Friday, May 6, 2011

You Asked...(Well At Least One Of You Had the Balls To)

Dear Diary:

When was the first moment in the aftermath when you thought about the past without a huge jolt of emotion? The first time the ex-marriage was a part of your history instead of a trauma?

I have been waiting for a while to figure out how best to answer this, because well it is not easy to answer. Not at all really. In fact, it is pretty fucking complicated if you ask me.

I can tell you that the first moment in the aftermath of my divorce that I thought about the past as nothing more than the past, without a huge jolt of emotion, was the day I sold my wedding ring. I think that is because of the fact that the moment was so surreal. Maybe like it almost wasn't happening? But it also brought some sense of closure and finality to the relationship, not just the ordeal of the divorce itself.

Now, I say that this is a complicated question to answer because the first moment that I looked back without a huge jolt of emotion did not signal some gigantic turning point where I no longer looked back on the end of my relationship without a jolt of emotion. Anyone who thinks they can out-wit, out-think, out-reason, emotion is well, delusional. Emotions are what they are, and they can, and will, completely fuck with you when you least expect it.

So, I do not measure any amount of progress in the emotional healing aspect of a post-divorce existence. There are good days. There are bad days. There are weird days. And then there are days that are just days. I think the larger goal is just to have more good days than bad days. And I would say that is the larger goal because most people, regardless of whether or not they are in a relationship want to have more good days than bad days. So, the goal in a way, is just to be, and feel, normal.

Now, there are speed bumps along the way that come up at times. For instance, while driving back from Key West, I took US-1, through Miami. At some point I was on the phone with my dad and took a right turn, which put me on US-1A. And wouldn't you know it?

The hotel I stayed at the weekend I got married was in my rear view mirror. I was in the town I got married in. I then couldn't get off 1A until I passed the beach where I said my vows. And you know what?

It wasn't "sad." It was just "eh, oh well, shit happens."

But then there are moments like today when I log onto Facebook and see someone say that today is their fifth anniversary (and if this person reads this, just know that I am happy for you). And it could have been mine too. So some reminders are nothing, and some sting, just a bit, if only for a few seconds.

But all in all, more good days than bad.

I think the hardest part is when you are stuck in some sort of limbo where you have trouble creating new memories to replace the old ones. Emotional purgatory can suck a dick.


  1. I think you are so right on here.

    I have bad days, good days, and just "days." I like that. I have finally come to a point where there is more good than bad, and its such a relief. But you are right, I don't think you ever reach a point where you can outsmart your emotions. Sometimes, things just creep up, reminders creep up. But at least the feeling passes.

    Its funny that you talked about it, because I am trying to sell my rings right now.

    Now that I am not unhappy, I am just bored and ready to move on with my life. So, I agree about the purgatory part too. I hate being stuck in the "in-between."

  2. I'm with you on the NEW memories trouble. I wasn't married like you. Or loved by someone, then not (at least in this last relationship) but I'm just tired. I wanna be pouty and antisocial and angry and bitter and watch tv in sweatpants instead of being happy and making happy new memories. But then again - I dont like the version of myself that does those things. I'm better than that. But still. the purgatory has me stuck in its black hole of bull shit. Hang in, T.

  3. Your last line says it all. So very true.
    ...but glad you seem to be having some good times in between some of the craptastic moments!

  4. thanks for answering. as you saw the other day, i'm wrestling with this a lot these days. it's in my nature - i think it's the lawyer in me - to expect a solution. y'know, call the question, do the analysis, come to the conclusion. book it. done. it's becoming increasingly apparent that i can't reason my way out of this one.

    so sometimes, for reasons i may not even understand, i'm gonna have days when i get blindsided by something. but by and large, the days are good. i'm, like you said, making new memories. i take that as a good sign.

    thanks for the dose of perspective.

  5. Oh gosh, isn't it true?

    A therapist once compared grieving to a spring. She said sometimes the coils are wound tightly and you can't seem to stop thinking about it. Then there is lots of space when you feel fine. Then you'll pass another coil/memory and feel sad again.

    Memories are such interesting triggers, aren't they?

  6. You hit it.
    Its like you said....speed bumps that you get over one by one. Healing is a process. Setbacks happen...its part of it.

  7. Well said. There are many good quotes I will have to take note of to pass along. Selling my anniversary ring was evidence for myself, that I am well down the road of recovering from my divorce. It is getting harder to see it (the pain and devastation, etc) in the rearview mirror. There are mostly good days now. I am thankful for that.

  8. Yep, I understand the part about needing to make new memories to overshadow the old ones. I called off my wedding 6 weeks before it was supposed to happen last summer. I knew that I was going to be OK the first time that I realized that I had driven past his condo and not looked up at his balcony.

  9. thanks for sharing. It is funny to see how long take one to fully recover from it. I think i am still have a long road a head of me.

  10. I wrote a post to this effect recently, the "oh well, shit happens" feeling when coming across something expected to sting. I guess it's part of the healing process. But it is a process and I see progress (for both of us). Hang in there.

  11. It's amazing what time and a bit of self analysis will do for you. I just past my 6th year and now it makes for really good blog fodder. Nothing more.

  12. Emotional purgatory CAN suck a dick.

    I just love you and your blog. Absolutely great.