Monday, May 4, 2009

"D" Day

I really don't want to do this blog but I think I have to. My divorce became final today. I can put off blogging about just about anything but the title for my blog, "Tracy Takes Over" is all about taking my life back and starting over again so I guess this is about the most important day for me to write.

I had to take a friend with me to the court house, someone to verify that I have lived here for more than 90 days so I had my friend Denise there to support me. I don't know why my electric bill wouldn't work as verification but they wanted a body so they got one. If I were Amy I would have captured everything from the closed courthouse parking lot to the judge with my camera but I'm not, so I didn't.... You will have to settle for words.

We went before the judge at 8:30 am, the whole thing was pretty quick. My lawyer asked me a bunch of questions, the answer to most of which was "yes". Stupid shit, like "Is your name..." and "Are you married to..." I was really scared that I would cry. Not from being emotional about the whole thing really but just because it was an ending and endings are usually sad.... I was afraid that my emotional side would break through and betray me but it didn't. I made it through the actual process just fine and the moment that Denise and Tina (my bloodsucking lawyer) and I walked out of the room I started waiting to feel excited. I'm still waiting.

I thought that I would be excited, or really happy or really sad or SOMETHING....I was just sort of numb but wanting to share the news with others, perhaps to speed the onset of the emotions that I knew were coming. I posted the divorce on facebook from my Blackberry and texted some people to let them know it was over. I got some really encouraging comments and great responses but I remained unmoved, maybe even "plastic" would be a good word, that feels about right. Plastic, may be even wax, cold and solid but able to melt if the conditions are right.

It reminds me of another time in my life when I had a very detached view of my own feelings, back in about 1999 I had a young guy who worked for me, he was 19. He had worked for me at Stage (Ron's company) since he was 16 years old and we were pretty close. I knew his Mom, his family, his hopes and aspirations, almost everything about him. His name was Doug and I really loved him, like he was my own son. He died from an accidental gunshot wound to the neck at a party right before New Years Eve. My grief was almost interesting to me, I watched my way through it as if I were an outsider doing a case study. I could feel, but the observer in me would take over and I would encounter the feelings with thoughts like "well now, that's interesting, feeling that way...." Little things, like having to term him out of the system, making him ineligible for rehire seemed wrong but clearly he would never be rehired....

By the way, I have still not seen my way clear to erase Grandma's phone number from my cell... Seems that I have a little problem letting go.

Anyway, the feelings are similar, loss and sadness that I can't seem to feel, or face. I came home from work just as soon as I could get away, about 1:30pm, put on my PJ's and haven't left the couch since. I am waiting, just waiting. I know that I am waiting for something, but I don't know what it is. I put on my old ring and took a picture of it. It didn't come out very well or I would share it for you, I also took a pic of my new ring, a black metal band with the peace symbol on it, much more my speed than what I had before... and symbolic of the new peace I've found in my life.

It's very hard to feel happy about the dismantling of 18 years of your life, almost 19. If I'm happy, that means that I wasted 19 years of my life on something that was futile and a bad decision. That is almost unbearable, that I threw away my youth, my life on something that was wrong. If I'm sad, then maybe I did something wrong and the divorce was a bad decision and maybe I should have tried harder... Get it? I'm so screwed up that I can't let myself face the reality and see what I really feel..

The moral of the story is this: I know that the storm is coming, it always does. I gave it an opportunity but my timing was wrong. I should stop trying to control my feelings and just let them come and they will, probably in the middle of my next yoga class. For now, I'm here, I'm plastic and I'm waiting.....


  1. After 18 years, you have every right to sit and wait and think this out. Forget the 18 wasted years because that means you would be without those wonderful kids. Regrets are not appropriate. You may not be able to discern your feelings right now, but they are there and they will surface with time. Right now it is time to look forward. You have rehearsed life long enough, now is the time to start living it. You have a big family behind you that supports you and loves you. We are all behind you and believe in you. So don't worry about those feelings you either have or don't have. You will work them out with time. But don't let that get in your way of moving forward. The door is open. Just walk through it and keep on walking. You are going in the right direction.


  2. I know exactly how you feel. I feel the same way right about now, except for another reason. It is easier for me to sort of hide in my pjs, usually under a blanket than to look at the reality of what life holds. I don't regret the 20+ years I was married to Bill, for without them, I wouldn't have you, Amy, Kelly and the rest of our wonderful rambling family. Including Max, UD and the rest. Even Grandma who I think of often. I was most upset by the ending of such a long history, but given a little time, that history was a part of me and only grew stronger and more important. So, know that you are loved, that you are brave, that you will move on and that you will be OK. Better than OK. And never blame yourself, or think that those years were wasted. Take the good from them, the kids that drive you crazy but have made my life such a joy. You are like me, a delayed reaction type person. One day you will be watching some movie and you will begin to cry. (I can name a few) But that is OK. Be kind to yourself. It is a major event and it will take it's toll. And I know that you will be able to see though it all, the sun will come out and you will sing with joy! I love you and will be there for you. Always! Mom

  3. In my mind, a divorce is like a death. An end to something that will never come around again. While there are many good things that come with the divorce, the freedom, the time you now have to spend on yourself, etc. it still is an end. Whenever I go through a death, I feel completely numb. I was just talking to Sol about the loss of his 2 men and he feels the same way, numb. I think it's a self protecting thing until you are ready to actually feel your feelings. I have kept mine tamped down for so long and I am just now learning to identify them and work on actually feeling them instead of just pushing them all aside. We all understand what you are going through because we are all family and we share so many of the same issues. Hang in there and know there is a HUGE safety net below you should you start to feel like you are falling, or if you decide to jump! :) We will be here for you when the floodgates open. In the meantime, rejoyce in the positives and embrace the new life that lies before you. I love you so very much sis and I think you are amazing and and I'm so glad to have you back!!!!!!

  4. From Vicki Bridges

    So many things you said struck a cord in my heart and memory.

    Mike, my ex, told me he wanted to leave me after we had just celebrated our 18th anniversary dinner.
    He had a good podiatry practice, and I was a stay at home Mom. His first terms from his lawyer was that Mike got most anything of value, and that I owed him all the stock I had received from my Dad that had nothing to do with Mike. This was based on Mike could owe money to a joint business venture on a medical building with some other doctors. As it turned out, a deal was worked out and he didn't lose any money, so he would have had everything and no debts.
    I tried to stay as numb as possible through the actual court process and remember nothing of it except Mike came over as we were waiting to go in and tried to be all chummy like everything was great. Asshole.

    I do know he is very unhappy in his new life, and regrets asking for the divorce. All I know is, he got what he wanted. And I got a guy who loves me more than he ever did. I made no effort to look for another relationship, I was in no hurry, I had me to get right first. It takes time and be gentle with yourself. For me, I think a little time before all the emotions hit helps. Nothing like a little distance, to ease the sting and give some perspective. And remember everybody is different in how they handle things, being plastic right now is probably just where you need to be.

    I too wonder sometimes about "what ifs", but I never get too far, because then I would not have had Amy and Nick. While I might have had other kids it wouldn't be them, and they own my heart. What ifs, and regrets don't really help, they can't change anything. Don't punish yourself for "bad decisions", everyone does. It is how we handle them that makes a difference and you decided to be free. Good for you. As for "wasting all those years", I wouldn't call raising and loving six kids a waste. Nor did the young women of 19 years ago have all the skills and knowledge she has now to create a new life. Look at the past not to wish it was different, but to learn from it. All we have is the now, and how we handle it makes our future.

    I too miss those that are gone, and leave all their dates on my calendar. I was saddened that I couldn't send Nita a mother's day card this year. I have kept my Mom's drivers license and have boxes of financial files, and medical files, and travel club photos from Dad. I keep thinking I need to shed and toss most of them. But somehow I haven't had the heart, it seems like shedding Dad's life. I am closer but somehow always find something else more pressing to do. Hope to have it done before we move again and the deadline will probably be here sooner than I expect.

    Love you lots as do so many others who want to surround you with love and support and for you to know what a wonderful woman you are.


  5. From Max...

    Hi Tracy, This is my "comment" on your blog- and per usual you may post as you see fit. Here goes...

    I rather on first name basis with DIVORCE- 14 years of marriage for me (I've now been married to Don for one more year than that first clumsy approach at matrimony).
    Everyone of course has boiled things down quite nicely toe the number one reason to celebrate even the worst of marriages- beautiful children- children we love- children that are not interchangeable with others with different DNA- so no matter how bad the marriage it is the price we pay for our most prized of loves- our children- children that exist only because of our bad marriage.

    But I think it's more complicated- than just reducing it to the children we love. I'm a stronger person because of the loneliness of my first marriage-
    I know the very hard, hard, hard price we pay to finally be true to our true self.
    I remember how possible- very possible- it is to totally lose track of who I am- as I struggled to be "right" in the first marriage.
    I'm on first name basis with self doubt- and finally confidence- no matter how fragile that confidence.

    But marriages- don't unravel in a few hours- but in those agonizing years- so I just don't think you can "feel" finished- or relieved- or anything very definative for a long time.

    And I'm not sure failed marriages can ever be summarized- but rather they become woven into a life- my life- and now will remain woven in your life.

    I guess the only thing I didn't want to do- the thing I knew would destroy- and that would be bitterness. So my first marriage- is rather just part of a life- that now adds to 21 years and 11 months single- 14 years married- 9 years and 4 months single- and now 15 years 2 months married- And it all adds to a life- And every experience- good- bad- funny- sad- humiliating- silly- chaotic- zenful- all are rather mixed together- a life that only I know.

    And you will mix all of your experiences in that life that is only yours-
    And I think it's adding up to an amazing young woman-
    Thank you for your beautiful life.
    Love you! Aunt Max
    PS And thanks for writing so beautifully that it touches all of us- Amber described how she just sat and cried when she read this you most recent blog.