The temperature is twenty degrees cooler than it was yesterday and rain, rain, rain is falling, hopefully for the rest of the day. In a summer of ferocious wildfires and a hauntingly eerie number of record-breaking days above ninety degrees, this is a phenomenon worth noting. I saw on the news that there are flash floods in Las Vegas that have left cars stranded and streets flooded in a desert climate, but here in Northern Colorado the rain is soft and steady and cleansing to the soul. The grass, even the grass that has been watered, greens up nicely and the color intensifies as the day goes on. I am sure that for my yard at least, the grass is so much happier to have natural water in the form of rain than the chemically treated water that comes through my pipes from the town.
According to the calendar, in a week or two it will be time for people to blow out their sprinkler systems and shut them down for the winter as we pass the fall equinox. September is a month of significant dates for me. My father’s birthday was September 6th, and our family always celebrated it by spending Labor Day weekend on Pea Island in Long Island Sound, the last vestige of summer before school began again. Besides the global pall of 9/11 to the American psyche, September 11th is the day my divorce became final four years ago. Next Monday, September 17, would have been my 35th wedding anniversary. Then there is the fall equinox on the 21st, and a couple of dear friends celebrate their birthdays this month.
Next Monday, the date of my erstwhile wedding anniversary, I will be going back to a lawyer once again to take action on something left over from my divorce. My ex-husband’s way of dealing with large emotional problems is to cut them off and pretend they don’t exist. Amputation is the way lots of people seem to deal with problematic relationships, but I truly never expected it to happen to me. We have known each other most of our lives. I am one of the last people left on the planet who knows or has lived through the majority of the history of his life with him.
Still, we can discuss nothing and rarely speak at all, despite having two children together. When I filed for divorce, apparently I also filed for amputation. “I never have to speak to you or care what you think again,” he said to me. And so, pretty much, that’s the way it’s been.
I’m going to talk to the lawyer about our marital house. I still own half of it. I was awarded that half in the divorce, four years ago. The house was on the market at the time, and our son still lived in it. The housing market crashed and I agreed to let it stay off the market for a while. Four years is long enough. I don’t receive any rent or payoff in any form, though he does pay the mortgage.
Now he is boarding horses again, something that could cause the homeowner’s insurance to be cancelled immediately. Who’s going to know? No one until, God forbid, a claim might be filed. Our son has a good job and can support himself. The second live-in girlfriend has dibs on becoming a common law wife. He couldn’t afford the deductible on the insurance so a repair was not made. My son told me he thought the house needed to be sold.
Who else in their right mind would have let this go on this long? No one, I suppose. But on some level you have to realize I have not been in my “right mind.” I allowed myself to be bullied and dominated and sometimes actually physically threatened for years. It took everything I had to finally file for divorce. Even then I obeyed the dictum that I not discuss anything about the divorce with the kids. Doing that hurt everyone, especially my children. To this day they have only the picture their father painted for them of what happened. But now the day has come when I need the money.
Sadly, that is what has given me the courage to go to court again. It might have been better if I could have discussed it with my ex-husband first. That can only happen in an ideal world at this point. When push comes to shove I often surprise myself with the strength I do find. Most other people won’t get it, but some do. I know I invite a hell of a fight down upon myself. It’s ok. The law already awarded it to me. Now it’s time to take it.
Beautifully written and very emotional. I send out to the universe a wish that this process goes smoothly for you. Remember to put a shield of mirror around yourself so that he pain that is thrown your way does not attach to you but bounces back. Clearly your ex-husband is in pain and wounded; This is no excuse for anything he put you through. You will come through this whole and healed, a triumphant beacon of light for other women in this situation to follow.