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Scorched Earth

Lest you think I am handling the end of my marriage like a valedictorian of divorce, I should inform you I am most certainly not. As much as I would like to be the lighthouse blazing passage through the stormy, black waters of your own dissolution you should know that I am the storm. A hurricane frantically whirling through my days like a junkie searching for the next fix, only instead of drugs I'm desperately looking for good things. Nice things. Things that make me happy or at least smile. Sometimes that does turn out to be drugs, actually.

Legal drugs, narc. But, who's quibbling? Drugs are drugs are drugs. Legality, at this point, should be subjective. Isn't, but should be.

Maybe the end of my 13-year-old dog Max's life ignited a flame of despondency that the impending holidays fanned into a bonfire of pain. The words I AM NOT DOING WELL ticker-tape through my mind several times a day and that's a polite way of framing my situation. I AM NOT DOING WELL and WHEN DOES IT STOP frequently monopolize my thoughts because when does each day stop being an agonizing marathon with the finish line of bedtime shimmering seductively in the distance?

The thing you don't realize about divorce pain is that it isn't just due to the loss of love you once shared with the person you're divorcing. That's what you mostly think when you hear divorce, isn't it? LOVE GONE BAD. LOST LOVE. HEARTBREAK, that kind of thing. And yeah, that's a big deal, but also just the tip of the divorce iceberg, especially when kids are involved.

The waves of pain keep coming at you from all directions. The division of two people, the dead love, that's just the start, the initial crack in the windshield and, Jesus, just that part is enough to do you in. But from there other cracks spiderweb into a shattered map of brokenness until you can't see out the window. A vast array of tools slicing open freshly healed wounds; from the tiny pinpricks of realization involving the division of material possessions and finances to the razor blade against the jugular that is realizing your mate is with someone else or the sword kissing your neck that is giving up your children at the end of your allotted time frame. Allotted time frame. CHRIST. No wonder so many people stay together for the kids, a whole other nightmare scenario. The only way to the other side is through it but goddamn, WHEN DOES IT STOP BEING AWFUL?

Truth is, you will never feel settled so stop wasting your time planning how and when. You might have flashes, but that will rarely involve the parameters you set.

My divorce is yesterday's headline to everyone else but still feels like breaking news to me. Not a day goes by where I don't stumble onto some horrific reality of my new life and wonder what the fuck happened. It was just yesterday we were devouring 3 and sometimes 4 episodes of Breaking Bad at a clip while camped together on our couch, wasn't it? Intellectually I know what happened and why but my heart hasn't quite caught up with my brain, maybe? The words 'divorce' and 'ex-husband' still don't come easy. I end up half swallowing them when attempting to explain my situation to people, tilting my head to the side and embarrassingly delivering them like a rotten burp after dinner.

I was telling someone the other day that I always lived my life thinking in terms of 'When this happens I'll feel settled.'

When I figure out how to make money writing from home I'll feel settled.

When I have a savings account with more than a couple thousand bucks I'll feel settled.

When I have three kids and find the house of my dreams I'll feel settled.

What a waste. Truth is, you will never feel settled so stop wasting your time planning how and when. You might have flashes, but that will rarely involve the parameters you set but instead come when you're reading your kid a bedtime story and he tells you he loves you or in the middle of a really great conversation with a best friend - a flash of settled and gone.

But mostly, your life will never feel settled. Some crazy, unexpected shit will always go down and even if the crazy shit doesn't happen you happen. You keep changing and the stuff you considered settled three years ago is no longer the stuff that does it for you. So you're flummoxed when you realize you were working so hard to get to this place that doesn't exist. Unfulfilled. Poised to orgasm and then nothing. Or blue balls. No payoff. And then you realize you'll never get to the place because it's ephemeral and existed in your mind for a brief time when you were someone else with an arbitrary notion of what would fulfill you in life and when you figure that out you understand that you have to enjoy the ride because what the fuck else are you going to do? This is life and enjoying the ride is pretty much all we got. But the ride can be really bumpy.

I guess all I'm tryin' to say here is the ride is really bumpy right now and I'm holding on as best I can but my grip is tenuous.

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