To start with, a few weeks ago I was suckered into a conversation with a mutual friend about my ex. Which is something I should absolutely avoid. But I don’t, because I have that unhealthy little voice in my head that is a sucker for punishment and craves more and more information that would hurt me.
But this time, I bounced back a whole heck of a lot quicker. It didn’t knock me out like it would have in the past. And I also decided that I was tired and bored. Tired of feeling crap, and bored of my story and victim mentality.
I’ve been patiently waiting for nearly twelve months now to receive the notification that my divorce has been finalised. My ex doesn’t return emails and I have no other contact information. So I’ve just been waiting, while inside I’ve been fuming and blaming and acting powerless.
Last week I decided to take my damn power back! I spent a big chunk of time on the internet and finally found an email address, and then eventually got a phone number for the Divorce Registry. Brilliant.
Still in my pajamas, because of the time difference, I jumped straight on the phone. Names, birthdays and all that stuff was given. Searching … searching … searching.
“Does that mean the divorce still hasn’t been finalised” I asked.
No record of anything having ever been submitted. You’re totally and completely still married, not even legally separated.
Great (sarcastic emoticon here!!)
I went into a blame cycle, was angry … screw that, I was FURIOUS. I ranted to anyone who would listen. Until my sister pointed out - “You can’t actually be surprised? She [my ex] was always crap at getting things done”.
Facepalm. She was dead right. I had completely given my power away to someone who had no rights to it and couldn’t have been trusted with it.
So I got really serious about getting it back. More Google, more emails. This time to lawyers … so much explaining and scanning of documents and working out of time differences and international dialling codes.
Now to paint the full picture of what happened next, let me explain something. I haven’t seen my ex since May 2014. That was a 15 minute visit and awkward conversation. Since then there have been approximately five emails back and forth.
Aside from about six months when she was out of the country, she lives about 6kms from my house. We go to the same places, we shop in the same centres, we attend the same kinds of events.
And I have NEVER SEEN HER.
I have, every. single. time I’ve been at one of those places or events, had a small (sometimes not so small) knot in my stomach because maybe this will be the time. It’s never happened.
This past Thursday morning, I officially retained a divorce lawyer.
Thursday evening, I went on an amazing date with an amazing woman who I care about very much.
Thursday night, I ran into my ex.
She didn’t see me, we didn’t talk.
My hands shook for a second. And then I was fine.
It was an interesting outcome. A year ago, it would have been the end of the world. Six months ago, I would have had to leave.
Last Thursday, I thought “oh good, she’s still in Melbourne. It will be easier to get her to sign the paperwork when the lawyer sends it through”.
Then I thanked my Angels for knowing that I had needed that time to heal and get strong. And for knowing that, that Thursday, I was ready.
And then my lovely girlfriend and I went and got strawberry and nutella crepes, and continued on our amazing date.
No drama. Just an interesting outcome and some divine timing.
P.S. It feels like everyone is already reading/had already read Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic but if you haven't, I strongly encourage you to get on it right now!
Interesting outcomes, after all, are just awful outcomes with the volume of drama turned way down. - Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic.