This morning I hit "off" instead of "snooze" on my alarm, my boxer gifted me with multiple piles of liquid stool that required cleaning, and to top it all off I spilled coffee down the front of my white t-shirt as I was pulling out of the daycare parking lot after dropping off my son. I was an hour and a half late for work. Yup, the morning was a capital P Poop Sandwich complete with cheese fries on the side. Me? Fine! Yes, I'm terrific! Absolutely awesome, thanks for asking! Just please remove all sharp objects from the room for your safety and mine. And don't slam the door when you leave. Maybe lock it behind you.
I'm unreasonably emotional this week. I could have blamed it on Aunt Flo from Red Bank paying me a visit, but that euphemism actually packed her bags and left a day or two ago. And the emotional nuclear warhead of my monthly cycle typically detonates somewhere between 3-5 days prior to her visit. So I guess estrogen can't be blamed. Could be I'm hitting the low swing of the pendulum on my bipolar cycle, but even that doesn't quite seem to "fit."
As a preface to today's stellar beginning, yesterday's emotional fun can best be described as a whole fecking bunch of "meh." And maybe a heaping, stinky ol' poop sandwich. Two in a row. Yum.
Its hard to know just how much stuff it is OK to write about the separation. Some people who read these pages know us both. I don't want to say anything disrespectful of my children's father. I want J and I to be not just people who paste a smile on our faces for the benefit of our children, not just people who coexist without fighting, but parents who raise our children together respectfully as friends on the same team, even if we no longer live together.
Letting go is a much more gradual process when you have children together. I think at this point in time I can't envision what that will look like when it is fully done. Putting aside feelings of resentment and anger, jealousy and disappointment, there are still going to be times when our lives are unavoidably entwined. In some ways we are still entwined in ways financial that I think contribute toward an unhealthy continuation of codependency. But as time goes on and we both go about the process of living separate lives, there are inevitable places along the way where things are really fucking hard.
As things that were once held jointly get separated out, not only do the minor earthquakes and tremors surrounding those dissections cause emotional distress, but I also find the the finality of each thread's unraveling is profoundly sad. Every step that we take toward living completely separate lives, not just physically but on paper as well, is another step toward something I realize is inevitable, but also another step away from the dream that we held on to for such a long time. It is heartbreaking.
I feel so disconnected from the rest of my friends, nearly all of whom are married or in relationships. I have become a cliche, a middle-aged single woman. Single in a double world. Even the bloggers I follow are, for the most part, happily married or happily partnered. This venture into the foreign landscape of a solo person is at the same time peaceful and fraught with angst. I can't relate to people who are in love, who are happily married, who have someone they spend time with other than their children or friends. I find myself drawing inward, feeling awkward and out of place in social situations. Everyone else is a "we." I'm just an "I." And even though that's truly how I felt more and more over the last few years, I still had the social trappings of being a "we" and so belonged in the club of the twos.
Its not that this is all bad. Its certainly better than the alternative. I don't' have to be answerable to anyone for my time. How it's spent. Who its spend with. What the price tag is. But the reality of freedom is that it's often not as "free" as it sounds when you're looking at it from over the fence. I never wanted to be out of my marriage so that I could go DO WHAT I WANTED. I wanted out of it because I couldn't live in it the way it was. I can't speak for J, but I'm pretty sure that's where he was at too. We devolved to the point to the point of being so miserable and angry with each other that we couldn't even hold a simple conversation. It was no way to live.
But even as miserable as we were, this is still so fucking hard to do. I never expected to be feeling this sad about it. I thought I would be OK with letting go of the little pieces as they slipped away. And of course, I'm not really "ok" with it at all. OK in concept. And very sad as the process becomes real. It would be so disrespectful to the relationship we tried incredibly hard at to be glad to see it go. We don't deserve it, the two beautiful children we made don't deserve it.
I guess at the root of it, the separation is no different than any other thing in life. There are good days and bad days, days that are incredible and those that are unbearable. A recent conversation with a friend who is having her own very transformative life changes going on reminded me that the grief process is not limited to matters of death and dying. No wonder I feel like someone punched me in the lower cortex. So tonight, as a panacea to the poop sandwich I feel I've been gnawing on lately and as a balm to soothe my grieving spirit, I think I"m gonna just have chocolate and vodka for dinner. With a side of a box of kleenex and a DVD of Girls Don't Cry. And let my stinky dogs lay on my bed with me. And cry. That chocolate's going to taste a lot better than what I've been chewing on the last few days.