Moving On

I have divorce on the brain.

On the 24th, Janie and I had a court date to finalize the dissolution of our partnership.  Three months ago I finally got around to filing the papers to get this process rolling, postponing the inevitable out of laziness or disinterest, and I am proud to say that we have crossed the finish line.  DIVORCED.

You should have been there the day I told Valerie I was, technically, still married.  AWKWARD!

The truth is that I felt not-married the moment I sat on the couch in the living room late on a Sunday night in May of 2010 and told Janie I couldn’t do it anymore.  That makes it sound so much simpler than it was at the time.  There was a lot of sobbing and heaving and saying I’m sorry again and again while Janie tried to console me.  I remember not really being able to stop saying THIS IS SO WEIRD.  Then there was this moment where it almost seemed like nothing had happened.  We drove to McDonald’s and got milkshakes and french fries.  We went to sleep in the same bed, like we always had, but in the morning when I woke up she was not there and things were very, very different.  Quiet. And then angry.

So much time has passed since then, and so many strange and difficult milestones have come and gone.  I have talked so very little about it here, beyond the depression and medication and sadness, because I didn’t know where to start or where to end.  I wanted to respect privacy, I wanted to respect feelings, I wanted to give space and time to some things that seemed delicate.  Sometimes the things that are going on aren’t the kinds of things that can be written about.  I guess that is to say I’m learning when I need to just keep my head down and do the work that needs to be done.  It doesn’t make it easy, especially considering that writing is something incredibly therapeutic for me, allowing me a way to express what is going on inside when it is otherwise hard to figure it out.  Sometimes the only way to understand what I feel is to put it down on paper or type it into a computer, to let it pour out so that I can make sense of it that way.  The last several months have been hard, because I’ve not been doing a lot of that kind of writing and I’ve been keeping many things to myself and then ranting wildly about them to my therapist.

Last spring when I went to visit Leah, I got a tattoo on my foot of a dandelion being blown by the wind.  I wanted to stamp on myself a reminder to let go of the things that I didn’t need to hang on to anymore. As a friend of mine recently and so beautifully put it,  “I am closing the door to what doesn’t support, respect, love, nourish, and care for me.”  And what better reminder to let go than having a permanent mark on your body that looks like a third grader drew it.  You guys, IT WAS SO BAD.  THAT TATTOO WAS HORRIFYING.  But I had it covered expertly once I got home, with a phoenix.  This phoenix is not only a reminder of letting go, but of how something ugly can turn into something beautiful and then, ultimately, how I can rise up and soar.  With this beautiful reminder in place, it was time to do the work.  Medication.  Therapy.  Therapy. Therapy.  I have never worked so hard and been so proud of who I am and how far I’ve come to heal.

In therapy I’m still learning that one big lesson of letting go.  I’m not to the actual letting go part yet, but I’m working hard on not reacting and building up some immunity to certain situations and experiences.  I’m being thoughtful and I’m being emotionally healthy.  In that way I’m better than I have ever been.  Stronger.

As for what life is right is all about right now – the condo is going up for sale, again.  It’s the last of the things that tie Janie and I together and it’s time to cut that and move on.  I’m praying for a quick and easy sale because I am so ready for what comes after, the life that will open up beyond this moment.  It feels like that second just before the Kentucky Derby starts, the horses all lined up behind the gate, so ready to burst out and run full speed.  I’m there, in that moment, and any minute that gate is going to open and the finish line isn’t even the point.  I just want to run.



  1. March 7, 2012

    Absolutely beautiful. This is definitely one of my favorite piece of yours that I’ve read. The notions of holding on and letting go resonate very deeply.

  2. heathen
    March 7, 2012

    Thanks, Kim! That means a lot to me. 🙂

  3. jodi
    March 7, 2012

    I do love this post! However, I want a picture of that tattoo…the first one. You need to keep writing grrrrlll.

  4. Meridith
    March 7, 2012

    I hope that condo sells like hotcakes. Every time I sell a piece of furniture that I bought with my ex, Debra and I celebrate a little (well, me mostly) that one more piece of that “us” is eradicated. Maybe that’s too harsh a word, probably especially for you, but I think of it like this: I have plenty of memories and emotional/mental/personal markers of my time with her, I do not need unnecessary physical ones. It has been 10 years and it isn’t as though I rushed around crazily purging (although that bed was practically tosed out the door after her). I still have one or two things that will eventually go and I’m going to celebrate, quietly, whenever that happens. Here’s to divorce that nourishes you – no matter how odd that may seem.

  5. Elaine
    March 7, 2012

    Powerful post. How is Janie doing these days? I hope she, too, is actively healing and able to move on and trust again. She must’ve been blindsided.

  6. kristiina
    March 7, 2012

    Hell, I’m going to bend the rules & post it twice! I am so proud of you & I love you dearly. And as someone else, who is presently (and oddly) also using the phoenix analogy as part of her ascent from that messy mix of years called the 2000’s – I’m wholly confident everything’s going to get much better. In fact, it’s going to get downright AWESOME. I can’t wait to see you soon. And finally, I – too – just want to run. But I have an awful case of runner’s knee just right now. 🙂 Again, *so* proud of you. xoxoxo.

    …oh, and I didn’t know about the tattoo debacle until I read the above post, this morning. I’m sorry I laughed (and gasped AND almost cried – simultaneously), but above all – are thrilled you resolved the dilemma creatively. Always impressively resourceful!

  7. heathen
    March 7, 2012

    From what I hear from her, Janie is doing well. I don’t think it’s my place to share much more than that, but my hope is that she is happy and healthy.

  8. March 12, 2012

    I’m so glad you’re back on this damn thing and that you’re able to see your own forward progress. It’s hard showing restraint from something (writing) that provides such catharsis for you. Glad you have a good shrinker and almost a year of hard work under your belt. Cheers to being back on the market…

  9. Melissa Stewart
    April 22, 2012

    This is so wonderfully written. I thoroughly enjoyed going through the whole post.
    I’m so inspired by it.
    Thanks for sharing.


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