Even a year ago I wouldn’t have believed I’d now be a divorced woman. Back then I didn’t even realize that part of what I thought of as my identity was wrapped up in being a wife. I honestly didn’t realize that until my lawyer asked me what I wanted out of my divorce after the judge rejected the first filing (sorry, I share a lot but some details need to stay private).
I actually paused for a few and had to sit down after the lawyer asked me that question. What does a person want from their (childless) divorce? I mean, we divided assets, divided pets and pictures, and left behind bits of one another and our pasts. We were all ready divided in person and just waiting for the legal world to be able to work during a pandemic to make it official. What else is there?
My therapist says I’ve made years of progress in a few months because of how much I’ve assessed and realized since July. I made another leap that day when I realized that I wanted “me” back. I wasn’t the person who was “the other half”. Nor was I the person I saw in his eyes or the person described in the rumors running through town. I don’t know why at some point I decided that I was supposed to be a reflection of the person I thought he wanted me to be. Or why I allowed myself to live on autopilot. I can’t even pinpoint when “me” wasn’t someone others from my past saw or heard anymore.
So I said I wanted to find a quick resolution that the judge would agree to that would be as close to the original agreement my ex and I made when we hashed out the nasty details of divorce. I had all ready transformed a lot since I had decided to leave, but knew that deep down I needed that page from court to make “The End” to our book together, because I was in another book and still needed to finish finding the real me that was hidden in all the corners of my habits, perceived flaws, and transformations.
I’ve learned that I’m still into gaming and can have a lot of fun beating the tar out of guys on Super Smash Brothers. I finally made peace with my miscarriages and abuse when my future stepson put the memorial ornament next to the “our first Christmas” ornament on the tree last December, “…because they are part of our family, too”. Nothing like youthful innocence to make you see the truth or wonder why you were ever ashamed in the past, or to realize just how blessed you are to have such beautiful souls in your life.
I was surprised to learn that I’m not a Misfit Toy, either. I’ve spent years feeling like one. I just wasn’t around others like me that enjoyed and celebrated the truest parts of me, most of the time. I’m blessed to have one man and two young men that are patiently helping me get reacquainted with myself. I’m nerdy and encouraged to continue pursuing a variety of educational and creative endeavors without the slightest feeling of anything but pride. I learned that I’m not just a people pleaser because I have self esteem issues. It’s also one of my main love languages. I don’t dress to impress and often wear what my fibro tells my body feels okay today without feeling like a slob or like a town may judge me; my stepson loves to wear different colored socks on each foot every single day because “why not?”. *grin* And I don’t lose myself in a pixel world because I’m escaping life. I do it because I have fun and it’s another creative outlet for me, plus I have the bonus of getting to interact with others and even make special moments with my family and friends in them. If I feel like dressing like wearing a vampire killing kit tee with leggings; or a hi-lo sweater with lace cami, skinny jeans, and boots; no judgment. Being a spiritual mutt who is still finding my way is super okay too, along with my obsession with some fandoms and my love of putting labels on everything/everywhere.
I can’t pinpoint when I put on the mask and started to cover up that I wasn’t happy or all right anymore. I’ve been sick and that’s what everyone thought was what was wrong when my mask slipped. I wasn’t going to just wait to die, because although I’m sick and disabled, I have a lot of living left to do, no matter how many days I have ahead of me! I don’t want to just have an avatar that has adventures I admire or does the things I wish I could. Sure, I can’t do a lot of what she can, but I can sure fill the rest of my life book with adventures and happy memories, instead of wishes. And I literally have mini adventures written down for us to do every single month of the rest of this year. It’s not just a trip a year to look forward to and keep me going.
This is the real me. The one that is planning for big family trips, day trips, and sporting events; Just Dance and Ticket to Ride competitions, gaming nights once a month with friends, or saving spoons all week so I can help teach my stepson to make soaps, do a chemistry experiment, or art project. I researched and made a shadow box of stones to help keep the nightmares away, with the properties of every stone written out for him to read and find comfort from. I learned how to lure the teenager out of his bedroom for a little bit every so often and actually get him to linger.
As one of my best friend’s most helpful quotes said, “When a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower”. (Alexander Den Heijer) I am blossoming because I’m finally in the right place, at the right time in my life. I AM the silver lining in some situations, I matter every single moment, I am loved, and most importantly, I’m honest with myself and the world. I may love POTO, but I don’t have to live behind a mask. I actually like “me”. I guess that’s what I really wanted out of divorce. I wanted to like myself again.