My friends who have gone through separation and divorce all have tried to describe to me what the experience was going to be like. Each really was different, each had their own spin, their relationship with their ex unique. I am grateful to have friends who are able to share with me, friends who actually follow up to make sure that I am OK and doing all right. After a week, the reality is starting to sink in, the challenges starting to show themselves. For that matter, so are the gains.
I like living on my own. I like the sudden solitude, softened by the fact that an old friend still lives in the condo that I am buying from her. We should close on the condo soon, as soon as my mortgage goes through, and she should be closing on the house she bought by May 5th. That’s almost unbelievable and I often feel like this whole thing is just a strange dream. It’s not. It’s real.
One realization struck me yesterday morning — I sleep completely through the night now. No longer do I have two night owls disturbing my sleep. Nate takes midnight showers, complete with music to accompany the shower. No longer do I have to experience that.
I do miss my son. However, I think the time away from each other has already been good for the both of us. We communicate now and with a purpose. He treats me with more respect, maybe because he knows that his time with me will be short. This week we searched for cars together, his windfall from the separation and his high school graduation present. Last night we settled on a very practical car for him, a 2009 Ford Focus SEL station wagon, sold to us by the father of one of his friends at wholesale price. The guy is selling it to us at a very, very good price and is making sure it is in prime shape, going as far as to deliver it to Nate this Monday evening.
Nate also high fived me after he and his doubles partner, Joe, won their third match at a tennis tournament this morning. They are 5-0 so far in the early part of the high school tennis season. He and Joe were even interviewed by the local newspaper after their first meet last Tuesday. The high five might not mean much to some, but it’s something for me. Nate rarely acknowledges me after he plays.
Miriam and Nate are living with her sister. She decided not to buy her condo, will instead be renting. I don’t know how to feel about that. Rent is a great deal more than buying around here.
I gave the divorce petition to Miriam on Tuesday night. That was one of those moments where I just did what needed to be done. It wasn’t pleasant. Talk about real. It was very real. She tossed the envelope back at me, said she wouldn’t sign it unless I gave her $5000 for a lawyer. Even though she knew it was coming, knew that money is going to be tight for her, it obviously was a shock. I feel pity for her, but it’s mixed with a strong I-told-you-so. A lot of what is happening to her, she helped create, even if you only consider the relational side. She also created debt for herself that needs to be resolved, contrary to advice that I gave to her when I found out that she was maxing out a credit card that she had taken in her own name.
I am writing this blog outside, on the deck of the condo that will soon enough be mine, a very pleasant place, a blessing. Much more will be shared from this place.