One of the most unexpected things about this whole thing is how much I realize I don’t need to be attached to the house. When I was going through different scenarios of how this would all play out, I realized I would find it extremely difficult to pay for the house and child support. (A note on child support if you’re curious: everything will be 50/50, custody and placement, however I make significantly more than he does. So I will still pay a percentage of my salary to even that out)
It was sad to look at the house, the stream in the backyard, the family of ducks, the brash chipmunks and realize part of the price of this decision is walking away from all that. Even worse, I had no idea of L. could afford it on his own, so he might very well have to move. But L wants the house, wants to keep a semblance of normality, and fortunately it looks like he will be able to keep the house with some financial wrangling. (Thank you low interest rates!)
I laugh when I see people complaining on the internet how it’s too easy these days for people to get divorced. This is the hardest, most emotional decision I have ever had to make and it took months to get here. There has been quite a bit of therapy and medication involved, and I’m shamed to say plenty of nights of a glass of drink in hand and mindless DVD watching to get away from my own life. Part of the hardness of it is giving up the future you had envisioned–I won’t be living here. God knows where I will be living. I will have no partner, possibly forever. I’m going to be a lot poorer. I won’t be contributing to a college fund for the girls for awhile. The shift of letting that all go is tremendous, it’s a whole different reality.
But yesterday, the girls and I were out in the backyard. The peonies are blooming and the blackberries are beginning to bud. I was rocking with Nova lazily in the hammock and looking up at green leaves of the tree against the sky and I felt at peace. Yes, it’s all very beautiful–but letting go of it is a way to experience something new. And I’ve carried a lot of guilt about the leaky basement, the main load-bearing beam of the house with a big ‘ol hole in it, the 3 foot grass, the gutters full of leaves (and sometimes small trees), etc.
I love peonies, but normally I feel guilty cutting blooms. Yeah, don’t ask me why. I guess I just feel a little bit guilty hastening their demise. This is also why I don’t buy real Christmas trees, I feel so sad they got cut down. But this time I cut a whole bunch and put them in the kitchen and they smell fabulous. After all, they don’t bloom for very long anyway. And this time, I’m going to enjoy them, no guilt.