I do not fail. Failure is for the weak and the stupid, and I am neither. If I fail at something, it is because I didn’t try hard enough, or I gave up too soon. No, failure is not an option. Of course, I’ve had set backs in my life, but I kept at it until my goal was achieved, even if I had long ago decided the goal was no longer appealing to me. It’s the principle of the thing. So, where exactly does the fact that I have been part of a failed marriage fit into my life plan? If I get a divorce, it’s official. I failed at marriage and didn’t plan well enough, didn’t try hard enough, wasn’t good enough…
This is where I have been for the past three weeks. Trying to reconcile in my mind the fact that I had failed, and yet I had no opportunity to fix it. I don’t want to be a failure. I know that he left me and there was nothing I could have done to make him face the issues and stay. What did I do wrong? How could I have prevented it? Why didn’t I make him talk to me about it? Who knows. But once someone abandons you in such a cruel way, it’s hard to see yourself as worthy, attractive or desirable. I never questioned my intellect or value to Jack, but for some reason the physical and emotional shortcomings continue to plague me.
So to “challenge this belief” and move forward, I wondered if I hadn’t retained a lawyer because I hoped he’d return to me. No, that’s not it. Moving forward, I won’t date any man who abandoned his child, I sure as hell won’t date the man who abandoned mine. Did I still love him? No, that’s not it. Many disgusting things had ensured that love would never again be an option. It was because if I visited a lawyer it would happen. The divorce. The legal, public, official and damning confirmation of my failure. So as my Project 3, I did retain a lawyer. An awesome, capable, bitch-on-wheels (in case we go to court) lawyer who assured me that of all the cases she’s heard, this one for sure indicated that I was not the failure in the marriage. So I gave her a big check and we have been working on the details since then.
Project 4 was initiating the negotiations, which meant that I would actually have to talk to “him” and hammer out the checklist of items from the lawyer. The negotiations with my soon-to-be-ex are going well. One thing I do not fail at is managing money and caring for Jack. Doing this out of court will ensure that Jack will receive the most money, and not the lawyers. And certainly more importantly, he will receive the gift of two parents who are able to talk calmly to one another and behave civilly together where he is invovled. As you might imagine, inside I am raging with anger and contempt for the asshole who is now interested in Jack, even though he couldn’t be bothered while his chest was open and his heart stopped beating. But on the outside, I am a calm, cool customer. I’m impressed with my restraint, quite frankly. But that anger will fade, I’m sure, as those awful memories are replaced by newer, better memories of him actually showing up for Jack in the future. At least, I really hope that happens.
In order to address some of my physical self-consciousness, Project 5 involved returning to a regular exercise regime. In the past, I did Tae Kwon Do, and since the “goal” is black belt, I achieved that. But now I’m doing a Zumba class, and Yoga, and they are both allowing me to explore a more feminine side of myself, while still working out my aggressions. Is it as effective at getting the anger out as kicking the crap out of someone who is trying to do the same to me? Hell, no. But am I enjoying it and learning how to be graceful and shake my hips a little? Surprisingly, yes. One day last week, a man at the gym approached me and started in with the small talk. I froze up and made what I’m sure were several barely coherent attempts at returning dialog. I am WAAAY out of practice, but hey, I got approached, so that’s a good sign for the future!
So that’s where I’ve been. Challenging beliefs about failure, and self-worth and taking charge of my future by finally moving forward on the divorce. I become physically ill thinking about my coming status as a “divorcee” and all that that word conjures, but I do now realize that the “goal” had long ago become unappealing. I deserve a marriage with two interested and participating partners, and I really don’t want to spend the rest of my life in one that is anything less. So I am moving forward, and with any luck (oh how it pains me to seem blase about it, I’m really not) I’ll be single before Fall. At which time, all the single, musical, artistic, handy, outdoorsy, sophisticated, physically active, financially stable, emotionally mature, family oriented, considerate, willing to take dance lessons, animal lover, Baby Jack fan, interesting, funny, independent but loving men better look out! Maybe one of my coming projects should be “lowering my expectations”? I’ll keep you posted…
Empowered and hopefully yours,