Yes – regular old snail mail. With postage stamps. And envelopes. And handwritten address on the front.

Its the return address that made my heart skip a beat. The fact that there were 2 of them; one for me and one for him, that made my breath catch. My fingers trembled as I tore across the backside, opening it up, to see what would be on the inside. It couldn’t be much since it felt so light. Yet the contents were heavy.

The mail brought me a single slip of paper. It was oh so heavy.

The date and time, location and courtroom, have been set.

The clerk of court informs me that at 2:30 PM, on Tuesday, the 13th of November, in courtroom #1, I am to appear in front of the Honorable Takacs. There has been set aside 5 minutes, of his very valuable time, to legally disolve my marriage. Which means by 2:35pm it will be done.

18 years, 4 months, 3 weeks, 5 days, and 2 hours, of marriage; that took 30 minutes of ceremony to create, will be disolved in a mere 5 minutes.

I know this is a song about wanting to be with the person who broke up with you, and I don’t. But so many of the lyrics ring true for me. I do hope that its nice where he is. I do hope that he is okay. There are times when I sit on the floor and cry, wishing that it could have been different for us.

I wish that I could remember our last kiss… was it the day that I stood up and spoke those words? The day before? The weekend? The time when I came back from an errand? It was so infrequent, that I cannot recall the last time he kissed me.  😦

I give gratitude for my parents. For being exactly who they are. For holding to their traditions and patterns – so that I could see them for exactly what they are. They way they were taught to behave in a marriage. Because of them I chose Barry 20 years ago.

Now I choose a new Tradition. I am creating something new for me. For my kids. For my grandkids. For breaking this cycle.

I give gratitude for doing this.

I am not alone in forging this new tradition. Or as I walk down this path. Or pass through this Transition.

I am reminded from my Vision Quest, that the Dog Soliders are here by my side. They stand at the ready for me. Thay protect me. They champion me.

I am also surrounded by many friends. Near and far. Who all cheer for me. Who lend me an ear, offer me a new point-of-view, wrap me in a hug.

I like to think that there are generations of women, my aunts, my grandmothers, that are whispering their own encouragement in my ear. Giving their thanks for doing what they could not.

Perhaps even my own mother.

Just didn’t imagine that it would be this soon.

The child who was completely unphased by the news of our divorce, was as I suspected, the most hurt. She’s upset and mad. She’s choosen to take it out on me. 😦

This weekend Daphne decided to walk out of the house – claiming that she was going to her dad’s house. I texted him and gave him the “head’s up”. He wasn’t prepared for it. That’s tough. This was bound to happen at some point.

One child playing one parent against the other.

He found her – since he wasn’t at home – and she had no phone – he had to hunt for her between my house and his apartment. Not too much distance – all of 12 blocks.

Oh, and the reason she had no phone: I took it away as punishment for doing things with the phone against the rules. The same rules that we had in the house before the divorce, and as she found out this weekend, will still have despite the divorce.

This was the reason she was ‘running away to Dad’s’ house.

She thought to hurt me by leaving and choosing her dad.

Did it hurt? Yes. Of course it does. She is there tonight.

After finding her, talking to her, talking to me; Barry told her that she couldn’t stay with him. There was no way that he was going to let her live there on her own while he worked nights. Yet tonight he doesn’t have to work, so she pointed that out to him, and he relented into letting her stay with him.

He has promised to make sure that she gets to school. I’m calling there to double check. Something tells me that Barry is also determined to hurt me. He knows that this does. Along with allowing her to skirt around the rules that we have set forth for them. So he’s going to use Daphne, who is going to use him, together they will hurt my feelings.

She is so determined to hurt me that she’s sleeping on the floor of his apartment with nothing but a comforter that he took. Ultimately the only one who is going to get hurt by this ‘playing of the parents’ is Daphne. She will grow up thinking that love is a manipulation. She’s practicing on her own father. Who is teaching her well.

And there’s nothing I can do about it. That’s what hurts the worst.

I had someone say to me:

You left your husband?

me: Yes.

Person-who’s-not-a-friend-obiously: How could you do that?

me: Easy. You haven’t been listening these last years. It was time to finally let go and move on, and find a space that was safe.

Person: I don’t understand how you could just up and leave your marriage. You were depressed too at one point. He didn’t leave you.

This has made me think. A lot.

I wonder if I am giving up too easily. I remember my depression after our 3rd daughter was born. I remember how he stood by me as I struggled. I remember wanting to fight for him. For our daughters. For myself. I wanted to get better. I apologized so many times for what my illness was doing to us.

If maybe I held on, and held out, that this would get better. Maybe its tomorrow that he decides to seek treatment, and get help, and stop taking it all out on me. Maybe I should have held out just a little bit more. Not left our marriage. Not left him.

Then I’m reminded of an actual friend, who said to me:

You know, it wouldn’t be like you are leaving this marriage first. He left it, and you a long time ago. He left when he choose to no longer take his medicine. He left when he choose to give up his psychiatric help. When he ceased going to his meetings, the way that he did for the judge. When he stopped trying to care for your home, and children. When he stopped caring for himself.

He left you when he choose to no longer return your affections. When he stopped asking about how you felt. When he ceased to care how this was effecting you. Effecting your children. When he choose to use you as a trash-bag for all of his pent up anger, saddness, and frustrations.

He left first… you’re just mopping up the mess he made with his leaving by doing the paperwork.

In my Sister Circle, one of my sisters looked astonished at me when I said that I was thankful for Barry.

Yes I give gratitude to Barry. For being exactly who he was in the last 20 years- for who he is right now. Because of him I have learned lessons that I needed to learn.

And our journey together is not fully over. There are our children. The ones that choose the 2 of us to be their parents. We may no longer have to be so directly involved in each other – but there will always be some in-direct relations for all our lives.

I am able to become who I was meant to because of him. How can I not be grateful for that?