The Absurdity of it All

I swam about 70 minutes again yesterday. I’ll admit the last 20 laps take a real effort for me but I’m always glad I do them.

I went for a free 20 minute consultation with a divorce attorney yesterday afternoon and got more than an earful. I’m in a sensitive situation. He told me the pros and cons of the various options and I left not feeling very much clearer.

I sat in the car afterwards and sent a text message to my husband asking if he had a minute to talk, that I had consulted an attorney. He called right away. I was very calm and told him that the timing of my bankruptcy and his lawsuit are bad and that one of my options is not to file the bankruptcy and instead retain a lawyer who will help start the dissolution paperwork which includes a petition to secure half of his future settlement. The only other option was if his attorney can also be my attorney and he agrees formally to split the settlement between us.

Before long my husband had jumped to conclusions and his voice was high and loud, I hung up after the insults would not stop, the last being something about, “…saggy titted middle aged women you’ve been consulting with…” And I began to drive home. He texted me saying he was going to call and I’d better pick up or he’ll call my parents. You think you know someone. You think you know lines they won’t cross out of decency. And then you realize you don’t know them at all.

I pulled over and took his call. He repeated his threat and I said, “I will always hang up on you when you insult me. Always. I don’t have to listen to that anymore.”

He said, and I quote, that he’s going to sue me for “false defamation of character all over town” and I didn’t want to tell him that was redundant. In his defense English is not his first language, but he is very adept at it. But I did say that I’ve consulted with two professionals who don’t give a shit about who he is so how is that “all over town.” It’s almost laughable. Almost.

He explained to me that the only way “this lawsuit will get fucked up” is if I interfere in it.

He said he doesn’t know what he has to do to “get rid of” me and I said, “My god, we’re in the middle of a divorce and until we can iron out our issues I will be a part of your life and you mine.” I told him that I wanted him and our marriage behind me as well and I was not holding anything up. I told him that I was sorry he was stressed, but I’m not the one causing the stress.

I said, “I called you and I was calm and I told you I had information to share with you and that my bankruptcy is making things a bit sticky. At no point did I harass or threaten you with any kind of action. On the contrary, I was sharing information” and why can’t he admit that? He jumped all over me for no reason whatsoever.

Several times he tried to go back and tell me how long suffering he was and how he did everything to make it work, but my emotional problems made that impossible. I interrupted him to tell him that I didn’t want to rehash why our marriage disintegrated. That it didn’t matter anymore. But as you can see, it’s he who is the victim. Poor him. His wife paid his way for eight years and now doesn’t have a penny. But poor him!

I came home, numb, and told my parents what the attorney said and then told them what my husband threatened. All of us are dumbfounded that he thinks he can call my parents to “tell on me” when there’s nothing to tell that they don’t already know. He also said, “I’ll call your parents and I’ll get in a taxi and come over there and tell them what’s what.” Scratching my head again. If I had to guess, I think he’d try to tell them how nuts I was and how he took care of me, and they should be grateful to him, but I’m not sure.

Still, I’ve always hated his threats, no matter how idle, especially since he owns two guns. Until I met him I had never known anyone to insult and threaten on a daily basis!

Mom said she was proud of me for not becoming upset when he became insulting and irate. She said just a few weeks ago I would not have been able to handle it. She’s right. I could not rise to the occasion today. It was simply too absurd.

I told my parents if he ever does call to hang up or not answer. And if he shows up, to call the police. Dad says if he shows up he’ll get a restraining order immediately. All of this would be unnecessary if my husband were a decent human being. I’m so embarrassed that a person like him was ever a part of my life. Even the attorney said today that it sounds like I’m lucky to be free of him.

Today I see my counselor at 9 a.m. and then I’ll go swim. A couple hours later I’ll hit the road to go spend the night with my daughter. I’m so looking forward to it! I hope I get some sleep there, we’ll be sharing a bed and her pug REALLY snores. I don’t care, it’ll still be worth it. I’m thinking of asking if we can go for Indian food tonight. I’ve been craving it for weeks.

For the last two days I’m in a fair place. Neither good nor bad in spite of the telephone run-in with my husband. And to be honest it’s a relief to be in the middle and not too down. I almost feel as though I am watching myself from above and I think I’m more relaxed and even more patient with my mom. By the way, she’s a handful, as I’ve said many times, but I’ll never desert her. She’ll always have a home with me.

She might be the most unhappy person I’ve ever known, and that’s so heartbreaking. It’s awful to face yourself and see all of your shortcomings as I have recently but it’s worse to never face it and never try to change, and that’s where my mom is at. She’s incredibly bright, and extremely hyper sensitive, but she seems incapable of self reflection. No. It’s not that, she can sometimes look at herself and say she is flawed, but she comes right out and says she can’t do a thing about it. And that’s utter bullshit.

My dad is doing poorly and it’s clear that he is realizing he’ll never feel better than he does today. I think both he and my mom thought when he got on oxygen and began to exercise his COPD would improve. It never improves. You just manage it as long as you can. This is a man who was so active and strong, but this is what a lifetime of cigarettes will do to your body. It’s amazing he’s still with us, really, given that he’s smoked since he was about 13. I am very grateful to see him every day and spend time with him, my other siblings don’t have that privilege. If I stop to think about how the coming year will be for my father, I get instantly overwhelmed so I have to force myself not to think of it.

We come into the world alone. We die alone. In between we try to have loving relationships and make the world a better place. After we die, we are in good company, I hope.

For today, I feel as though I will live through this divorce and come out the other side a better and happier person.

Meanwhile I’ll take a day and a half and go visit my daughter whom I love more than life itself.


4 responses to “The Absurdity of it All

  1. Have a good time with your daughter! x

  2. p.s. He does sound like a complete knob!

  3. Thank you, Lucy. I was able to spend 24 hours with her, what a treat! It was WONDERFUL. Hope you have a great weekend. (p.s. Glad you think he’s a knob.)

  4. We all think he’s a knob!

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