“You marry a role and you give up your soul, ’til you break down.” -Something Corporate
My sixteenth birthday was complicated and pivotal. My sixteenth birthday was the first day of school, the first day of my Junior year. I was a transfer student, bouncing yet again from private school back into a very large public high school. I sat in my first period Algebra class like a foreigner in a distant land both intimidated and excited. It was on my sixteenth birthday that I met my husband.
This won’t be the post regaling you with our friendship turned romance. Nor will it be the post describing our bright burning and subsequent tailspin. I have spent my life cultivating the perfect honeycomb of compartments. I carefully dissect myself and separate logic and emotion to their proper home. When it comes to my ex-husband there are many rooms.
My parents divorced when I was 12 though most wouldn’t believe me. With every school program, birthday and milestone my parents sat side by side. I never had to split my time or listen to them argue over holidays. Whether intentional or not, I learned valuable co-parenting skills. My coping mechanism of choice would become the pragmatic and often harsh imprisonment of conflicting thoughts.
Two years and four months have passed since my daughter last saw her father. I can’t imagine his level of anxiety yesterday, as he drew closer to her with each mile marker. Understand that as easily as it was for me to welcome this man into my home and cook his dinner once more; I could just as easily never speak to him again. I had forgotten the sound of his voice, how fast he would talk. I had forgotten his laugh.
During our conversation my eyes would precariously dip down to the ring on his left hand. It had been nearly a decade since I last saw him wearing a ring. My mind wandered to all the times it had left his hand and rested in a pocket throughout our relationship. But, that’s a room that will remain closed today.
Today we will pick our daughter up early from school and play hooky. We will eat lunch together and bowl using the same lane. We will take family photos and see who can win the most games of Skee-Ball. Today is about the separation of ego and pain.
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