Posted on | April 21, 2011 | 30 Comments
Make no mistake, getting a divorce is little different from losing a loved one suddenly in death. You mourn. You grieve. You wonder if you could have saved them. Only, with divorce… at the end of the day, you see that loved one in the grocery store and you realize that they didn’t die. They didn’t leave everyone.
They only left you.
And it sucks.
I am trying so very hard to keep my head up. I am trying not to wade knee-deep into the mud, slinging names and words and hatred like children in a snowball fight. I am trying to maintain my dignity. And my God is it hard. I want to scream. I want to pound and pummel and lash out at the person who made me feel this way. I want to make him hurt the way he has made me hurt. I want to ruin him the way he has almost ruined me.
But ultimately? That only hurts one person… J. And I would do anything in the world to keep J from hurting.
So instead, I smile. I fold another load of laundry. I calmly discuss visitation rights. I stir the sauce on the stove. I draft a contract. I take a deposition. I divvy up the personal property in my house in to stacks of his and hers. I silently mourn the loss while preparing for the future.
This is not what I want.
I do not want to be calm.
I do not want to be polite.
I do not want to be mature.
But we can’t always get what we want when we know what it is that we need. And what I need is to keep my composure and be the best mother I can be. I need to teach my son that it’s okay to make mistakes and that even though his father made mistakes, they do not diminish the fact that he loves J very much. I need to show my son what it means to be an adult. I need to raise my son knowing he is loved by two parents, not one.
Together, we planted a seed. Together we watched that seed grow into a tiny, wonderful, magical person. Separately we will watch him grow into a child and then an adult and then, God willing, a very, very old man. Separately we will tend the earth around him, feeding him, caring for him, letting him grow into the amazing person he is destined to be. We will be separate, but we will always need to work together. There is only the one flower and to press and prod against it, fighting for the rights to the very soil that cloaks his roots and the leaves that feed his soul would only damage the delicate petals.
I could do no greater disservice to J than to tell him hateful things about his father. I could do nothing worse to his tender psyche than to tarnish the image of his Dada.
And so I fold another load of laundry and choke down another round of sobs.
My son will be a man someday. And I will be sure that he is a good one.