My plane arrived at nearly 10 pm. By 11 pm, I was home.
I laid on the floor with my hound dog, covered myself with blankets because the house was freezing. I certainly wasn’t going to heat an empty house while I was gone, so it was 45 degrees inside. For me, the girl from Phoenix, that’s an ice storm in your house. I watched an hour of Dr. Who to settle down, and when it was warm enough to bear, I climbed the stairs and crawled into bed.
I went to work in the morning, checked my email, and found out I was divorced. Simple as that.
The first person I told was my young coworker, committed to her love, a man who is gravely injured and will likely struggle with chronic pain for the rest of his life.
I told her first because she shared with me that she had married her beloved two days before, on Christmas day. “I am divorced, and you are married”, I said. We shook our heads in wonder. I am very afraid for her, and I said “Congratulations”. I doubt she is afraid for me, because she is young, and relies on me at work to guide and help her, as it should be. She is a courageous and scrappy woman, not quite thirty, and I hope her marriage lasts a lifetime, that she and he manage the travails of financial and health problems, children if they want, and all the rest. I hope she and he understand that hiding and pretending there is no problem is a mistake. I hope they fight openly and fairly. I hope she doesn’t doubt her own voice, that he doesn’t use guilt to manipulate her, that she can say when she needs something, and he can hear her, and vice versa.
The frightening part is, I thought I was doing all those things- handling my marriage just fine. I wasn’t and I didn’t even know it. Or maybe, maybe I was at first, but the marriage didn’t stand the trials of loss, financial pressure, breaking hearts, children leaving home. I don’t even really know. I can name some contributing factors…but the factors don’t seem enough to explain this outcome. In some ways I wish that there was something to point to, like alcoholism, or abuse-something concrete so that everyone I told could nod their heads knowingly and say “ah, good thing then”. And I could say, “yes, I saw the light” or “I finally came out of denial”.
I came home after work and turned on the television. I was distracted and thought “what makes sense is to do what you want”. I tried Netflix, and it wouldn’t work. I checked the connections, called a customer service representative, and still, nothing. Then I realized.
My ex had cancelled it.
I signed up for my own subscription this morning and admitting the truth to the next customer service representative. My ex had severed the connection to the Netflix account. Well within his right to do so, I said. The kind man guided me through resetting my television. “These things happen” he said.
Here’s one factor: Unpleasantness was never discussed, painful losses never acknowledged. Making nice reigned supreme. But things do happen, and sometimes you need to speak up. I wish he had at least sent a text message about this disconnection, one message about a Netflix account to his wife of 25 years.
I’m not such a nice girl anymore. I think that’s a step in the right direction.