Some people found Matthew McConaughey’s acceptance speech at this year’s Academy Awards to be a little bit confusing. Even with all of his rambling, he made a few really good points. I personally gleaned a lot from what he said about the person he chases: himself 10 years from now. I really liked the idea of this.
I guess by virtue of the fact that I am a journaler and a blogger, I naturally tend to reflect on the past as well as look forward to the future. I like to look back on where I’ve been, where I’m at; and where I’m going. So the idea that Matthew McConaughey chases the 10-years-from-now himself gets me thinking about myself.
10 years ago Rob: In 2004, I was married, living here in Michigan and teaching full-time. Even then, I had a feeling that I wasn’t going to be teaching in Michigan forever. The school I was working in wasn’t great. It was constantly facing the threat of being shut down (it closed 2 years after I left). I felt like I was “on my way”.
A quick recap of the last 10 years: I moved to South Carolina to teach there. Had a kid. Returned to the classroom as a substitute teacher just in time to get a divorce. Moved back to Michigan. Returned to school. Fell in love all over again. Now, I’m again looking at the prospect of unfurling my proverbial sails to see where the wind takes us.
At this point, I cannot imagine where I’ll be in 2024, but I’m certain that The Auteur and I will be there together. The Kid will be getting ready to graduate from high school. 1B will be getting ready to graduate from college. I fully hope and intend that The Auteur and I will be happily married by then; God willing with a couple kids of our own.
There’s simply no way 2004 Rob knew who he was chasing. And I guess there’s no way that 2014 Rob can know who’s he’s chasing either. Maybe that’s what Mr. McConaughey was talking about: life being about the journey, and not the destination and all of those other cliches to the same effect.
There is one thing about the future of which I am absolutely certain: it is full of infinite possibilities. Look at Matthew McConaughey. No one, and I mean NO ONE could have foreseen him winning an Oscar twenty years ago. Infinite possibilities indeed.
Oh yeah, and I will be turning 50 in 2024. FIFTY. My reaction to that can best be summed up in the video below…
I got an e-mail from Jabba on Sunday night. Up until now, I’ve been reluctant to talk about it, let alone share it; but a phone conversation I had with her last night has prompted me to finally open up.
The Kid had a meltdown last night. He said some really frightening things and some that I will spare you. It was a gut wrenching night. The issue was his trip to Michigan.
He told me that “I wish my daddy didn’t have a girlfriend because then he’d love me.” He never mentioned The Auteur’s name as he likes her. He doesn’t like the idea of her. He is afraid that you are going to marry her and have a baby and forget about him and not love him. His biggest complaint was that he isn’t get to see Mother, The Old Man and Phred enough while he was in Michigan. He has asked me to speak with you about this. He has asked me to ask you that when he comes to Michigan that he wants to stay at Mother and The Old Man’s with you. It is much the same as what he said while he was up there. He told me that he tried to speak with you about it and that you wouldn’t listen to him so he thinks “he needs help from an adult.”
I ask you to hear him out and follow his lead. This is not about you. This is not about The Auteur. This is about The Kid not being emotionally it psychologically prepared to deal with this right now and you respecting his feelings. The way you handle this can help him accept The Auteur’s role in his life or reject it. Similarly, it will do the same for his feelings for you.
Please speak with him and more importantly listen to him
I was tempted to ignore it altogether; not even dignify it with a response. Fast forward to last night: The Kid and I are talking on the phone when he tells me that Jabba wants to talk to me. He apparently misunderstood her as she just wanted to know if I got the e-mail. I confirmed for The Kid – and Jabba – that I did.
Obviously, this is a topic that Jabba and I needed, and need, to discuss. At the behest of The Auteur, I decided to give Jabba a call Thursday night so we could stop tip-toeing through this. As I mentioned in an earlier entry HERE, I don’t believe that The Kid truly feels the way that Jabba claims he does. As the old saying goes: I haven’t seen it myself; therefore I don’t believe it.
The Hutt reached an absolute new low last night: She told me that The Kid has been seeing a child psychologist and said that he wanted to kill himself. Upon hearing this, I immediately asked for the name and number for this child psychiatrist. She refused to give it to me, stating that she is reluctant to take that “safe place” away from The Kid. Needless to say, I am now exploring my legal rights on this matter.
What was most striking to me was that this alleged bombshell she dropped did not change the course of our discussion. She did not set aside any animosity she has for me in an attempt to get to the heart of this matter. No; instead she reverted to her typical name call and cursing at me. So I took a page out of her book: after warning her several times to stop the name-calling, I told her that I would continue this conversation when she was ready to talk like an adult. I told her “have a good night” and I hung up on her.
Of course, if my son is feeling like this, then I will do everything in my power to help him. But the fact of the matter is that it is highly unusual for a six-year-old to even have suicidal thoughts. Furthermore, there is absolutely no indication in any other aspect of his life that he is anything other than a happy little boy. I have spoken with his school teacher and she has said repeatedly that he is a both happy and precocious. In fact, when she e-mailed The Kid’s report card, she even said he talked about how much fun he had with me over Christmas break. At the time, the comment made me feel really good. Little did I realize just how important that remark would become in just a few short weeks.
If you are married, live in the North (and I’m referring to the same North that people think of when they think of the Civil War) and are thinking about moving down South, my advice to you is: DON’T.
Jabba and I were married in 2000 here in Michigan. We moved down South in 2004. We separated in 2012; and since we were South Carolina residents for 8 years, we had to file for our divorce in South Carolina.
There is no such thing as a “no fault divorce” in South Carolina – at least not in the same sense that there is in Michigan. I’ve heard of some people in Michigan having divorces go from start to finish in as little as 6 months. Unless it’s something severe – substance abuse, physical abuse, criminal activity – it takes a minimum of one year to get a divorce in the Palmetto State.
And I get it. I really do. The state really wants people to try and save their marriages and I respect that – as long as there is even an chance of saving said marriage. As my lawyer, Greenie, pointed out to me “If there is a Bible belt in this country, South Carolina is the buckle of that belt”.
I bring all of this up now because it has been nearly 18 months since Jabba and I separated and I have absolutely no proof that we’re any closer our divorce being finalized that we were the day I moved out. According to Greenie, the judge has our papers and we’re all just waiting for him to sign off on them, which should just be a formality. The only reason I even believe that is because I actually saw the judge when I appeared in court and he essentially rubber-stamped everything there.
It’s not as if Jabba and I are fighting over some multi-million dollar estate, or we’re locked in some bitter custody dispute over The Kid. In the grand scheme of things, we’ve agreed on almost everything – although some of my previous blog entries may seem to suggest otherwise.
I just want this thing to be done by the end of the year. That would be a great Christmas present and a great way to end 2013.
Nine days ago – the date of the so called Mayan apocalypse, I flew down to Charleston to pick up my Son. When he got to the airport, we were both psyched to see each other, but I was a little apprehensive at first. I hadn’t seen him in four months. And even though we spoke everyday, his voice sounded different. what if he was different? what would I do if he didn’t like all the Legos I bought him for Christmas?
Much to my delight, his stay in town was great! I had a few plans in mind during his stay – a Lego engineering exhibit, a movie or two – none of which we did. Although I was disappointed that we didn’t do anything “fun” we spent all of our time together. He was just happy to see me and he was psyched because it was Christmas. I’ve heard and read people saying don’t try to be the “Disney World Dad” and they’re absolutely right. Most of the time we were together, we watched TV, played with toys, video games, had a snowball fight, colored, and just hung out. It really was about the quality of the time we spent together, doing the kinds of things we haven’t been able to do together – living so far away. We also paid the obligatory Christmas visits: my brother and my uncle’s houses for Christmas eve and Christmas Day respectively. Getting snow on Christmas Eve was just icing on the proverbial cake. I could not have asked for anything more.
Last Thursday, I made the trip back to south to get the Boy home for his South Carolina Christmas. Sis came along for moral support – that and we had talked about making a little side-trip after dropping off my son. Saying goodbye was tough, as I expected it to be. He and both cried, but we made a deal to see each other more often in the coming year. Surprisingly, the STBX was civil. I wouldn’t go as far as to say she was polite, but my time at the Old House was a little easier than I expected. While there, I picked up what I hope is the last of my things from the old house. That part wasn’t really hard; but I just want that part to be over so i can move on.
inexpensive. Despite some bad reviews online, I thought the hotel was fine. Sure, it could have used some minor touching-up, but I’m not really picky on hotels, especially those on the beach. In this case, four walls and a roof would have been more than enough.
I suggested the road trip to Sis. She suggested Daytona – as she had been to the area a few times. We basically just hung out, hit a few of the local bars. Mostly we just wanted to get away from this God-awful winter that just hit Michigan. I figured I would need a day or two to just relax after dropping off my Son. This side trip was just long enough for me to clear my head and get motivated to get back home.
Tomorrow is, of course, New Year‘s Eve. I for one, can’t wait to stick my foot up the proverbial ass of 2012 as we bid it adieu. 2013 could be a worse, year I suppose, but that is difficult to imagine. I’ll be attending a house party to usher in the new year. Several people from the social club should be there. At first, I was absolutely psyched about the party – hoping to maybe meet somebody there, maybe even hang out with Red & SHG. I was even considering getting a ticket to a club’s NYE party that is within walking distance, just to hopefully run into them – or anyone else for that matter. Right now, I just hope the house party doesn’t suck. I’m trying to remain upbeat while not setting my expectations too high.
As I was doing some editing on this blog earlier today, it occurred to me that I’ve never written about the impetus of this blog. Obviously, telling the story of my impending divorce is the purpose of this blog. There was, however, one moment that completely set me off. One incident between the STBX and I that pushed me from being hurt to being angry. One conversation that convinced me unequivocably that we would never reconcile.
About 3 weeks after I moved back to Michigan (or about 1 week before I started this blog) I received a call from the STBX. She was furious because the cable and internet service had been interrupted for non-payment.
I let her vent because I knew i didn’t have the money to pay the bill. I was straight with her about not having the money. She, of course, didn’t want to pay the bill despite the fact that she was working and she was the one benefitting from said cable and internet service.
When it seemed that she had gotten everything off of her chest, I said to the STBX “Let me speak to [our son]. I want to speak to [our son].”
“As soon as you talk to cable, you can talk to [our son].” She then hung up on me.
My first thought was “Great. Less money, more problems”. Then it hit me. She had just prevented me from speaking to my son. Furthermore, she used our son as a means to an end. She wanted me to pay the cable bill and was using our son as a means to make that happen.
That moment was probably the closest I’ve ever come to experiencing a blind fit of rage. For me, it felt more like an out-of-body experience. I was pacing, saying things, throwing things. Quite literally rampaging, It was as if I was watching this monster who bore a striking resemblance to me; but totally unable to stop it or control it.
My Dad was ecstatic just to see me finally get mad at her. I’m sure my mom and my sister felt the same way, but they were much better at hiding their feelings. That was the day that I finally contacted my lawyer. At long last, I was past the proverbial point of no return.
My son and I made it back into Michigan late Saturday night. Sunday was a slow day around the home front, as we picked up my brother, his family and my sister from the airport. They were tired. We were tired. Everyone basically went home and crashed. Today I took my son to play minautre golf and ride go karts, as you may have seen in the previous post.
This past Thursday night the STBX hands me a copy of the separation agreement that her lawyer wrote up. It looks pretty straight-forward but I’m still going to have a professional review it for me. The stink of it is that there are a few things in there that she and I did not agree to. I don’t know what she was thinking giving it to me on a Thursday night. Surely she realizes that I wasn’t going to get anyone to look at it before Monday at the absolute earliest. Maybe she wasn’t thinking at all. Maybe it was all to well orchestrated: give it to me the night before I drive 800 miles across 5 states so I can just stew on it.
I did not shed a single tear when I left The House this time. It is no longer my home; nor did it feel as such. I know I’m in a better place today emotionally than I was 5 weeks ago, but I still feel that there’s a big void inside of me. I have no desire to get back together with her; but since a large part of my life was defined by our relationship, it;s going to take time for me to rediscover myself again.
That’s what this blog is all about.
It’s been so much fun having my son here with me. Thank God I still have two more days with him. I cannot imagine how difficult these next few months are going to be as we all get back to our regularly-scheduled lives. If I’m lucky, the next time I see him will probably be Thanksgiving, maybe even Christmas.
Divorce truly brings out the worst in the people you think you know best. I’m not sure what’s worse – events that are unfolding now or knowing in hindsight that these feelings were obviously festering for some time.
“Home is where you hang your hat”
The Karate Kid, part II
Two days ago, I made the trip down South to pick up my son for a week-long visit and to hopefully, tie up a few of the proverbial loose-ends with the Soon-To-Be-Ex. I can’t even find the words to describe how happy I was to see my son again. It’s only been one month; but some of those days felt like weeks. My time with him has been an absolute blast so far. To her credit, the STBX has stepped back and allowed us as much father-son time as possible while I’m in town. The next week in Michigan is going to be pure, unadulterated fun.
Walking into my former home for the first time was surreal. I blogged previously about how “you can’t go home again”. In that instance, I was talking about returning to your childhood home. I think that’s a sensation that almost every adult can relate to because, to paraphrase The Breakfast Club, we all ultimately grow dissatisfied with our home life; otherwise, we’d live at home forever.
What I’m talking about this morning is a feeling only divorcees can relate to. I knew the my STBX was going to be “cleaning house” in order to either make room her father to move in, or to pare down and move out of the state. But when you call a place home, have a direct hand in the arrangement, configuration and overall spirit of said home – only to return finding it moderately altered – you truly realize that it is no longer the place where you once laid your head at night. Granted, a large part of the void I felt was a result of our dog having to be euthanized within days of me moving out. This feeling goes beyond the lack of any of my personal effects. The most subtle changes, a new light fixture or a slight rearrangement of furniture reinforced the feeling that this was no longer my home.
I had several hours alone at the house today, during which I was packing my remaining personals. With all of these new feelings swirling within me, there were a few fleeting moments when I felt as I had during the last few months that I was still living in The House. For the lack of a better word, I felt as if I was a guest in my own home, again. This didn’t feel like home now and it certainly hadn’t felt like home for the last few months I was here. This has only reinforced in me the idea that this whole separation/divorce thing is for the best.
LET’S END WITH ANOTHER VIDEO:
I heard this song several times on my way down here. While I can’t pretend to be a big fan of the Rolling Stones, but the chorus is hitting home with me: “you can’t always get what you want But if you try sometime, you just might find You get what you need”