Somehow, unbelievably, it has been a year since my life fell apart in the most unexpected way. DDday is still a month away, but it was in the beginning of April, 2013 that XWW started putting her exit strategy into play, and I began the biggest struggle of my life.
So how are things one year later?
*Emotionally, Iím basically back on my feet. I feel normal most of the time, though there is a kind of low-level hum of anxiety and bitterness that visits me on occasion. Most of the time, itís in the background and I feel, on the whole, like myself.
*Though there are times when I wish I had a partner in crime, especially when parenting, Iíve come to appreciate some of the advantages of singleness. It has helped me detox a bit from the terribly corrosive relationship that I suffered through in the months surrounding DDay.
*My bond with my daughter has never been stronger. She is an exceptionally bright and winsome little girl who charms me in a dozen different ways every day. She has brought me more joy that I thought possible in such a dark time in my life. And most of the time, I feel like a pretty awesome dad.
*My daughter has weathered the storm of this divorce well. I will always grieve for what she has lost, but at the moment, she is taking it in stride, partially because she does not fully comprehend what has happened, being so young. Though this carries with it its own problems and complications, I am thankful that I have not seen her have her heart broken as mine was.
*I miss the hell out of my daughter whenever she is away with her mother.
*XWW still sucks.
She still does not show the slightest indication of having any kind of remorse for
what she did. Sheís spoiled and self-entitled, and liable to throw a tantrum when I
donít play ball exactly the way she wants me to. She is not unrelentingly difficult, and is often cooperative and very occasionally even nice, but she still manages to be an annoying thorn in my side that I will unfortunately have to carry with me for years to come.
*Our joint custody arrangement pretty much guarantees that I will be unable to relocate for many years. While I do like the area in which I live, I have a long list of things that I would love to do that Iím prevented from by this geographical limitation.
*And in order to have the kind of availability to my daughter that both she and I need, Iíve had to sacrifice a good deal of upward mobility and job security.
In short, even if I have begun to recover from the emotional impact of the divorce, its practical consequences will be with me for a long time.
But I have survived. I have adapted, and I am okay. That feels like an incredible thing to say.
It is probably the case that nearly everything about my life is in some degree worse as a consequence of this. The one positive is that I have become closer to my daughter, but itís perfectly possible that this would have happened without the divorce. What Iím grasping for now is that chance that maybe something in my life can be better than it ever could have been with XWW. Iím not sure what yet, but that is my hope.