Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Annals of My Divorce

At 9:47am on Wednesday June 8th, 2011 I was a married woman.  At 9:52am on Wednesday June 8th, 2011 I became a single woman.  No longer committing adultery.  No longer living in sin.  No longer a wife. 

I sat in the court room alone waiting for my name to be called.  The sharply lit room with 70's white ceramic tile and pale green painted walls made me feel like I was in hospice. 
Three other women ran their 12 minute course before me and all were exonerated from their marriages. 

The judge asked the same questions over and over again but only one plagued me,
"Is there any reasonable prospect that you can reconcile your marriage?" 
Three times the question was asked and three times my stomach hit my throat like gravel hurled from a sling shot.  I was under oath.  Had I done everything I could have done to keep my marriage together?  Not being in love with your spouse is not reason enough to cut the strings that bind two people in life.  I know that.  Why am I suddenly unable to answer the question?


I desperately wanted to call a friend and ask- did I do enough?  Panic.  I can't even remember why I'm getting divorced.  It's been nearly a year since I asked for a divorce.  I tried so hard to not have hatred and anger towards my husband, to move on and leave it all behind that somehow I have begun to romanticize our relationship.

I saw my husband the weekend before my court appearance to say goodbye.  I needed to ask forgiveness for my actions on one day in October.

My Aunt had died suddenly and tragically on October 16th, 2010.  Although we were separated, my husband returned to our apartment to drive me to the viewing.  Over the phone He swore that He would give me support and be my friend and not press me to discuss our relationship.
He did not keep his promise.

He arrived at the apartment with a shaved head- an Indian tradition when mourning the loss of a loved one.  He lost 15 pounds in 2 weeks and looked like a cancer patient undergoing chemo. 
It made me ill to look at his face.  He tried to contain himself but it wasn't long before He was crying so hard that He was moaning.  I stood there and I watched.  He got on his knees and begged me to take him back.  He grabbed my legs and drooled and spit and cried on my belly and I peeled myself off of him.  I was crushing him and I knew it.  I was angry and I knew it. 
All I wanted was to grieve for my Aunt and forget that our marriage was failing.
The burden of sorrow and remorse that He was carrying around was too heavy for him to think of anything other than his need to make me his once again.

He changed his mind, He would try counseling. 
He would do anything to keep me.

I was ruthless.  For the first and only time in our relationship I would not comfort him.   
I deserved the right to grieve for my Aunt God dammit.

We returned from the viewing.  I made him sleep on his own couch and wouldn't allow him into his own bed.  He continued crying in the living room and I continued to lose my mind in the bedroom.  He whimpered like a puppy separated from its mother. 

I kicked him out of his own home at 2am.  He drove over bridges and under signs that displayed the number for the Suicide Prevention Hot line, 1-800-273-TALK.

 I was emotionally numb from months of verbal abuse and I couldn't save him. We both drowned.

What I did was unforgivable.  I was cruel.  I needed to get down on my knees and repent.  I needed to erase the memory of his dejected face.  His beautiful sad eyes the colour of the bottomless sea.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

 We used to have outrageous shouting battles and out of control fights- habits we inherited from our parents.   Habits are hard to break. 

I started therapy over 2 years ago.  I wanted a family.  I wanted babies.  I wanted to make human beings that were compassionate, fearless and functional.  I did not and do not want to unconsciously dump all of my "stuff" on a fresh creature.  I want my offspring to be healthy.  I knew that started with me.  I want to be a great mother.  I want to be model parents that don't scream and fight.  That is up to me. 

Off to therapy we go. 
The thing the world doesn't tell you about therapy is that as you change and become happier you become conscious of other people's "stuff."  If you're smart, you realize that you can't change the "stuff" of others and you learn tools to adjust yourself as needed within your relationships. 

I was adjusting.  I was not shouting.  I was becoming less angry.  I learned to communicate.  I asked confidently, politely and clearly for the whatever it was I needed whether it be sex, food, a hug, whatever.  A valiant effort was made to be assertive and not passive aggressive and! no more temper tantrums.  I'm not saying that I was the poster child for therapy but I was improving and it was noticeable. 

He however became even more angry and aggressive after his first year away at law school.  He had two speeds, self medicated and not.  I tried to love him. He lashed out at me, put me down and cornered me verbally. 
I did not fight back.
I wish I would have fought back.
He crushed me.  I let it happen.
I took the punishment everyday. 
I used my fucking tools. 
I would endure my unwarranted mistreatment, offer him what he needed in whatever way possible and try desperately to hold myself together until he left for work - at which point I would fall apart for the half hour that was allotted to me before I cleaned myself up and left for work.

I was getting better?  he was not. 

"All I need is an apology."  That's what I told myself everyday.  "He loves me.  He'll come to his senses.  You keep getting better, healthier and he'll see you as an example and he'll change because he'll see how good I am.  All I need is an apology and all is forgiven."

The apology came too late. 
I had self protected by detaching emotionally and didn't even know it. 

The weekend before my court appearance I saw George.  I asked for forgiveness for all of the bad that I have ever done to Him. 

I didn't receive forgiveness.  I accepted the blame he slung on me.  The guilt was enough to keep me married so he would get what he wanted.   

Wednesday June 8th, 2011.  I'm in the courtroom pew waiting for my name to be called.

"Sho-haw Code-ing?"

I walk to the table in front of the judge

"Please sit down."

I correct the Bailiffs pronunciation, "Yes, Soha Codd-ing."

"Sorry, Codd-ing."

The Judge speaks, "Mrs. Code-ing,"

"--It's Codd-ing Your Honor."

"Sorry, Codd-ing...Codd-ing is it?"

"Yes, quite alright Your Honor."

"We have a problem, I can not grant you your divorce because your husband did not notarize his signature."

I can't come back here again.  I don't want to sit in this crappy place all by myself and question my life anymore.  The judge takes a moment to look through a law book to see what, if anything can be done.  I want to run for the door and never return.

This is a sign.  I shouldn't be getting a divorce. 
I want to run.  I am going to run.

A voice comes into my head.  You don't know what to do, trust your gut. 

I take a deep breath and decide to look through my set of papers.
Trust your gut.

I find his notarized signature. 

Last chance.  I don't have to tell anyone that I found the papers.  I can walk out of here and go back to Him.  Not out of love but out of guilt and fear.

Deep breath.
Trust your gut.

The voice- it's my voice- 'You will never know if you did enough.  Finish what you've started and let Him go.'

"Your Honor!  I found the notarized copy!"

"Great.  Let's proceed with the hearing so you can get on with your life Mrs. Code-ing."

"Yes Your Honor.  Thank you."

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