Wednesday, December 21, 2011
"How have you been feeling?" the man who loves me asked this morning as we lay in bed. It's hard to give an accurate answer to that question in that setting, in those circumstances.
"I think I'd be feeling fine," I said, "if I could just get The Someone's signature on the last two divorce documents." We talked for a little longer. Got up. Had our toast and coffee and went our separate ways.
Instead of walking Humane Society dogs right after exercising, I went home to pursue the missing pages--(mistake #1.) I'm not sure what mistake #2 or #3 was, but the cold-bloodedness of the whole thing tsunami-ed over me about two minutes after I walked in the door. I don't buy the argument that The Someone is just trying to hang on to me, that he doesn't want to sever those last connections. It's torture he wants. Drawing it out and making me ask, and ask, and ask. Back when I was going to therapy, my therapist told me that I was being treated the same in my divorce as I was treated in my marriage. It explained a lot.
What it doesn't explain is this feeling of sometimes still wanting my family intact. How could I want that given what I have now contrasted with how I was treated then? What warped reasoning possesses me to wonder what we might be doing for Christmas if...? To imagine all of us together in some snowy respite gathered around a fire, or under a beach umbrella in a tropical paradise, or even in the same room of our house for an hour when the likelihood of any of those things actually happening would be approximately zilch.
Still, that thought is the elephant in the room inside my head. The elephant that keeps me from seeing the gifts in front of me. The beast that blocks out the sunlight. And then I crawl into bed for hours because I feel as though I am literally freezing to death, and it's the only way I can get warm.
I think more and more about gender roles these days, and how I was so completely conditioned to wear the apron, how filled up my little head was with princesses and happy endings. How I would have done anything to save the idealized version of my nuclear family dancing like sugar plums inside my head, all the while waiting for happiness to drift down like the perfect snow in a snow globe. What I needed was a hammer to smash it all to bits, crack open the plastic, and let some honesty in.
I know all of that. I'm just having trouble feeling it. So on this the darkest day of the year, I will keep turning, turning, turning toward the light.