Sunday, July 14, 2013

Nights Are Hard


I'm not sleeping much, and what little sleep I am getting is mostly during the day. When you've been used to sleeping next to a certain warm body for over 18 years, drowsily reaching out to squeeze a hand or stroke an arm when one of you stirs enough to wake the other, the absence of that body is felt more keenly than the presence of it ever was.

In the indifferent dark and quiet of the wee hours, when everyone else is peacefully snoozing---even the cats---, I'm lying wide awake and exhausted. Every time I start to get within range of a doze, some new and unwanted question or realization inserts itself into my psyche. Here's a sampling from around 2am this morning.

What's going to happen with the trip we've always taken every summer with his side of the extended family, for which the condo has already been reserved? Is he going to go with the kids, or am I? Will we just send the kids with his parents? If he goes, will I resent it? If I go, will I be able to enjoy the trip at all or will it be awkward? And if we just send the kids, will they spend the whole time wishing we were both there?

If I end up having more surgery, how long will I be laid up and dependent on him to take care of the kids? How will I look when it's over, and how will it feel?

My car's 11 years old and we'd been talking about getting me something new. What happens now? Is this something I can have written into the divorce settlement?

What questions do I need to ask our tax preparer when we see him in a couple of days? What are the tax ramifications of divorce?

I'm a 45 year old woman with two children and the body of a 45 year old woman who's had two children. Soon to be divorced. Is any man ever going to be interested in this package deal, or am I doomed to be alone for the rest of my life? Could I be happy alone, like Kate Hepburn?

Should I go back to dyeing my gray hair? Do I have to start wearing Spanx now?

In Something Wicked This Way Comes, Ray Bradbury writes that 3am is the "midnight of the soul" for men. It's no picnic for women either, Ray.


  1. In books and movies they tell us that love can find us anywhere, anytime. I'm 25 and I don't know if it's true or not. I want it to be, but I want a great many things that I'm not likely to get. You have a remarkable mind. Reading a few posts of your's and seeing the response leads me to believe that you are a beautiful person. And I want to believe that there are men out there that will want that more then a hot young body.

    Keep being brave. And keep looking to your children when things get too scary. My mother always told me that I have always been her strength.

  2. Thanks, Heather. I hope you're right about those men. It'll probably be a long time before I'm looking to get serious with anyone again, but I do hope to fall in love again someday.

  3. I must say that you might edit that last few paragraphs before sending it to eHarmony, but it might do well on Adult Friendfinders. I have not read that Ray Bradbury quote, but both St. John of the Cross and Aleister Crowley, felt that "the dark night of the soul" was more of a disintegration of the ego and a phase in a person's spiritual life, marked by a sense of loneliness and desolation. As far as finding that special someone, I try to keep from getting jaded by repeated viewings of Amy Adams in "Enchanted" to sustain my cartoonish view of true love.

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  5. Dye your hair! Making a little change like that can make you feel a bit better.

    I just about turned into a EverQuest playing hermit after the death of my 2nd husband when I was 29. This might sound silly, but it's a similiar grief process.

    Whereas I lost my partner completely, gone, no dealing with him over splitting up common assets, etc., a divorce *is* a death. It's a death of your partnership, your life how you've built and become comfortable in it, and very much a death of your self-esteem (I was divorced the first time!).

    Don't go overboard, like shave it all off or anything, but dye your hair, get a new cut, whatever. Make that little change, and it's kind of like gaining a bit of control back.

    That probably sounds stupid, but it worked for me and some of my girl friends. =)