Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me with concern for the latest developments in my little saga.  Your support helps me to feel less alone, and less crazy, in what is clearly a crazy-making situation.  Several people expressed concern for me in this new set of circumstances, and the tenderness of strangers - for I haven't actually MET any of you, though the community here does feel like friendship - fills me with gratitude for the beauty in the world.  You are beautiful, and I'm glad you're here.  Thank you.

I do need some tenderness, because we all know by now that it wasn't something I received in my marriage, and I'm still feeling a bit bruised from that.  But I want to take a moment to say I am bruised, but nowhere near broken.

I am prepared to be patient, but I am going to get what I need.  Setbacks are inevitable, but they are not the ending of my story.  Allow me to explain.

I have had two plans since the beginning of my decision to divorce: Plan A, Bryan does the honorable thing and spends lots of time with his daughter and pays child support (on time!), and Plan B, I'm totally on my own and need to cover all expenses and manage all of Katherine's time.  I have known all along that though I'm hoping, praying, and setting expectations for Plan A, Plan B is a possibility.

So, whatever happens, I'm prepared to manage it, and to keep my joy even while it's going on.  Oh, sure, I feel the aches and pains of it as much as anyone, but I'm able to compartmentalize them.  I feel joy at my work when I'm working, and I feel mama-love when I'm with my girl, and I feel sassy and independent when I'm with my girlfriends.

And I feel madder than hell when I deal with the business with Bryan.  I'm stunned that he could take it this far - is he really going to collapse completely into the stereotype of a deadbeat dad? - but make no mistake, I am not going to roll over and take it.

I am going to be patient.  I am going to be polite.  I am going to be reasonable.  I'm even going to try to be compassionate.  But under no circumstances am I going to say "yes dear" to these ridiculous behaviors.

We have a mediator, and we've just begun working with her, and we're in the preliminary stages of the paperwork.  Bryan was acting super cool when we met with her - it looked like he was going to give me more than I asked for and he was going to be reasonable.  Now that he's showing his true colors, I am documenting, documenting, documenting.  I'm following up with him on email, I'm printing it all.  I'm keeping lists of budgets and expenses and payments.  And of time spent...and not spent...with his daughter. 

I will be patient.  I will not detonate bombs.  I will play fair, even when he doesn't, because ultimately, my patience is going to give me what I need.

They say that happiness is the best revenge.  Let him stew in the pot of his own making: he can simmer in his unreliability, in his failure to be the father his daughter needs, in his irresponsibility.  He is in a mess of his own making, and he will have to deal with the fallout from that.  I have what it takes to help Katherine deal with his fallout, and I'm assembling a good group of men around her to be role models: other fathers in our circle, my father, his brothers (ironically, Bryan's brothers are among the finest men I know).  I will figure out the finances.

I'm good at spinning straw into gold.  It is sad that he only knows how to spin gold into straw, but it is not my responsibility to help him any longer.

Dear readers, never fear, I am not playing the victim.  I am being patient, and taking care of what needs to be done.  I know the law, and I know what he ought to do, and I will quietly, patiently, but persistently make sure that he follows that law.  The mediator will help....and those brothers will help, too, because if they get wind of this (they will) then they will be pushing him in ways I never could.

Yes, happiness is the best revenge.  I'm not being happy to spite him, I'm being happy because I'm good at it, because I want it for myself. 

I did six years of cancer treatment.  It was hell on earth, and even other cancer survivors in my circle would blink in amazement at me that I could keep going the way I did.  I've got this.  I can do this.  It sucks, of course, but if Katherine and I are healthy and together, if we have a roof over our heads and people who love us, the rest is just details.

I'm going to have my dreams.  A return to international travel.  Financial independence.  A working car!  A romantic love that is the stuff of legends.  A beautifully well adjusted child who loves me almost as much as I love her (I could never ask it to be equal - would it even be possible?!).  What Bryan does, or does not do, is ultimately of little importance.

I will hold him accountable, but my happiness does not depend on his reliability.

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