Black and White

Posted on | May 10, 2011 | 14 Comments

I saw an unfamiliar name in my email inbox but there have been so many unfamiliar and supportive emails coming in lately, that I didn’t think twice before opening it.

There before me, in black and white, was my signed and file stamped Complaint for divorce.

I went out and got the lawyer.  My (insert appropriate name for man who used to be my husband and who is not yet my ex) and I went together to meet with that lawyer and to sign the parenting plan and the Complaint for divorce.  I knew this was coming.

But the hurt that came flooding out at me from seeing my name and his together on a paper was unexpected.  I can still remember standing in line at the Guilford County Courthouse with him and waiting to receive and sign our marriage license.  I can still remember signing the paperwork with my minister after the ceremony.  I can remember the feel of the ink pen in my hand, still warm from his grip, as I signed our son’s birth certificate papers.

I do not remember signing these.

I know I was there.  I remember the meeting and the conversation afterwards between the two of us in my car, him looking appropriately sad and me gripping the steering wheel of the car for support.  I don’t know what I thought would happen after that.  I don’t know what I thought would change.  I was right when I told him no more that day.  I was right to say I couldn’t keep living through what he was doing.  I was right to remind him that every time he said he’d change, he found new and terrible ways to hurt me further.

Only, if I was so right, why do I feel so wrong?

Why does seeing our last names pitted against each other make me feel like a failure at life and marriage and love?  What is it about that “v” that makes everything in my world fall apart like it was all just a house of cards to begin with?

It is just a piece of paper. 

It is just an email. 

But I am still shattered by it.


14 Responses to “Black and White”

  1. Emily
    May 10th, 2011 @ 6:57 pm

    I’m sorry.

  2. Verna
    May 10th, 2011 @ 7:18 pm


  3. Kitty
    May 10th, 2011 @ 7:21 pm

    Too bad there’s no tequila in the margaritas at Chilis!

  4. Carol
    May 10th, 2011 @ 7:31 pm

    HUGS!! Its 5:00 somewhere!

  5. KristinaYellow
    May 10th, 2011 @ 8:32 pm

    On a completely unrelated note-this is like the 3rd time I’ve visited your blog today. Your writing is so powerful and so touching that I can’t stop clicking my bookmark to “check in.” You should be so proud of how much you touch our lives here in the Interweb 🙂 Sharing your journey and thoughts so freely is amazing and I hope that you are able to somehow know just how talented you are.
    As for the email, I vote you create a folder in the email account for things specifically related to him and then put it there so you don’t see it each time you check your email. You’ll probably need to save it but there is no need to keep it in your face.
    I’m sorry.

  6. ProfJD
    May 11th, 2011 @ 12:13 am

    I am new to the blog, but read all of it throughout the day.

    When I tell you that I know how you feel, I mean it. Throw in three affairs and we have the same story.

    We will survive this; no we will thrive.

  7. Kristen
    May 11th, 2011 @ 1:13 am

    Yep. I hear ya. There is something about seeing it in writing and/or hearing a stranger saying the words that just makes it more real.

    I can still remember when I got the phone call that my divorce was final (while I was in the middle of a Michael’s and broke down in tears). I can also remember the first time I actually said the word “ex-husband”. It still seems weird and I usually just say “my kids’ father” instead.

    Unfortunately, even if you know it’s coming, the grief makes it feel like the first time. Hang in there. Keep blogging and know that you have so much support from all the women out here in the virtual world. Hugs!

  8. He Who Laughs Last
    May 11th, 2011 @ 1:26 am

    I can promise you this…it does get easier…eventually! And this I know too, divorced single moms must stick together in order to stay sane.

    My friend recommended I read your blog in hopes that I can be of some kind of encouragement. I just started a new job on Tuesday, but hope to do some stalking on your blog this weekend.

    Stop by mine if you get time…I think it may be a little therapeutic for you!

  9. Jennifer
    May 11th, 2011 @ 2:24 am

    If you weren’t the good person you are then that little “v” wouldn’t have mattered at all. But you are, and that’s a good thing, even though it hurts.

  10. KLZ
    May 11th, 2011 @ 2:16 pm

    Emails are just the worst.

  11. Katie
    May 11th, 2011 @ 2:31 pm

    Oh Law Momma, I felt those exactly emotions, literally, when I went through my divorce. Which was just final in February. I don’t have kids, but I can imagine this process must be a million times harder!!

    Early on it will feel like the world is coming to an end, which it is, but as lame as this is, it does get better. Take it one day at a time. Don’t try to do too much or put too much pressure on yourself.

  12. LegallyInsaneMommy
    May 11th, 2011 @ 2:44 pm


  13. Maureen
    May 11th, 2011 @ 3:24 pm

    Your post really hit home. I, too, am going through a divorce. Although I had to be the one to file, I feel like my hand was forced. I begged, pleaded, and cried for years, in hopes of a change. Still, when I got the papers and saw ourlastname v ourlastname, I was devastated. This is not what I wanted or planned for my life, and especially my children’s lives. I wish I could give you a hug, because I can feel your pain. One day, it will be better.

  14. Michele
    May 11th, 2011 @ 3:37 pm

    It doesn’t seem as real until you “see” it. The official filed copy with that “v” on it pitted in between your names means you’re getting closer to the finale. It shows you that this “IS” really happening, and the hope that maybe, just maybe, things would go back to the way they were, will not even be a possiblity. My heart goes out to you. I have been there, I feel all of these emotions all over again as I read your blog. Its a heart wrenching process that believe it or not will heal in time and you will one day look back and feel a sigh of relief that its finally over and YOU MADE IT UNSCATHED with your morals and dignity. IT WILL HAPPEN and you will one day not be a prisoner of your emotions and tribulations. Writing this blog or keep a private journal that is only for your eyes will help you to sift through the emotions, and sometimes seeing them on paper, reading them as a third person makes things clearer.

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