I haven't heard from my attorney in a while - odd because she's usually very communicative. I looked our divorce up on the county court website and it's listed there as closed. I downloaded the attached document and it was the Final Decree of Divorce, signed by the judge and entered by the Clerk of Courts. It seems all kinds of anticlimactic. I expected a call from my attorney telling me it's officially over. I expected a huge feeling of relief. I expected I'd want to party, to raise a glass to a shouted hallelujah.
I don't feel like that at all.
I'm sad, in a way that's not normal to me. I've suffered other losses. I've lost pets, I've lost both my parents, I've had other relationships grow stale and get tossed into the no-more-tomorrows bin. This is different somehow. They say that going through a divorce is like going through a death in the family, but it's not - at least not for me. When my dad died, it was totally unexpected, but not too shocking. He was in his seventies, he had medical problems, he refused to slow down and take care of himself. When it happened, it was unexpected, but not surprising. When my mom passed, it wasn't unexpected at all - everyone knew it was going to happen soon, but I had always been closer to my mom than anyone else in the world - her loss hit me like someone had torn a piece of my soul out and lit it on fire. I was lucky, in that I had quite a few great people to lean on, who stood behind me and helped me get through the episode.
This is entirely different. I still have all those great people, but this is something that I have to go through alone. A couple hugs and the warmest wishes for healing won't fix what I'm feeling. You can't heal the fact that half my life has been for naught. The only thing I have left to show me that the last twenty-five years weren't totally wasted is my daughter. I think back and imagine if I had never gotten married in the first place. I'd still have a house (that I'm making payments on), I'd still have a car (that I'm also making payments on), I'd probably still have pets, and big-boy toys, and my life would be exactly the same as it is now, except it would have meant something. I would have been living it for me, instead of wasting it, trying to live it for someone else.
I can think of plenty of ways that my marriage could have been "saved." Things I could have done. I could have been more subservient, and let her have her way all the time, instead of just most of the time. Of course, we would have always been on the brink of bankruptcy. We would have always been in arrears on our property taxes. We would have never been able to be above water.
I could have tried to be more of a dick in the beginning, taken control of our relationship and our finances. If I had been in control, the marriage would have either been successful beyond her wildest dreams, or ended years ago. Lots of things I coulda woulda shoulda done to make things better. In the end none of that matters because we don't get any do-overs in life. We make our decisions, play our hands, and live with the consequences.
So here's me: forging ahead into a brave new world, with most of my life over and only a few good years left. What would you do if you suddenly woke up from a coma, and found that you only had a few years left in which to live your life, achieve goals, make dreams into realities? I'm not sure. Just have to do the best I can, with what I can, for as long as I can.
This is the public unveiling of my new tattoo. So far, only a couple people have seen it. the guy who inked it for me didn't really do the design justice. He made some changes on the fly that I'm not really happy with, but by the time I saw them it was already on me, and it was too late. Fuck him - I won't be recommending him to anyone ever.
Hope you like it.
|My original design|
|Here's the way it came out.|
Like I said, I'm not totally happy with it, but hey - it's part of me now, and there's nobody in the world that has one like it.
I guess the task now, like always, is jut to try and find some way to make life mean something.