Divorce: Filing the Papers. Again.

I am sitting in my car crying while being charged by the minute. 1. Because I just drove around downtown for 30 minutes trying to navigate construction cones, one way streets and parking garages that will accept credit cards and 2. Because I am here again. At the courthouse, about to file divorce papers.

I remind myself, I can do scary things.

I got here. I found my way. I found a parking spot. I will find the building, I hope. Surely it can’t be too hard; I say knowing that if someone could get lost in the concrete jungle, it would be me.

I remind myself, I can do scary things.

I don’t know where I am going. My shoe is rubbing the back of my heal and I cant find a fucking bandaid. I decide to skip mascara; it will just end up in black streaks running down my cheek. It’s freezing cold, but thankfully the sun is shining. I am armed with a form from the lawyer and an email with directions:

Get the clerk to file-stamp the two copies. Keep one for your records and keep the other to give to your husband once I send you the other documents. If the clerk asks, you do not need service of process. Once it’s filed, let me know the case number. The clerk might say something about how they require e-filing, but let them know you’re “Pro Se”. Let me know in what court it was filed and I’ll get the Waiver of Citation ready for you as soon as possible”.

I remind myself, I can do scary things.

Apparently, I am the one that is in charge of scary things. I had to file the papers last time too, I even had to take the kids with me. They loved the elevator ride. I swear they must have thought I brought them to some kind of shitty carnival. They were laughing and excited and they had no idea. They were too young. This time the kids are at school and I am alone. I assure you the elevator ride, metal detector and purse search was nowhere near as fun. It’s clinical in fact. I am a number. A file among thousands of files. Sterile and cold. A decade of love, marriage, kids and life reduced down to a number. Today my number is E46. I guess it’s as good a number as any. Some person behind a glass window will call me. So I wait.

Divorce seems to be a game of hurry up and wait. We wait to let our marriage get so broken that divorce becomes the only answer. Then we hurry up and agree to separation. Then we wait to figure out finances and living arrangements. Then we hurry up and file the papers. Then we wait the minimum 60 day “cool off period”. Then we hurry up and sign the final papers. Then we wait another 2 months because our current lease doesn’t end until August.

I remind myself- I can do scary things.

It’s in those periods of waiting that we have nothing better to do than think. I have been wondering why it seems that women are always the ones left picking up the shattered pieces. Women seem to be the ones that must now venture back out into the job market. Women are responsible for getting the kids squared away with daycare. Women keep the household running amidst the storm swirling within the family. The husband goes to work, consumes himself with the life he has already created outside the home and drowns his feelings with late nights out. Or so it seems. Maybe it’s just circumstances.

Women are amazing. We hold a million balls in the air at any given moment. We strive to support ourselves and our families. We try to make life magical. We often fail, but we have the best of intentions. We are caretakers. We feather the nest. We think about others. We are selfless and we are exhausted. It’s a big job. Mommyhood. Womanhood. Humanhood.

I remind myself- I can do scary things.

You go into this marriage thing as a team, a united front. And when the fairytale crumbles away, you are left by yourself, walking back into the court house to file for divorce. Alone. No camaraderie. No pomp and circumstance. Just you, by yourself, making a huge life decision that will inevitably leave all parties changed forever.

I remind myself- I can do scary things.

You can join the party on Facebook- Memoirs of a Modern Mom!

Filing for divorce.

Divorce 2.2: I Am Ready.

I am ready for the uncoupling.

I am ready to get a full time job.

I am ready to get both kids in full time care.

I am ready to get my own place.

I am ready for a house without the stress of the past weighing it down.

I am ready for an adventure.

I am ready to see what I can do.

I am ready to begin a new chapter.

I am ready to have a schedule.

I am ready for the kids to have Daddy days.

I am ready to stop getting my feelings hurt.

I am ready to stop caring.

I am ready to know true love.

I am ready to tell the kids.

I am ready to plan for a life of single parenting.

I am ready to discover what I can do when I have to do it.

I am ready to stop the anxiety.

I am ready to walk into the courthouse and pay $285 to file the papers.

I am ready to cry alone in my room mourning the future I had planned.

I am ready to have lonely nights where I can wonder what the hell I have done to deserve this.

I am ready to go back to my maiden name.

I am ready to know how our new family will feel when we are split between two houses.

I am ready to be scared.

I am ready to figure stuff out on my own.

I am ready to learn how to hook up electronics and hang shelves.

I am ready to get out from under the weight of the waiting game.

I am ready to gather new furniture so that both houses can feel like home.

I am ready to pour my heart into writing.

I am ready to find me….without the we.

Divorce

Truthfully, I think we both are- he just doesn’t have a blog to write about it.

 

Divorce: Part 2.1

Conversation with my 5 year old daughter:

Daughter: I don’t want to have kids anymore.

Me: Why not? I thought you wanted three?

Daughter: Not anymore. I don’t want to have to watch kids all the time like you and Daddy. I don’t want to have to take them to all the places that I don’t want to go.

Me: You don’t have to have kids if you decide not to.

Daughter: I don’t want to get married either.

Me: Why not?

Daughter: I don’t want kids, so I don’t need to get married.

Me: You can get married without having kids.

Daughter: (pauses) I don’t want a husband.

Daughter: I always want to be your kid. I just want you to be my mommy. I don’t want to be someone’s mommy.

Me: If you have kids or don’t, if you decide to get married or don’t, I will always, always, always be your mommy. You are stuck with me kid. Nothing will change that.

I can’t help but wonder what her sudden change in perspective is. My god, I am trying to figure out how to shelter myself from this fucking storm and sometimes I forget that kids are perceptive and intuitive and less hardened to the world. I forget that I am their shelter too. I must remember to be kind even when my day is rough. I must remember to emit love even when I feel terribly alone. I need to practice patience even when my nerves are frayed and I want to scream. I need to breathe when I forget that the world can be a really beautiful place, full of beautiful experiences.

I don’t want to be a shitty example for my kids. I didn’t want to get married or have kids either. I saw my parents and thought, no thanks- not for me. But, I did it anyways. I thought it would be easier to approach relationships from a safe distance. I figured I could build some walls and proceed with caution. I have never given my whole self to anyone. Ever.

AND THIS IS WHY!!

I don’t like so many feelings hitting me at once. There is excitement, pain, sorrow, mourning, happiness, lightness, confusion, worry, anxiety, and giddiness. It’s all too much at one time and it leaves me paralyzed. I am a planner, a far into the future planner. This fucks with all my plans. My husband can’t see past tomorrow, so I am guessing the next 70 years of his life don’t need to be re-routed.

So, here I am, still thinking that love is a huge crock of shit, marriage is a terrible institution and that maybe I was right all along. I know, I know, but once it’s right it will be so right. I have heard this. I have witnessed this happen. It has happened for both of my parents, but right now, in the thick of it, I am doing all I can not to build my wall higher.

I need to make myself a promise. Right here and now, I promise to embrace the all feels. I promise to experience the emotions and weather the ups and downs. I will promise not to close down just because sometimes it hurts too much to stay open. I will forget the future and live in the present. I will accept the things that I cannot change. I will learn a lesson. I will grow. I will blossom. Because if I don’t, then I am bound to repeat this cycle and I just have to get off the damn ride.

A certain darkness is needed to see the stars.

Divorce: Part 2

I have sat down 100 times to write this. Some versions are sad, others happy. Sometimes it is angry and harsh, sometimes even calm and rational. I want to be diplomatic. I try to be strong and composed. But, other times, the fact that we are back at this point FUCKING INFURIATES ME!

For the most part there is a calm that is different than last time. Last time. I am so ashamed that I even have to say “last time”. Last time, when we decided to get a divorce- a year and a half ago- I wallowed in the separation. I chronicled the events and my emotions. It overtook my daily routine and became a whole new facet of me and I didn’t want that to happen again this time. I haven’t written much and for the most part I think it helped keep me in the present, living in the moment instead of introspectively behind the laptop. But, I felt like a liar. I felt like a huge part of me was remaining hidden but I wanted to wait until I could write the words with conviction:

I am getting a divorce.

Again.

I am so afraid of being the girl that cried divorce. My biggest fear is looking stupid. I feel like divorce makes me look stupid. It makes me feel stupid. Stupid that I have made bad decisions. Stupid that I failed. Stupid that I thought first love could be true love. Stupid that I am 33 years old and have to figure it all out again like some angsty college co-ed that can’t decide on her major. Only now, I have two kids and a soon to be ex-husband and I am just as lost as I was at 20- but with so much more responsibility. I have a new chapter to begin and that chapter starts now.

So, with heavy heart and anxious nerves, we will part ways.

Our kids are an amazing gift from this love affair gone askew and we will forever continue to put them first. We may not be married, but we will always be family. A family who always wants the best for each other. A family who loves fiercely and fully. A family full of support and encouragement.  A family that couldn’t quite keep it all together. I am so very thankful for the lessons I have learned about both life and love and my hope is that when we emerge on the other side, we are happier, healthier versions of the people that we have left behind. Sometimes you have to accept the fact that certain things will never go back to how they use to be…and maybe you don’t want them to.

So what is my “scary, crazy, amazing goal for 2015, if I could literally accomplish ANYTHING in the world?”

An amicable divorce.

I file the papers, again, this Thursday. The ones we filed in 2013 have already been thrown out by the court, so we start the process over.

xoxo

ambiguity