So in this journey I’m on, which–depending on the day–could be called Hell or Freedom or WTF This Is My Life, Really? I have discovered that all the things that all the people have said are, in fact true. (Except of course, PC’s lies.)
Multiple people have said to me things along the lines of I can’t wait until you stop being sad and start being angry or you won’t always feel this heartbroken, I promise or there will come a day when you just realize, you’re okay. The latter has not exactly happened, but I’ve turned a number of corners.
Am I still sad? Yes. Sad that I was left and cheated on and lied to? Yes. Sad that my children will join the ranks of children everywhere who come from broken homes, something I know nothing of? Yes. Sad that much of my history is, in fact, just that. History. Not part of a story that isn’t complete, so to speak. Not something I will look back on with the person who shared it with me, and say fondly remember that day?
Am I angry? Why yes, I am. I’ve been angry all along, but its been shrouded by the heavy clouds of sadness and the principals of heartbreak and the stabbing sensation of pain. Its been blocked by the incredibly overwhelming sense of every day, not knowing what it will bring, the overwhelming amount of things that have to happen…legal things, moving things, emotional things, a job, my kids…life. I think even under the best of circumstances, divorce is fucking hard.
But something snapped in me this past week. Another corner was turned. I’m not sure whether it was facilitated by PC’s utter lack of attempt to do anything to assist us during the recent blizzard. Or if it was his myriad of lies lies lies that keep coming forth. His continued threats that instead of scaring me are now enraging me. Or the fact that last weekend would have been our “dating anniversary”.
That “anniversary” started with a happy college memory of Jell-O shots and a block party and first kisses and other things. It was memorialized over the years in many ways…sometimes a night out, sometimes a night in, always a celebration of some sort. Each year would pass and no matter how we were…struggling, happy, stressed…I would always think: another year. We’re good.
Instead, this year. PC was on vacation with his girlfriend, the Trollup, the woman he left me for. And I was home alone with two children, stranded in a blizzard, dealing with, well, everything. I was angry. Really. I’m shoveling nearly 3 feet of snow, paying strangers to help me, and staring at everyone’s fun happy snow pictures on Facebook. Meanwhile, imagining him as he would be on vacation…lavish dinners, nights out, fun and frolic, room service. Fuck you, PC.
But. On day whatever of the storm, my girls came over. There were children, and we let them stay up late (Not recommended. All children turned into gremlins the next day.) I angrily shoveled snow away from our fire pit, and we lit a fire amidst the 5 billion feet of snow. We cut up string cheese in lieu of proper snacks and I pulled all the wedding pictures and photos of PC and I that I had stashed on top of the fridge in hopes that when he moves the Trollup in she’d find them and feel like shit.
My one friend wasted no time ripping those pictures up. I was a bit hesitant, kind of well, I look pretty in that picture are you sure…well okay, you’ve already ripped it into pieces…We traipsed out to the fire, me and these women who for whatever reason, love me unconditionally (as I do them.) Bit by bit we burned the scraps of my life and can I say? It felt good.
What followed was a night that will go down in history. There was nothing totally epic about it. One friend went home, and another (and all of the passed out children) stayed. We put music on. We disclosed anything that had never been disclosed before (which truly wasn’t much.) We danced and smoked cigarettes and stood in the freezing air by the fire. We talked and talked and talked, danced and sang, hit deep levels of discussion. We purged, or rather, I purged. Feelings, thoughts, dark ones and good ones. We did this until 3:30am.
Folks, I am nearly 39. I have kids that awaken at 7, at the latest. I am becoming a professional at functioning without sleep, but even I cannot stay up into the wee hours of the morning and awake with any semblance of a human being. But I did, of course, because that’s what parents do. (Take note, PC. Parents get up, even with a hangover, and take care of their kids.) We cooked, we painted little girls nails, played hide and seek, cooked some more and laughed about how ridiculous we were. And do you know what?
I had a ball. An absolute ball. My friends, the kids, the dog, the house smelling of good breakfast food, the hysterical laughter of the night before, the music…reminding me again how ridiculous my life with PC was. We never played music in the house. Why the hell not? Just a little thing, but since then I’ve been making a point to have music on whenever we’re home.
After, my rage seemed to take a life of its own. As if the snow fire and the burning of history and perhaps the lack of sleep awoke something deep inside of me. Because I’m fucking angry. At him, for his assumptions that he can continue to do things as he’s doing them. Angry that I let him for so long. Angry that he acts as though I am the one who is not “compromising” or “cooperating”.
So where does one go with this? Well, I’m on fire, so to speak. I don’t want to see him or speak to him because as I learned yesterday, I cannot hold back my words of disgust and repulsion. I told him how it was and he didn’t like it and I. don’t. care. (I do…honestly I was shaking like a leaf when I was done laying into him, that’s how upset I was) but I don’t care. At this point I’m balls to the wall, bulldog status, push me one little bit and I will fuck you over times ten.
Healthy? I don’t know. I suppose it’s better than crying on the couch and being paralyzed by anxiety and despair. I suppose its better than not being angry. Rage. It feeds a fire and maybe that is what I need just now. To take back my power, to nullify his control over how I feel.
But out of that fire rises good things too. My sense of self. I don’t recognize it, but I like it. My girlfriends…just really. Burning photos one moment, the next conversing about the depths of our souls, the next dancing like lunatics. You cannot replace those memories and only getting 4 hours of sleep was worth it. It fortified my soul. And I can’t help but think…that night, that depth? Never would have happened if I wasn’t in the throes of this ridiculous, stressful, horrifying divorce.
Moral of the story? Even in the worst of times, if you have a friend, a snow fire, an ipod and perhaps some string cheese, you’ll be okay. If you have a little bit of rage to keep fighting your fight, you’ll be okay. Even if the memories are still in your head, seeing them sizzling at the bottom of a fire pit is cathartic. A little bit of rage goes a long way. But the bonds of friendship, the strength of support, and taking the lemons life gives you and turning it into a goddamn margarita…well. It pushed me to turn yet another corner on this seemingly endless road.