This is your brain on divorce

Disclaimer: One of the intricacies of being a writer – and writing – is state of mind. I wrote this in the afternoon during some introspection; certainly, after having friends over to watch the BCS title game, then having a steady stream of family and friends who called just to check on me, changed my frame of mind. I thought about not posting this. But that would not be right. Let’s just say this morning’s dry heaves were light and manageable. And I feel good.


It is the pre-dawn darkness that proves to be most problematic.
My brain awakens refreshed, which means it is charged and ready to go. I am, therefore I think.
And in the darkness, this is not so good.
I worry for the children, I stare at the ceiling and wonder what exactly they are thinking, how they are doing. What they see their mother doing and how they are to respond. Wondering if I’m even supposed to try and contact them, knowing that there’s always going to be that place we don’t – can’t – talk about.
I drift toward wondering what it’s like for my wife to wake up with another man in her life, in her bed, still wearing the wedding ring I designed especially for her.
I ponder the great rift of being truly alone in this house (and I’m pretty much a loner; but being surrounded by noise and confusion of a family for five years and I’m conditioned to miss, like the amputee who can still feel the itch on his big toe).
The snot builds up in my sinuses and my throat constricts. I blow my nose to no avail; the dry heaves start and I am again powerless over these feelings.
Which are not emotions (I don’t think; sometimes I get so confused). I need the emotions; the feelings are killing me.
The emotions – anger, fear, happiness, guilt, shame and sadness – come first, they always come first. It’s a body response, sure, but it’s not the dry heaves. It’s more like muscle tension, cold hands or losing track of one’s thoughts.
I try to feel the emotions, honestly. The feelings take over.
That’s why I’ve taken to trusting my gut.
I let the dogs out, and I curl up under the covers and empty my mind. Ten minutes go by, 15. I am OK.
And my day begins. The small plans, the organization, take over. I have things to do, places to be, people to meet. Forward motion.
Those who truly know me joke about things. We’re horrible – and most of the time, I say something so dark, so humorous, that the person looks stricken, until the smile spreads across their face.
But night comes, and all the planning and preparation and the stuff to do gets done. And there’s no one there to engage me. Darkness spreads. I try to exercise, I read, I listen to music. And my mind finally tires.
Sleep comes, it always does (and it’s been quite normal, thanyoueversomuch).
But there in the pre-dawn darkness, my mind awakens refreshed…

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Are you positive that she is still wearing the ring you gave her? Are you guys separated? If so, how is that adultery?

Thom G. said...

There are no divorce papers yet, so yes, that would be adultry would it not? We are still - technically - married. Separation doesn't mean shit. Separated does not give license to take up with another person.
But I don't know if she's still wearing the ring; she had it on the day she came over to tell me about her "mistake."

Thom G. said...

Here's the definition: "Adultery, is strictly and historically defined as consensual sexual intercourse by a married woman with a man other than her lawful husband; meaning only the carnal intercourse of a wife with a man who is not her lawful husband. Both the married woman and the man, married or unmarried, are considered guilty of adultery if they engage in such an act. The intercourse of a married man with a single woman is not accounted adultery, but philandery."

Skigirl said...

The divorce isn't through and so it's adultery. I guess it's not so much the act itself but the emotions that you know are lost from the marriage when someone is cheating/ sharing their bed with someone else.

Jason said...

>Are you guys separated? If so, how is that >adultery?
____________________________
Ummmmm... Seriously?... Separated isn't divorced. I'm not sure how someone could be confused on that issue.

RachelRenae said...

Anonymous: shut up. A discussion on the technical definition of adultery is not helpful to someone who is divorcing their spouse. Your provocation cheapens the emotions and catharsis thom is writing about. Don't take cheap shots at someone who is making themselves vulnerable.

Stevo said...

All this talk about adultery makes me want to smash the crap out of the tile in my bathroom.