Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I'm hard to kill

I counseled a friend of mine on the phone yesterday who's also going through a divorce. She's early on. Hasn't moved out yet. Is stuck in that terrible phase of all the emotional turmoil and all of the logistic turmoil of getting separated. Disentangling two lives is painful and hard. Hell, finding a new place to live and moving at any time is hard, let alone when you're going through a break up and having your financial picture change as you go from sharing expenses to sole provider.

So I pointed this out:It's hard. Sometimes, you just can't do anything except get through a day. Even when you know there are 1000 things you ought to be doing to "keep the process moving forward".

I had one of those weekends. Got notice Friday evening that my soon-to-be-Ex was giving me a take-it-or-leave-it settlement proposal before going to court to file motions to get things. This arrived after having a conversation with my immediate manager that left me wondering whether my employer sought to dump me before I dumped my employer. I had uncertainty about my income hit me within 4 hours of the threat of massive expenses. Just what I need. Lose the job and get hit with some vindictive judgment in which I have to give half my pre-tax income to my wife for 2.5 years. So I was stressed.

So I spent most of Saturday talking myself through just doing the basic things I needed to do to address the situation. I finally realized I had to do two things: 1) tell my ex that there's no way I could get her an answer by the end of Tuesday, and 2) ask my lawyer to help me figure out whether I should settle, or fight to have my wife assume responsibility for half my business school debt (since we paid for her school out of joint savings). Basically, half my debt is worth a lot more than any kind of support I'd pay her. We both have MBAs. She made as much or more than I did while we were married. I can't imagine I'd be on the hook to support her. But the settlements she proposes all involve me essentially handing her all the liquid assets I've got right now. Which is nuts. Bitch spent two months in Greece last summer. She needs to get a job and move on.

I got through it. I got the messages sent, and finally sorted and filed all the papers that had been building up in the apartment, too. I cleaned the kitchen, folded some laundry. And watched some Olympic biathalon.

Next weekend, I'd like to go cross country skiing in Yosemite on Sunday, the day before I turn 32.

I'm too worried about the divorce and my career to do much else right now. I just want to eat, sleep, row for a while.

I guess the thing I wanted to say, and never got to, is that I know I miss her. Many times, lying next to some one else, I have a moment of clarity in which I feel the deep sense of loss and sadness. This isn't what I wanted. I really did adore her. I know we, being who we were, couldn't have worked out. I still have the old dream in my head. I have no new dream to replace it. And in those moments in which I sense how far my current life is from the dream, I feel so sad.