My divorce was finalized this morning.
Here’s what I did for myself:
I told Mike last week that I couldn’t get divorced on Friday. I didn’t want to spend the weekend of Cavanaugh’s birthday grieving the divorce. Maybe I’d feel relieved, or tired, or I’d be hysterical. I didn’t know. I didn’t want to risk it. Though it didn’t occur to me until this morning, it seems somehow symbolic that the last day Mike and I were legally married was our son’s birthday. And that the first day Cavanaugh had a new last name (a hyphenate of both Mike’s and mine, rather than just Mike’s) was the day after Cavanaugh’s birthday.
I also allowed myself to not go to court. I don’t like being in trouble. Going to official buildings gives me that in trouble feeling. Metal detectors, guns, tall ceilings with echoing rooms all add up to great anxiety for me. Even when Mike and I were filing our marriage license, I didn’t like that building. So, instead of waking up early, leaving Cavanaugh with Christina, fighting traffic to get downtown, waiting to see if we got on the docket, sobbing (I was pretty sure this would happen) in a room of strangers, and then being given permission to be divorced, I wrote into the decree that I agreed to everything, then I stayed home. Mike sent me a text before he went up to the judge. I started crying some minutes later. I would bet the time was almost simultaneous to the actual pronouncement. Mike called me after to say, “It’s done” as if the plug had just been pulled on a terminal patient.
I went to a support group meeting and then went to Whole Foods, where I bought my favorite lotion and my favorite shampoo, and sweet almond oil. When I asked the guy working in the natural health department where the bubble bath was, I said, “I got divorced this morning. I’m going to give myself a bubble bath tonight.”
He looked at me for a moment, then said, “I’m going to say congratulations. It’s going to be better right?”
“Sometime, I suspect it will.”
I sat in my backyard and smoked a couple of cigarettes as I looked at the garden I planted surrounding what, in the feng shui system, should have been the marriage corner of our house. Yep, the marriage corner was missing. What does that tell you?
Cavanaugh and I got together with friends and planted plants then went to a park where the kids played and I got to be outside with people I care about and who care about me.
I cuddled with my son at bedtime. That was after I changed the sheets because our roommate’s cat peed in the bed. Yes, that was just what I needed.
I ate a piece of Cavanaugh’s leftover chocolate ice cream birthday cake.
Next, I’ll smoke another cigarette. I gave myself permission. Just for last week and this.
After that, I’ll read in a long hot bath then go to sleep early.
I cried a little today, but not nearly as much as I imagined. The weather turned from cloudy and cold to sunny and gorgeous, for the twenty minutes Mike and I sat in the backyard this afternoon and the next bit I sat out there by myself. Mostly, I am tired, tired enough in fact to hibernate for the winter.
But I won’t, because there’s this boy to raise, and this new life to enter. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.