Those of you who have friended me on Facebook know that my divorce was final on the 10th. A year and a half after I'd originally filed. People weren't sure whether to offer congratulations or condolences. I assure you, in this case, congratulations are in order. A minute after I changed my Facebook status to single, Austin clicked the like button and wrote, "Yay!"
Joe hasn't bothered to see or talk to the kids all summer, but after I got home from court, he called Lexi and Jackson out of nowhere. According to Lexi, he told her that he and I were officially divorced and that he probably won't ever see her again. Nice, huh? He hasn't spent time with them (outside of school) since Christmas eve and he calls, not to ask them how they are, but to discuss the details of the divorce that the little ones don't need to know. After he talked to Jackson, Jackson told me, "I think you should start dating, Mom."
I'm not about to go down that road right now, but it makes me feel good that the kids are okay with the idea. They're okay with moving on. Maybe someday I'll be okay with it too, but after being lied to continuously for twenty years, I cannot imagine having the ability to trust anyone. I always think that people are lying to me. I constantly fact-check. I may be nodding in agreement, but in the back of my mind, I'm trying to add up the facts to see if their statement holds water. I do it with everyone - strangers, family, friends, everyone. It's not even a conscious thing. I don't know how to explain it. It's just an automatic, unconscious response.
My good friends know me and know why I question things. They get it and don't take it personally. Other people get hurt. The thought of meeting someone new and starting a relationship, believing this new person is lying, questioning their motives and everything they say or do is not a good way to begin a relationship. And until I figure out how to dump some of my baggage and trust people again, I can't even think about dating. And, believe me, I have a lot of baggage. It's not just the lying. It's so many things that have slowly chipped away at my self esteem over the years, leaving me believing that I'm not worth anyone's love or respect.
So, in the end, I'm divorced. My kids are adjusting and doing as well as can be expected considering their dad has abandoned them. You may certainly offer me your congratulations as opposed to condolences as I'm beyond the sadness of divorce. I have a joy that comes from above and a new found happiness that comes from learning to love myself. Now to work on my issues so that I may be able to have a healthy relationship some day and be a good example to my kids.