Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Divorce, 1 year later

So today is my Divorce anniversary. I realize that sounds odd, that someone would remember such a thing and call it an anniversary but it really wasn't that big of a deal to me then and kinda isn't now.

The day I got divorced I took the day off of work. Brian and I met at the courthouse, waited for our judge to not show up and so we were shipped to another judge who asked us questions about our parenting plan (that is in a total shambles today by the way) and if I was pregnant. I swore I wasn't (and I wasn't) and we were divorced. We giggled before and after. Decided it would be in bad taste to have a party.

After that I went back to Micah's apartment and we went out brunch, went to the shooting range and I got my back tattoo. It's a Forget Me Not and has a lot of meaning to me on so many levels.

I remember my mother being devastated about her divorce. She lost weight. She pushed through but she had a really rough first year after my father left.

I didn't have that. I blossomed. I developed hobbies. I tried new food. I traveled. I got pregnant. Opps. I found a family that loved me for me and didn't judge that I was or wasn't something else. And they weren't my biological family. My first year of being divorced coincided with my best summer of all time and my new life that I embraced warmly.

I've been asked by other women how I dealt with the devastation of divorce. Normally they are staring into the pit of despair at possibly the end of their marriage and are terrified. People like to talk to me and I'm pretty open about everything in my life so it's natural that they look at me. But I feel guilty because I have to be honest with them and tell them that for me it wasn't a pit of despair and it wasn't devastating. I cried, to be sure. But I cried for my hopes and dreams, for all my plans, for my failure to my children and to my family. I didn't cry because I missed him or because he was gone. I cried because the picture in my MIND was gone. The plans I had made were gone. But in reality, looking back on it, they were never going to come to fruition like I had hoped anyways.

I occasionally tell one or two stories about my ex so that people can get a feel for why the breakup wasn't hard. Besides telling them we were living completely separate lives as roommates LONG before we separated. These stories are as follows:

A winter or two after we had moved to Colorado I decided I needed a winter coat. I had a 5 year old hoodie made out of sweatshirt material that my mother had given me but it was falling apart and wasn't very warm. I went out in search of a coat in December. I found one at Burlington Coat Factory that I adored. It was sort of a pea coat and was black. It went down to my knees and was made of wool. It was Colorado perfect. I called my then husband to ask him if I could buy the coat. He asked me how much it was. I told him it was $80. He told me no. He said if I could find a coat for $20 I could have it. Yes, he was serious. This, despite the fact that we had over $5000 liquid cash in our checking account and slightly over $10,ooo in our savings account plus various other savings vehicles. Of course a plus size woman in the beginning of winter in Colorado can't find a $20 winter coat so I didn't get one. I just wore my hoodie for the entire winter. I even shoveled snow in that hoodie. He had a wool coat plus a military coat for winter that was good up to -30F I believe.

My other story is about after he moved out. One week he told me he couldn't pick up Lulu from daycare after work, despite the fact that it was on his way home. Every day it was a different reason, he had to work late, he had plans after work etc. So I picked her up. I also made dinner for myself and the kids every night, gave baths, helped with homework, did laundry, tidied the house (I wont lie, I didn't CLEAN it every night) and did the various other tasks moms do. On the weekend I took the kids to do some sort of family "thing". After that week, Monday night, Brian asked if I had "noticed". I asked him "Noticed what?" He wanted to know if I had noticed how much harder that week had been without him there to help. He had avoided picking up Lulu to show me what my life would be like without him.

I laughed. I told him nothing about my life had changed in that week, except I had to pick up Lulu from daycare. But essentially, my life had gone on as normal. He didn't cook. He didn't tidy. He didn't do laundry, or bedtimes or homework. He didn't go family stuff on the weekend and he didn't cuddle with me at night in bed. My life had been pretty normal.

He didn't react well to that at all. He expected me to be exhausted and devastated and begging him to come home. He hadn't really thought about what my life was like when he had something better to do every night of the week and weekends than be with me and the kids.

So there. There are my 2 stories to illustrate why my divorce isn't the devastating thing that it was for my mother and many, many other couples and women out there. My husband was a husband in name only, not deed. His leaving effected me economically more than emotionally but then, by the time he left, I had already prepared for that as well.

Sure, there have been ups and downs in the last year. Sure, it's been hard. But honestly? Micah has taken my children to more appointments and taken more sick time to care for them than Brian did in 10 years of marriage. Overall, I got a much better deal after the divorce.


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