Welp! Sure am glad I pushed for that therapy session. It took some prodding but I finally got it out of him. It’s that old ‘be careful what you ask for’ come to bite my overfed ass.
“So. We’re here together for…clarity?” is how our therapist began. I’d arrived 5 minutes late. On purpose. Wanted to give my spouse a chance to get braced for me. Plus I just couldn’t imagine walking in together. It would have felt so Civil War battalions advancing toward one another face to face trying to pretend we didn’t know that things were gonna get bloody today. As I entered he rose to kiss my cheek and then we settled beside each other on her couch.
“Look," I started. "I can’t do this whole limbo thing anymore. The wondering if he’s coming back. Are we working on reuniting or are we done... You know, what’s happening? I don’t think it’s healthy and…” She nods and I love her. “How are you doing?” she asks.
Ba-boom. I’m weeping. But I’m trying to continue to talk as though I’m not. As though they don’t notice me blubbering and snotting and all rollercoaster voice. As though I can even form coherent words.
“I’m... ya know.” Slobber slobber. “I...doing..." It occurs to me that he looks troubled by my state, but I can't tell if he wants to spit or run from the room. It is clear, however, that he isn't filled with any desire to comfort me. I get the message loud and clear and am instantly sobered up. "Ya know... I’m broken.”
I pull all of my muscles in very tight. I freeze. I take a deep breath and think of the corny thing my brother-in-law said. “Don’t be the tree that blows in the wind. Be the mountain that that tree stands on.” And I’m desperate to quell my body’s shivers. And I breathe. Or try to breathe. Somewhere in there Michael is speaking. He’s saying something like he wants to continue forward with the separation. He thinks we should continue with more independence (read have sex with other people) and we should probably split up some money and get separate bank accounts, (stuff I’ve been asking about for 4 months but whatever) and I remember asking for him to be more specific. “Just say it." My voice sounds like it's hissing. Like it's disembodied. He just looks at me, until he can't. So I press further. "Independence? What’s that mean?” I ask. “Just say it!” And then we are saying it. And then... it is so.
Divorce. No going back. Final nail in kid’s false hope chest. Bully for us. And then he is saying he loves me so much. I’m his ‘best friend’. To which I respond 'fuck you and I don’t forgive you'. Pretty words like that. An overwhelming mea culpa washes over me. Regret and shame and understanding of all that is real or imagined. Suddenly worm holes and auroras and quantum physics make sense. I am filled with all understanding. I could have been a better wife. I meant to be. A better wife. I just wasn’t equipped. I didn’t know how. I was then, am now and forever after, dented.