I PICKED MY BATTLE
Newly divorced and searching for a fresh start, Sara takes to the highway with no particular destination in mind. As her travels take her across the country, an unexpected encounter changes both her plans for her trip – and the rest of her life. Just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t real… just because you aren’t looking for it, doesn’t mean it isn’t looking for you.
SARA, I PICKED MY BATTLE
I never expected to be starting over in my late forties but I’m excited to be doing it, not afraid. Well, maybe a little afraid – kind of an 70/30 mix. Asking for the divorce in the first place – now that was scary, and hard. I don’t dislike my ex, even now after the divorce is complete, I can still say that – I’m just no longer in love with him and haven’t been for some time. After a couple of years of sleeping next to him, listening to him snore and hating every second of it and resenting him for it without him knowing anything about how I was feeling – I finally worked up the courage to have ‘the talk’ with Eric. He was blindsided which made it even harder but when I realized what it came down to, I knew I had to make a decision for both of us because waiting on him would mean waiting forever.
Do we want to grow old together, continuing as we are? No sex – hadn’t been for a couple years at that point and essentially roommates who share a space and a bank account?
Bite the bullet, take the hit and make the break – for both of us? And truthfully, my intentions were for both of us – no way he was happy with the life we were living. We were comfortable with the life we were in but neither of us were overly happy with it – so I asked to end it. In the end, we had the most amicable divorce known to mankind – I’m guessing because we were already ‘just friends’ by the time I asked for the process to start.
Our passion was already gone.
It didn’t take Eric long to realize that this was a good move for both of us, despite the bitching and moaning of our three ADULT children to the contrary. None of them still live at home – hell, one doesn’t even live in the same province anymore yet they all had an opinion. I’m not sure you can really whine about being the child of divorced parents when you’re 27 but our oldest, Colton, sure made a good go of it. He has sided with his father – Eric and I worked hard to keep everyone in our families from having to make that awful choice by keeping everything cordial, even when it wasn’t easy.
Yet my eldest son made his choice… picked his ‘side’.
Lucas lives on the other side of the country but at 25 he was the most vocal about not seeing a need for Eric and I getting a divorce ‘at our age’ – I didn’t realize being in your 40’s means being you’re almost dead. Not only was he unsupportive he was insulting as well so I’m not overly happy with my middle child right now – the last time we spoke was another argument about the divorce so we haven’t spoken in awhile. I figured the boys would be upset about their parents splitting up but I never figured on the reaction I received… far beyond what I anticipated.
The only one who has stayed on the sidelines and for the most part, quiet is our youngest – Tanner, and for him this is the norm. Being the youngest of three he has always been in the shadow of his older brothers, especially Colton who has always been outgoing even to the point of overbearing. Colton’s self-confidence comes across as arrogance and bravado whereas with Tanner, it is his ability to spend time alone writing or simply walking quietly that demonstrates his self-confidence.
My three boys – men – all so vastly differently, fill my heart completely.
Even when they hurt me.
Maybe it is a Mom thing but of course I’ll forgive them – even Lucas’ harsh and hurtful words, but not until they ask for forgiveness. I have apologized once myself for hurting them and their father but I refuse to keep saying sorry over and over again – we’re all adults here and they need to start acting like it. Eric and I spoke easily throughout the process and still do even now but our children are treating me like a home-wrecking adulteress, or like they think I’m going to ‘come to my senses’ and change my mind.
The divorce is now finalized and my senses remain intact.
Eric and I met at the lawyers’ office, signed the final papers and that was it. Thirty years of marriage was over but, in the end, I still have a friend which I’m grateful for. I’m always going to be ‘stuck’ with Eric in my life – we share three children together and I am hoping someday there will be grandchildren too so us getting along is good for everyone. I feel so awful for anyone in a prolonged or painful divorce – I know there are lots. So yes, we’ll always be connected but since we still like each other well enough – when big events come up in the future it won’t be bad or awkward when we’re all together.
The boys won’t have to worry about seating us apart or something.
Even now, with the ink still drying on the damn papers and Eric already with someone new – we’re still friends. Well – friendly. Do I think they were together when we were still married? No, I don’t think he is a cheater – they were definitely friends before but nothing more. Do I think him moving on before me is pissing me off? Yeah… yeah, probably - her being the same age as our children definitely doesn’t help.
Seriously – I’m so jealous I could spit.
A brand-new divorce, an ex with a brand-new girlfriend and three sons who blame me for everything – it is a wonder I don’t drink more. My children need brand new attitudes but until that happens, I need a fresh beginning and I’m not going to get that living here, despite how much I love this place I call home. I haven’t always lived in New Brunswick but moved here with Eric when he was relocated for work. We fell in love with it and stayed but a small town like ours means seeing Eric and Miss Perky-Boobs more often than I’d like. Also, having everyone know our business – and picking sides whether they know us or not is less then ideal, especially since I’m definitely on the losing side in the popularity contest. As the ‘instigator’, I’m generally looked down on whereas Eric gets the sympathy – it is beyond nuts.
Instigator – you’d think I burned down an orphanage instead of ask for a damn divorce.
I need and want a new beginning and I’m not getting it if I stay here, not even in my own place because it still means the same gas station, the same grocery store… the same family doctor. No, for me to have the fresh start I want – I’m going to need to go elsewhere, I’m going to need to look beyond New Brunswick’s borders.
It is time for a road trip.