Warning: This is an ongoing, solipsistic account of my very own divorce. If you don't like personal stories, why are you reading daylogs anyway? Shoo, back to factuals with you. Go on, shoo.
What do you do when someone refuses to grant closure in a relationship?
Since October of last year, my husband has refused all phone calls from me. I know that my marriage is over, but there are still practical issues to discuss, and he has refused all meaningful contact.
I left him for a three month trip to Hawaii so that I could help a friend take care of her new baby. He seemed very glad to see me go, which in hindsight is rather suspicious but which seemed like a great kindness at the time.
As soon as I arrived in Hawaii, we had a brief conversation during which all the old issues surfaced. He wasn't paying bills, he refused to pay taxes, he lived his entire life on the computer, we would go for months on end without having sex. We had a fight which ended in him hanging up the phone and refusing all attempts on my part to reach him.
Days turned to weeks, weeks to months, and still he stubbornly would not answer the phone.
My days were spent in a rainy climate with a seven-month-old terror of a child and the dawning realization that my husband had cut me off.
I'd seen him do this before. When he was in college, he and his best friend of many years had a falling out. With no apparent effort, Sam simply put a halt to the friendship.
He later did the same thing to his grandmother once her Parkinson's disease landed her in the hospital permanently. Though he'd been living with her for several years, he never saw her alive again and attended her funeral only at his father's red-faced, apoplectic insistence.
He did the same thing to a woman he'd dated in his mid-twenties. Once he decided that I was the one for him, he shut her down completely with no discussion whatsoever. She grew so angry at his silence, at the utter lack of any closure, that she wound up burning all his clothes and possessions that remained in her apartment.
I made the usual battery of excuses for these situations. I figured that he just had a talent for putting the past behind him or an aversion to hospitals or a very solid way of ending relationships. I never thought he'd be able to do the same thing to me, not after ten years of friendship and another five of marriage.
I was, of course, wrong.
He excised me from his life with surgical efficiency. Even when I ended up in the hospital, even when my mother had to come get me from Hawaii and take me back to her home in Oregon, even when I was again hospitalized and chemically lobotomized and in truly dire straits, he refused to speak to me.
It really should have pissed me off, but somehow this great, yawning, empty chasm of sadness swallowed my anger.
The truth is, I missed him. The truth is, I always expected him to be there for me. The truth is, I have a masochistic streak as wide as the day is long. Like a whipped dog, my heart went slinking back to its owner to lick his boots and plead for more mistreatment.
Well, it did until Easter.
Two weeks before I'd planned to go back home and collect my belongings from our shared apartment, I received a letter from him. "I love you, blah blah blah, come home to me, blah blah blah, I'm a shell of a man without you..." All the usuall shit.
We started talking on the phone. I made it clear to him that my health care was now in Oregon, that for our marriage to work it would requre him to relocate to the West Coast. I also made it clear to him that it would take a great deal of effort on his part to make me trust him again.
After that conversation,. he stopped taking my phone calls again.
Once I got into town, we talked a bit. He said I seemed much happier and more together without him; I tried to insist that it was the new medication, but he didn't buy it. Finally I got tired of defending my hard-won state of mental health and finally allowed him to believe whatever the hell he wants to.
I'm tired, you know? All those months of silence and worry have worn me down.
So I hired movers. I spent the worst! day! ever! packing up my life and preparing to leave Charleston forever.
That's pretty much the end of things. Since I can't get closure from Sam (who's retreated into his Fortress of Solitude), I'll get it on my own by writing about our marriage until it feels more like a science experiment instead of the throbbing toothache that it is now.
I know a lot of this is because he has Aperger's Syndrome and I have bipolar disorder, which is really quite a psychiatric comedy of errors.
It reminds me of that old joke about the circus freaks whose marriage didn't work.
So the World's Smallest Man marries the World's Tallest Woman. After a few weeks, the Bearded Lady notices him drinking Jack Daniels behind the Big Top.
"What's wrong?" she asks him.
"Well, the sex isn't working out," says the man.
"Well, when we're nose to nose, my toes are in it. When we're toe to toe, my nose is in it. And when I'm in it, I don't have anyone to talk to."
Badump-bump, I'll be here all week, tip your waitress.
For real, though, that's the sort of bleakly funny scenario that's constituted my marriage, and I'm nigh well sick to death of it.
So here's my thing: I've decided to quit it.
The antiquated divorce laws in South Carolina don't allow for a legal separation of any kind. You have to live apart with "no collusion" for one full year before you can file for divorce. Since Sam is back to his old ways, collusion of any sort is right out, so I'll be able to file quite handily on October 27, 2005.
Here's what I'm going to do, like it or not. I refuse to continue pouring my heart out to a man who is utterly intent on throwing me to the four winds. What this means is that this is my outlet.
Yep, come back for much more Divorce Diaries, right here in the little Ghetto of Daylogs. Maybe if I'm truly eloquent I can manage to eke out a subtle, ironic collection of essays that will net me a royal sum. What's more likely is that I'll manage to eke out some self-therapy and manage to bore and/or entertain a few of you on the way.
I can honestly say that I hope Sam gets the life he so richly deserves.
In the meantime, meet me here, children, for more Stories from The Great Divorce. It'll be fun!
If someone doesn't give you closure, make your own.