Posted on | July 18, 2011 | 11 Comments

Around 3:00 on Friday, the mail was passed out at the office.  My boss’s secretary stepped tentatively into my office with a look of concern.

“It wasn’t marked personal,” she explained, holding out the opened mail. “I wouldn’t have opened it if it said personal.”

In her hand was a thick white envelope with my name on it.  It had been carelessly ripped open and the stacks of paper inside were readily visable.  The name on the return address clued me in to what was inside, but nothing actually prepared me for the knock out punch that holding the divorce papers in my hand would deliver.

The ones signed and notarized by my soon to be ex-husband.  He had initialed every spot and signed on the dotted line.  He was finished.  Our marriage would be finished once I signed my name alongside his and attended one final meeting… just me and my attorney… and the judge.

I wasn’t prepared for the onslaught of emotions that would rush in when I held those papers and saw his scrawled signature across the bottom.  I wasn’t prepared for the instantaneous transfer of my heart and soul to the Guilford County courthouse, two days before our wedding, when he and I stood and made small talk with the clerk as she prepared our marriage license.  Nothing prepared me for the tears and the choking, gut-wrenching sobs that somehow exploded out of me as though they’d been held at bay by some invisible fence, broken by this paper, this signature.

It seems that no matter what I do, he still comes back.  His face still haunts me.  His words still break me.  He somehow still has power over me.

I signed alongside his name.

I initialed the bottom of each page, watching the ink bleed slightly from my tears.  There was no bleeding of ink where my husband signed.  There were no tears shed when he waved his wrist and signed away our marriage.

This morning, I placed the papers into a white envelope and sealed them with a mouth too tired to object.  I slid the envelope into the mail slot and listened to my dreams of happily ever after fall with a soft whisper against the cold metal box.


11 Responses to “Papers”

  1. KLZ
    July 18th, 2011 @ 10:35 am

    I am so sorry you’ve had to go through all this. You’re not alone, even when it feels like it. We’re here, we’re always here.

  2. Carol
    July 18th, 2011 @ 10:44 am

    Sending love your way this morning!

  3. Maija @ Maija's Mommy Moments
    July 18th, 2011 @ 10:53 am

    I typed a long winded comment and when I clicked Submit I got an error message (the joys of the internet!).

    To save you from my long-windedness I just want to say that I hope the pain you feel now subsides with time and you have a multitude of women here to send you virtual hugs and support!

    Also, I really hope that when J is a little older and you have more time that your writing turns into a book.

    The sentence:

    “I slid the envelope into the mail slot and listened to my dreams of happily ever after fall with a soft whisper against the cold metal box.”

    … gave me goosebumps.

  4. Mrs. MidAtlantic
    July 18th, 2011 @ 11:36 am

    Maybe this one wasn’t meant to be your happily ever after. Maybe the true happily ever after is just around the corner, waiting for this experience to make you ready for all that you truly deserve.

    Hugs, lots of hugs, through the internet to you.

  5. Roxanne
    July 18th, 2011 @ 2:27 pm

    Sending love and hugs and good thoughts your way through this difficult time.

  6. Dre
    July 18th, 2011 @ 3:33 pm

    Sending you love…

  7. Joanna
    July 18th, 2011 @ 3:45 pm

    Sending you lots of hugs, love & wine.

  8. Kinnison
    July 18th, 2011 @ 4:32 pm

    I wish I could just click “like” on all the above comments…just what I was thinking…

    I was painting my boys’ bathroom this morning and this song came on…reminded me of you and what you must be feeling…

    You are so strong…just keep reminding your heart…

  9. KristinaYellow
    July 18th, 2011 @ 6:33 pm

    I’m sorry-but now, just know he’s done hurting you. You are officially free and he cannot keep bringing you down. You and J are now the best family you can have and you will feel better. For now, allow yourself to grieve for a bit–then put on some music, drink some wine, and dance like you are nuts. Know your blog readers, friends, and strangers are wishing you lots of hugs and love.

  10. molly
    July 18th, 2011 @ 11:20 pm

    Ya know what? I think that men have this thing where it takes them a lot longer to realize what they have done. Sometimes it can take them years to understand the hurt and anguish they have caused us and to then feel it themselves.

    I believe he will feel it. Someday. But for now it’s you and your son that hurt.

    I’m so sorry you had to go through this. But I want to remind you of all the nicer papers you will receive from here on out.

    A painting drawn by your son. A note from a new person you will date. Don’t think about that paper you signed. Think of the future paper in your life. I think you’re due for some good stuff.

  11. Justice Jonesie
    July 19th, 2011 @ 12:34 am

    Sometimes the pain just hits you out of no where. You are grieving a big loss so let it all out. You will be stronger when this is over, may not feel like it now but you will!

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