. And I really, really hate driving in the rain at night -- my eyes are just shit and I kept imagining I was going to hit a patch of water and spin out. And my car and me and my dog would be totaled and dead. And B would get my things -- the condo, my savings, the art, my personal stuff.

I full on wigged. I was already holding my breath in the dark spots and already very light-headed. My mind was racing and going faster than the car. All I could think about was him stepping back into our life without consequence. And here's the really bizarre thing -- I was re-obsessing about a bar exam question I missed. On the bar exam, there was a question related to wills and witness signatures. I got it wrong -- I realized that minutes after the bar exam - and I spent two months completely convinced that I wouldn't pass the bar for those 2 points I missed.

Wiggage is weird -- I ended up pulling over at an exit with the only lit gas station I saw. I dug out that legal pad and wrote out a will -- in remarkably detailed fashioned and referencing cases and statutes that no one should know off the top of their head. Thing is, the rule requires that two people witness the testator's (person making the will) signature.

Yes, I went into the gas station, where exactly two people were present. I begged them to sign (that they had witnessed me signing a will) and required their names, ages and addresses. This is more than a little weird to do to anyone, let alone on Christmas Eve, let alone to strangers in a convenience store. Suffice to say, I persuaded them both to sign (carding the self-professed 18 year old who was, in fact, 18) and the convenience store clerk (who reminded me that the whole exchange was being recorded). I bought them both a half rack for their efforts (a misdemeanor caught on tape where the 18 year old was concerned), bought a box of envelopes and a stamp, mailed the will to myself, and then made my way to my parents. I was still white knuckling it, but with about 40% less hyperventilation.

Welcome to my world. This is the face of progress. It just takes a few steps back now and then.

There is more, but I need to walk the dog.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

I am wide awake at 3:30 am, but it is a good thing. I need to go to bed, but I wanted to get some thoughts down.

Today was a beginning of sorts. I was wide awake from last night and didn't get any quality REM, and the wine from last night was killing my head. I had a long phone call with J in which I gave her my forgiveness. She deserved it. She has been in a pretty shitty situation, given that her boss -- my soon-to-be-ex -- is dumping an amazing amount of shit on her. She made a choice to keep his secrets, although to her credit, she didn't keep in contact with me during the worst of it. I have a great deal of empathy for all of that, as I know that she, too, fell in love with a person who no longer exists. She really did believe in B but that is gone.

I found out some interesting details. By way of background, two years ago, I asked B to move out when I found out that he had had an affair. I didn't ask for details, other than "is it over?" and "is there anything else about this that will affect me?" I think I knew we were over, but hope, it does die slowly. I never even asked her name, although I came to learn she shared the name of my beloved aunt. Somehow, I filed that away in my head and didn't really think more of it. Denial, she is a powerful river. B told me some story about her being "psycho" (I rolled my eyes and showed him the door) and I really didn't think much more of it.

Apparently, he has been involved with this person consistently throughout our separation, despite claiming he had had to hire an attorney becasue she went nuts. Here's where it gets better -- B has been cheating on his new girlfriend with this person. Awesome. As much despair as I have felt as of late, I haven't fucked my life up the way he has utterly fucked his up his life. I don't wish him any ill will and only want him completely out of my life, but I realied that I will, in fact, survive and win this divorce. Holy shit. All those times he told me that I create strife in my head -- he can do it in real time. Knock yourself out buddy. You are absolutely out of my life.

I drove up to my parents' house tonight (they live overseas, but came home for Christmas). It was a white knuckle drive - I have shitty night vision and it was pouring out. I actually started hyperventilating and feeling light-headed because I was holding my breath during the rough spots. What really concerned me was that if I spun out and had a fatal car crash, B would be entitled to everything. I had a legal pad in the back of my car and ended up pulling over and writing a will. I know how insane that sounds, but yeah - welcome to my world. I am going to write a more comprehensive one next week, but that didn't make the 2 hour drive any easier.

B bought me a Marc Jacobs purse for Christmas. He doesn't know yet, but it is lovely. I thought about buying one for every one I know, but showed restraint.

At the end of the day, I came here and was wrapped in loving arms and support and realized that I missed so much of my life over the past ten years. I didn't even want a drink tonight, as I had so much around me that is real and loving and cool. My brothers? Seriously - no one should be this lucky. My sister is equally kickass (she hasn't made it here yet and I am starting to wonder) and my parents are so supportive. How I managed to ignore these magnificent human beings for years, I'll spend a lifetime regretting.

Merry Christmas to my friends who read this emo blog. I am truly humbled that I have made such good friends who care about me. Those of you that read this -- you need to know this -- I treasure you. More than you could ever know.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Sister Shoutout

Tonight, I rediscovered my belief in God. Allah. Buddah. Whatever. At 2:30am, no less.

I already wrote this post, but my goddamn computer fucked itself in a fury.

I sunk into a crazy false bottom tonight. I was dangerously depressed. I scared myself. I'm not going to go into it in detail, but I realized B's mom was faking it a few days ago and knew B and girl were en route the next day. Everything I knew and trusted was seemingly yanked from beneath me. Why lie? Why bullshit? This after about 10 really cruel text messages from B, getting locked out of my house, etc. I felt useless, worthless and utterly alone. I was literally crushed by my grief. I was convinced my kidneys were giving up, but alas, it was just menstrual cramps. I wanted to die, except I didn't want B to get the condo. Always an attorney, I guess. I am going to redo my will tomorrow. If I get hit by a bus in the interim, please let it be known that I want all of my estate to go to my sister, KC.

Earlier in the day, I made myself get out of the house and I took the dog to the dog park. We were there for two hours - we hiked, ran, walked, etc. I was still overwhelmed with the blue and needed to reach out. I knew I was in over my head and my head was kicking my ass. I NEVER reach out and I knew I needed to. Unfortunately, everyone I reached out to was MIA at that particular moment. And I felt stupid and worthless for needing help. Yes, own worst enemy and all that. I felt so incredibly terrible. Suffocating.

I had called my sister earlier in the day (with whom I am routinely estranged), even though we are currently ON A BREAK and not speaking to each other. KC and I have an odd relationship, in that we are tighter than tight at times and distant ships at others. She is currently mad at me (she is wrong, but I get it and probably deserve her ire) but I needed her. I needed someone. Anyone, preferably, someone who likes me. I am not skilled in the art of reaching out, but I reached out. KC's VM said "the subscriber is unavailabe." I called a few friends, got voice mails and sunk really, really deep into despair.

Don't hate yourself if I called you and got VM. Not your fault......not yours. Seriously -- it isn't your fault. Bad timing and all.

I got home and sort of collapsed in the entirety of it all. B taking the girlfriend home to meet mom. Mom lying and deflecting because she didn't know what to do. Me feeling crazy alone and despondent, ashamed and unfamiliar with this side of depression. High jinx ensued, as I tried to meet a friend for drinks, but in my state of mind, I got locked out.

So here I was, at 2 in the morning, hoping for sleep, and my phone rings. I ignore my phone regularly, but the time of day got my attention.

It was my sister. She saved me. Sure, it was a drunk dial, but it was sincere. I think I sobbed at least three times while I explained that her phone call -- at that time -- was exactly what I needed. My sister saved me tonight -- I was scary depressed and sad and now I know she may be here tomorrow. Honest to God, I believe in karma, but this is different. Her phone call made me believe in a higher power. I have a great family and great friends and I am so lucky. I am LUCKY!

My sister rescued me from a place of such sadness and heartbreak. I have to believe that a higher power put these actions into motion. I have to believe that. I may actually sleep tonight because I feel loved. Thank fucking God.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Victory and False Bottoms, Part Deux

I was actually excited to get this down today, as it was a great day in many ways. And then, of course, the bottom fell out. I've landed on my feet, so I am going to write it down.

I filed for divorce yesterday. It will be final on March 26, 2007. Mark your calendars and buy a ticket to Vegas. It will be a blowout.

The story:

I woke up very early and was sort of buzzing about the house. To paraphrase a cheesy movie, once you realize what you want, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible. I ended up running a bunch of errands and getting into the office around noon. The plan was to do a little legal research, then hit the courthouse.

My research led me to a site that actually lets you file for divorce online. Holy shit, the internets rule. It seemed so easy -- you fill out the docs online, they file them in a different county (one that doesn't require a court appearance -- and they take care of everything). Thing is, I already had signed papers and wasn't going to wait for B to sign fresh docs. Although it seemed to be so easy, I decided to just forge ahead and go to the courthouse. I then downloaded some information that strongly cautioned against filing in a different county, so everything felt right. I made five copies of the petition and headed out.

Random: when folks in my office leave for any amount of time, we are encouraged to fill out certain information on this little pad of paper at the front desk. Initials, time out, time expected back, destination, etc. I filled it out and put, as the destination: "the future."

I skipped out of the office and was genuinely feeling excitement. The courthouse is just blocks from my office, so I was there in minutes. I got up to the window and said, in my most courteous voice, "I would like a dissolution please." The gal laughed and I showed her my docs. As it turned out, I needed to fill out a couple of additional forms, so I handed her my credit card and started filling them out. The gal scrunched up her face and informed me that they didn't take cards, just checks and cash, and that there was an ATM on the first floor.

I don't do checks -- at all -- but have a box at my desk. And the filing fee was $250 -- ATMs only give you $200 at a time. I felt the wind going out of my sails, as I needed to walk back to the office and grab my checkbook (or walk the six blocks to my bank for cash). It was sort of deflating, but I was resigned and left the courthouse.

I was probably two feet outside the door when I remembered something. I had a single check in my wallet -- a blank check on B's personal account. I stopped dead in my tracks and thought about it for a few seconds. Would I ever need that check? Should I keep it and just go get my own? No - it seemed too perfect. I turned right around, headed back up to the clerk's office and gave B the pleasure of paying for our divorce. Awesome -- truly awesome. The clerk told me I could schedule a hearing anytime after 90 days to finalize it and I asked her if I could schedule said hearing right then. She seemed a little surprised and said "sure, if you're ready - just set it for 90 days out." I did, and March 26, 2007 is the magic date.

As I left the courthouse, I texted AB with the subject line "FILED" and almost floated back to the office. I felt giddy, relieved and hopeful. I haven't felt that good in so very long. I got back to the office and was wrapped in arms of support -- it truly took me by surprise. It never ceases to amaze me where you find sources of support and friendship*. When I drove home, I heard that song "I Can See Clearly Now The Rain Is Gone" was on the radio and I blasted it and laughed and cried. It was all good.

I picked up the dog, went for a walk and was ready to celebrate with friends. I got a celebratory phone call from J, who knew I was filing today. Then the bottom fell out. She informed me that B was en route to his mother's house with the girlfriend in tow.

It was devastating. I just spoke with his mother two days ago and she seemed truly wrecked when I mentioned the girlfriend. Either it was an act, or B hadn't told her who was coming home to dinner. In any event, he is clearly into this chick and very much past our relationship. That was quite a blow. It took the wind out of me. Hell, it took everything out of me. I can't even write about it without sobbing. I don't really know why, as I am truly all about moving on. I just can't believe he would do something like that -- he doesn't even know I filed and is bringing another woman to his mother's house for Christmas? What kind of a person does that? Seriously, I know we're done and all that, and rationally, I shouldn't care, but holy hell? Who fucking does that? Especially when you're calling your wife almost daily for advice, guidance, assistance and all that?

I had myself a good, old-fashioned sobfest (I really need to answer my phone during these, as I know good friends were really worried about me) and allowed myself to feel the pain. It was so shocking to go from this giddy euphoria to absolute darkness, but I think I have emerged. I know I will have reverberations over the next few days, but I'll be okay. I'll make it. It won't be easy, but I'll make it. It is hard to know your partner of so many years is that cruel and unfeeling, but that is what it is. Even typing that, I sob. Pain sucks, but what are you going to do? I can't change the situation, I can only react to it in a constructive manner. I'm trying.

Tomorrow, I am renting a storage unit and moving out the last of B's things. I will bill it to his credit card and send him the key. That is a constructive act. I will pack my shit and go up to my parents' house and maintain the best I can. I will remember that I can weather anything and that I have great friends and family who want to help in any way they can and I will take them up on that. I will remember that no one has died from a broken heart (aside from folks like my biodad, whose hearts gave out too soon) and that one day, I will look back on this and congratulate myself on having moved on. I will survive this. This too, shall pass.

I will be okay. I know that I will. I have a broken heart, but my character and integrity is intact. I will make it. Bring on the next false bottom.

* I received the present of a lifetime today. I don't think I can give it justice here, but some person I have never actually met sent me an inukshuk, with the explanation that it is to be used as a beacon for where you are going and a reminder of your friends. When I opened it, I was all WTF mate, but once I googled it and read the note, I was moved beyond belief. Say what you want about the internets, but I have made some amazing friendships from them.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

False Bottoms

Tomorrow (Friday) is the day. No excuses jeans. I had planned on filing next Friday for practical and tactical reasons, but I really feel the time is now. Any reason for delay can be cured.

Today wasn't a good day by any stretch of the imagination. By now, I have concluded that 2006 is, in fact, the year of the cunt (although the Chinese may have been onto something with the whole Year of the Dog thing, given the Darby acquisition), and I have finally yielded to its prowess. 2006 won. I lost. I concede the race and am just going to hide out in a bunker and wait for the shadow of 2007. I very rarely toss in the white flag, but now, in the very final days of the year, I realize it got the best of me. I put up a good fight and battled most of the year, but, like Al Gore, I have concluded that sometimes? The deck is just too stacked against you and your mental health and dignity requires surrender.

Yesterday, I learned that B does, in fact, have a girlfriend and learned her identity. Now, him having a girlfriend wasn't exactly earth-shattering news, as I knew that instinctively. We've been separated for two years, haven't slept together once in all that. People do crave intimacy and sex, quite frankly. I, myself, had a good mercy/sympathy shag last Christmas that was probably better than my entire sex life with B, so I didn't have unreasonable expectations. If you can't have sex with other people during a separation ("WE WERE ON A BREAK!"), what is the point of separating?

What killed me was learning who it was (no one I really know or care about) and that he is stepping out with her publicly. She is probably six or seven years younger than me (and I am six years younger than B) and she is a wallflower -- I guess she's cute, but she's not the kind of person you remember after meeting her. Or I was self involved the two or three times I met her. My word for her is "boring." Uninteresting. That was hard to swallow. B refused to sign the divorce papers for months, then I couldn't file because of HIS work concerns, then he stalled and pleaded with me not to file, all while he is basically begging for my personal and professional guidance in certain important (to him financially, to me philosophically) matters. I put aside all of my sadness and rage to do something constructive, even though I knew it wasn't good for me emotionally. To find out he has the audacity to date in public -- to humiliate me at the expense of his own ego and needs -- all the while calling me several times a day for advice, guidance, etc. That was the harshest blow. This is not the man I married. I think that man died a long time ago and I am just now coming to terms with that loss.

It wasn't J, as J was the one who told me who it was. J did cover for B several times over the past few months, but now, B has included her in his dumping grounds of barked orders and has treated her as his equivalent "work spouse." I think the guilt finally got the best of her, or she realized she hitched her wagon to the wrong horse. In any event, J and I probably can't ever be friends again, as the whole thing is just too toxic for words. More collateral damage, I guess.

Incidentally, my sister has this phrase called "false bottoms" -- just when you think you've hit rock bottom, the floor gives out and you realize you can sink farther.

If that wasn't bad enough, I called my MIL last night to get her address (I was lazy and didn't feel like digging for it). At the end of the conversation, I told her that even though B and I weren't going to make it, I loved her and thanked her for always being a great friend and source of support. She responded by saying "You two are going to make it -- of course you'll work it out. No two people belong together like you and you have such love for each other." She repeated it over and over. I sort of blurted out "well, Mom, when your husband has a girlfriend, you have to harsh up to the reality that is probably isn't going to work out."

Awkward silence ensued. I never, ever wanted to say anything bad about B to anyone who knew us both. I'm sure I ruined her Christmas by telling her that her son wasn't the man either of us thought we knew. I wish I hadn't said anything.

Oh, but it gets better (false bottoms and all). This morning, I called AD, who was originally introduced into my life as B's new best friend. AD used to get on my last nerve and still can, but over the years, we have developed a very special bond. B and I separated while AD and his long-term girlfriend were having issues. We talked each other down off of ledges and forged a strange but real friendship. When I told AD about B's girlfriend (including identity), his response was "well, shit, K - I had heard something about that through the grapevine and had hoped it wasn't true. B is going to wake up one day and realize he thoroughly fucked his life up."

I lost it -- not at his words, but at the realization that there was a grapevine that was likely pitying me or otherwise titilating that B had a new girl while his long-suffering wife was still playing the do-gooder role. That B had such little respect for me and my contributions to this marriage that he would humiliate me while simultaneously extracting my counsel and advice. That this man could, in any conscience, take advantage of my respect for our relationship and solicit my support and advice for his business matters, all the while showing absolutely no respect for me while he pursued whatever hole he had to fill during all of this.

When I got into the office this morning, I promptly lost my shit in my boss' office and had an all-out sobfest. That was a new false bottom.

In any event, in the depths of this sorrow, I have some clarity. This needs to be behind me, and now. I am filing tomorrow. I need to sever the umbilical cord of our relationship. It need not be hostile and I will try really hard not to be hostile -- just definite.

And I need to stop with my online married friend. On one hand, I know what purposes we are fulfilling -- aside from the obvious friendship chemistry. He makes me crush on him, and it feels good to me to crush on someone that specifcially --- to say nothing of the fact that he is utterly crush-worthy. I make him feel alive and interesting and attractive, as married men are clearly wont to need that affirmation. He is a good - no -- a great man and I am better for having gotten to know him, but I need to redirect my efforts to persons who are available to me. Having really felt the pain of a breaking heart, that can only come from realizing your husband is pretty much dead and his reincarnation is an asshole, I don't think I can weather another broken heart. He is just a good man, who should be appreciated as such, and not anything more.

And I really need to rediscover something resembling a cheery outlook.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Editor's Note

I realized that my previous post might have come across as a little cryptic concerning my online pal and could generate suspicion that it is someone known to my very small audience. Not the case. This person is not in any of our online social circles and is just someone I've come to know in the fairly recent past.

Not that he is the first online and married friend I've crushed on. Not by a long shot. Just different.

We shot the shit a little bit today while I was listening to the world's worst online CLE. I came to realize that in addition to crushing on him because he is smart, sharp and clever, I also am crushing on him because he is a good husband. If he weren't, I wouldn't find anything about him attractive. That also makes him safe to crush on, oddly.

In any event, I have long espoused the view that crushes are good for the soul. They remind you of the delight in getting to know another person and the fascinating aspect of chemistry. The internets, when not serious business, really bring out the intrigue in this chemistry, as you get to know someone via words and thoughts, not because they have a chiseled face or mischievous eyes. That is true for friends of both sexes -- I have developed several close friendships that originated online, owing to cleverly worded thoughts and expressions. For all the crap that gets said about online relationships, including some mocking of my own, it really is a pure way to get to know someone.

I haven't yet met someone in meatspace that was different from what they conveyed online. It is probably a matter of time. Either that, or I have been very astute in interpreting online personas and personalities. I don't think I come across differently in text than I do in person. I certainly don't try to. If anything, I am more restrained online. Your mileage may vary.

My mother came over last night, which was interesting. My mother and I have a very odd relationship, but she is really trying right now. She must have said "we are so proud of you" a dozen times and repeatedly stated that "this is a good starting over for you and you aren't starting from scratch." My mother got divorced when she was very young and had two babies. She got very lucky when she met my (technically step)father and for reasons that I may not ever really understand, they do have a very loving and enduring relationship. I told her that last night and wanted to reassure her that my impending divorce was not a reflection on any disallusionment with marriage I had observed growing up. Truthfully, I don't think she ever even considered that, but I think it made her feel proud that I admired her long marriage with my (technically step) dad.

The silver linings are beginning to shine brighter, even though I still find myself under some dark clouds. That has to be progress. It just has to be.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

(No) Sex in the City

I am either quaintly old-fashioned or utterly repressed, as I am rarely comfortable discussing my sex life. Or, in present-day terms, the lack thereof. One on one with close friends, yes, but not so much as a public topic of conversation. At some point, I am going to have to visit that issue of my marriage, but not today.

No, today is about the first sexual thoughts I have had in a while -- a long while, at that. That's the good. The bad is that these thoughts (dreams) were about someone who is completely unavailable. In fact, I am probably attracted to him because he is a successful husband and father and is therefore unavailable and safe. He is also terribly smart and clever and we have many shared interests.

I am going to qualify all of this by stating up front that I know I probably shouldn't talk to this person anymore. Although our conversations are anything but sexual or even flirty, if I were his wife, I think I would feel.....uncomfortable that my husband had made a female friend that I hadn't met. Especially if it is an online friend. I realize this and am working it out in my head. On one hand, I really enjoy this friendship, but on the other, I am more than sensitive to how his wife would feel if she read our conversations. Like I said, absolutely NOTHING sexual or romantic or flirty. He talks about her and his family filled with pride and has never said anything negative about her -- and that is the few conversations when we're not talking about movies, books or politics. Nevertheless, and maybe it is because of these recent dreams, I feel guilty for having this friendship. Perhaps because I enjoy it so much.

So anyway, all that build up for what is probably only a hot story for me. A few nights ago, I had a dream about him. I have had the same dream for a few nights in a row now and I have to say, it feels good to feel sexual again. Even if I'm feeling sexual about someone I'll never have sex with.

In my dream, I met this person for dinner in NYC while we were both there on business. We were at my favorite place in the City and we had a fabulous dinner and conversation. Again, nothing sexual, but mildly flirty. The chemistry was thick and fun and fantastic, and at one point, we both realized the attraction was mutual. There was this long stare exchanged and then I spoke up. I told him that we both knew that nothing physical was going to happen between us because part of what we were attracted to was each other's character.

At that point, I told him, in very concise and descriptive details, what I would like to do with him if the situation were different (if he were available). He responded with his fantasy where I was concerned. I have to tell you, the whole thing was rather explicit and was rather arousing - to the point I actually woke up. I haven't had that hot of a dream in a long, long time, and mind you, there wasn't any sex in the fucking dream (no pun intended) -- just descriptions of "what we would do if we could" and the thrill of a mutual attraction with another person.

I know it doesn't seem like progress to have a wet dream over a married guy, but trust me, it sort of is. I haven't felt sexual in many, many moons and it just felt good to be aroused. It felt great to feel sexy. It felt exciting to be excited.

And now, I am a blogger who blogs about her dreams. Loathsome.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Your Moment of WTF

Scene: work, trying to make a deadline, ignoring the cell.

Phone call - check the caller ID, see it is B
(Answer phone - professional issue is at its zenith, am seeking updates and information)
B - am meeting with attorney, need advice and guidance
Me - advice and guidance
B - am nearby, need favor -- need to borrow money, forgot wallet, am meeting attorney
(B makes more than me)
Me - Fine, whatever
(meet in lobby of building)
Me - here, have $, tell attorney what I said, ask if he concurs, good luck, put that money back in my account by the end of the week
B - done, thanks, you look amazing
(me: four hours sleep, disoriented, a little groggy, but recently had facial)
Me - Thanks, I guess. Money back in account by end of the week. Good luck
B - hug, kiss on neck, mumbles something about me being "truly the best"
Me - shakes head, turns on heel, heads to elevator back to office
(phone call)
Attorney - B was just here, explained situation, your advice was spot on. What the hell am I here for?
Me - so I don't have to do this anymore - I am le tired and need a nap
Attorney - don't feel right accepting money for advice already given
Me - you're not being paid for advice, you're being paid to take over my role
Attorney - I can't bill for this and you know why. He doesn't need an attorney, he has one in you
Me - What is it going to cost to have you be the person he calls first?
Attorney - He won't ever do that. He doesn't trust anyone's advice but yours. I'm just confirmation
Me - I will pay you whatever the fuck it takes to become his attorney and relieve me from duties
Attorney - I don't think you have that kind of money
Me - Fuck


EDIT: Home, phone call

B: Business of the day

Me: Advice on said business

Him: I wish you were the principal attorney on this

Me: I'm glad I'm not. I want your issue to be over so I can move forward. I can't file our divorce papers until that is done.

B: Oh.

Me: I hope, on some small level of introspection, you realize that I am taking one for a 14 year team that no longer exists. That is taking its toll on me.

B: I would never have been this cool with you. I get it.


Saturday, December 02, 2006

Helmet and a Short Bus

You know what marginally competent, soon-to-be single folks do before they buy furniture? The measure things - the space intended for said furniture (like, oh, a chaise lounge) and the actual furniture itself. They don't wait until they get said furniture in their house to figure out that the comfy accent piece is the same size as their couch.

Next time I want to blow $500, I'm putting it on black at the roulette table in Vegas.

Remember this next time you mock B for being utterly and completely clueless. You're no slouch in that department either, cupcake.

Friday, December 01, 2006

You Can't Have a Filing. Not Yours.

Couldn't file today for reasons that I certainly am not going to (and cannot) blog about. Limbo remains the state of affairs. I have, however, decided that I am going to file before years' end, no matter what. No matter what. If I can't be divorced by the end of the year, I damn well will have filed. Fuck 2006 -- fuck it till it can't move.

On the positive side, it was rather delightful to be banking online and suddenly see a whole shitload of extra happy zeroes. Even though I'm not going to spend much of it now (it is the cash reserve I need and savings for the inevitable assessment from the HOA), I do see a little retail therapy in my future. I also see some quality time on expedia in the near term. Perhaps a combination of the two - expedia first, then retail therapy. I also want to play Santa to a few deserving folks. That is better than any therapy.

Incidentally, I quit my therapist. Nice person, just entirely too insistent on drugs as a "reliable short cut" for happiness. I'll take the road less traveled and not fuck with my body's chemistry. She was frustrated with me for not even considering it. We ended up spending more time on that than anything else, including my "control" issues related to not wanting drugs. Sofa king weird. Worse, she wasn't the first therapist I had who tried to drug me. In the near term, I am going to focus on exercise and diet therapy and will probably start up therapy again next year, when I've filed and have moved past this limbo crap. It is hard to explain to anyone why I have to do this (both practically and emotionally) and I am a little weary of having my decision challenged. I know this relationship better than anyone else and I know in my gut I'm doing the right thing.

Even if it is slowly debilitating me.

I am going to muster up some holiday cheer and have some friends over tomorrow. I may also try to see The Nutcracker on Sunday. This will be bittersweet, as B and I had a tradition of going opening night every year. We have pictures from every year (save, obviously, for the past two). I love the sound of the ballet shoes and love the music and the sets and, absurdly, love the holidays more than anyone I know. I hate the shopping, but love everything else.

I am also going to go to Mass on Sunday morning. Although I am far, far from religious, nor do I consider myself a true believer, I like Catholic Masses. I was raised Lutheran/Protestant and never truly bought into the whole organized religion thing. I don't begrudge anyone their religious beliefs (aside, of course, from Tom Cruise and folks who think God or Allah would be pleased by the killing of innocents) and I'm not certain I really believe in anything specific where religion is concerned. Hell, I was a three (3!) time dropout of Catholic conversion classes (this is really a great story but this is so rambling already). However, there is something I really enjoy about Catholic Mass, especially this time of the year. Hell, I may just go to Sunday evening choir service and listen to the music. I have a ridiculous amount of love for Christmas tunes. I think, ultimately, I like the sensation of believing, if only for an hour, that I am not in ultimate control and that there is something larger than myself at play in my destiny.

Take that, fired therapist. Not as much of a control freak as you thought. You don't know me better than I know myself, even if you do make some really insightful observations.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

The End of Limbo

Once again, tired of the blue. Tired. Spent. Done. Not even remotely interesting. I have finally bored myself.

I am once again just ready to move forward. I need a change and am contemplating my options. I feel like I'm spinning my wheels and just maintaining. I confess that I am comfortable with the status quo, especially in times of turmoil. That said, I need to shake things up a bit.

I've decided to take a trip in the spring - something to look forward to. I'm leaning towards Italy again and I can't wait to plan it. I am also considering a trip to Africa and visiting my parents on the tail end. Yet another plan is going back to South America - perhaps Brazil during Carnivale. I also want to have a party in Vegas on my birthday.

I want to get divorced. I want the limbo and this charade to be done. I am tired of feeling like ass. I have known this marriage was over for over two years, but was in some fucked up state of denial. No more. I want a Grand Canyon between "my life then" and "my life now." That is a tall order to fill. I need to really and truly separate from Billy and not be his goddamn lifeline. Lord knows, he hasn't been mine in many, many moons. I find myself wondering how I didn't notice that. The very few favors I've asked of him over the past five years were entirely superficial and required little to no effort of him. The same cannot be said of him.

I'm thinking of filing the papers tomorrow. If need be for legal reasons related to his issues, we can withdraw them. As a matter of fact, I just decided it. I'm filing tomorrow. Limbo is over. I just changed the title of this entry. Watch this space tomorrow for my feelings of angst at shooting a dog that has been dead for a couple of years, foolisly thinking I'm putting it out of its misery. I need something to celebrate this weekend.

I know I am running out of fertility years, but I don't yet have the technology to engineer a person and a relationship ready for that. Oh well. Shit happens. I'll deal with that when the time comes. I just need to start this next chapter. I've read the first half of the book too many times and am utterly bored with the story. It is time for a fresh plot line.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Game On

Holidays are officially here, as the mother unit has touched down in the PacNW. You might have read about a sudden chill in Seattle...... (this is a sibling joke that endures)

My mother called me from a crowded Airporter (bus shuttle to the airport) to ask about the status of my divorce. This was after she sent me a frantic email two days ago, asking if she could mention it in the Christmas newsletter. Not kidding. My mother is not a bad person, but we just don't sync and never have. I am the chick she hated in high school and it doesn't help things that I am tight with my (very technically step) dad. If a professional were evaluating our relationship, they would probably say we have attachment issues, or, more accurately, lack of attachment issues. In her defense, she was very young when she had me (21?), in a bad idea jeans marriage, and shortly thereafter, met my "step" dad and focused on that relationship.

B called me today (of course) to ask about ongoing issues and I had to explain one small glitch in my closing that required an additional document with his signature. I was lightly bitching about it, as the only reason it is required is because the jackhole mortgage broker (since discarded) clued the escrow company in on the fact that a divorce proceeding was imminent. Naturally, they want to cover their asses and refuse to prepare certain necessary docs (including the quit claim and excise tax forms). When I mentioned this to B, he promptly blurted out "tell those fuckers that it is bullshit, we aren't getting divorced and are working things out."

Uncomfortable silence ensued, then I explained that it wasn't a deal breaker, just a hassle for a few hours. Yes, I am thinking what you are thinking. No, not that - not thinking about getting back together. Not an option and not an even plausible possibility, as it would require Virgin Mary-type miracles (see, e.g. Bush trying to redeem his presidency), but I do believe, on some small level, that B actually thinks this relationship can be saved. This is primarily because I'm not cutting him out and we interact daily as we have for many moons, especially during our separation. I think that he believes we will comfortably or even awkwardly settle into a friendship that will ignore the pain and hurt he caused me.

Holy hell, will there be some tough love in the near term. I sort have it played out in my head. We'll go to dinner once his two big issues are resolved. We'll be civil and he might even be playful and loving. And then I will explain that I am filing the paperwork the next day and that I need at least six months of no contact. At that point, we can reevaluate and perhaps we can find some semblance of a relationship (friendship, obviously). But I need space -- and so much more than what we've done. This has been utterly one way for entirely too long and I am just beginning to realize how lonely I've been and how much I'd rather be alone.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Blank Slate

It is probably a really pathetic sign that I have nothing to post -- I'm just coasting.

I have a (non) date tomorrow, with a guy who is also going through a divorce (you might recall him as the bartender at a certain sushi joint) and that should be interesting. Pity party of two? Yep.

Cash from the closing hits the account tomorrow. Look for a post on retail therapy in the near term.

Oh, and no surprise here, I am helping B out with his HOA issue and the wrath of CRANBERRY JUSTICE. If you didn't see that coming, you have really underestimated my level of pathetic. This truly needs to end -- I can't keep functioning like this, but I have this sense of obligation that is clearly misplaced.

I swear to all that is holy and Prada, I am going to get and be better. I have a goal -- get the B thing resolved by years' end and get filed. Progress means moving past your last eval. I need that.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Always Look at the Bright Side of the Moon

I'm burned out on the negative feelings. Truly, completely burned out. If you knew me in meatspace (as a few of my very small handful of readers know), you would know that I am a generally positive, upbeat, gregarious person. I can't stand rereading this blog because I sound so goddamn whiny, but I know that getting it down here makes it more likely that I will get it out of my system. Also, I am utterly moved and supported by the comments you make and can't believe anyone would sift through this crap. If I ever have a cold, refreshing beverage with any of the folks that read this, I think each of you would be gobsmacked at how much better company I am when I'm not this self-indulgent. Like 95% less emo.

Yesterday wasn't a good day, as B came by to collect some of his things. He was completely disorganized and had to borrow something to carry his stuff in. I couldn't bear to watch him pack up shit, so I retired to another room. He would call out questions and comments and I answered them, quietly and discreetly sobbing. He came into the office and I was wiping away tears and he asked "what's wrong?" And, just like that, sorrow gave way to rage. I told him to just finish what he was doing and leave me alone. He got very quiet, sat down in the living room and we had a spectacularly awkward moment. I got through it as best I could and, of course, an hour later, he called to say "I'm really sorry." I said "thanks" in a quiet voice and got off the phone.

What I really want to know is what, exactly, is he sorry for? That I am in pain and prone to ridiculous bouts of tears? That he trashed our relationship, in which I had so much faith, beyond repair? That he never made any significant attempt at trying to repair it? Would knowing the answers to these questions help me move forward? I don't know. I don't think so.

Today was bizarre -- no less than three people got in touch to report that they, too, are ending long term relationships. I think that there is an element of misery loves company for them and a need to connect with someone going through the same thing, except I don't love company on this. I don't like to rehash hurt and what not and it bums me out to hear about others embarking on this shitcoaster of a ride. One of those who contacted me actually hooked up with her husband at our wedding. So sad, but again, I am clearly not the only person dealing with the demise of a relationship. Not a unique snowflake. Not yours.

On the plus side (hooray! silver linings!), I finally closed today on the refi and own this place by myself. I refi'ed for obvious reasons (sole title, etc.) and also took out a cushion for a future condo assessment and some security. I have allocated a small part of that for a ridiculously decadent trip(s) somewhere (Vegas! AB? Hello!) and a kickass new purse. I also intend to spoil a few folks over the holidays.

Another milestone today - I figured out that B is finally realizing how ill-equipped he is to run his life, as I surely ran ours during our marriage. In an act of karma that can only be defined as spectacular, B had an issue with his new place. He has had possession of it for less than a week. On Thanksgiving Day, he came home to a condo peppered with celery, carrots, potato skins, cranberries, etc. Turns out, his upstairs neighbor has a problem with her newly renovated kitchen (and garbage disposal), which decided to drain into B's place. This soaked his floors and even travelled to the unit beneath his. Exactly one person will understand the funny in this, but IT WAS COMING FROM THE HOUSE! THE FURY OF A THOUSAND ANGRY CRANBERRIES AND ROOT VEGETABLES!

You think that maybe, perhaps maybe, he should have spent a little bit of time researching his purchase instead of buying it from a casual friend's boyfriend, who claimed he had a cash offer of $25K more than B's offer (but was holding off on account of B). That, gentle readers, is what we who follow real estate like to call BULLSHIT. But see, in my past wifetime, I would have been the one that did the due diligence and known things like the upstairs neighbor recently did a massive remodel of her condo, including relocating the kitchen. B called today to ask if he could hire me to deal with it. I gave him the names of some kickass real estate attorneys. I thought that was generous. I'm helping him with a single issue because it has some residual benefits for me. I'm not staying on until my permanent replacement learns the job.

Resisting the urge to be punitive and bitchy is hard. I am moderately successful, but I think doing better than many other folks in my situation, all things told.

I once told a very bitter opposing counsel that we needed to begin and end every conversation with something fun and playful. In that case, we spoke baseball. Heretofor, I will close with something funny. Today, I bask in the knowledge that my anal retentive, soon-to-be-ex husband came "home" to a place reeking of bad Thanksgiving castaways (including cranberries, which he positively hates) and has to now replace his hardwoods, not knowing the first thing about making a claim against another person's homeowner's insurance. However, because I will probably end up hand holding him through that, I'll just note that Pam Anderson and Kid Rock filed for divorce today after a long, three month marriage. It is almost like the institution of marriage has no meaning these days -- thank God the gays aren't fucking it up for everyone else.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Spoke Entirely Too Soon

You know all that talk about how I like who I am and I have not evolved into bitter, pessimistic girl? Yeah, file all that under "full of shit." Be forewarned -- this may grow to be a very large file.

I had some thoughts tonight that positively shamed me. My aunt A, with whom I am extraordinarily close, recently got engaged to her long-term, long-distance boyfriend. Now, no one is good enough for A and although I like her boyfriend-turned-fiance (she's over 50 and those terms seem positively juvenile, but there you go), I guess I never thought he was the one. That is really shitty, upon careful reflection, as that means that I just haven't really listened to her or shared in her love for him. A has clearly developed a very close and meaningful and permanent relationship with this man and I have made no efforts to really get to know him and love him the way she would if the situations were reversed. Am asshole. Rather large, gaping asshole.

And yet, it gets shittier. One of my first thoughts after the initial shock wore off was "how is this going to affect me?" I don't visit her when he's here (about six times a year for about two weeks each trip), as I am loud type and he is quiet type. When I visit A, I sleep with her in her ginormous waterbed (yay! 70's!) and we lounge about the next day, doing nothing or hitting four matinees in a row. When he eventually moves here, those times will come to a screeching halt, at least as we know them now.

What makes this shitty is that A might be the most fantastic human being on the planet. She is, bar none, the best mother on the planet and one of the best friends. She, rather unfortunately, married a gay man (yay! 70's!) who treated her like absolute shit most of the time, including physical and a great deal of emotional abuse, but they did have a wonderful son J. She finally divorced him when he started bringing his "friends" home to "crash" after "boys nights" out on the town. Shortly thereafter, he was diagnosed with HIV and has had full blown AIDS since 1985.

She tested negative - then and every year since. He is still alive, primarily because he insisted on using a condom during the latter part of their marriage. Had he given her HIV, I assure you, he would not be walking among us - not as long as I was on the planet. He is, incidentally, still alive. Full blown AIDS since 1985. 21 years and counting. Unreal. He was my uncle for a good deal of my childhood and I have love for him and sympathy because our gay-hating culture led him to commitments and behaviors that weren't natural to him. Still. I carry a grudge. You don't fuck with A.

So getting back to my point, absolutely NO ONE deserves love and happiness, to say nothing of a respite from loneliness, more than A and yet one of my initial thoughts was how this was going to affect me and my relationship with A. I am so wanting my places of comfort and safety that the idea of this one being taken away is positively shattering. Do you hear that? My mental health at the expense of my closest family member's happiness. Despicable. Pathetic.

And there's more - I'm not just self-centered when it comes to family. Oh hell no - I extend that shitty attitude towards friends, too! One of my closer friends P? She just had a fantastic date with a man she had been interested in for months. They had one of those amazing evenings where everything clicked -- incredible conversations, passionate sex, comfortable, cozy, intimate and full of hope and possibility - the whole tingly thing you experience when you first find someone you really care about. And while I am positively thrilled for her and so delighted that this kind person is finding someone she really digs, I confess that there was a not-so-small part of me that was just crushed.

Is everyone going to be moving forward and onward while I'm stuck in this limbo? Am I going to be that friend that everyone invites as a courtesy because they pity me and my lonely life? I know that divorce is a process that takes time -- a lot of time-- and I am nowhere near wanting to start up another relationship while I'm still mourning the one I miss so much. When you can't quite see the light at the end of the tunnel, I'm here to tell you that things get really dark sometimes. And you have thoughts such as these, where you are jealous of your family and friends and full of self-loathing because you have these thoughts.

And then you find yourself writing such thoughts at 2 in the morning because you can't sleep and you are basking in the self-loathing that can only come from whining on the internet about how difficult your life is. And that? Puts you on nearly the same maturity level as your average LJ/myspacer, except you're old and should have much more character than this.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Obligatory Top 10 Things For Which I Am Thankful

I need to do this, if for no other reason than this goddamn thing is so emo. Reverse order for no fucking reason.

10) The internets. Not only do I get to whine like a junior high school girl, but I have met and developed great relationships as a result. I also have developed something of an insatiable "answer on demand" thing, but I'll stay positive.

9) Finding new interests. I am sort of rediscovering what interests me and what makes me tick and I get to indulge those without feeling sort of silly and self-conscious.

8) Living alone. I am a great roommate and all that, but the freedom that comes from having your own home that is all yours? Kind of kickass at times. No guilt for a four hour FoodTV session, no quizzical looks when you decide on a midnight bath for the dog, no judgment if you just aren't in the fucking mood to clean the house to spec quality. Can be lonely, to be sure, but for now? I'll stick with kickass.

7) Peace in the whole dissolution thing. Yes, I will probably attempt to return to the no-contact thing, but I have come to the realization that I have no interest in making it unnecessarily hostile. That is what comes of honoring a long relationship and the history associated therewith. I will always love the person I married and I don't feel the need to apologize for it, at least today. I picked well, but things just didn't work out the way I had hoped.

6) A career I enjoy. Yes, some days I hate it with all of my being, but all told, I have a job where I get to help people while simultaneously stretching my intellectual muscles. Some days I miss those jobs that you get to leave at work and some days I want to hit my clients with a fry pan, but in the end, I have a career that I am proud of.

5) My home. Yes, it bears the ghost of a decaying relationship, but I love it and always have. It feels more like home now than it did years ago. It is beautiful, fierce and mine and I intend to spend the better half of 2007 making it more reflective of me.

4) My dog. I love my dog more than I could ever explain. She is a dog version of me - independent, not needy (aside from the separation anxiety thing, but really, she just wants to tag along -- not demanding), goofy and easy going. She is protective, loving, playful and doesn't bitch when I decide we need to walk for seven miles.

3) My friends. I am humbled by your love and support on an almost hourly basis. I have a network of folks who would lay down in traffic for me if necessary, or choke a bitch if necessary (hello, AB). Even if I am loathe to call upon it, I cannot tell you how safe it makes me feel to know I can make a phone call and have a caring and sympathetic ear. I don't use it as much as I should and probably because of the comfort I take in knowing you are all there. I intend to repay every act of kindness and friendship that has been extended to me and will spend my lifetime doing so.

2) My family. I probably don't deserve the safety net of support you have offered, as Lord knows, I have been MIA for important issues in the past. My brothers and sister are fucking kickass and we have everything you could want in a family. A special debt of gratitude exists for my aunt A, who has been my closest friend for most of my life. I also am blessed by the best father you could ever want -- knowing your father respects you is such a wash of confidence.

1) My character. Despite all of the turmoil, I haven't turned into the person I feared (bitter, pessimistic, ugly, petty and whatnot). While I do believe I have worked and earned this character, I know intuitively that some of it was inherited. Trust and rely on that character, cupcake and never let anyone or anything take away from it. You have reason to be proud of who you are.

Monday, November 20, 2006


It is a familiar place for me, seeing as how I danced around my separation for two years. I am often angry at being in this place, but realize it was my decision to be here. I decided to help B out with this last vestige and I alone bear the responsibility for it. It sort of kills me how B doesn't really get it or thinks that this is some way to smooth things over, but at the end of the day, I answer to me and my sense of right.

This feels right, even though it hurts in many ways. I am treating someone the way I want to be treated, without regard to how they would treat me if the situations were reversed. Someday, with the right balance of alcohol and self-awareness, I will understand this.

I'm in a confessional mood, so here goes. I miss him -- even though I realize that "us" meant "him." He came over this morning and when we said goodbye, I knew he wanted to hug or kiss me, but those days are so far gone. I have been with this man long enough to know he is dying for me to reach out to him, but I can't. I told him "B, everything always works out for you and it will here, too." He said, kind of half-heartedly, "well, not everything." I quickly replied that for things he gave a shit about, yeah, they worked out. He always lands on his feet.

I am soon going to be a divorcee of 36 (as of next Feb.). Fantastic. I also want kids (whether mine or adopted or fostered). Equally fantastic. How the holy fuck did I become this person -- with so few options?


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Choosing Civility

I've realized something important. I don't want to fight. I don't want to argue, and I don't want to inflict collateral damage. I realized this some time ago, but I have experienced something of a paradigm shift.

We had an unconventional marriage. We lived on a 36' boat for five years. My brother lived with us for one of those years. His parents did for four months (and sweet Jesus, was that an experience). We ran two successful businesses together. We were apart for two years during law school. We had three lives - his, mine and ours. These are not the hallmarks of a typical marriage (although I still believe in the "yours, mine and ours" thing). I probably shouldn't expect a typical divorce and it sure isn't shaping up as one.

After all of B's stuff is over, I am going to again restrict contact with him. I need it, and so does he, even if he doesn't realize it. B doesn't really burn bridges and is very uncomfortable with someone out there having less than fuzzy feelings about him. However, he's earned it, and I need to fully deal with the loss of this relationship, and that can't be accomplished with a comfortable seque into friendship. Plus, he hasn't fucking earned my friendship - not in the recent past, at least. I am extending it as an act of kindness and respect for our relationship and because I have an interest in seeing a just resolution of this (his) situation. Not a financial, but an equity interest.

But I am not going to be the angry divorcee, bent on righting all wrongs. I like looking forward, not backward. I don't need to be a bitch for being a bitch's sake. It serves no purpose. Instead, I am going to be who I am intrisically, which, albeit remarkably cutting and snarky, not mean. Not for the sole purpose of fulfilling the role of a wronged wife.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Top Ten Notes To My Blogging Self

Just some random thoughts to get down while they are pulsing through my head:

1) You aren't the first person to go through a divorce and you know it. You don't have children that you have to explain this to, or otherwise reconfigure a family. It is really stupid to say, but when Reese Witherspoon announced her divorce, I wished I had her email address. Just to tell her how sorry I was that the demise of her relationship was being used to sell magazines and provide sound bites and was splashed about by the media. How I couldn't imagine compounding the loss of a relationship with the loss of a family. How I could relate to those feelings of sorrow, rage and loss.

2) When you are getting divorced, you suddenly get the sense that everyone is going through something similar. Or at least a lot of people. This is peripherally related to #1. You aren't a unique snowflake, but your pain is nonetheless real and earned.

3) He was never your best friend, at least not in the recent past. You confused the act of being a good friend with a close friendship. Learn from that lesson and from now on, expect the same efforts from your friends that you expend on their behalf. You're completely worth it, even if you don't feel it now.

4) Balance - your mantra was always "in all things balance." Practice what you've preached, cupcake. You're so out of balance and need a realignment. You can do this thing for B without fucking up your alignment if you keep your balance. You won many gymnastics meets because of your performance on the balance beam. Channel that shit.

5) You will never replace this relationship, and that is a good thing. You understand this in random intervals, but you need to understand it intrinsically.

6) You have a support network that is ready, willing and able to offer support. Not using it doesn't make you stronger, it makes you look stubborn, ignorant and petulant.

7) Wine is not a sleep aid, no matter how elusive sleep seems. Exercise works much better.

8) Family -- they have offered you unconditional support. To not accept that support is self-destructive.

9) Remember the five daily goals - write them out and accomplish them, however small.

10) The essence of your character is positive, optimistic and gregarious. You are entitled to step out of character, but don't abandon it. You like who you are, even if your husband didn't cherish it. Fuck him. Your opinion is more important.

The Pause Button

I haven't had it in me to write down my thoughts lately, although I find myself in a very familiar place -- limbo.

For reasons too complicated to get into, I haven't filed the papers yet. It has to do with the concepts of marital privilege, but also because I am performing one final act of kindness for my partner of the past decade. If I become totally honest with myself, I think that while most of my motivation is kindness and respect for a long relationship, there was a small part that was still hoping that I would get some sign that he recognizes the depth of this loss.

They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, but expecting a different result. I may have already written that here. Clearly, I am insane.

Luckily, it looks as though resolution on the B matter is going to come sooner, rather than later, so I should be able to file the papers soon. I am also considering filing them anyway and withdrawing them if my concern becomes an issue. I really wanted to file them by the 18th, as there is a 90 day waiting period and my birthday is February 18th. That surely sounds like a stupid reason, but fuck it, I am entitled to stupidity now and then.

I cried today for the first time in weeks. That isn't because I'm doing better and moving along - it is because my (ugh - forgive the self help speak that follows) healing process, including the feeling of pain, has been temporarily halted. B and I are speaking daily about his issue and the tone is collaborative as usual. This is not healthy in the long term, or even in the short term. What sucks about starting a healing process (again, egads) is that once you know the depth of sorrow you can feel, you know that there are more such moments ahead. That is decidedly exacerbated when you put the whole process on hold and act as though all is normal. Today, a friend called to inquire about my well-being and all of a sudden, my voice became very hushed and tears streamed freely down my face.

I hate that person. Yes, I know I'm entitled - hell have to -- feel all of the loss if I am to emerge from this as the woman I want to be. But there is self-loathing about feeling so weak and not collapsing into a fit of tears at the mere mention of reality. And make no mistake about it - I am in an alternate reality right now, albeit one I know quite well.

I haven't exercised regularly in months (aside from the dog walking, which has been severly curtailed in light of the weather). I am going to the gym tomorrow and plan to rediscover the value of really taking care of yourself. If I am to pause some of the emotional healing, I need to at least take care of the other stuff, and I know it will help me in other ways.

In unrelated news, I have a case where a woman is being severely fucked over by her employer. I don't do employment law, but I like this woman and identify with her. I wrote an eleven page letter on her behalf, which went out today. She paid me such a rewarding compliment -- "K, I have really learned the meaning of advocacy today. You really advocated on my behalf and I am so grateful." This from a woman who pays me a ridiculously high hourly rate -- she said "you are worth every penny - thank you."

It made me feel relevant and needed, and I confess, that felt wonderful.

Edit: This is good for you, K - writing stuff down and chronicling your progress, however slight. Don't dread it -- your audience is extremely limited and friendly and there is no shame admitting your shortcomings and failures and neediness.

Further PS -- could you possibly be more overwrought? You are going to shake your head at all of this one day.

Final PS -- You weren't kidding about the insane thing. Holy batshit, batman.

Friday, October 27, 2006


Well, apparently, that email did the trick, as I got my signed papers today. I confess that the finality of it all, seeing his signature and all that comes with it? Another small part of me died a little today. Sure, I got some stalling and avoidance to get them, but in the end, still no act of courage or depth. He had his personal assistant deliver them (ahead of our meeting today). I didn't file them, on advice of the loan folks, as I should probably wait until the loans are all closed. So another week of limbo. I'm used to it.

He came to the office today to discuss the professional matter. I hadn't seen him in weeks - maybe a month or two. As we discussed the issues, I realized that he probably will never do what he should do and will instead use the materials to force a quiet, tidy settlement of the matter. It won't achieve the just resolution or vindicate the parties who deserve vindication, but it will solve an immediate problem and no one will be the wiser for it. In short, he won't make the bold and decisive move but will pussy out. He will manage the problem and it will get swept under yet another rug. How incredibly disappointing, yet probably unexpected.

I know what I need to do -- I need to let go, even if it means not knowing if he ever finds the sack to do what a really good man would do. I need to let go of the desire to see him be the man I really thought and hoped he was. I need to cut off the contact and get back on the road going forward. I need to file the papers and let the 90 days run its course and get the decree. I need to feel all of this sorrow and sadness and loss completely and learn from it and emerge enlightened and hopeful and happy. I need to remember that I am NOT the first person who has gone through a divorce and far, far many others have had it far, far worse.

But for tonight, I am going to wallow in it and allow myself to feel sad and angry. How could anyone throw this -- me -- away? I feel so small and worthless -- am I not worth fighting for? Risk everything? Do anything to keep me -- this person who stood beside you and supported you in everything you did -- do anything to make it right?

Apparently not. And that truly sucks out loud.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

What You STILL Don't Get


There is something surreal about you suggesting that I am getting wound up when we talk about certain issues as of late, as I have never exhibited the kind of rage and bullying that you did over the course of our marriage. I am just detached and tend to call it as I see it now, without any fear of reprisal from you. As I have said earlier, you always had the advantage on becoming irrationally and frighteningly angry and I would diffuse it with tears. I still have plenty of tears, but they aren't necessary to diffuse your episodes anymore. We aren't an "us" anymore and you took every action to make sure that we were done.

That said, I have an interest in you doing the right thing. I kept expecting you to do that over the course of the past year, but I had rose-colored glasses and an unrealistic assessment of your character. What is crazy is that I still went to the mat for you, getting SK suspended, getting websites pulled, etc. How one-sided was that? Mounting a defense for someone who couldn't be bothered to reciprocate. Always your staunchest and ruthless defender. What a thankless job that proved to be -- I really hope you never discover that your relationship is completely one-sided. You can't begin to understand that type of pain and hurt.

I don't believe a word that comes out of your mouth anymore, largely because you haven't told me the truth about a lot of things in a lot of years. More to the point, when you had an issue, I jumped and asked how high. When I had an issue, it was demoted to the lowest position on your priority list. You, of all people, can't imagine how demoralizing that is, as you bark orders to people you don't respect, including me. I am ashamed at how obedient and willing I was to follow your barked orders, as you didn't deserve my obedience and compliance. You gave absolutely nothing in return -- not respect, certainly not loyalty, and no semblance of honoring my loyalty to you.

Ever solution-oriented, here's what we'll do. You and I will both close on our respective loans next week, at the deal that I negotiated for us (after six weeks of bullshit with the idiot Jensen). I'll pay the debts we have out of my cash out and you'll do......whatever you've decided to do. As for the professional matter, I won't count on you at all. I'll give you what I have (and have had since last March, but hey, you have been busy) and you can make your decisions from there. I don't want to be involved in the drama anymore, as it is completely thankless and worthless. I don't want or need to be informed of anything -- you just play the role of Manager and toe the line. I've done what you have asked and want no part of the incompetence and impotence.

As for the divorce papers, well, I'll just hold my breath for another couple of weeks, until I get the phone call, most likely from J, telling me that they are ready for pick up.

I'm angry, B, and I deserve to be. You have been a really shitty friend to me, to say nothing of a husband, and the same cannot be said of me. This is an inevitable consequence of treating your wife, friend and marriage like utter shit. I have endeavored to take the high ground on all of this but I am more than entitled to throw a little anger in your direction.


Spent the past week in an old, familiar pattern -- solving B's problems and waiting for him to act on them. It is truly unreal to see it from this angle -- the "I'll be there at 3pm on Wednesday and we'll go over all this" -- only to see Wednesday turn into Thursday, turn into argument (although that felt good), turn into hanging up on me (ho hum), turn into a contrite phone call ("I am really sorry and want you to know how much I appreciate everything you've done for me and I'll really be there tomorrow"). How positively mundane this all is -- I can't even be bothered to care.

Except I do on this topic and it has nothing to do with B and I. B was a complete and utter coward this past year when it came to letting his company utterly screw my firm over. B was concerned about protecting his job, which is admittedly a grave concern, but it came completely at the expense of my firm's good name. It is entirely too long of a story, but suffice to say, B is a competent manager and a terrible leader. Reactionary. Pensive. Safe. Political. Chickenshit. That last one about covers it. Chickenshit. I didn't realize how much respect I had lost for him until I took a few steps back. I am apparently immune to the charm now, as all I see is a talker, not a doer. Talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, but almost always failing to live up to his word. What a really unattractive quality. I wonder how long I had been oblivious to it? No need in looking back, I guess.

I told him this a few days ago and it really hit home with him. Hard - especially the part about not being a good leader. He says he completely agrees and now he's going to do things differently. That was before he stood me up two days running.

Talk, talk, talk, talk, talk. Yawn. He is remarkably consistent about that and I am an idiot for continuing to think he is going to be a man of integrity. If there is anything I am repulsed by, it is someone who can't walk the talk, so to speak. He didn't used to be that guy, but he sure as shit is that guy now.

I also solved the problem of the six week refinance thing -- to recap, he engaged our former loan broker who completely fucked up our loan six years ago. Outstanding. What is the adage about insanity defined as repeating the same mistakes? Hello, Mr. Insanity. Anyway, I was being shoved into this FHA deal where I would have to pay mortgage insurance (hello? $300K in equity, $150K loan?) and all sorts of related bullshit. B was on for 7.75% interest (stepping up to 8.1 for two years) -- just insanity. I called a different company on Tuesday and lo and behold, B and I got the same rate (6.25%, not an FHA thing) and I am closing on Tuesday. Yes, in one week, I managed to get shit done and better.

It was always this way. It really was. B got the credit as the problem solver, but that was really my function. I was B's personal assistant. Humbling, that.

As far as all of this is concerned, I am going to hand him over everything I have done for him in the past week (which, of course, is a continuation of everything I had done for him over the past year) and let him run with the ball, if at all. I was moving forward when I wasn't talking to him a few times a day about business and other matters and I want to resume that course of conduct. This will be hard, as I am emotionally invested in the outcome, but in the end, I don't have any faith in his character or his word and don't want to be on the edge of my seat, waiting for him to rediscover (or otherwise become) the man I really thought he was. He couldn't do the right thing over the past year, so I have no reason to believe that he will now. No matter what he says, as he is absolutely all talk. Disappointing and ugly, that.

On a more positive note, a friend got a promotion and a raise. Another friend is making strides in her personal relationship with a long term boyfriend. Another friend is celebrating a birthday this week. And I got my perspective back -- trying to help B is not unlike running on a treadmill. A lot of fucking effort to stay in place.

Oh, and I made a new friend. A month or so ago, actually, but rediscovered tonight. A month or so ago, P and I went to have sushi and were talking about my divorce and separation. I was just keeping it together, as things were really raw and the bartender overheard us. Turns out, he is in the exact same boat, relationship wise (okay, not exact, as it was a much shorter marriage), but he understands the emotional roller coaster. We completely bonded, exchanged emails and what not, but it sort of fizzled. P and I went back tonight and I re-bonded with the guy. We declared ourselves a pity party of two and resolved to help each other get through our respective crises. We laughed about how it is easier, seeing as I don't know anything about him and his soon-to-be-ex nor does he know anything about mine. Sometimes, that is exactly what you need -- just someone who knows just how sad and mad you are and doesn't try to give you a blueprint for what to do next. That is NOT a commentary on my friends who are stunningly supportive -- just a huzzah for virtual strangers with a shared sense of loss.

Oh, and for those of you keeing track at home? He STILL hasn't given me the signed divorce papers. It wasn't until this week that I realized that he harbors some hope of reconciliation. Denial --- it is a powerful river, apparently.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Sucked Back In

Drama in B's life almost always constitutes an emergency in mine, even with all these checks and balances in place. Today, in the midst of a crisis at work, B had J call me (J being the person I suspect of betraying me in the worst way possible). I was curt and polite, but it became clear that there was something brewing that they needed me for. I so wanted to hang up the phone and say "deal with this shit on your own, big guy," but the peacekeeper and problem-solver in me won out. And I got sucked right back the fuck in all of that.

I took vented as I told Yoda (my boss) that I resented the fuck out of being called upon, yet again, to counsel and guide this incredibly dysfunctional and impotent group of people, including my soon to be ex who can't be bothered to give me the signed fucking papers, but I confess that I have some own crosses to bear in it and can't let them fuck it up as they usually do. The gall, however, enraged me. I guess I should take solace that it is something of a vote of confidence that when the shit really starts flying, they turn to me for advice. As superficially flattering as that is, I don't want the job. I don't want to slip into our usual pattern of me playing the role of supporting friend and spouse to whatever drama and conflict is in his life, as that is NO LONGER MY LIFE. However, because this particular issue affects me personally on some levels, I do want to work to achieve my desired result and have certain issues vindicated.

For reasons that I can't explain, I need to resolve this issue -- it affects me and justice requires it. On the other hand, I am not going to resume being his touchstone on these things. Being stuck in this tornado is the antithesis of moving forward and I don't want to lose momentum, however tenuous it is. I am just starting to realize a life really independent and different and while it saddens and hurts me, it can also excite me, as the possibilities are endless.

So my no-talk-to-B streak is temporarily suspended as I put out more fires and lead by proxy (as good as a politician that B is, he sucks at actual leadership). I would be lying if I didn't admit that I missed him a little and missed being out of the loop, but I really don't think that is my motivation right now. I want to tie up some loose ends that involve B and his company, and to some degree, those two are completely interrelated, as I do believe my marriage was significantly damaged by the dysfunction at that place. Perhaps this is still moving forward, albeit in a way I hardly anticipated or sought.

Also? I got my fucking Dyson today. w-to-the-00t!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Reality Bites

Today wasn't nearly as good of a day. For most of it, I was busy and with a client, who has her own drama to deal with and that is a good kind of distracting. One of the best pieces of professional advice I ever received came from an unlikely source (law professor, little professional experience). When a client has a legal problem, it is occupying 99% of their mental energies. For the attorney, that problem usually occupies a position of 10%, at best. So much of what I do is just listen to the client and let them vent their frustration and how they have been wronged and how the other person is just completely unreasonable. I think that is why I can't do that -- I know how that sounds.

I wrote a long post last night (twice, actually), but my laptop wireless connection crapped out and alas, it was gone. But writing it out felt great and it was probably repetitive on earlier themes. B called yesterday, promised the papers by today (*last night I said I really thought he was going to give them to me today) and how he alluded to major developments in his life, but that it was "probably nothing I would find interesting." It was a rare passive aggressive shot by B, as he usually goes for the "direct to the temple" approach to such things, but I diffused it by saying that it wasn't that I wasn't interested in it and he knew that.

I had asked him to remove me from his (other) company's website last week - -it alludes to our happy marriage and all that crap and given that he has a company event this weekend, it seemed silly to perpetuate the myth. Today, after speaking with the webdesigner on an unrelated matter, she tactfully stated that there had been a request to take me off the website. I cheerfully confirmed that, and minutes later, all traces of me were gone.

Weird how sad that made me, especially since I demanded it. Reality, she can be a cruel bitch at the worst times. I put my face in my hands and was ready for a good cry, but I was too tired and the subject too familiar. I guess there was a small part of me that wanted B to resist, not to remove all traces of me, beg me, whatever. I know I would never agree, but goddamn, I still want for that grand gesture. I know I'm never going to get it, so there's that loss as well. The loss of hope that one day, he will understand just what he cast aside.

Just as I am cultivating sources of support where I can find them, so is he, at least, I hope. I confess that I do miss him and miss our friendship and the direct way in which we spoke to each other. I am guessing he finally told his mother -- I am going to go down there and say goodbye in person, as she isn't a letter writer or reader and I need to say goodbye to her and all the hopes she had for me as the mother of her grandchildren. I know she believed in us in much the same way I did.

I stared at some of our pictures tonight, realizing that it is gone. Really, really gone. B&K are no more. I'm going to have to answer a lot of uncomfortable inquiries about it and I will take the high ground. But this is, obviously and without question, the worst breakup of my life. I loved him so deeply and unconditionally and that wasn't nearly enough. And it was probably misplaced, as he clearly didn't have the same loyalty to me and didn't believe in us the way I did. That kind of pain lingers and I just hope it doesn't linger for too long. I hate these waves of sadness and despair and failure and mostly hate how they rear their ugly heads when I least expect it.

14 years. I can't erase that history and won't even make an attempt. I was married to him for 12 and no amount of denial or wine will erase that from my memory. I guess I am just feeling sorry for myself, as I so wanted him to reach out and say "LET'S STOP THIS -- WE CAN WORK THROUGH ANYTHING" - even if I knew we couldn't. I wanted to be worth that futile effort.

* He didn't give me the signed papers today. There were likely more important things to be done. For those of you keeping track at home, it has been over a month that I have asked for him to give me the signed paperwork on an uncontested divorce. Fucker.

Friday, October 13, 2006


My "make yourself feel better" retail therapy purchase (not the Dyson, that has fucking practical uses) is a tobacco colored Marc Jacobs purse.

True to Form

Despite telling me he would get the papers to me today, they never arrived. I kind of wanted to file on a Friday, just in case certain reporters were still trolling for information (long story). I suppose I can wait until next Friday, which necessarily assumes he will finally get them to me. The delay is par for the course -- when B wants something done, it gets done immediately, but when I want something done, it cascades down the priority ladder. Maddening. I am trying very hard not to be the shrill, ball-busting ex, but goddamn it, I have been asking for these for a month and there are no fucking disagreements on the property settlement.

I also discovered today that my refinance is $6K more than I was told. Also maddening. I didn't get the chance to shop around and find the best rate, as I needed to refi as soon as possible so as to enable B to close on time. Which he didn't anyway because the mortgage broker is a tool. He also got in a motorcycle accident right in the middle of this and I am now dealing with his "associate." I am going to open up a can of serious whoop ass on Monday and get that figure down at least $3K.

I just bought an Animal Dyson! Hooray for retail therapy! Incidentally, since our separation, I have hired a housekeeper (weekly basis), purchased a Roomba and now a Dyson. I guess I adopted a little of that anal-retentiveness that irked the fuck out of me so bad during our marriage. I am NOT going to perpetuate the musuem-like feel, however -- I actually took out a few dollars to get some new furniture. I love most of it, but need to change things around so it doesn't look like our old home together. And I am going to get rid of that fucking chair that I never liked -- sofa king boring and useless. I am also going to recover those two awesome chairs that we always were planning on recovering. B wanted to do it in mohair, but I was always against it. Mohair looks nice but isn't comfortable or practical. There is probably a wise metaphor in that but it is Friday and I am le tired.

One of the things that I have been thinking about is my name. In the papers, you can check a box to go back to your maiden name (or any name, for that matter). It never occurred to me to change my name back. I have had this name for twelve years and I like it. But it is his name and that gives me some pause. Am I hanging onto the name because of my connection with him? I don't think so -- I think it is because this is the name I've had for so long, that so many friends associate with me, and the name I have used professionally. I don't think I am ready to part with it just yet, and certainly not before I file the papers (has to be checked then). If I decide later to go with a different name, I can ante up the filing fee and have it changed. As an aside, B changed to our last name shortly before we got married. He had used his stepfather's name growing up and, by the time we met, his stepfather was long out of the picture. B didn't want me to take that name, so he (well, I did it for him) filed the name change petition and went back to his birth name. So I guess, in a way, we both adopted it at the same time. It is almost both of our names.

Final thought -- when you are married to an Irish citizen (who is, by definition, a citizen of the EU), you are entitled to apply for Irish (and EU) citizenship. I had always planned on doing that and think I still might, at least while we're still married (unless it will delay the divorce). I may one day desire to live abroad and would like to enjoy the benefits of that citizenship. It seems like an acilliary benefit to my marriage that I would like to use. The only thing that bothers me is that B never used our marriage as a means to get U.S. citizenship (and his reasons were downright silly), so it seems incongruous for me to use our marriage as means of obtaining EU citizenship. I think I can get over that one.

Plus, it would really fuck up my internet logins.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Basic Instinct

I touched on this yesterday but am really starting to get a handle on it. As I regain control over my emotions and start to feel somewhat strong again, my thoughts turn to B and how he is doing. I am not really talking to him now, as he doesn't respond to my emails and I don't usually answer his calls. I have more control over my thoughts when I write them down and reread them and at least for now, I can better communicate what I need to say in text, rather than voice. When we speak, I tend to revert to our usual roles and I find myself being his friend. And I probably shouldn't be his friend during this, as he certainly hasn't earned my friendship during the latter years of our marriage and separation.

This will be an ongoing struggle, as part of my rational brain wonders if it is necessary to completely separate our lives. That seems so drastic and yet, for almost every other divorcing couple, probably the only decision. It is surely telling that this is even a struggle for me. I am not under any delusion that I was the perfect wife and friend -- far from it, in truth -- but I was certainly a good friend to B over our marriage. I was his touchstone for the big issues and I don't know that he is actually talking to anyone about this divorce. I can't believe that I am still worried about B and whether he will emerge from this a better man, but I am. I want him to be happy, satisfied and at peace, no matter where he is or what he is doing. I don't (at least today) wish him any ill wil.

I have to believe that a complete separation of our lives is necessary for both of us, but especially for him. Our two-year separation wasn't nearly what it should have been. We generally spoke almost every day, I handled legal and personal matters for him and I was a continual source of support. That did nothing to help our marriage -- he got the benefits of our marriage without any obligation and gave absolutely nothing in return. He was still part of the "B&K" duo, at least publicly, while I gave up any semblance of that, save for our public events. I didn't discuss our separation with any of our mutual friends (save that one fucking bitch) and I played along with the myth that we were headed toward reconciliation.

I guess what I realized (and what many a wise friend told me then) is that B didn't have the opportunity to miss me or our friendship or marriage during the separation. Hell, I was in contact and in the loop enough that I didn't miss him the way I do now. Delayed suffering, I guess -- denial is a hell of a drug. We prolonged this for entirely too long, neither one quite ready to pull the plug. Now that we're finally doing it, I think it needs to be a clean break.

As much as it goes against my instinct to support and nurture B, I know that it needs to be a complete and utter separation. No sharing of war-stories -- we're both going through closings right now and when I answered his call today, we ended up chatting about his interest rate vs. mine, etc. I abruptly ended that conversation (he did say he would get the divorce papers to me tomorrow) and I could hear the exasperation in his voice when I didn't engage in further conversation. B wants me to behave during this time as I did during our separation and that was detrimental to both of us. I can't be the "cool ex-wife" as the counterpart to the "cool wife."

He has to experience the loss and learn from it. I have to keep my boundaries clear and not revert into the role of the supportive friend and spouse. B&K no longer exists. I will no longer be B's wife or part of that team. And I have to remain steadfast in separating our lives as much as possible. I guess what I've realized is that I have to surrender both the marriage and the friendship, even when it goes against my instincts to be a good friend to the man I married.

He hasn't earned that friendship as of late and, at least in the long run, I wouldn't be doing him (or me) any favors by making this incredibly painful and sad time easier on him. I'm going to be a better person when all this is said and done and I hope he will too. Just not with my help. Even if so much of me feels like I should.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Out of Practice

It occurred to me today that I haven't broken up with anyone since I was 20 years old. I am now 35.

Back then, the primary concern was "am I ever going to find someone I like as much as this person I am breaking up with?" That sentiment seems sort of quaint now, as most of my contemporaries are building their lives with their spouses. Back then, no one knew what the hell we were doing and we were sort of bouncing from potential long-term relationship to potential long-term relationship. Hell, during our marriage, I knew a lot of single people who were always lamenting about the dearth of available men. I was sort of indifferent to that whole concern then, but have a new appreication for it now. Starting over at 35 was never in my game plan, but life is what happens when you are preparing for something else.

I am not even the least bit interested in dating or whatever. I would love to rediscover or find some male friends who I can hang out with and have platonic outings, but truth be told, dating is the farthest thing from my mind. I am not yet the woman I want to be and I don't want to get involved with anyone while I am getting my shit back together. Now is a time for friends, not replacements and I would be a horrible girlfriend to anyone right now. I fully intend to take some unapologetic "me time" and travel, read, spend time with friends and rebuild a lot of things that have been shattered.

What is different when you break up after a long (10+) year relationship is the mourning (cheesy? hell yes ! OPRAH!) and disentangling of the life you built over that term. That involves some serious pain and reflection and rage and sorrow. Back then, it meant getting your sunglasses and favorite boxers back from him. Now, it means almost erasing a decade long history together. Separating stuff from memories and realizing that you will always have the latter, no matter how hard you try.

I take a walk almost every night around Lake Union, where we lived most of our life together. I walk past our former regular haunt, the boatyard where that crazy thief ran off to, our first home, our former coffee haunt, his workplace, our friends' breakfast joint, where we got married, and a thousand other different memories. I need to remember that these aren't only "our" memories, but also milestones of my life. I told myself the other night that I need to forge a new route, as I've been walking around this lake for almost a decade. I may well do that, but until a blaze a new trail, I can see all of those milestones of my life, not just sad reminders of days gone by.

One of my best friends tonight remarked that she believes B and I will be friends again, someday. I remarked that one of the hardest things about this whole thing is that I am worried about B -- he has many, many buddies but few friends. I am who he would talk about this, if it didn't involve me, and I know for certain he isn't discussing us with his closer friends. It is part of the reason I don't want to talk to him on the phone -- my instinct, my pattern -- is to help him through it all and ease his pain. Truth is, I don't want to make this easy for him. I don't want to make it really difficult, but the friend in me (and the really pissed off, soon-to-be-ex-wife) wants to make him feel the loss.

If P is true and perhaps one day we will be friends, then my conduct now is constructive. As I am fond of saying, those who don't learn from their history and mistakes are bound to repeat them. I do wish for B happiness and peace and he won't get it until he realizes just how valuable and meaningful a relationship he pissed the fuck away. I don't want to live in a world where he is unhappy -- I've loved him far too long to wish that upon him, even after all of the indignities. Despite everything, I do believe I was once married to a great man and I hope he can rediscover or relearn all of those traits that made me love him. I hope the same for me -- that I can once again become the kind of woman that garnered the love and affection of a great man.

I am woefully out of practice but am willing to do the work.