Tomorrow morning at 8:15 A.M. I will arrive at my lawyer’s office.  He will go over a few details with me and then we will head over to the courthouse.  My ex has already signed the decree, so the hearing will be short.  The judge will sign the decree and my marriage will be over.

After all the fighting, lawyers, legal fees, custody threats, and worry, this feels very anti-climactic.  My ex won’t even be there.  I was looking forward to meeting his lawyer and at least giving her a few dirty looks, but she won’t be there either.  It’s just me and my hired gun.

I should be happy.  I’m getting everything I asked for – maybe even a little more.  But, I am not happy.  I’m angry, jealous, and heart-broken.  Legally, this looks like a win, but I feel as if I’ve lost.  During one of the many heated discussions with my ex, he exclaimed that he has been left with nothing.  I nearly laughed at him then, but chose to keep my mouth shut in an attempt to maintain some semblance of peace.  The sad truth here is that everyone loses in divorce.  No one wins.  Even the kids.

Here’s what I have lost:

  • A trusted confidant – that 1 person with whom you are always safe.  My best friend tries to fill this role, but the bottom line is that she never signed a piece of paper saying that she would put up with me forever.  She didn’t choose to take my crap everyday for the rest of our lives.  She never complains, but I know that she is tired of listening to my pathetic whining.
  • A partner – that 1 person who always has your back.  If you lost your keys, forgot your purse, or broke your cell phone, there was someone who would come to your rescue.
  • A co-parent – that person who is just as concerned with my son’s development as I am.  My ex cares deeply for my son and we co-parent at a high level, but it’s not the same.  He sees one side of my son and I see another.  We compare notes, but usually only when it’s something negative or related to our son’s health.
  • A comforter – that person that holds you while you cry.  Let’s face it, I cry a lot these days.  Every time, I find myself yearning for someone to hold me.  Someone who won’t think I’m weak for breaking down.

Real or imagined, these things gave me a safety net.  But not all is lost.  In fact, there is much that I have gained.  Here is what I have gained:

  • A dream.  Long ago I gave up on dreaming of better tomorrows.  I was trapped in a perpetual funk.  We used to drive around and look at nice houses we hoped to own someday.  We used to look up vacation spots and dream about taking our son to cool places.  I gave up on all that, but now I can dream again.
  • Faith.  I gave up on God.  I forced Him into the far recesses of my life.  I couldn’t let Him really guide my life.  As a fiercely independent person who has has been abandoned too many times, I have a core belief that I can do this alone.  It’s an incorrect core belief and I’m learning to fight it.  The truth is: I can’t do this alone.  I need God.
  • A Christian Family.  I attend a small, struggling church where my mother and other relatives attend.  I do my best to keep my struggles private, but they have been amazingly supportive.  I’m beginning to let them in.  I have a need to give back and I think I can do that there.
  • A relationship with my son.  In the past few years I have focused on keeping a sinking financial ship upright.  I worked myself to exhaustion everyday.  While I say that I did it all for my family, I also realize that things were rough at home and work was a safe haven.  Now I know that money can’t buy happiness and it can’t buy my son’s love.  I work less and focus on him more.  It’s been really amazing to get to know him on a new level.  He’s an amazing gift from God.

So where does that leave me tomorrow?  When I stand in front of that judge, what am I supposed to feel?  Conflicted seems to be the only appropriate word.

I titled this “Finality,” as a little inside joke with myself.  I’ve waited for this day for so long.  I’ve pushed for this and yearned for it.  I want this to be over.  I want to move on.  But tomorrow is just another day.  It won’t magically heal my broken spirit.  It won’t erase the pain I feel nor the pain I’ve caused.  It won’t make me happy and it won’t bring love back into my life.  It’s just one mile in the journey of life.