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.