Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Destination Freedom

I find myself thinking about many things this morning. I woke up at 6 a.m. when my neighbors trash can blew into my car during high winds. It had recycling in it which then blew up and down my driveway. Now I was fully awake. I got up to see what the huge racket was then attempted to go back to sleep. While I did I tossed and turned thinking of many things that have been on my mind.
I find Judith HeartSong's journal to be a catalyst to many of my thoughts of my past life. I can identify with many of her thoughts and experiences. Many people do not understand that even when a divorce is what you want and need, it is still emotionally traumatic. It's not something you can just walk away from, never looking back. This was really hit home to me a few weeks ago when I went to my son's apartment he shares with his Dad. When I walked in, the kitchen was a mess. My son was sitting there talking to me as I was bringing over Christmas cookies and brownies for him. I began to clean the kitchen. I do this for my son because I don't want him to be in an unsanitary environment. His father walked in and began to bark at me as he always does. I told him that the kitchen was a disaster and that I was cleaning it so that my son didn't have to live with it. He was watching television in the living room but he had to come in half a dozen times to complain that I was there. When I was nearly done (two hours later) he came in and complained that me being there was "messing up his schedule". He wanted to have lunch and somehow me being on his kitchen floor and scrubbing food off the molding was hindering him. I told him I was nearly done and reminded him that when my son had bought him to my house I had provided him with lunch. He looked at me as though I had three heads. I was proud of myself that I no longer allowed him to push the buttons. Buttons which he had installed. Instead I gathered my coat and hugged my son goodbye. He thanked me and I was on my way. On the drive home,I cried. I was so relieved to be away from the ex and to be in a position where he has no control over my life. My son chooses to live with him. He feels sorry for him even though he has admitted numerous times to me that his father is emotionally bankrupt. My son tells me he is so happy that I have someone who takes such good care of me now. He tells my family that when neither Rob nor I are around. He worries about my health, but takes comfort in the fact that Rob is always watching over me.
Truth be told, I pity my ex. I truly do. He has nothing in life except a son who he has no time for. His life consists of work (and they are forcing him to retire next Fall) and watching t.v. He could have had so much. He is highly educated, had a wonderful job and there was a time when he had a devoted family. Now he has his money and his television. He does have the woman whom he lived with for nine years before I met him. She is now in an assisted living facility with overwhelming problems. I never knew of his true relationship with her until we had been married about fifteen years. He could never break off contact with her and no matter where he worked she was always able to contact him by phone and by a p.o. box in that city. These are things I learned after my divorce. Although I strongly suspected and confronted him, he denied them until he knew they could not be used against him.
Above all else, I value honesty. Had this man come clean about all this, I would have had some respect for him. Since he hid his relationship with this woman, who to this day he calls a "FRIEND", and the majority of money saved during OUR marriage, I have no trust in him. From time to time, he does feel guilty and on a rare occassion he will send me money, nothing major. I do know this: my life got better and his got worse. The saddest part of all is that I don't even think he knows that. The best part of all is that I no longer care. My Dad once told me that the opposite of love is not hate. It's apathy. I think that's the wisest thing Dad ever said to me. Finally, with my ex I have reached that and it's given me freedom. Not only freedom to leave the past there, but freedom to make a new life.


blhater said...

This was beautiful and heartfelt entry. You certainly have been through a lot, and I admire how you handled yourself while at your ex's house.. You are a real survivor. Divorce is VERY VERY traumatic. Even though my divorce was very simple and agreeable there is still a hole, many emotions and bittersweet memories. You have taken control of your life and your emotions and I am proud of you and your strength.

Judith HeartSong said...

Dear Nelle,
Virginia read me your post after I laid down in bed last night, and I have two important things to say to you......
First, I am INCREDIBLY glad that you are my friend. You know and understand on a gut level a lot of things about me and my life.
Second, after reading the entire post.... You GO Girl. I am so proud of the way you handle yourself and deal with what comes.

So many will never understand the implications of not just being able to block a person out of your life entirely (no matter how abusive they have been) when you still have children in common.

This was a fantastic and thoughtful post.

Wenda said...

I liked this post, too, Nell. I'll be back for more later.