Two years ago today, Matt walked out. It seems longer than that actually, for in the past 6-7 months (last September) I've moved on, away from the hurt and pain, away from the past. I'm into my future, my bright, bright, happy and hopeful future.
Today is good. I'm good. Oliver is good. We are OK, and more than OK. We're living and thriving and happy. Oliver has been so delicious lately, so delightfully sweet and boyish that I feel as if I have a little pet dog running about me, happy to see me and unconditionally loving. I love being Oliver's mom; I love taking care of him, providing and nurturing. I love being able to make him laugh and I absolutely love grocery shopping with him. (Did I ever tell you that he runs around the store filling our cart with apples, bananas and oranges?) I love listening to him, reasoning with him, agreeing with him, being an example to him. He trusts me, he listens to me, he models me. Oh the gifts he brings to me each day we are together! The crying has finally ceased, you know, the kind where they cry when they drop a jelly bean or when they put their sock on upside-down. I can actually get him out of TJ Maxx now without a temper tantrum. And no, it's not because I caved and bought him a new car, mostly. However, I'm not above bribing him if I have to, so I tend to keep an endless supply of mini monster trucks and Hot Wheels around. These are perfect motivators for Monday mornings when he's beat from the weekend, and I just have to get his tiny little but out of bed.
OK, see? I haven't even lamented one bit over Matt's exit strategy implemented two years ago to this very date. Meh, who has the energy? I certainly don't. I have a half-written post that I can publish some day — once I finish it of course — about his leaving, how it happened, what was said, how I reacted. I don't remember if I've actually wrote about that day, that week, on RP.
Well, we are finally getting to that part now, the beginning of the ending of our marriage. In just another week or two we will be sitting down together and hammering out some financials. That should be fun.
But, there's been a significant shift in our relationship this month. It started out rocky, April. We had a big disagreement over money. I felt entitled and ripped off. He felt no obligation. Each side had a convincing argument. Did it matter? Not really. One of us got what we wanted, the other did not. The best part is that we moved on quickly afterwards. No use burning down a house just because the front door needs repair. Today we're on good terms. Great terms actually. We even sat together at an open house event at Oliver's day care this week. Last year I went alone. This year Matt said he wanted to attend also. Fine with me. Oliver was in heaven. Matt and I even sat together during the entertainment part of the evening. Oliver sat with us at first, then ran over to be with his friends. (Oh Lordie, now that is the true beginning of the end, isn't it?) Each time Oliver squealed in joy and delight, Matt and I looked at each other and laughed. It was great, just like when we were married. It was fun to share that evening with him. Awkward at times, but fun. I realize I still have a hard time looking at him. I don't know why. I also feel like I barely know him anymore. In a weird way, he's not the guy I married; it's as if I'm a widow and this father of Oliver's is an acquaintance of mine. Casually polite. Friendly. Sharing a common bond which we tap into when our excitement over the trivial needs a listening ear. We share stories often about Oliver and we crack up as each tale outshines the other. That kid is a hoot, that's for sure, and his antics are bringing his parents closer. His separated parents.
Since he was born and even before, we've been Oliver's groupies. We both know it and find a comfort in it. That part has not changed.
Matt and I have been getting along great. Which is what led to my teeny tiny delightful secret which I will now share. As I've been getting better emotionally from this whole yuck, I had sort of wondrously imagined that perhaps he secretly was wanting me back. I have dreamt lately, only for brief moments but enough of them to take note of, that Matt returns. I can't really imagine the scenario, nor do I go into detail over it in my mind. Nor do I imagine myself running into his arms — and for that matter, I do not dream that I will stand there hand to hip saying, No way dog. You had your chance. No, I don't fantasize a demoralizing and dramatic return to me. And I don't fantasize telling him off.
What I've seemed to do however, is imagine, pretend, act as if ... he wants me back or wondering if he made a mistake. THAT's what I've been imagining lately.
And it's been fun.
It's fun to think that the new hair style I sport makes him look at me twice. It's fun to think that he's loving how easy-going I've been. It's fun to think he's worrying because I no longer want him or need him. It's fun to think he's jealous of my friendships. It's fun to think that he's home on a Friday night with Oliver wondering what I'm up to.
It's fun because even though I don't really truly believe it, I like to think that it's true. Yet I know reality. I don't misinterpret his friendliness towards me as an offer to reconcile, not really. Nope. See, that was my demise all those months before. Any nice gesture on Matt's part made me gleefully weak in the knees. My heart would leap with joy because I would misinterpret each and every act of pleasantry as a bended knee for my forgiveness. It was my ruin. It was my very own perverse torture, for his pleasantry was rewarded with an open heart in which the door was consistently slammed shut in my face. Yet again. And again. It devastated me each time. How I moved thru life, how I parented during those moments is beside me. I have no clue. Those falls to despair were pitiful and debilitating.
So it's been kind of fun to think he's been doing some humble reexamining.
And then, (yes, I have to laugh), he brought up divorce only two days after Oliver's open house. I listened calmly as he talked about how we should get together some time and go over what bills are outstanding and blah, blah-blah, blah-blah. And then after that financial stuff is done, we should hammer out as much as we can regarding Oliver and everything else, as that will save us time and money with regards to the divorce.
Yep, he said the D word.
And I listened.
Took it all in.
As my cute little fantasy burst.
And I measured myself. No racing heartbeat. No sweaty palms. No need to pop a pill. No need to call a friend. No crying. No sadness. No butterflies.
I heard myself say, "OK." and then tell him I had to go — which I really did because I was sitting in the day care parking lot, about to fetch my son. Another minute and late fees would incur.
We hung up.
I took stock again.
You OK girl?
Yep, I'm OK.
Feel like crying?
You're OK with it?
Yep. Gotta face the music sometime. I want this too, now.
Alrighty then, lets go get Oliver!
OK, great! Let's go get that little bug!!
And off I went, into the daycare, not thinking twice about what Matt had just said on the phone.
It occurred to me off and on that my little fantasy was really an illusion based on my need to continue moving on. And it didn't hurt me one bit.
Yep. I'm sure.
We're more than OK.
I'm happy. My life is complete. I'm a good woman. I'm a good mom. I'm a good friend. I'm a beautiful woman. I'm a kind and generous woman. I'm a talented woman. I'm a spiritual woman.
I'm taking care of myself and my boy. And succeeding!
I'm beautiful in my way 'cause God makes no mistakes
I'm on the right track baby
I was born this way.
I don't hide myself in regret.
I just love myself (and Oliver) and I'm set
I'm on the right track baby.
I was born this way.
Lyrics (modified) from Born this Way
by Lady Gaga