Well, this was an interesting weekend.
I took my son to birthday party today. The party was for the 4-year old daughter of one of my ex-husband's colleagues. I was invited, so I went.
I knew a lot of my ex's colleagues would probably be there. ...and I had a feeling that a lot of them didn't know that we were getting a divorce. But, I went...and I tried not to think too much about it prior to the party. I have grown pretty confident in my ability to handle social situations, and I sort of felt like I could handle this.
But, still. I wanted to be prepared. So, I was practicing how to engage in conversations with them. For instance, what would I do if they asked me where my ex was? In my head, I practiced simply saying, "Oh, well. We are going though a divorce." Period.--divorce. Simple. divorce with a lower-case 'd'.
...then I would quickly move on to small sort of other idle chit-chat in order to alleviate the awkwardness...like, "How about this gorgeous weather?"...or.."Wow, your kids are getting so big!"..blah blah.
That was how I practiced it.
Here is how it went: Ex's Colleague:
"So, where is _______ today?" Me:
"We are no longer married. "
"Yes, we are getting a D
ivorce". ....With a capital D.
Man! In that instant, that hard D sound in Divorce just struck me so deeply when I said it out loud. I very rarely say that word out loud.
Surreal. I AM
getting a divorce. Wow. That really is me. Wow. Colleague
: "Oh, I had no idea. I hardly ever see ________ in the department. I had no idea. Gosh." Me:
"Yeah. Well, yeah. We are not really married anymore...
....Wow! Look how big your kids are getting!" ...
...and on I went. blah blah blahing away. Small talk.
Then, a while later, another mutual friend sat down next to me and said that she knew we were going through a divorce...and that she talked to my ex about a month ago and he said that we had almost everything worked out. She was going on and on and saying how good it was that my ex was able to see our son on a regular basis...and how it was so great of him to find an apartment near by...blah blah.
. None of these people know that my ex left me for his graduate student. They just think that our marriage feel apart.
But, while she was talking to me, I almost started crying. It was strange. I thought I was past all that---that uncontrolled crying at inappropriate times. But, as she was talking, I started to remember all that I have gone through. I started to sort of think of myself in the 3rd person--remembering when my ex-husband was looking for an apartment, remembering how I had hopes we would be able to work this out, thinking about all I had to do to raise my son on my own without much help from him. This person was lecturing me on how great it was that my ex was still a part of my son's life. I wanted to scream and defend my former self--that self who was left and abandoned..that self who was just so destroyed at one point...whose heart was so broken...I wanted to stick up for my former self and tell her "Don't you understand all that I have been though?? Don't you get it? Yes, my ex sees his son...but, he LEFT us when his son was just 9 months old. Who does that??? "
Obviously, she had been fed my ex-husband's perspective.
I almost started to cry, because I felt sorry for my former self---but, not my current self.
Does that make sense?
But, it got me thinking....
I feel like I have trained my brain into this well-oiled machine that can handle almost anything and any situation. My brain *knows* that I am better off without my ex. My brain *knows* that I can handle anything. My brain *knows* so much and can think its way through anything....my brain often just takes over and tries to squelch my feelings. It is often at odds with my heart. When my heart feels sad, my brain tends to take over and tells my heart to just stop being sad...stop holding onto the "could have been's". But, sometimes I wonder if my brain is taking over my heart a little too much. For instance, why did I feel the need to cry at that inappropriate time? Is my heart not done feeling? Does my heart still have more sadness and sorrow to dispose of?
Oh well....time to get ready for another week.