The papers came yesterday. I knew they were coming because I'd gotten a slapdash cellphone message from my lawyer, telling me it was over.
My lawyer - and it still feels funny to say those words, "My lawyer", so ridiculously grown-up sounding, so tragically responsible - is a kindly older gentleman, a friend of my parents. He doesn't practice divorce law but agreed to take my case because it was going to be a 'friendly, easy one'.
And it was.
The divorce, I mean. It was pretty much, on paper, very friendly. Very agreeable. No assets to speak of (duh), a handshake, a nod, a basic agreement on monthly child support, open visitation, custody. Straightforward. Easy. Simple.
Divorce is never simple. Never easy.
When I opened the big white envelope and looked through the 'official' documents, I started to cry. I'm not even sure why. I've shed so many tears over the last year and a half over this crappy roadkill of a marriage, to continue crying over it seems redundant and childish and really, really fucking boring.
The wounds have long scabbed over and I've moved ahead with my life. I don't love this man anymore. We've been apart for so long that this, the divorce, was really just a technicality, insurance for me that our tangled, toxic history can finally be placed behind me, lock the door and throw away the key.
A wise man (my dad), told me, "There is no looking back now. You can only look ahead." And it's true. So true. Still, to see it there, on paper, 'Judgement Granted' as of December 12, 2008, it just made me feel so sad. There was a beginning date to this marriage, and now there was an end date.
I cried for my youth, for my brutal naivete and recklessness. For promises I never, ever should have made, wouldn't have made, had I not been 24 and idealistic and completely out of my mind.
I was having lunch with Kara today and we were talking about love and addiction, two themes with which we are both intimately acquainted.
As I sat across from her, talking, laughing, holding a hot cup of coffee between my palms, I felt like I stepped outside myself and was looking at a confident, calm, mature, accepting woman who was speaking with my voice.
Who the fuck was this woman? And how did she get here? How did she slip into this vinyl diner booth, where did she get the money to pay for her coffee?
And why is she wearing my jeans?
"Do you know what the best thing is about my life now? I'm not afraid of tragedy anymore. You know, I lived a somewhat sheltered life; nothing really bad ever happened to me. So when it did, it nearly destroyed me. I lived almost in fear of something tragic happening, because I knew that it was just, mathematically, only a matter of time. And now that it has, and because I lived through it and came out of it stronger, I know I could do it again. It won't kill me. Boy, is that liberating."
And that's the fucking truth.
So, yeah, I'm still not sure exactly why I was crying. Maybe it wasn't at all because, omg, I have no idea how I got to this place in my life.
Maybe, really, I was crying because on some level, all along, I always knew that I would.
The Blizzard of '17
4 days ago