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I mean that title literally, by the way.  Even though I tend just a tish towards sarcasm, there’s none whatsoever there.  

Divorce blows;  there’s really no way around that fact, and since it’s a fresh part of my experience I’m finding I discover a whole new facet of it almost every day.  I was nothing but sad for a couple of months.  Reminders of my life with Exster (his new name) were something to be avoided, and I’d have all sorts of strange reactions to them.  Once, for instance, I opened a box from our old home, caught a whiff of pure memory, and walked away.  Then I walked back, and away again.  Then back, and then away.  I wound up pacing around the living room for about ten minutes.   And it was a pattern that continued - I’d run across something that was hard to deal with, and off I’d go.  My dog came to think of it as a game.

The pacing sadness became frantic numbness.  Still in almost perpetual motion (think of a pinball), I found I couldn't sustain any emotion for longer than a flash, and thought process?  What thought process? I'll be the first to admit that I have the attention span of a five year old jacked up on Pixie Stix, but my brain just flat stopped working. And it wasn't so much that I couldn't focus on anything, as much as it was (I realized) I couldn't let myself focus on anything.  My house was in complete disarray; boxes were everywhere, mail was left unopened, and the laundry - - actually, let's not talk about the laundry.  I've had enough trauma.  

So I started over.  I put myself on a three day plan to overhaul my abode and worked myself silly.  (I also put up my tent in the living room during those three days, which does seem eccentric, but definitely made it more fun.)  When I was finished, I was blown away by how much better I felt on all levels.  But a few days later, I realized that without all the stuff I’d been reminding myself to do over and over, I actually had to think about the dreaded “what had happened“.  

And I finally got mad.  Actually, hot, steaming, furious is probably a better description.  The turning point came, I think, when I decided to move the base for my cordless phone.  Since I was thinking more of the reason for moving it rather than the actual process, I picked it up and walked away without disconnecting anything from the wall.  Reaching the end of the tether created by the cords aggravated me, and rather than turn around and unplug everything,  I jerked.  Nothing happened.  Guess what hit the fan?

The phone very well could have, as I yanked it out of the wall with such force that it came free of my hands.  Then I realized what I had done, and got mad at myself for having destroyed the phone - - the little plastic end of the phone cord was still in the wall, although the cord for the adapter was fine.  With the aid of a toothpick, I popped the little nub out of the jack, and (still in a rage) took the whole shebang to the trash compactor.  In it went.  And then I went off in search of the handset, fists clenched, shouting “grown up words” at the top of my lungs.  Once located, it went into the compactor, too.  Flipped the switch to start, and found the resulting crunches immensely satisfying.

The hissy fit of all hissy fits, however, happened when I realized that the phone had been fixable.  All I would have had to do to fix the phone was replace the cord who’s little plastic thing had been stuck in the jack,  and my stash of spare cords was in a box not ten feet away.  That one was a neon doozy.  I had to go buy a six pack.

But after I got so mad?  A few things happened.  I was able to fully relax for the first time in ages, and started sleeping all the way through the night again.  Life didn't seem like such a burden; where grocery shopping had been a nightmare chore I dreaded, I found I was actually getting into looking for new recipes and putting together shopping lists.  I started planning a housewarming/divorce party.  But the big kicker was when I designed my Christmas cards and started thinking about how to decorate and planning my gift wrap theme - the holidays had been something I was dreading, but they'd become a really great chance to show off this new life I'm putting together and flex my creative muscles to the proverbial hilt in my own way. When I realized I could use my vintage aluminum tree again (he hated it), decorate it with pink and black glass balls, and replace the traditional stockings with gogo boots, I was thrilled.  I think I might have danced a little.

I really believe that had I not finally gotten so blazingly mad, I wouldn't be in such an improved place.  And this isn't to say that life's all about prancing through a field of daisies now -  I still get mad, and I still have my upset moments, but they're in the moment instead of being disastrously saved up for later.  Sure, I need a new phone for the living room, but I've been meaning to switch out all my phones for pink Princess phones, anyway, and there honestly was something highly therapeutic about crunching up that old one, as it was completely infested with life-with-Exster cooties.  Getting mad might have cost me a phone, but I swear it gave me my life back.


Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Denise Alleyne-Hill wrote Nov 1, 2008
    • beautifully written...thanks for sharing and I’m so glad you‘re on the road to a new you without the ‘exster‘...I’ve been where you are and it’s good to see that someone can write about it with class mixed in with a little humor...

      ((hugs)) to you!!


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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Michelle Rowe wrote Nov 1, 2008
    • Great story. I’ll pop the top on my Smirnoff Ice and toast to you and your new life!

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Gokittengo wrote Nov 1, 2008
    • Thanks, everyone!  :)  

      (And “cheers” back, vigirl!)

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Joanieloveslife wrote Feb 26, 2010
    • Thank very much! Well done, my friend! I was shocked to feel not the anger, I was okay with that! It was the rage that my Ex uncorked that was so extremely frightening! I am so thankful his sorry lying butt is still in Kabul or I may very well have ended up in jail if he had been stateside! It was simply liberating afterward....and yes, I was finally able to sleep more than 3 hrs once I had raged! I knew anger was a part of the process.....but, whoooaaa, that rage was so un-expected!
      Cheers Darling......we are liberated & there is a bright shiny future before us....hopefully bitter free!

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