Adventures in Divorce

I always wondered why people who murdered their spouses didn't just get a divorce.... I now understand why

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Location: Nap Town, Indie-anne-ahhhhhh!, United States

No, I'm not a prophetess. Cassandra, according to Greek mythology, spurned the advances of the Greek god Apollo and her gift of prophecy was cursed so that her predictions would never be believed. Such is my life. I tend not to think like most people, which is a gift... but also a curse. So step into my mind, take off your shoes and stay for awhile... you're always welcome, loved ones.

September 3, 2008

Smiling behind the clouds

I admit..... I am a recovering pessimist:

Main Entry: pessimist
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: A prophet of misfortune or disaster.
Synonyms: Cassandra, doomsayer, worrywart

See?? It's right there. I really can't help it.

And often I use my blogs as an outlet for my frustrations, which I realize makes me seem like an overly negative and downright miserable person. Not so. Well, not so much anymore (remember, I said "recovering"). The transformation in my way of thinking about the world has been RADICAL over the past year and a half. This becomes extremely apparent now when I talk with my friends, most of which I know from law school, which lends to a more pessimistic attitude (because pessimists are more successful than optimists in law school.... it's a fact). We have a tendency to catastrophize, be an all-or-nothing thinker, "should on" ourselves, and overgeneralize......all those forms of distorted thinking, and I would be the Grand Poobah at the pity party. Now I try and tell my friends to calm down, not worry, change their way of viewing a situation, and all those good things that Zen teaches us (or me, anyway..... I don't know about you), and sometimes it even bothers me because the distortions are so glaringly obvious. But, old habits die hard, and days weeks like today this week I feel that old "woe is me" feeling starting to creep over me like kudzu in Georgia and I start thinking of illegal creative ways to score some Wellbutrin.

WELL NOT TODAY DAMMIT!!!

I'm going to go through everything that's bothering me (ok, so just a few things) and find its positive spin. Even if it kills me. Ok, not really, but in the hyperbolic sense.

1. I'm lonely.

Well, duh, you just kicked your mate of damn near 15 years to the curb and it's kind of hard to get back up to speed after that. But more importantly, speed isn't necessary. This is a time where I need to take advantage of something I've never had...... Me Time. And not Me Time in the sense of having time to myself to chill or do something fun (because I have more of that now, actually, with having to share custody of the kids), but in the sense of figuring out who I am and what I want without any interference from someone with their own agenda for me. I need to seize this opportunity to heal myself, because divorce is emotionally destructive like Hurricane Gustav, and it takes time to clean up the wreckage. You can't just run in and start slapping up structures on top of the wreckage..... you have to clean up first, THEN rebuild. Likewise, I shouldn't worry about throwing a new relationship on top of my emotional clean-up project (because if you assume (like my Ex) that divorce doesn't hurt the protagonist of separation, too, you are dead freaking wrong). I just need to remember that this is a process, and to be grateful that I have the time to go through the process...... I don't feel the pressure to rush into a new relationship because of a biological clock, or the need for financial support (eventually.... I'll get to that). There's no panic, there's no rush. *woo sah*

2. I'm broke and working a menial job.

I started my temp job this week, and yes, it sucks badly, more so emotionally and egotistically than anything......I make less in a day than I could potentially earn in an hour, but those goodie good hours are few and far between working as half-hearted solo practitioner who would much rather have an office that isn't parked in front of the TV. Ok, so it doesn't suck THAT bad..... it's laid back, people are cool, I don't have to dress up, it's mindless, and I can sit and listen to my most favoritest DJ's mixes on my iPod (if he would ever get me my CD!! *points finger menacingly*). I suppose it could be worse. But beyond that, this experience is teaching me humility and that there are a lot of things I can go without. I don't have to go buy a new shirt or dress (even from the clearance rack at Target) every time I want to go out to an event somewhere. I don't need the eyeshadow beckoning to me from the end cap display at the store. Pre-gaming with Oliver Wines is a good thing..... or even better still, no need to get shitfaced have several drinks when I go out. I'm more conscious of where and how often I drive, I pay more attention to prices in the grocery store..... all of those things I didn't do when I did have the six-figure gig, but which I should have been doing. Now I know better. As my ex-work spouse says "That'll learn ya."

But most importantly, it is forcing me to accept that a job does not define who I am and what my worth is. So much of my identity came from being the Big Firm attorney..... but that is what I DID, not who I AM. I am a mother, I am a friend, I am a lover; I support people I care about; I love music, I love books, I love writing, I love nature; I am spiritual, I am caring..... none of those things have anything to do with where I spend 8+ hours a day making a living or how much money I make doing it or whose ass I had to kiss to get there or how many people I have kissing mine. I think I had to lose all that to appreciate those things about me that were being suffocated and stifled by being defined by my career. I'm struggling now, but I know I will come out of this having changed for the better (and still with a cum laude law degree, dammit), and will appreciate my paycheck just a little bit more, and will keep it more in perspective.

3. I'm heartbroken.

This is the 8000 lb elephant in the room that keeps kicking shit over, and I keep picking things up and gluing them back together like nothing happened, but I'm ending up with a lot of broken shit everywhere so I think it's time to address the offending pachyderm. I have got to remember that everything happens for a reason, and things work out the way they are SUPPOSED TO. I keep having to tell myself "be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it".......though I've seriously given up hope of ever getting it (although, stranger things in life have happened). I have to keep reminding myself that the reasons why our relationship could not work are the same qualities that would probably ultimately destroy it in the end anyway (again, so I must tell myself, but who knows, who knows.....). Some people come into your life for a reason, and I have to make myself believe that he fulfilled that reason, and now it is time to let go and move on.... and I mean truly move on mentally and emotionally. And this goes back to my earlier discussion about cleaning up the emotional wreckage...... if my divorce was Hurricane Gustav, this was the tornado that came along in the aftermath. But this was truly a life learning experience for me..... I'd never experienced heartbreak. I'm now weathering something I should have dealt with a few times over by this point in my life. I'm learning how to let go without turning to hate (like my Ex has). At times it has been hard not to turn my feelings to bitterness and hatefulness (and subsequent hateful behavior..... not cool), which is the quick and dirty method of dealing with heartbreak. I feel like I will eventually be a better person for walking away and moving on while still maintaining a level loving kindness (i.e. "love without attachment".... again, a Zen thing) for him, which is that level of caring that makes me not turn to a scorched earth policy and make his life a living hell (which is hard to resist since it keeps getting done to me by my Ex, so there's a tendency to pay that bullshit forward, but BECAUSE I know personally how shitty that is, I won't/can't do it). This shit sucks now, but I know it won't be forever, no matter how that works out..... and it will work out how it is supposed to with no intervention from me. *sits on hands*

*************

Ok, so that wasn't 100% positive, but it's a recovering pessimist's positive, and my own dark humor version of positive. I just don't have it in me to be happy-go-lucky. But this is me. And I'm happy to be who and how I am. Don't let the gloom and doom fool ya..... I'm still smiling behind the clouds.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Sayitisn'tso said...

Wow sis...been there done that 16 + years, dated 5 total 21 years of my life ...Seems like I pissed it to the wind. 6 years out of the marriage and for the better. I had to start life over as though I were a teenager. My daughter had more money than I did...but there's light at the end of the tunnel. I'm still trying to lay in the middle of the bed and not on "my side" LOL

September 11, 2008 at 2:31 PM  

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Adventures in Divorce: Smiling behind the clouds

Smiling behind the clouds

I admit..... I am a recovering pessimist:

Main Entry: pessimist
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: A prophet of misfortune or disaster.
Synonyms: Cassandra, doomsayer, worrywart

See?? It's right there. I really can't help it.

And often I use my blogs as an outlet for my frustrations, which I realize makes me seem like an overly negative and downright miserable person. Not so. Well, not so much anymore (remember, I said "recovering"). The transformation in my way of thinking about the world has been RADICAL over the past year and a half. This becomes extremely apparent now when I talk with my friends, most of which I know from law school, which lends to a more pessimistic attitude (because pessimists are more successful than optimists in law school.... it's a fact). We have a tendency to catastrophize, be an all-or-nothing thinker, "should on" ourselves, and overgeneralize......all those forms of distorted thinking, and I would be the Grand Poobah at the pity party. Now I try and tell my friends to calm down, not worry, change their way of viewing a situation, and all those good things that Zen teaches us (or me, anyway..... I don't know about you), and sometimes it even bothers me because the distortions are so glaringly obvious. But, old habits die hard, and days weeks like today this week I feel that old "woe is me" feeling starting to creep over me like kudzu in Georgia and I start thinking of illegal creative ways to score some Wellbutrin.

WELL NOT TODAY DAMMIT!!!

I'm going to go through everything that's bothering me (ok, so just a few things) and find its positive spin. Even if it kills me. Ok, not really, but in the hyperbolic sense.

1. I'm lonely.

Well, duh, you just kicked your mate of damn near 15 years to the curb and it's kind of hard to get back up to speed after that. But more importantly, speed isn't necessary. This is a time where I need to take advantage of something I've never had...... Me Time. And not Me Time in the sense of having time to myself to chill or do something fun (because I have more of that now, actually, with having to share custody of the kids), but in the sense of figuring out who I am and what I want without any interference from someone with their own agenda for me. I need to seize this opportunity to heal myself, because divorce is emotionally destructive like Hurricane Gustav, and it takes time to clean up the wreckage. You can't just run in and start slapping up structures on top of the wreckage..... you have to clean up first, THEN rebuild. Likewise, I shouldn't worry about throwing a new relationship on top of my emotional clean-up project (because if you assume (like my Ex) that divorce doesn't hurt the protagonist of separation, too, you are dead freaking wrong). I just need to remember that this is a process, and to be grateful that I have the time to go through the process...... I don't feel the pressure to rush into a new relationship because of a biological clock, or the need for financial support (eventually.... I'll get to that). There's no panic, there's no rush. *woo sah*

2. I'm broke and working a menial job.

I started my temp job this week, and yes, it sucks badly, more so emotionally and egotistically than anything......I make less in a day than I could potentially earn in an hour, but those goodie good hours are few and far between working as half-hearted solo practitioner who would much rather have an office that isn't parked in front of the TV. Ok, so it doesn't suck THAT bad..... it's laid back, people are cool, I don't have to dress up, it's mindless, and I can sit and listen to my most favoritest DJ's mixes on my iPod (if he would ever get me my CD!! *points finger menacingly*). I suppose it could be worse. But beyond that, this experience is teaching me humility and that there are a lot of things I can go without. I don't have to go buy a new shirt or dress (even from the clearance rack at Target) every time I want to go out to an event somewhere. I don't need the eyeshadow beckoning to me from the end cap display at the store. Pre-gaming with Oliver Wines is a good thing..... or even better still, no need to get shitfaced have several drinks when I go out. I'm more conscious of where and how often I drive, I pay more attention to prices in the grocery store..... all of those things I didn't do when I did have the six-figure gig, but which I should have been doing. Now I know better. As my ex-work spouse says "That'll learn ya."

But most importantly, it is forcing me to accept that a job does not define who I am and what my worth is. So much of my identity came from being the Big Firm attorney..... but that is what I DID, not who I AM. I am a mother, I am a friend, I am a lover; I support people I care about; I love music, I love books, I love writing, I love nature; I am spiritual, I am caring..... none of those things have anything to do with where I spend 8+ hours a day making a living or how much money I make doing it or whose ass I had to kiss to get there or how many people I have kissing mine. I think I had to lose all that to appreciate those things about me that were being suffocated and stifled by being defined by my career. I'm struggling now, but I know I will come out of this having changed for the better (and still with a cum laude law degree, dammit), and will appreciate my paycheck just a little bit more, and will keep it more in perspective.

3. I'm heartbroken.

This is the 8000 lb elephant in the room that keeps kicking shit over, and I keep picking things up and gluing them back together like nothing happened, but I'm ending up with a lot of broken shit everywhere so I think it's time to address the offending pachyderm. I have got to remember that everything happens for a reason, and things work out the way they are SUPPOSED TO. I keep having to tell myself "be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it".......though I've seriously given up hope of ever getting it (although, stranger things in life have happened). I have to keep reminding myself that the reasons why our relationship could not work are the same qualities that would probably ultimately destroy it in the end anyway (again, so I must tell myself, but who knows, who knows.....). Some people come into your life for a reason, and I have to make myself believe that he fulfilled that reason, and now it is time to let go and move on.... and I mean truly move on mentally and emotionally. And this goes back to my earlier discussion about cleaning up the emotional wreckage...... if my divorce was Hurricane Gustav, this was the tornado that came along in the aftermath. But this was truly a life learning experience for me..... I'd never experienced heartbreak. I'm now weathering something I should have dealt with a few times over by this point in my life. I'm learning how to let go without turning to hate (like my Ex has). At times it has been hard not to turn my feelings to bitterness and hatefulness (and subsequent hateful behavior..... not cool), which is the quick and dirty method of dealing with heartbreak. I feel like I will eventually be a better person for walking away and moving on while still maintaining a level loving kindness (i.e. "love without attachment".... again, a Zen thing) for him, which is that level of caring that makes me not turn to a scorched earth policy and make his life a living hell (which is hard to resist since it keeps getting done to me by my Ex, so there's a tendency to pay that bullshit forward, but BECAUSE I know personally how shitty that is, I won't/can't do it). This shit sucks now, but I know it won't be forever, no matter how that works out..... and it will work out how it is supposed to with no intervention from me. *sits on hands*

*************

Ok, so that wasn't 100% positive, but it's a recovering pessimist's positive, and my own dark humor version of positive. I just don't have it in me to be happy-go-lucky. But this is me. And I'm happy to be who and how I am. Don't let the gloom and doom fool ya..... I'm still smiling behind the clouds.

Labels: , , , , , ,