So Much, by Clare Elsaesser on Etsy
Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness.
It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.
Five years ago, I would have given absolutely anything to see myself today.
November 20, 2014, was the day I discovered that there was a lot about my marriage, and my husband, that I didn’t know. It was the day that the life I thought I was living suddenly slipped between my fingertips and disappeared.
It was all hard, at first. The brutality of it. The shame of it. The white-hot incandescent rage of being treated as disposable. The tawdriness of the whole thing. The sudden plunge into single parenting. So much of it was hard, but the divorce? Oh god.
Louis CK is problematic in many ways, but he had it right when he said that divorce is always good news.
Nurture, by Philip Kanwischer
Oh, hey there! I’m shacked up at my all-time favourite coffee shop, listening to my all-time favourite writing music and I have just about eighteen million things to write about.
It’s time for a list.
My marriage split open on November 20, 2014, and I made the decision to end it on December 15, 2014.
I don’t think there’s ever really a good time for this sort of thing to happen, but doing it immediately before such a staggering season of events – Christmas, then my 31st birthday, then New Year’s and then Valentine’s Day – felt like a barrage of punches to the face in quick succession. Bam bam bam bam bam.
That first Christmas, I invited Olive’s dad to spend Christmas day with us. I was in shock and I didn’t know quite what else to do. I was still trying to pretend things were normal, desperate for Olive to hold onto the sense that things were fine, even though I knew they would soon be very, very different.
I have many thoughts about Beyonce’s new visual album. She released it as a one hour journey through song, video and spoken word.
The first words out of her mouth on the very first track are
You can taste the dishonesty, it’s all over your breath.
I was not prepared.
So much of this album wasn’t written for me, sung for me, or performed for me. It’s steeped in rich black culture, flooded with strong black women, I recognize that and I step back from that. (if you’d like to know more, this is a fantastic read)
The most disrespected person in America is the Black woman, the most unprotected person in America is the Black woman. The most neglected person in America is the Black woman.
That first line, however, began to uncoil something for me. Those song lyrics interspersed with poetry by Warsan Shire.
Something don’t feel right
Because it ain’t right
Especially comin’ up after midnight
I smell your secret, and I’m not too perfect
To ever feel this worthless…
Lookin’ jealous or crazy? Jealous or crazy?
What a wicked way to treat the girl that loves you…
When you separate, one of the most challenging parts isn’t leaving your partner or cleaving your life in two. It’s not the packing or the moving or the goodbye that never really gets said – the silence speaking for it. It’s not even the circumstances in a separation like mine.
The worst part is the kids, or in my case, kid. No matter what I’ve lost, she’s lost more. Each time she transfer back and forth between us, that becomes plain to see. I can see that she doesn’t understand why I don’t go with her to our old house. I can see that it’s hard for her to adjust to two houses, two sets of rules and expectations and boundaries. I wish I could fix it for her, but all I can do at this point is make it as easy for her as I can.
I know that there are lots of other kids going back and forth between parents. I’m very new to this, but over time I’ve found a few things that make the process run a bit smoother. I’m sharing these tips below in the hope that they might help you if you’re in a similar situation, and I’d also really appreciate hearing yours in the comments if you have a bit more experience.