Running the Gauntlet

I would not say I’m in the aftermath just yet…but rather treading water just before the final gauntlet. The hurdles behind me are numbered and painful, and ahead of me is the biggest one, yet, beyond that, peace is visible. Its closer and more defined than when I look back into the past. Things about my life “before”, details and habits and facts all seem to be fading as time goes on, and the details and habits and facts of right now seem to have always been.

By definition, running a gauntlet is to go through an intimidating or dangerous crowd, place, or experience in order to reach a goal. This is how I feel right now. There is only one major obstacle to navigate, but its a doozy. Its the settlement, the division of assets, the physical divvying up of the money that existed in PC and I’s marriage. Its like a live wire that’s been poked and touched and we’re about to grab on full force.

For PC, he’s about to lose it all because, of course, in his mind it should all be his. So no matter what happens, even if its completely just and fair, he will view it as a loss. He’s already throwing out negotiations and desperate magnanimous offers that are laced with hidden agendas and ulterior motives that won’t benefit me at all. Nothing means more to PC than his money, as he stated ever so eloquently to my friend Elizabeth just weeks before the end, first comes work, the kids are second, and my wife is third.  So certainly, in the fucked up world of PC’s priorities, “soon-to-be-ex-wife” likely falls low on the list.

For me, I’m about to finally get a little bit of justice. Even if PC’s lies and roadblocks mean I will get less than I truly deserve, I will get something and it will poke PC where it really hurts: his bank account. In a perfect world, I will get more than my fair share and that will be called Karma. That will be Justice. I can’t say that I’m a saint and that I won’t take great pleasure in taking all of PC’s money (correction: our money.) Quite frankly, it will give me a great deal of satisfaction.

But more than that. I have two kids to raise. I have a life to live, I have a retirement to build up (starting from $0 at age 40, holler!) and I have literally been living week to week for nearly 20 months now. My future job and career hangs on a precipice, it is both certain and uncertain. But for right now, this moment? A decent settlement would be a blessing. A sigh of relief. And easing of financial burden and perhaps even a possibility of reimbursing the generosity of my family.

Before that, though. Gauntlet. PC is going to fight me, and he’s going to fight dirty. We also have more custody court coming up at the same time, just for fun. The interesting thing is, I am certain that his anxieties and worries and frustrations lie in the possibility of having to give me one cent more than I “deserve” rather than the possible outcomes of him being in contempt of custody. For me, the biggest worry, the one that keeps me up at night, is the damage PC is doing to the souls of my children, the scars he’s already left and my hope that adjusting custody will give me more control on managing that.

Its a lot, my friends. And its all going to happen really soon.

But beyond that. When its all said and done. PC will still hate me, he may even hate me more, if that’s possible. He occasionally sends a civil text about the kids, and I envision him grinding his teeth, swallowing back bile as he types. When he shows up at the door, the look of misery, anger, and bitter hatefulness is so evident I don’t even think he could fake being a normal person around me. We are never, ever going to be those exes who celebrate birthday parties together or perhaps suffer through a meal for the sake of their children. The black aura that follows him is so strong its nearly visible.

So PC will still hate me, but yet another tie that we share will be severed. In the beginning, it was hard for me because no matter how terrible his actions and words were, we were still closely connected (or rather, I was.) Then: he was a person who shared my home and my life. Now: he’s a person I do not know. I mean, I do know him, and if nothing else he sure is a creature of habit. But he’s not part of my life, at least not the good part.

He isn’t part of my home, my friends, or the things that bring me peace and happieness. He’s slowly (interestingly) backed away from all of the places and people that were common ground to us. Of course, in PC’s mind this is to be blamed on me and on others. He stopped patronizing the bar we went to for years (and both continued to separately patronize after) because he determined in his own mind that they were “on her side” and therefore clearing talking trash about him. Sure, maybe a year and a half ago. But no one really cared about our marital drama anymore. Old news.

He’s stopped coaching the kids’ sports. He’s stopped going places that were regular parts of his life. He no longer has one single friend from his former life, our life, and his new friends are Trollup’s and word on the street is no one is a fan of him. In a way its sad: not for him, because he created every ounce of misery he has, but its sad for my kids. Certainly it will be evident as they grow up that no one–no one–likes their dad.

But: I cannot worry about that. As summer settles into the beginning of its end, so does this journey. I hope I’m not wrong. I hope this really is the final showdown, the final “big” thing, the last obstacle before the peace I taste and see becomes that which envelopes me. My soul can rest a bit, my anxiety can dissipate, and I can simply just be.

Last night my BFF and I were rehashing events of the past, as we do, and it wasn’t in a bitter and angry way but more of an analytical way. It was the most glorious of summer evenings that had followed a relaxing and peaceful summer day which had following a fun as shit summer night (please summer! Stop moving so fast!) I made the comment to her that we could talk about this and analyze and compartmentalize the things that were said and done in the past until we are blue in the face, but it doesn’t mean anything. It doesn’t change anything.

And I want to get to the point where there is just no need to, and no desire to, and where the details are just fragments. Where the new memories of a new life are prominent and our nostalgic reminiscing is about things that have nothing to do with PC, because he is no longer connected to me or my life at all. The kids will always be there, but we’re about to break the last tangible tie: the dissolution of marriage.

I can’t freaking wait.



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